New Books Network

John Christman, “The Politics of Persons: Individual Autonomy and Socio-historical Selves” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
In theorizing justice, equality, freedom, authority, and the like, political philosophers often rely tacitly upon particular conceptions of the self and individual autonomy. Traditional forms of liberalism seem to assume a conception of the self according to which selves are self-interested rational choosers of their ends who are fundamentally asocial.... Read More
Crawford (Tim) Elder, “Familiar Objects and their Shadows” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
It might be a surprise to non-metaphysicians to discover the extent to which it is questionable whether the familiar objects we see and interact with – the dogs, trees, iPods, and so on – really exist. And yet, these familiar objects are actually very strange. For example, we take for... Read More
Robert Audi, “Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State” (Oxford UP, 2011)
In a liberal democratic society, individuals share political power as equals. Consequently, liberal democratic governments must recognize each citizen as a political equal. This requires, in part, that liberal democratic governments must seek to govern on the basis of reasons that all citizens could endorse. However, the freedoms secured by... Read More
Peter Ludlow, “The Philosophy of Generative Linguistics” (Oxford UP, 2011)
The human capacity for language is always cited as the or one of the cognitive capacities we have that separates us from non-human animals. And linguistics, at its most basic level, is the study of language as such – in the primary and usual case, how we manage the pairing... Read More
Fabienne Peter, “Democratic Legitimacy” (Routledge, 2011)
Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. The quip reveals an interesting dimension of democracy: it’s hard to beat, but it’s also hard to love. Democracy is hard to love because it sometimes requires us to acquiesce and live by decisions,... Read More
Troy Jollimore, “Love’s Vision” (Princeton UP, 2011)
Love – being loved and loving in the way two otherwise unrelated persons can be – is a kind of experience that just about everyone values intrinsically. As we say, or sing: love makes the world go ’round, and all you need is love. But what sort of experience is... Read More
Jason Brennan, “The Ethics of Voting” (Princeton UP, 2011)
It is commonly held that citizens in a democratic society have a civic duty to participate in the processes of collective self-government. Often, this duty is held to be satisfied by voting. In fact, the sentiment is commonly expressed that voting is always a good thing for citizens to do,... Read More