2016 was an important year in the fields of philosophy. As the year draws to a close, the OUP Philosophy team takes a moment to reflect.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was an Irish statesman, author and orator, chiefly remembered for his championing of various causes such as Catholic emancipation, reform of the government of India and preserving the balance of the British constitution. It is commonly assumed that Edmund Burke took up incongruous positions on the American and French Revolutions…
Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) is widely known as the founder of the academic study of Jewish mysticism or Kabbalah. In the nearly thirty-five years since his death, Scholem’s star has continue to shine brightly in the intellectual firmament and perhaps even more brightly now than in his lifetime.
This December, the OUP Philosophy team marks the end of a great year by honoring three of 2016’s most popular Philosophers of the Month!
Coming to us through the great illustrative tradition, as well as medical and literary works, Melancholy is a perennially alluring idea.
Within the last couple of decades more and more research has shown a number of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, to be associated with particular lifestyle characteristics such as smoking, lack of exercise, and over-eating. Confronted with such research, it is timely to raise questions about individual responsibility for getting those diseases (or the increased risk thereof), and to think closer about issues such as blame, stigma, and economic burdens.
Voltaire had numerous passionate affairs, and engaged in an enormous amount of private correspondence with his lovers, much of which has been kept for posterity. Providing a fascinating insight into Voltaire’s inner-most emotions, his letters give a glimpse of his friendships, sorrows, joys, and passionate desires…
Some people think that voting for Donald Trump was a detestable thing to do, whereas others are convinced that we had an obligation to vote for him in order to get rid of the political elite. Of course, in explaining why they voted the way they did, people will appeal to their beliefs.
This November, the OUP Philosophy team celebrates UNESCO’s World Philosophy Day! We’ve highlighted a selection of some of our most popular philosophy research across various disciplines, and created a quiz to test your knowledge of some of the world’s best known thinkers.
The idea that many, if not most, people exhibit physical signs – tells – when they lie is an old idea – one that has been extensively studied by psychologists, and is of obvious practical interest to fields as otherwise disparate as gambling and law enforcement. Some of the tells that indicate someone is lying include:
Sometimes when looking at some piece of reality, puzzling choices have to be made when describing it as ‘one’, as ‘many’ or perhaps as neither ‘one’ nor ‘many’. Three woodblock prints of the artist Hokusai can illustrate the issue.
“Why? WHY?” If, like me, you have small children, you spend all day trying to answer this question. It’s not easy: sometimes there is no answer (a recent exchange: “Sharing is when you let someone else use your things.” “Why?”); sometimes you don’t know the answer; even when you do, your child isn’t satisfied, he just goes on to ask “why?” about the answer.
The main thing that drew me to the history and philosophy of science was the simple desire to understand the nature of science. I was introduced to the exciting ideas of Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend, but it soon became clear that there were serious problems with each of these views and that those heydays were long gone. Professionals in the field would no longer presume to generalize as boldly as the famous quartet had done.
Some people love libraries so much, they never leave. Though no living human being knows exactly what happens—or doesn’t happen—after death, certain library patrons have reported unnatural, paranormal events occurring within the walls of these four supposedly haunted libraries. Could they be ghosts attempting to check out a new Sci-Fi novel or mischievously disrupting the organized stacks?
The Oxford Philosophy and History teams are excited to see you in Atlanta for the upcoming 2016 History of Science/Philosophy of Science Biennial Meeting. We have some suggestions on sights to see during your time in Georgia as well as our favorite sessions for the conference.
Accessible and inaccessible disciplines: why philosophy and science are similar but are treated differently
Amongst my books is a late nineteenth century edition of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Purchased from a used bookshop many years ago, it contains the previous owner’s signature on the flyleaf together with a commentary: “Started Boston 1883. Began again in Salt Lake City February 1891.