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When is a revolution not a revolution? Edmund Burke and the new America

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…

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The paradoxical intellectualism of Gershom Scholem

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.

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Are we responsible for our lifestyle diseases?

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.

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Voltaire’s love letters

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…

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How many famous philosophy quotes do you know? [quiz]

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.

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The Yablo Paradox

Lying, tells, and paradox

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:

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On Hokusai’s woodblock prints

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.

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What are we asking when we ask why?

“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.

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A new philosophy of science? Surely that’s been outlawed

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.

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Specters in the stacks: haunted libraries in the United States

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?

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Developing the virtues

Helicopter parenting is denounced by onlookers (e.g., David Brooks) as babying children who should be self-reliant, a highly valued characteristic in the USA. Children should not need parents but should use their own capacities to get through the day.

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