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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This channel provides information about new and revised entries as they are published in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Published: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 19:43:33 -0800

Last Build Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 19:43:33 -0800

Copyright: Copyright Notice. Authors contributing an entry or entries to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, except as provided herein, retain the copyright to their entry or entries. By contributing an entry or entries, the author grants to the Metaphysics Research Lab at Stanford University an exclusive license to publish their entry or entries on the Internet and the World Wide Web, including any future technologies or media that develop to supplement or replace the Internet or World Wide Web, on the terms of the Licensing Agreement set forth in The rights granted to the Metaphysics Research Lab at Stanford University include the right to enforce such rights in any forum, administrative, judicial, or otherwise. All rights not expressly granted to the Metaphysics Research Lab at Stanford University, including the right to publish an entry or entries in other print media, are retained by the authors. Copyright of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy itself is held by the Metaphysics Research Lab at Stanford University. All rights are reserved. No part of the Encyclopedia (excluding individual contributions and works derived solely from those contributions, for which rights are reserved by the individual authors) may be reprinted, reproduced, stored, or utilized in any form, by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including printing, photocopying, saving (on disk), broadcasting or recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, other than for purposes of fair use, without written permission from the copyright holder. (All communications should be directed to the Principal Editor.)


Mon, 22 Jan 2018 19:34:24 -0800

[Revised entry by Gerald Gaus, Shane D. Courtland, and David Schmidtz on January 22, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Liberalism is more than one thing. On any close examination, it seems to fracture into a range of related but sometimes competing visions. In this entry we focus on debates within the liberal tradition. (1) We contrast three interpretations of liberalism's core commitment to liberty. (2) We contrast 'old' and 'new' liberalism. (3) We ask whether liberalism is a 'comprehensive' or a 'political' doctrine. (4)...


Mon, 22 Jan 2018 18:59:08 -0800

[New Entry by David Ingram and Jonathan Tallant on January 22, 2018.] Presentism is the view that only present things exist (Hinchliff 1996: 123; Crisp 2004: 15; Markosian 2004: 47 - 48). So understood, presentism is an ontological doctrine; it's a view about what exists (what there is), absolutely and unrestrictedly. The view is the subject of extensive discussion in the literature, with much of it focused on the problems that presentism allegedly faces. Thus, much of the literature that frames the development of presentism has grown up either in formulating objections to the view...

Curry's Paradox

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:37:18 -0800

[Revised entry by Lionel Shapiro and Jc Beall on January 19, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] "Curry's paradox", as the term is used by philosophers today, refers to a wide variety of paradoxes of self-reference or circularity that trace their modern ancestry to Curry (1942b) and Lob (1955).[1] The common characteristic of these so-called Curry paradoxes is the way they exploit a notion of implication, entailment or consequence,...

William Heytesbury

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:35:25 -0800

[Revised entry by Miroslav Hanke and Elzbieta Jung on January 19, 2018. Changes to: 0] [Editor's Note: The following new entry by Miroslav Hanke and Elzbieta Jung replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.] William Heytesbury (c. 1313 - 1372/3), a member of Oxford's Merton College and the School of "Oxford Calculators", was...

Georg [György] Lukács

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:39:18 -0800

[Revised entry by Titus Stahl on January 18, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Georg (Gyorgy) Lukacs (1885 - 1971) was a literary theorist and philosopher who is widely viewed as one of the founders of "Western Marxism". Lukacs is best known for his pre-World War II writings in literary theory, aesthetic theory and Marxist philosophy. Today, his most widely read works are the Theory of the Novel of 1916 and History and Class Consciousness of 1923. In History and Class Consciousness, Lukacs laid out a wide-ranging critique of the phenomenon of "reification" in capitalism and...


Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:38:39 -0800

[Revised entry by Judith DeCew on January 18, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The term "privacy" is used frequently in ordinary language as well as in philosophical, political and legal discussions, yet there is no single definition or analysis or meaning of the term. The concept of privacy has broad historical roots in sociological and anthropological discussions about how extensively it is valued and preserved in various cultures. Moreover, the concept has historical origins in well known philosophical discussions, most notably...

Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:34:24 -0800

[Revised entry by Øystein Linnebo on January 18, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Platonism about mathematics (or mathematical platonism) is the metaphysical view that there are abstract mathematical objects whose existence is independent of us and our language, thought, and practices. Just as electrons and planets exist independently of us, so do numbers and sets. And just as statements about electrons and planets are made true or false by the objects with which they are concerned and these objects' perfectly objective properties, so are statements about...

Axiomatic Theories of Truth

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:09:54 -0800

[Revised entry by Volker Halbach and Graham E. Leigh on January 18, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] An axiomatic theory of truth is a deductive theory of truth as a primitive undefined predicate. Because of the liar and other paradoxes, the axioms and rules have to be chosen carefully in order to avoid inconsistency. Many axiom systems for the truth predicate have been discussed in the literature and their respective properties been analysed. Several philosophers, including many deflationists, have endorsed axiomatic theories of truth in their accounts of truth. The logical properties of the formal theories are relevant to various philosophical questions, such as questions about the ontological status of properties, Godel's theorems,...

Skepticism About Moral Responsibility

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:50:44 -0800

[New Entry by Gregg Caruso on January 18, 2018.] Skepticism about moral responsibility, or what is more commonly referred to as moral responsibility skepticism, refers to a family of views that all take seriously the possibility that human beings are never morally responsible for their actions in a particular but pervasive sense. This sense is typically set apart by the notion of basic desert and is defined in terms of the control in action needed for an agent to be truly deserving of blame and praise. Some moral responsibility skeptics wholly reject this notion...

Ibn Bâjja [Avempace]

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:20:31 -0800

[Revised entry by Josép Puig Montada on January 17, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, aristotle-soul-arabic.html, ibn-bajja-biography.html, notes.html] Philosophy in Al-Andalus developed later than in the East; it grew among Muslims and Jews, since both communities were nurtured by a common Arabic. The Muslim community was much larger and it defined the cultural space, a significant part of which was made by Arabic translations of Greek scientifical and philosophical works. By the midst of the 10th century CE, materials related to...


Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:37:22 -0800

[Revised entry by Catherine Driscoll on January 16, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The term 'sociobiology' was introduced in E. O. Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) as the "systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior" (Wilson, 1975, 4). Wilson seems to intend "the biological basis of behavior" to refer to the social and ecological causes driving the evolution of behavior in animal populations, rather than the neurological or psychological causes of...

Descartes' Modal Metaphysics

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 18:20:23 -0800

[Revised entry by David Cunning on January 12, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Descartes sometimes speaks of things that have possible existence, in addition to speaking of things as having actual existence. He also speaks of eternal and necessary truths that are the product of God's free and wholly unconstrained activity. One of the interpretive projects that is inspired by Descartes' sometimes provocative claims about possibility and necessity is the construction of a general Cartesian theory of modality. Any such theory would of course need to be sensitive to all of the claims that Descartes makes...

The Normativity of Meaning and Content

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:59:43 -0800

[Revised entry by Kathrin Glüer and Åsa Wikforss on January 12, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] There is a long tradition of thinking of language as conventional in its nature, dating back at least to Aristotle (De Interpretatione). By appealing to the role of conventions, it is thought, we can distinguish linguistic signs, the meaningful use of words, from mere natural 'signs'. During the last century the thesis that language is essentially conventional has played a central role within philosophy of language, and has even been called...

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Properties

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:01:33 -0800

[Revised entry by Dan Marshall and Brian Weatherson on January 11, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] We have some of our properties purely in virtue of the way we are. (Our mass is an example.) We have other properties in virtue of the way we interact with the world. (Our weight is an example.) The former are the intrinsic properties, the latter are the extrinsic properties. This seems to be an intuitive enough distinction to grasp, and hence the intuitive distinction has made its way into many discussions in philosophy, including discussions in ethics, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of physics. Unfortunately,...


Wed, 10 Jan 2018 18:23:45 -0800

[Revised entry by Brian McLaughlin and Karen Bennett on January 10, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] A set of properties A supervenes upon another set B just in case no two things can differ with respect to A-properties without also differing with respect to their B-properties. In slogan form, "there cannot be an A-difference without a B-difference". As we shall see, this slogan can be cashed out in many different ways....