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Robert Nozick

Today marks the death of Robert Nozick one of the most versatile philosophers of the last quarter of the 20th Century. The more I read Nozick, the more astonishing his talent seems to be. He writes with such subtle twists about so many issues from politics to epistemology to identity to consciousness, to ethics to…

Anglo-American Idealism

I want to give a plug for this new book edited by James Connelly and Stamatoula Panagakou. They have worked tirelessly in keeping interest in idealism alive and have brought together a who’s who of experts in this field. However unfashionable and derided idealism might be, I for one still find it a fertile tradition…

Metal Guru

  The latest issue of Philosophy Now features a collection of articles on “machine morality”.  The Challenge of Moral Machines Wendell Wallach tells us what the basic problems are. Four Kinds of Ethical Robots James H. Moor defines different ways in which machines could be moral. How Machines Can Advance Ethics Susan Leigh Anderson and…

Oakeshott on Religion, Science and Politics

Here are the abstracts for the forthcoming Zygon: A Journal of Religion and Science symposium on Oakeshott. Elizabeth Corey (Baylor) RELIGION AND THE MODE OF PRACTICE IN MICHAEL OAKESHOTT Michael Oakeshott’s religious view of the world stands behind much of his political and philosophical writing. The present essay proceeds first by discussing Oakeshott’s view of religion…

Is Mill’s theory of liberty inconsistent with his utilitarian premisses?

Motivated by a brief paragraph posted by Colin McGinn, I offer the following thoughts.  Mill’s Utilitarianism in Focus (1) Utilitarianism contains two essential components: (a) an axiology, i.e. a theory of intrinsic value (a theory of what we’re to take as good in itself or good for its own sake, and (b) a consequentialist ethical theory. The two…