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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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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APA Pacific 2017: a conference guide

The Oxford Philosophy team is excited to see you in Seattle for the upcoming 2017 American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting! We have some suggestions on sights to see during your time in Washington, as well as our favorite sessions to attend at the conference.

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Philosopher of the month: John Stuart Mill [timeline]

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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J. L. Austin, “Other Minds,” and the goldfinch

J. L. Austin was born on 26 March 1911. He was twenty-eight when the Second World War began, and served in the British Intelligence Corps. It has been said that, “he more than anybody was responsible for the life-saving accuracy of the D-Day intelligence” (Warnock 1963: 9). He was honoured for his intelligence work with an Order of the British Empire, the French Croix de Guerre, and the U.S. Officer of the Legion of Merit.

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Encyclopedia of Social Work

What is social justice?

Notions of social justice generally embrace values such as the equal worth of all citizens, their equal right to meet their basic needs, the need to spread opportunity and life chances as widely as possible, and finally, the requirement that we reduce and, where possible, eliminate unjustified inequalities. The following excerpt explores the meanings and principles of social justice from a political, philosophical, and social worker perspective.

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Throw out the dog: are pets expendable?

Little Tiger, big enthusiastic Buddy, and laidback Smokey are some of the furry individuals who share our living rooms, our kitchens, and sometimes our beds. Most people consider their companion animals—their “pets”—to be friends or members of the family. Despite the depth of many people’s relationships with the cats and dogs who share their lives, many people also assume that these animals are in certain ways expendable.

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Can art save us from fundamentalism?

London, rain, and Rothko—each was foreign to the missionary encampment on the Navajo reservation where Jakob grew up, in the 1980s. Back then, he seized every opportunity to share the gospel with his Native American friends, even as they played endless games of cowboys and Indians in the deserts of Arizona:

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Women of letters

During the Enlightenment era, the term “man of letters” (deriving from the French term belletrist) was used to distinguish true scholars—independent thinkers who relished debate, conversation and learning. In an age when literacy was a distinct form of cultural capital, it served to identify the literati, often the French members of the “Republic of Letters,” who met in “salons” designed for the elevation, education, and cultural sophistication of the participants.

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Voltaire and the one-liner

As we mark Voltaire’s 323rd birthday – though the date of 20 February is problematic, the subject of another blog – what significance does the great Enlightenment writer have for us now? If I had to be very very short, I’d say that Voltaire lives on as a master of the one-liner. He presents us with a paradox. Voltaire wrote a huge amount – the definitive edition of his Complete works will soon be finished, in around 200 volumes.

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Philosopher of the Month: Socrates

This March, the OUP Philosophy team honors Socrates (470-399 BC) as their Philosopher of the Month. As elusive as he is a groundbreaking figure in the history of philosophy, this Athenian thinker is perhaps best known as the mentor of Plato and the developer of the Socratic method.

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