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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

How well do you know Swami Vivekānanda [quiz]

This June, the OUP Philosophy team honors Swami Vivekānanda (born Narendranath Datta, 1863–1902) as their Philosopher of the Month. Born in Calcutta under colonial rule, Vivekānanda became a Hindu religious leader, and one of the most prominent disciples of guru and mystic Śri Rāmakṛṣṇa.

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Abstract objects: two ways of introducing them, in the core and the periphery of language

One of the most striking features of natural language is that it comes with a wealth of terms for abstract objects, or so it seems, and to a great extent they can be formed quite systematically and productively. First, we can form nominalizations from expressions that normally serve as predicates, for example adjectives, and the nominalizations can be used, it seems to refer to abstract objects.

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9 facts about hermeneutics

Hermeneutics is the art of understanding and of making oneself understood. But what does ‘hermeneutics’ mean? Where did the term originate and how is it used in day-to-day life? Jens Zimmermann, author of Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction, tells us 9 things everyone should know about hermeneutics.

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Philosopher of the month: Swami Vivekānanda [timeline]

This June, the OUP Philosophy team honors Swami Vivekānanda (born Narendranath Datta, 1863–1902) as their Philosopher of the Month. Born in Calcutta under colonial rule, Vivekānanda became a Hindu religious leader, and one of the most prominent disciples of guru and mystic Śri Rāmakṛṣṇa.

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Wilfrid Sellars and the nature of normativity

Wilfrid Sellars would have been 105 this month. He stands out as one of the more ambitiously systematic philosophers of the last century, with contributions to ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language, alongside incisive historical examinations of Kant, and several others. We can read him as a philosopher in a classical mode, always in conversation with figures from the past.

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How well do you know Simone de Beauvoir? [quiz]

This May, the OUP Philosophy team honors Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) as their Philosopher of the Month. A French existentialist philosopher, novelist, and feminist theoretician, Beauvoir’s essays on ethics and politics engage with questions about freedom and responsibility in human existence.

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The illegitimate open-mindedness of arithmetic

We are often told that we should be open-minded. In other words, we should be open to the idea that even our most cherished, most certain, most secure, most well-justified beliefs might be wrong. But this is, in one sense, puzzling.

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David Hume: friendships, feuds, and faith

Who exactly was David Hume? He was a Scottish historian and philosopher (best known today for his radical empiricism), who prided himself on his reputation as a man of the utmost moral character.

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Philosopher of the month: Simone de Beauvoir [timeline]

This May, the OUP Philosophy team honors Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) as their Philosopher of the Month. A French existentialist philosopher, novelist, and feminist theoretician, Beauvoir’s essays on ethics and politics engage with questions about freedom and responsibility in human existence.

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How well do you know John Stuart Mill? [quiz]

This April, the OUP Philosophy team honors John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) as their Philosopher of the Month. Among the most important philosophers, economists, and intellectual figures of the nineteenth century, today Mill is considered a founding father of liberal thought.

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Earth Day 2017: reading for environmental & climate literacy

Earth Day is celebrated globally on 22 April in support of environmental protection. The theme for 2017’s Earth Day is “Environmental & Climate Literacy” – and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate knowledge of the environment and climate than with a reading list. These books, chapters, and articles can add to your understanding of Earth through topics such as climate change, natural phenomena, and what practical steps are being taken to help protect our planet.

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On multiple realization

There’s no overestimating the significance of the multiple realization thesis in the past fifty years of theorizing about the mind’s relationship to the brain. The idea behind the thesis is simple enough, and most easily explained in terms of a comparison.

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