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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, 21 Jul 2017 17:54:47 -0800

Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:54:47 -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.)


Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:54:20 -0800

[Revised entry by Michael Cholbi on July 21, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Throughout history, suicide has evoked an astonishingly wide range of reactions - bafflement, dismissal, heroic glorification, sympathy, anger, moral or religious condemnation - but it is never uncontroversial. Suicide is now an object of multidisciplinary scientific study, with sociology, anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry each providing important insights into suicide. Particularly promising are the significant advances being made in our scientific understanding of the neurological and genetic bases of...

Theoretical Terms in Science

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:05:55 -0800

[Revised entry by Holger Andreas on July 20, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] A simple explanation of theoreticity says that a term is theoretical if and only if it refers to nonobservational entities. Paradigmatic examples of such entities are electrons, neutrinos, gravitational forces, genes etc. There is yet another explanation of theoreticity: a theoretical term is one whose meaning becomes determined through the axioms of a scientific theory. The meaning of the term 'force', for example, is seen to be determined by Newton's laws of motion and further laws about special forces,...

Legal Punishment

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:09:54 -0800

[Revised entry by Antony Duff and Zachary Hoskins on July 18, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The question of whether, and how, legal punishment can be justified has long been a central concern of legal, moral, and political philosophy: what could justify a state in using the apparatus of the law to inflict intentionally burdensome treatment on its citizens? Radically different answers to this question are offered by consequentialist and by retributivist theorists - and by those who seek to incorporate consequentialist and retributivist considerations in 'mixed' theories of punishment. Meanwhile, abolitionist...

Fuzzy Logic

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 16:29:06 -0800

[Revised entry by Petr Cintula, Christian G. Fermüller, and Carles Noguera on July 18, 2017. Changes to: Bibliography, readings-by-topic.html] [Editor's Note: The following new entry by Petr Cintula, Christian G. Fermuller, and Carles Noguera replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.]...


Tue, 18 Jul 2017 15:23:26 -0800

[Revised entry by Philip Goff, William Seager, and Sean Allen-Hermanson on July 18, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html, supplement.html] Panpsychism is the view that mentality is fundamental and ubiquitous in the natural world. The view has a long and venerable history in philosophical traditions of both East and West, and has recently enjoyed a revival in analytic philosophy. For its proponents panpsychism offers an attractive middle way between physicalism on the one hand and dualism on the other. The worry with dualism - the view that mind and matter are fundamentally different kinds of thing - is that it leaves us with a radically disunified picture...


Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:59:56 -0800

[Revised entry by Dominique Leydet on July 17, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] A citizen is a member of a political community who enjoys the rights and assumes the duties of membership. This broad definition is discernible, with minor variations, in the works of contemporary authors as well as in the entry "citoyen" in Diderot's and d'Alembert's Encyclopedie [1753].[1] Notwithstanding this common starting-point and certain shared...

The Economic Analysis of Law

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:04:41 -0800

[Revised entry by Lewis Kornhauser on July 17, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Economic analysis of law applies the tools of microeconomic theory to the analysis of legal rules and institutions. Ronald Coase [1960] and Guido Calabresi [1961] are generally identified as the seminal articles but Commons [1924] and Hale [1952] among others had brought economic thinking to the study of law in the 1910s and 1920s. Richard Posner [1973] brought economic analysis of law to the...

Albert the Great

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:26:48 -0800

[Revised entry by Markus Führer on July 17, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Albertus Magnus, also known as Albert the Great, was one of the most universal thinkers to appear during the Middle Ages. Even more so than his most famous student, St. Thomas of Aquinas, Albert's interests ranged from natural science all the way to theology. He made contributions to logic, psychology, metaphysics, meteorology, mineralogy, and zoology. He was an avid commentator on nearly all the great authorities read during the 13th Century. He was...


Fri, 14 Jul 2017 16:57:27 -0800

[Revised entry by Katrien Devolder on July 14, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Dolly the sheep, the first mammal cloned from a somatic (body) cell, came into the world innocent as a lamb. However, soon after the announcement of her birth in February 1997 (Wilmut et al., 1997) she caused panic and controversy. An important, and for many people troubling question arose: if the cloning of sheep is possible, will scientists soon start cloning humans as well; and if they did, would this be wrong or unwise?...


Thu, 13 Jul 2017 18:21:52 -0800

[New Entry by Joel Smith on July 13, 2017.] Human beings are conscious not only of the world around them but also of themselves: their activities, their bodies, and their mental lives. They are, that is, self-conscious (or, equivalently, self-aware). Self-consciousness can be understood as an awareness of oneself. But a self-conscious subject is not just aware of something that merely happens to be themselves, as one is if one sees an old photograph without realising that it is of oneself. Rather a self-conscious subject is aware of themselves as themselves; it is manifest...


Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:44:58 -0800

[Revised entry by Rainer Forst on July 12, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The term "toleration" - from the Latin tolerare: to put up with, countenance or suffer - generally refers to the conditional acceptance of or non-interference with beliefs, actions or practices that one considers to be wrong but still "tolerable," such that they should not be prohibited or constrained. There are many contexts in which we speak of a person or an institution as being tolerant: parents tolerate certain behavior of their children, a friend tolerates the...

The Philosophy of Music

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 22:33:53 -0800

[Revised entry by Andrew Kania on July 11, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Philosophy of music is the study of fundamental questions about the nature and value of music and our experience of it. Like any "philosophy of X", it presupposes knowledge of its target. However, unlike philosophy of science, say, the target of philosophy of music is a practice most people have a significant background in, merely as a result of being members of a musical culture. Music plays a central role in many people's lives. Thus, as with the central questions of metaphysics and epistemology, not only can most people...

Reasons for Action: Agent-Neutral vs. Agent-Relative

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 16:03:21 -0800

[Revised entry by Michael Ridge on July 11, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The agent-relative/agent-neutral distinction is widely and rightly regarded as a philosophically important one. Unfortunately, the distinction is often drawn in different and mutually incompatible ways. The agent-relative/agent-neutral distinction has historically been drawn three main ways: the 'principle-based distinction', the 'reason-statement-based distinction' and the 'perspective-based distinction'. Each of these approaches has its own distinctive...


Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:50:14 -0800

[Revised entry by Gareth Sparham on July 10, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Tsongkhapa (1357 - 1419) is a well-known Tibetan religious philosopher. In his iconic form, wearing a tall yellow hat, he is the center of the Gelugpa (Tib. dge lugs pa) sect that was dominant in Tibet until the Chinese takeover in 1951, and whose de facto leader is the Dalai Lama. The historical Tsongkhapa flourished in the period immediately...

Johann Georg Hamann

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 16:20:54 -0800

[Revised entry by Gwen Griffith-Dickson on July 6, 2017. Changes to: Bibliography] Johann Georg Hamann (1730 - 1788) lived and worked in Prussia, in the context of the late German Enlightenment. Although he remained outside 'professional' philosophical circles, in that he never held a University post, he was respected in his time for his scholarship and breadth of learning. His writings were notorious even in his own time for the challenges they threw down to the reader. These challenges to interpretation and understanding are only heightened today....