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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Philosopher of the month: Mullā Sadrā [infographic]

This June, the OUP Philosophy team honours Mullā Sadrā (1571 – 1640) as their Philosopher of the Month. An Iranian Islamic philosopher, Sadrā is recognised as the major process philosopher of the school of Isfahan. Mullā Sadrā is primarily associated with ‘metaphilosophy’, but also maintains sovereign status as a spiritual leader for the Islamic East.

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Voltaire on death

Voltaire, the French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher, wrote over 20,000 letters over his lifetime. One can read through his letters to learn more about his views on democracy and religion, as well as the soul and afterlife. The following excerpts from his letters show how his thoughts and ideas about death and the soul evolved over time.

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Thomas Kuhn and the T. S. Kuhn Archives at MIT

After I completed a book on Thomas Kuhn, the author of Structure of Scientific Revolutions, I thought I knew a lot about him. In my book, I argue that Kuhn’s recent, less frequently read work is key to understanding his views. Then I began to look in detail at Kuhn’s past and the influence his early work had in fields other than philosophy of science. I came across an intriguing and unexpected remark by Thomas Walker, a political scientist, in Perspectives on Politics.

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OUP Philosophy

Karl Marx: A Reading List

The OUP Philosophy list boasts cutting-edge scholarship including monographs handbooks and textbooks suitable for graduate and undergraduate use, plus journals, online products, and a collection of scholarly editions. For the latest news, resources, and insights from the Philosophy team, follow us on Twitter @OUPPhilosophy.

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OUP Philosophy

Karl Marx: 200 years on

This May, the OUP Philosophy team honors Karl Marx (1818-1883) as their Philosopher of the Month. 5 May 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of this revolutionary philosopher who is best known for The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, and the substantive theories he formulated on the capitalist mode of production, communism, and class struggles after the dawn of modernity.

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OUP Philosophy

How well do you know Adam Smith? [quiz]

This April, the OUP Philosophy team honors Adam Smith (1723-1790) as their Philosopher of the Month. You may have read his work, but how much do you really know about Adam Smith? Test your knowledge with our quiz.

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OUP Philosophy

Philosopher of the month: Adam Smith [Timeline]

This April, the OUP Philosophy team honors Adam Smith (1723-1790) as their Philosopher of the Month. Smith was an eminent Scottish moral philosopher and the founder of modern economics, best- known for his book, The Wealth of Nations (1776) which was highly influential in the development of Western capitalism.

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Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Aftering critical theory: reimagining civil “religion”

Why haven’t the insights of critical theory been more widely incorporated into the work of religious studies scholars in particular, and humanists more generally? Conversely, why have critical theorists missed the cross-cultural patterns of signification that have shaped post-tribal hierarchies for millennia, when they are so adept at finding hidden epistemological linkages within western political hegemonies?

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OUP Philosophy

What is it like for women in philosophy, and in academia as a whole?

During Women’s History Month, the OUP Philosophy team has been celebrating Women in Philosophy throughout history and in the present day. While it is easy for most of us to name male philosophers, it is far more difficult for people to name female philosophers even though their influence has been just as great as their male counterparts.

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OUP Philosophy

Landmark moments for women in philosophy [timeline]

This March, the OUP Philosophy team are celebrating Women in Philosophy. Throughout time, women have had to fight for their place in history, academia, and the philosophy discipline. To honour their contributions, we will be highlighting women and their achievements in the field of philosophy all throughout Women’s History Month.

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OUP Philosophy

Women in philosophy: A reading list

This March, in recognition of Women’s History Month, the OUP Philosophy team will be celebrating Women in Philosophy. The philosophy discipline has long been perceived as male-dominated, so we want to recognize some of the incredible female philosophers from both the past and the present.

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Ascending to the god’s-eye view of reality

Frank Wilczek famously wrote: “A recurring theme in natural philosophy is the tension between the God’s-eye view of reality comprehended as a whole and the ant’s-eye view of human consciousness, which senses a succession of events in time. Since the days of Isaac Newton, the ant’s-eye view has dominated fundamental physics. We divide our description of the world into dynamical laws that, paradoxically, exist outside of time according to some, and initial conditions on which those laws act.

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Making babies: 21st century reproduction

Today, it is our understanding of the start of life, not its end, that’s being challenged. What does it take to reproduce? Once again, technological advancements are challenging one of our most familiar biological concepts. It used to be that there were only two ways for something to reproduce: either through the sort of sexual reproduction typical of most animals or through the asexual reproduction characteristic of things like bacteria.

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On our craving for generality

Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his Blue Book, chastised philosophers for what he called “our craving for generality.” Philosophers (including the earlier Wittgenstein of the Tractatus) certainly have exhibited this craving, and despite his admonishment, we continue to do so.

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Ten things you may not know about women and liberty

Imagine that you’re a married woman living in a bleak dystopian world in which you’re barred from higher education, you’re forbidden from owning your own property, you have no freedom of movement outside your own home, and your husband might sexually assault you at any time, with impunity.

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