New Books Network

Julia Maskivker, “The Duty to Vote” (Oxford UP, 2019)
When asked what democracy is, many of us instantly think of elections, and thus voting.  Although we tend to see voting as central to democracy, we also think that voting is optional – a commendable activity that a citizen might choose to do, but one that can be omitted blamelessly. ... Read More
Robert Talisse, “Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in Its Place” (Oxford UP, 2019)
In the United States in particular, there is almost no social space today, whether that’s Thanksgiving dinner or going shopping, that has not become saturated with political meaning. In Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in Its Place (Oxford University Press, 2019), Robert Talisse argues that contrary to what... Read More
Elijah Millgram, “John Stuart Mill and the Meaning of Life” (Oxford UP, 2019)
According to an intuitive view, lives are meaningful when they manifest a directedness or instantiate a project such that the disparate events and endeavors “add up to” a life.  John Stuart Mill’s life certainly was devoted to a project in that sense.  Yet Mill’s life was in many respects unsatisfying... Read More
Dilek Huseyinzadegan, “Kant’s Nonideal Theory of Politics” (Northwestern UP, 2019)
In Kant’s Nonideal Theory of Politics (Northwestern University Press, 2019), Dilek Huseyinzadegan analyzes Kant’s political writings by attending to the role of history, anthropology, and geography in his thought. She shows that Kant employs teleology as a means to orient us within the chaotic contingency of experience in order to... Read More
Justin Garson, “What Biological Functions are and Why They Matter” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Why do zebras have stripes? One way to answer that question is ask what function stripes play in the lives of zebras – for example, to deter disease-carrying flies from biting them. This notion of a function plays a central role in biology: biologists frequently refer to the functions of... Read More
Axel Seemann, “The Shared World: Perceptual Knowledge, Demonstrative Communication, and Social Space” (MIT Press, 2019)
Much of what we are able to accomplish in our day-to-day lives depends on the ability to act and think in concert with others.  Often this involves not only the capacity to perceive together the surrounding world—we must also know that we perceive together.  In other words, there must be... Read More
Malcolm Keating, “Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy” (Bloomsbury, 2019)
Philosophy of Language was a central concern in classical Indian Philosophy.  Philosophers in the tradition discussed testimony, pragmatics, and the religious implications of language, among other topics.  In his new book, Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Mukula’s ‘Fundamentals of the Communicative Function’ (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019),... Read More