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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: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:35:49 -0800

Last Build Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:35:49 -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.)

Inconsistent Mathematics

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:28:27 -0800

[Revised entry by Chris Mortensen on August 18, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Inconsistent mathematics is the study of the mathematical theories that result when classical mathematical axioms are asserted within the framework of a (non-classical) logic which can tolerate the presence of a contradiction without turning every sentence into a theorem....

Reasons for Action: Internal vs. External

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:55:37 -0800

[Revised entry by Stephen Finlay and Mark Schroeder on August 18, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Often, when there is a reason for you to do something, it is the kind of thing to motivate you to do it. For example, if Max and Caroline are deciding whether to go to the Alcove for dinner, Caroline might mention as a reason in favor, the fact that the Alcove serves onion rings the size of doughnuts, and Max might mention as a reason against, the fact that it is so difficult to get parking there this time of day. It is some sign - perhaps not a perfect sign, but...

Latin American Philosophy: Metaphilosophical Foundations

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:00:39 -0800

[Revised entry by Susana Nuccetelli on August 17, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] A salient feature of Latin American philosophy is its early engagement in reflection about its nature and significance - indeed, the very possibility of its existence. The result of this reflection has been substantial debates on issues that are of interest not only to Latin American philosophy, but to metaphilosophy in general. For they similarly arise for other less familiar philosophical traditions. This essay looks closely at those debates about Latin American philosophy. It is focused on the analysis of its main problems and the positions...

The Unity of Science

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:15:32 -0800

[Revised entry by Jordi Cat on August 16, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The topic of unity in the sciences can be explored through the following questions: Is there one privileged, most basic or fundamental concept or kind of thing, and if not, how are the different concepts or kinds of things in the universe related? Can the various natural sciences (e.g.,physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology) be unified into a single overarching theory, and can theories within a single science (e.g., general relativity and quantum theory in...

Feminist Metaphysics

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 22:02:29 -0800

[Revised entry by Sally Haslanger and Ásta on August 11, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Metaphysics is the study of the basic structure of reality, of what there is and what it is like. It considers, for example, concepts such as identity, causation, substance, and kind, that seem to be presupposed by any form of inquiry; and it attempts to determine what there is at the most general level. For example, are there minds in addition to bodies? Do things persist through change? Is there freewill or is all action determined by prior events? But since metaphysics not only concerns itself with what there...


Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:01:19 -0800

[Revised entry by Bennett Helm on August 11, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] This essay focuses on personal love, or the love of particular persons as such. Part of the philosophical task in understanding personal love is to distinguish the various kinds of personal love. For example, the way in which I love my wife is seemingly very different from the way I love my mother, my child, and my friend. This task has typically proceeded hand-in-hand with philosophical analyses of these kinds of personal love, analyses that in part respond to various puzzles about love. Can love be justified? If so, how? What is the value of personal...

Cognitive Disability and Moral Status

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:48:26 -0800

[Revised entry by David Wasserman, Adrienne Asch, Jeffrey Blustein, and Daniel Putnam on August 11, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Why are cognitive disability and moral status thought to be sufficiently connected to warrant a separate entry? The reason is that individuals with cognitive disabilities have served as test cases in debates about the moral relevance of possessing such intellectual attributes as self-consciousness and practical rationality. If a significant portion of human beings lacks self-consciousness and practical rationality, then those attributes cannot by themselves distinguish the way we treat cognitively developed human beings from...

Isaac Polqar

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:05:12 -0800

[New Entry by Racheli Haliva on August 10, 2017.] Isaac (Yitzḥak) Polqar was a Jewish Averroist who was active in northern Spain from the second half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fourteenth century. Jewish Averroism refers in this context to Jewish philosophers from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, whose worldview had two main characteristics: firstly, they adopted the philosophy of Ibn Rushd (Averroes), whom they considered the best interpreter of Aristotle. Secondly, they interpreted Judaism in light of Averroes' Aristotelianism on the assumption that...

Mathematical Style

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:08:50 -0800

[Revised entry by Paolo Mancosu on August 9, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The essay begins with a taxonomy of the major contexts in which the notion of 'style' in mathematics has been appealed to since the early twentieth century. These include the use of the notion of style in comparative cultural histories of mathematics, in characterizing national styles, and in describing mathematical practice. These developments are then related to the more familiar treatment of style in history and philosophy of the natural sciences where one distinguishes 'local' and...

Goodman's Aesthetics

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:42:55 -0800

[Revised entry by Alessandro Giovannelli on August 9, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Nelson Goodman has certainly been one of the most influential figures in contemporary aesthetics and analytic philosophy in general (in addition to aesthetics, his contributions cover the areas of applied logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science). His Languages of Art (first published in 1968 [Goodman 1976]), together with Ernst Gombrich's Art and Illusion (1960) and Richard Wollheim's Art and Its Objects (1968), represents a fundamental turning point in the analytic approach to...

Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:24:38 -0800

[Revised entry by Michael Forster on August 8, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, supplement.html] Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768 - 1834) perhaps cannot be ranked as one of the very greatest German philosophers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (like Kant, Herder, Hegel, Marx, or Nietzsche). But he is certainly one of the best second-tier philosophers of the period (a period in which the second-tier was still extremely good). He was not only a philosopher, but also an eminent classical scholar and theologian. Much of his philosophical work was in the philosophy of religion, but from a modern philosophical point of view it is his hermeneutics (i.e., theory of interpretation) and his...


Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:29:38 -0800

[Revised entry by Bennett Helm on August 7, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Friendship, as understood here, is a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the other's sake, and that involves some degree of intimacy. As such, friendship is undoubtedly central to our lives, in part because the special concern we have for our friends must have a place within a broader set of concerns, including moral concerns, and in part because our friends can help shape who we are as persons. Given this centrality, important...


Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:23:29 -0800

[Revised entry by Paul Vincent Spade and Stephen Read on August 7, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] The medieval name for paradoxes like the famous Liar Paradox ("This proposition is false") was "insolubles" or insolubilia, [1] though besides semantic paradoxes, they included epistemic paradoxes, e.g., "You do not know this proposition". From the late-twelfth century to the end of the Middle Ages and beyond, such paradoxes were discussed at length by an enormous number of authors....


Fri, 04 Aug 2017 18:40:54 -0800

[Revised entry by Axel Gosseries and Tom Parr on August 4, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Publicity can be opposed both to privacy and to secrecy. This entry will mostly be dealing with the latter meaning. In everyday life, calls for more transparency or openness in political and economic life may seem rather uncontroversial. Still, the precise reasons why and the extent to which publicity should be guaranteed are not straightforward. Moral and political philosophers, along with social scientists, have until now provided us with only fragmentary elements in this respect. We shall review here what has been gathered so...


Fri, 04 Aug 2017 17:26:36 -0800

[Revised entry by Vaughan Pratt on August 4, 2017. Changes to: Main text] Algebra is a branch of mathematics sibling to geometry, analysis (calculus), number theory, combinatorics, etc. Although algebra has its roots in numerical domains such as the reals and the complex numbers, in its full generality it differs from its siblings in serving no specific mathematical domain. Whereas geometry treats spatial entities, analysis continuous variation, number theory integer arithmetic, and combinatorics discrete structures, algebra is equally...