Maria Kronfeldner, “What’s Left of Human Nature? A Post-Essentialist, Pluralist, and Interactive Account of a Contested Concept” (MIT Press, 2018)
Much of the debate about the roles of nature vs. nurture in the development of individual people has settled into accepting that it’s a bit of both, although what each contributes to a given trait or feature, how much, and they interact are still matters of dispute. In What’s Left... Read More
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
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