Philosophy, Department of

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Assuming Epistemic Authority, or Becoming a Thinking Thing

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-09-20
Abstract: 

François Poulain de la Barre, Françoise D’Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon and Gabrielle Suchon deploy the Cartesian idea that human beings are essentially thinking things to offer arguments for women’s education in the latter half of seventeenth century, confronting the substantive epistemic injustice of the devaluation of women’s rational capacity. In considering how to realize the natural equality of men and women, and face and address the practical challenge of enabling those who, through prejudice, have been deprived of authority to assume that epistemic authority of their own, they ask: how does one become a thinking thing? Their answers develop the individualist Cartesian conception of thought into one that is essentially dialogic, cultivated through one’s upbringing, and dependent on a political order.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

Revisiting the Early Modern Philosophical Canon

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

I reflect critically on the early modern philosophical canon in light of the entrenchment and homogeneity of the line up of seven core figures: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. After distinguishing three elements of a philosophical canon -- a causal story, a set of core philosophical questions and a set of distinctively philosophical works -- I argue that recent efforts contextualizing the history of philosophy within the history of science subtly shift the central philosophical questions and allow for a greater range of figures to be philosophically central. However, the history of science is but one context in which to situate philosophical works. Looking at the historical context of 17th century philosophy of mind, one that weaves together questions of consciousness, rationality, and education, does more than shift the central questions -- it brings new ones to light. It also shows that a range of genres can to be properly philosophical, and seamlessly diversifies the central philosophers of the period.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

The Concept of Physical Law (2nd ed)

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Book

Possible Worlds : an Introduction to Logic and Its Philosophy

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1979
Abstract: 

Most current talk of possible worlds is still regarded as the province of professionals; little of it has filtered down to those who are just beginning to learn their philosophy. Yet there is no good reason why this should be so. Although the higher reaches of possible-worlds semantics bristle with technical subtleties, its basic insights are really very simple. This book explains what those insights are and uses them to construct an integrated approach to both the philosophy of logic and the science of logic itself.

Document type: 
Book
File(s):