New Books Network

Samuel Schindler, “Theoretical Virtues in Science: Discovering Reality Through Theory” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
A fundamental problem in science, and in philosophy of science, is that of theory choice. Scientists propose theories to explain data, but when two scientific theories can both explain the same data, what criteria do scientists use to choose between them? And given that even very popular scientific theories can... Read More
Carrie Figdor, “Pieces of Mind: The Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates” (Oxford UP, 2018)
We’re all familiar with cases where one attributes certain psychological states or capacities to creatures and systems that are not human persons.  For example, your cat might prefer a certain variety of cat food, and maybe your houseplants enjoy a certain corner of the room they’re in.  In many cases,... Read More
Shannon Spaulding, “How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition” (Routledge, 2018))
Social cognition includes the ways we explain, predict, interpret, and influence other people. The dominant philosophical theories of social cognition–the theory-theory and the simulation theory–have provided focused accounts of mindreading, the more specific practice of ascribing beliefs, desires, and intentions to others in order to predict and explain their behavior.... Read More
David Rondel, “Pragmatist Egalitarianism” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Pragmatism is a longstanding philosophical idiom that advocates public-facing philosophy – philosophy that abandons merely academic puzzles and addresses itself to the social and political problems of the day.  This commitment is perhaps most firmly manifest in John Dewey.  Unsurprisingly, Dewey wrote extensively in social and political philosophy, focusing in... Read More
Robert A. Wilson, “The Eugenic Mind Project” (MIT Press, 2017)
For most of us, eugenics — the “science of improving the human stock” — is a thing of the past, commonly associated with Nazi Germany and government efforts to promote a pure Aryan race. This view is incorrect: even in California, for example, sterilization of those deemed mentally defective was... Read More
Candice Delmas, “A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil” (Oxford UP, 2018)
According to a long tradition in political philosophy, there are certain conditions under which citizens may rightly disobey a law enacted by a legitimate political authority.  That is, it is common for political philosophers to recognize the permissibility of civil disobedience, even under broadly just political conditions.  There are, of... Read More
Anjan Chakravartty, “Scientific Ontology: Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology” (Oxford UP, 2017)
A scientific ontology is a view about what a scientific theory says exists. Longstanding philosophical debate on this issue divides into two broad camps: anti-realists, who think scientific theories are committed to the existence only of those things that can be observed, and realists, who hold that these theories are... Read More