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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: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:29:55 -0800

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:29:55 -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.)

Feminist Perspectives on Class and Work

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:25:25 -0800

[Revised entry by Ann Ferguson, Rosemary Hennessy, and Mecke Nagel on September 28, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] A good place to situate the start of theoretical debates about women, class and work is in the intersection with Marxism and feminism. Such debates were shaped not only by academic inquiries but as questions about the relation between women's oppression and liberation and the class politics of the left, trade union and feminist movements in the late 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the U.S., Britain and Europe. It will also be necessary to consider various philosophical approaches to the concept of work, the way that...

Philosophy of Humor

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:10:59 -0800

[Revised entry by John Morreall on September 28, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Although most people value humor, philosophers have said little about it, and what they have said is largely critical. Three traditional theories of laughter and humor are examined, along with the theory that humor evolved from mock-aggressive play in apes. Understanding humor as play helps counter the traditional objections to it and reveals some of its benefits, including those it shares with philosophy itself....

Linear Logic

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:27:25 -0800

[Revised entry by Roberto Di Cosmo and Dale Miller on September 22, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Linear logic is a refinement of classical and intuitionistic logic. Instead of emphasizing truth, as in classical logic, or proof, as in intuitionistic logic, linear logic emphasizes the role of formulas as resources. To achieve this focus, linear logic does not allow the usual structural rules of contraction and weakening to apply to all formulas but only those formulas marked with certain modals. Linear logic contains a fully involutive negation while...

Paul of Venice

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:20:27 -0800

[Revised entry by Alessandro Conti on September 22, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Paul of Venice was the most important Italian thinker of his times, and one of the most prominent and interesting logicians of the Middle Ages. His philosophical theories (culminating in a metaphysics of essences which states the ontological and epistemological primacy of universals over any other kind of beings) are the final and highest result of the preceding realistic tradition of thought. He fully developed the new form of realism started up by Wyclif and his Oxonian followers in the last decades of the 14th century, and...


Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:00:03 -0800

[Revised entry by Tom Tillemans on September 22, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] The life of Dharmakīrti, a profound and rigorous philosopher of Indian Buddhism, is a subject of hagiography with little solid data upon which we can confidently rely.[1] If we go by Tibetan sources, he seems to have been born in South India and then to have moved to the great monastic university of Nālandā (in present day Bihar state) where he was supposedly in contact with other Buddhist luminaries, such as Dharmapāla...

Karl Popper

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:48:35 -0800

[Revised entry by Stephen Thornton on September 21, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Karl Popper is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. He was also a social and political philosopher of considerable stature, a self-professed critical-rationalist, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally and a committed advocate and staunch defender of the 'Open Society'. One of the many remarkable features of Popper's thought is the scope of his intellectual influence: he...

Isaiah Berlin

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:05:18 -0800

[Revised entry by Joshua Cherniss and Henry Hardy on September 21, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Isaiah Berlin (1909 - 97) was a British philosopher, historian of ideas, political theorist, educator and essayist. For much of his life he was renowned for his conversational brilliance, his defence of liberalism, his attacks on political extremism and intellectual fanaticism, and his accessible, coruscating writings on the history of ideas. His essay Two Concepts of Liberty (1958) contributed to a revival of interest in political theory in the English-speaking world, and remains one of the most influential and widely discussed...

Hans-Georg Gadamer

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:01:43 -0800

[Revised entry by Jeff Malpas on September 21, 2016. Changes to: Bibliography] Hans-Georg Gadamer is the decisive figure in the development of twentieth century hermeneutics - almost certainly eclipsing, in terms of influence and reputation, the other leading figures, including Paul Ricoeur, and also Gianni Vattimo (Vattimo was himself one of Gadamer's students). Trained in neo-Kantian scholarship, as well as in classical philology, and profoundly affected by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Gadamer developed a distinctive and...

Thick Ethical Concepts

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:57:59 -0800

[New Entry by Pekka Väyrynen on September 21, 2016.] Evaluative terms and concepts are often divided into "thin" and "thick". We don't evaluate actions and persons merely as good or bad, or right or wrong, but also as kind, courageous, tactful, selfish, boorish, and cruel. The latter are examples of thick concepts, the general class of which includes virtue and vice concepts such as generous and selfish, practical concepts such as shrewd and imprudent,...


Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:52:39 -0800

[Revised entry by Richard Amesbury on September 21, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] "What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" (246) This question of the relation between reason - here represented by Athens - and faith - represented by Jerusalem - was posed by the church father Tertullian (c.160 - 230 CE), and it remains a central preoccupation among contemporary philosophers of religion. "Fideism" is the name given to that school of...

Pragmatist Feminism

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:43:23 -0800

[Revised entry by Judy Whipps and Danielle Lake on September 21, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Pragmatist feminism is a developing field of philosophy that emerged in the 1990s as a new approach to feminist philosophy. It utilizes and integrates core concepts of pragmatism, including its emphasis on pluralism, lived experience and public philosophy, with feminist theory and practice in order to engage in social issues. Pragmatist feminist philosophers have been addressing several different projects over the past decades, including a) the recovery of women who were influential in the development of American pragmatism but whose work...

Paul Feyerabend

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:40:36 -0800

[Revised entry by John Preston on September 21, 2016. Changes to: Bibliography] Paul Feyerabend (b.1924, d.1994), having studied science at the University of Vienna, moved into philosophy for his doctoral thesis, made a name for himself both as an expositor and (later) as a critic of Karl Popper's "critical rationalism", and went on to become one of the twentieth century's most famous philosophers of science. An imaginative maverick, he became a critic of philosophy of science itself, particularly of "rationalist" attempts to lay down...

Non-monotonic Logic

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:10:38 -0800

[Revised entry by Christian Strasser and G. Aldo Antonelli on September 19, 2016. Changes to: Main text] The term "non-monotonic logic" (in short, NML) covers a family of formal frameworks devised to capture and represent defeasible inference, i.e., that kind of inference in which reasoners draw conclusions tentatively, reserving the right to retract them in the light of further information. Examples are numerous, reaching from inductive generalizations to abduction to inferences on the basis of expert opinion, etc. We find defeasible inferences in everyday reasoning, in expert reasoning (e.g. medical diagnosis), and in...

Ayn Rand

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:57:53 -0800

[Revised entry by Neera K. Badhwar and Roderick T. Long on September 19, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982) was a novelist-philosopher who outlined a comprehensive philosophy, including an epistemology and a theory of art, in her novels and essays. Early in her career she also wrote short stories, plays, and screenplays. Rand's first and most autobiographical novel, We the Living (1936), set in the Soviet Union, was published only after many rejections, owing to widespread sympathy for the Soviet "experiment" among the intellectuals of the day. We the Living was quickly followed...


Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:48:15 -0800

[New Entry by Charles Goodman on September 19, 2016.] Śāntideva (late 7th to mid-8th century CE) was a Buddhist monk, philosopher, and poet whose reflections on the overall structure of Buddhist moral commitments reach a level of generality and theoretical power that is hard to find elsewhere in Indian thought. His writings were immensely influential in the development of the Tibetan religious tradition. Though Śāntideva repeatedly denied that he had said anything original, his two major works may nevertheless represent the single...