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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

One True Logic

Infinite potential: logic, philosophy, and the next tech revolution

About a century ago, then, our world was transformed by a logical revolution, which may broadly be called philosophical. This transformation was the key to the technological advances of the past century. What about today’s logic? Could current advances in logic or its philosophy lead to the sort of computer-driven technological change we’ve seen in the past hundred years?

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Epiphanies: An Ethics of Experience

Epiphanies: an interview with Sophie Grace Chappell

Sophie Grace Chappell is Professor of Philosophy at the Open University, UK, and her new book “Epiphanies: An Ethics of Experience” has just been published by OUP. In this interview, Sophie speaks with OUP Philosophy editor Peter Momtchiloff on exploring the concept and experience of epiphanies.

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Perspectival Realism

Public trust in model-based science: moving beyond the “view from nowhere”

Never more than during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public has been reminded of the importance of science and the need to trust scientific advice and model-based public health policy. The delicate triangulation among scientific experts, policymakers, and the public, which is so central to fight misinformation and mistrust, has shone a light on a well-entrenched “view from nowhere” that science is often identified with. Why trust experts and their model-based policy anyway?

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Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves Why Animals Matter for Pandemics, Climate Change, and other Catastrophes

Why does justice for animals matter?

Recent health and environmental crises have taught us that our lives are increasingly connected. Many of us now appreciate pursuing health and climate justice requires pursuing social and economic justice too. And in the same kind of way, I believe, pursuing justice for humans requires pursuing justice for animals too.

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Fitting Things Together: Coherence and the Demands of Structural Rationality

Which anti-vaxxers are irrational?

Consider two different characters: Alanna and Brent. Both refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but their motivations are different. Alanna believes that the vaccine is unsafe and ineffective. Brent simply doesn’t care much about protecting others, and so he can’t be bothered to get vaccinated. Are these characters irrational?

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The Drama of History by Kristin Gjesdal

Staging philosophy: the relationship between philosophy and drama

Where does philosophy belong? In lecture halls, libraries, and campus offices? In town squares? In public life? One answer to this question, exceedingly popular from the Enlightenment onward, has been that philosophy belongs on stage—not in the sense that this is the only place we should find it, but that the relationship between philosophy and drama is particularly productive and promising.

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Spying Through a Glass Darkly: The Ethics of Espionage and Counter-Intelligence

The morality of espionage: do we have a moral duty to spy?

Why spy? . . . For as long as rogues become leaders, we shall spy. For as long as there are bullies and liars and madmen in the world, we shall spy. For as long as nations compete, and politicians deceive, and tyrants launch conquests, and consumers need resources, and the homeless look for land, and the hungry for food, and the rich for excess, your chosen profession is perfectly secure, I can assure you. (John Le Carré, “The Secret Pilgrim”)

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The Women Are Up to Something

Knowing one’s opinion is worth hearing

Mary Midgley muses that the dearth of men in Oxford during WW2 helped her and her friends Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, and Iris Murdoch find their way into philosophy. But each of them took years to find her voice—Midgley longest of all. What held them back and what provoked them to finally speak up?

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How can we solve the energy crisis and mitigate climate change?

Symptoms of the looming climate crisis abound: 50-year extreme heat events happening every year, melting of polar ice sheets, forest fires that encircle the globe, tropical cyclones of greater size, intensity and, as was very evident in Ida’s recent visit to New York, unprecedented levels of precipitation.

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The power of words [podcast]

We’re all familiar with the phrase “words have power” but in a political and cultural climate where we become more aware of the power that money, influence, and privilege have every day, how do people wield the power of words?

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