Book

Edwards Wins APA’s 2019 Sanders Book Prize for The Metaphysics of Truth

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/12/2019 - 4:44am in

Tags 

award, Book, philosophy

Douglas Edwards, assistant professor of philosophy at Utica College, has won the 2019 Sanders Book Prize from the American Philosophical Association (APA) for his book, The Metaphysics of Truth.  

The Sanders Book Prize is awarded annually to “the best book in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, or epistemology that engages the analytic tradition published in English in the previous five-year period.” It is funded by the Marc Sanders Foundation. The prize is $7,000.


Douglas Edwards

In the award announcement, the APA states:

Edwards develops his own version of truth pluralism, making contributions along the way to discussions of differences in the role of predicates and the connection with ontological pluralism. The book is philosophically nuanced, rigorous and systematic in its treatment. It also stood out as interesting to a broad range of philosophical topics and discussions.

Honorable mentions for the prize went to Carrie Figdor, professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa, for her Pieces of Mind, and Susanna Schellenberg, professor of philosophy and cognitive science at Rutgers University, for her The Unity of Perception.

You can see a list of previous winners here.

The post Edwards Wins APA’s 2019 Sanders Book Prize for The Metaphysics of Truth appeared first on Daily Nous.

Down Girl by Kate Manne Wins APA Book Prize

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/12/2019 - 4:21am in

Kate Manne, associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University, has won the 2019 Book Prize from the American Philosophical Association (APA) for her Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.

The APA states:

In Down Girl, Kate Manne calls attention to an underappreciated question in the literature: how should we understand misogyny? She advances a new account of it to make sense of some of the most fundamental issues in feminist thought and political philosophy. Despite the ambitious nature of her project, the end result is a powerful view that nevertheless seems like common sense. Manne has succeeded in measurably improving the quality of public discourse on very timely and vexed issues by writing a book that is both accessible and rigorous.

The APA’s Book Prize is awarded every other year for the best, published book that was written by a younger scholar during the previous two years. The prize is $4,000, which will be presented at the upcoming Eastern Division meeting of the APA.

Honorable Mention for the prize went to Sarah Moss, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, for her book, Probabilistic Knowledge.

 

The post Down Girl by Kate Manne Wins APA Book Prize appeared first on Daily Nous.

Journal of the History of Philosophy Announces Book Prize Winner

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/12/2019 - 2:38am in

Tags 

award, Book, philosophy

The Journal of the History of Philosophy has announced the winner of it 2019 book prize, which is awarded for the best book written in history of philosophy in 2018.

The winner is Richard Arthur (Professor Emeritus, McMaster University), for his book, Monads, Composition, and Force: Ariadnean Threads Through Leibniz’s Labyrinth.

The publisher, Oxford University Press, provides the following description of the book:

Leibniz’s monads have long been a source of fascination and puzzlement. If monads are merely immaterial, how can they alone constitute reality? In Monads, Composition and Force, Richard T. W. Arthur takes seriously Leibniz’s claim of introducing monads to solve the problem of the composition of matter and motion. Going against a trend of idealistic interpretations of Leibniz’s thought, Arthur argues that although monads are presupposed as the principles making actual each of the infinite parts of matter, bodies are not composed of them. He offers a fresh interpretation of Leibniz’s theory of substance in which monads are enduring primitive forces, corporeal substances are embodied monads, and bodies are aggregates of monads, not mere appearances. In this reading the monads are constitutive unities, constituting an organic unity of function through time, and bodies are phenomenal in two senses; as ever-changing things they are Platonic phenomena and as pluralities, in being perceived together, they are also Democritean phenomena. Arthur argues for this reading by describing how Leibniz’s thought is grounded in seventeenth century atomism and the metaphysics of the plurality of forms, showing how his attempt to make this foundation compatible with mechanism undergirds his insightful contributions to biological science and the dynamical foundations he provides for modern physics.

The prize is $5000.

A list of the previous winners is here.

(via Jean-Luc Solère)

The post Journal of the History of Philosophy Announces Book Prize Winner appeared first on Daily Nous.

Book Review: Falter by Bill McKibben

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 14/11/2019 - 2:58am in

By Herman Daly

Thanks to Bill McKibben, not just for his new book but for 30 years of honest, eloquent, and insightful environmental writing and activism.

Thomas Merton Center dinner honoring Bill McKibben, 11/4/2013

Thomas Merton Center dinner honoring Bill McKibben. (Image CC BY 2.0, Credit: Mark Dixon)

He begins Falter by pointing out that the human game we’ve been playing has no rules and no end, but it does come with two logical imperatives. The first is to keep it going, and the second is to keep it human.”

What McKibben calls “the game” that we must keep going and keep human is similar to what C. S. Lewis called the “Tao” in his 1944 classic, The Abolition of Man. The Tao refers to the common morality informed by natural law and spiritual insight—the given yet evolving conscience and wisdom of mankind. The Tao also develops and evolves out of its own past. It is our best understanding of objective value. We cannot logically depart from it in any fundamental way—it transcends both subjectivism and naturalism.

In McKibben’s version, the “human game” has to continue and remain human. It is the second part that gets close to Lewis’ idea, who wrote long before the age of genetic engineering with CRISPR technology. Lewis’ “Conditioners,” social engineers in effect, were only educators and psychologists. Lewis granted them the complete power to mold their subjects, the same power that seems to be possessed by the modern genetic Conditioners of today, so his argument remains relevant, indeed becomes more so.

CS Lewis

CS Lewis (Public Domain)

Lewis’ argument is simple: the Conditioners want to create in their subjects a new artificial Tao, a “better” one. They have the power to do so. They may appeal to the traditional Tao for guidance on how to make the artificial Tao better. But then they are still servants of the Tao and not creators of a new Tao. In other words, they are developing the Tao, not replacing it. To replace the Tao, they must step outside of it to find the criteria for how to remake it. But in stepping outside, they step into an ethical void. “I should” or “I ought” comes from the historical Tao and disappears with its absence. What remains to motivate the Conditioners is “I want.”

The personal desires of the Conditioners, uninstructed by the Tao from which they have emancipated themselves, become the motives directing the “I can” of these all-powerful Conditioners. What appeared to be the collective power of mankind over the Tao has turned out to be the arbitrary power of some over many. The future subjects are no longer men but creatures of the Conditioners’ wants, whims, desires, and fantasies. Hence the title, Abolition of Man.

Lewis is not arguing against knowledge or technology. For each step in controlling nature, it may (or may not) be that the benefits outweigh the costs. He is insisting, however, that the last step of treating the Tao as another part of nature to be remade according to human desire is fundamentally different, like dividing by zero instead of by a smaller and smaller number. At this last step, the process does not continue—it blows up in your face.

McKibben’s argument is similar in form but different in its terms. The Tao is “the human game” that must continue and remain human. The continuation of the game is threatened by the fact that we are destroying the physical board (or sphere) on which the game is played. Much of McKibben’s writing and activism has been motivated by saving the biophysical board necessary to keep playing the game, specifically, saving a climate conducive to life. What is new in this book is the emphasis on keeping the game human or “within the Tao” in Lewis’ terms.

McKibben declares, “I am not great with eschatology; I don’t know the final destination. While I don’t know how to change the ‘system,’ the urgent nature of the climate crisis doesn’t let us simply put off action. The biophysics doesn’t allow it.”

One understands his reluctance to “go eschatological” and to stick with the biophysical. Yet McKibben is already neck deep in eschatology, and necessarily so, by emphasizing early on the apocalyptic consequences of the climate crisis. Some technocrats go on to argue that since our civilization is unsustainable anyway, we are justified in taking extreme technical risks to save it, like a dying cancer patient volunteering for any experimental treatment. But where things really get specific is in his reflections on the full-blown and frank eschatology of the Silicon Valley billionaire self-creationists.

As McKibben reports, a number of these folks are planning to live forever, not in the New Jerusalem or in a Platonic spirit world but here on the unredeemed earth. Either survive whole or freeze your severed head until the Singularity (Second Coming?) when science will resurrect you, or at least your consciousness, by uploading it into silicon memory chips. Where, oh Death, is now thy sting? What these Silicon Valley self-creationists ridicule as naive religious belief, a remnant of the old Tao, they recreate as a new technological religion, an eternal digital heaven on earth (or maybe Mars) populated not by mortal men, but by—what? Marxists had something similar (but much less extreme) in mind with their eschatology of the new socialist man and classless society.

McKibben is politely dismissive of the eschatology of these “self-rapturing” techies, noting their extreme individualism (stemming from their common hero, Ayn Rand) that leads them to appropriate a kind of heaven on earth for themselves. McKibben also reminds us that these are the richest people in the world, and what they believe is influential. Modern theologians have prematurely “closed the office of eschatology.” Now it has been reopened, under new management. G.K. Chesterton famously said that when people stop believing in God, the problem is not that they then believe nothing, but that they are likely to believe anything. Could be.

Cryonics Institute

Cryogenics: Abolition of Tao? (Image CC BY-SA 4.0, Credit: Dan)

Keeping the present creation going as long as possible is an ethical judgment in favor of longevity, not a logical imperative. Nothing in logic prevents extinction or death; indeed, evolution requires it for individuals and species. Whether the end is entropic heat death or new creation is the eschatological question—a question of reasoned hope rather than demonstrated knowledge.

We tend to dismiss eschatology on the grounds that the sun will last for some billions of years and thoughts about the final end will distract our attention from the immediate crisis. Fair enough, but the scientific materialism underlying Salvation-by-Singularity has given us the power to destroy creation without providing—indeed by undercutting—any reason to keep it going other than chanting the colorless abstract noun “sustainability.” Meanwhile, the Silicon Valley eschatologists are working out their personal salvation independently. They probably already have started marketing it to those who can afford it.

McKibben has explained that the climate threat is so pressing and so intermingled with current economic arrangements, that it provides the best possible lever for making profound change in other aspects of the economy…” I suspect that a serious effort to solve the climate crisis—or the biodiversity crisis, or water crisis, or political crisis for that matter—will soon lead to the recognition of their underlying common cause, namely the continuous growth of the human economy and its consequent displacement and degradation of the rest of our world.

Nevertheless, most discussions of climate change usually fail to make the connection to growth. The focus is on how to accommodate growth within the structure of complex climate models and their predictions. The main accommodation is to advocate a switch from nonrenewable to renewable energy resources but without recognizing that renewables effectively become nonrenewable, once growth leads to exploitation levels beyond sustainable yield.

Maybe, after repeated failures, a steady state economy will begin to seem like a reasonable policy to save whatever is left for however long it can last. That falls far short of a real eschatological vision, but it is better than the cryogenic rapture of the Singularity preached by the technical Gnostics. McKibben does not pursue his initial critique of Silicon Valley eschatology, and one cannot blame him because the topic is daunting. But the eschatological question of ultimate purpose and final end keeps breaking through into policy discussions, however unwelcome to present attitudes. In Falter, McKibben at least identifies this usually repressed issue.

Falter
by Bill McKibben
Henry Holt and Co., 2019
$28.00

 

Herman DalyHerman Daly is an emeritus professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs and a member of the CASSE executive board. He is co-founder and associate editor of the journal Ecological Economics, and he was a senior economist with the World Bank from 1988 to 1994. His interests in economic development, population, resources, and environment have resulted in more than 100 articles in professional journals and anthologies, as well as numerous books.

 

The post Book Review: <em>Falter</em> by Bill McKibben appeared first on Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.


Review: ‘Arab Humanist’ speaks from the heart about basic income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 22/09/2019 - 11:48pm in

In Arab Humanist: The Necessity of Basic Income, Nohad Nassif speaks from the heart, giving the perspective of someone who suffered, on her skin and bones, the injustices and prejudices perpetrated by a patriarchal society, just for being a woman, and of modest means.

Arab Humanist: The Necessity of Basic Income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/08/2019 - 5:59pm in

Tags 

Arab World, Book, Women

Nohad A Nassif recently self-published her first book “Arab Humanist: The Necessity of Basic Income“. It is an unashamedly autobiographical story, which talks about how she ran away from her family while living in Austin, Texas, and what happened to her when she became homeless. The book contains story art and commentary sections on Basic Income. Nohad believes that everyone

Book announcement: Financing Basic Income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 29/08/2019 - 3:10am in

Tags 

Book, Canada

This new book from Richard Pereira (and contributors Albert Jörimann (BIEN Switzerland) and Gary Flomenhoft (University of Vermont)) argues that basic income at a decent level is, in fact, affordable. The contributors approach the topic from the perspectives of three different countries — Canada, Switzerland, and Australia — to overcome objections that a universal program to keep all citizens above

InHabit: People, Places and Possessions

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/05/2017 - 9:45pm in

Tags 

Literature, Book

Book at Lunchtime Seminar held on May 3rd 2017.

The Prospect of Global History

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/07/2016 - 9:29pm in

Tags 

Book

How can global history can be applied instead of advocated? The new volume The Prospect of Global History examines this question and explores the fast growing field of global history across a wide geographical and chronological range. One of the book's editors, James Belich (Beit Professor of Imperial and Commonwealth History, University of Oxford) discusses this along with TORCH Director Professor Elleke Boehmer, Richard Drayton (Rhodes Professor of Imperial History, King's College London), and Hannah-Louise Clark (Departmental Lecturer in Modern History, University of Oxford).