Category: This Week’s Special

  • This Week’s Special: Edmund Gettier, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”

    By Daniel A. Kaufman http://fitelson.org/proseminar/gettier.pdf On tap this week is one of the most widely read and influential essays in epistemology, written since the Second World War, Edmund Gettier’s “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” In this remarkably short piece, Gettier succeeded in casting doubt on what had been one of the most widely accepted ideas…

  • This Week’s Special: Gottlob Frege’s, “On Sense and Reference.”

    By Daniel A. Kaufman http://brommage.freeshell.org/tlp/Frege.pdf On tap this week is likely the single most influential paper in the philosophy of language, Gottlob Frege’s “On Sense and Reference” (Über Sinn und Bedeutung), originally published in 1892.  So many and wide-ranging are the paper’s implications that philosophers are still talking about it today.  While the tide certainly…

  • This Week’s Special: C.S. Lewis, “Meditation in a Toolshed”

    By Daniel A. Kaufman https://www.calvin.edu/~pribeiro/DCM-Lewis-2009/Lewis/meditation-in-a-toolshed.pdf On tap this week is a lovely little essay by C.S. Lewis that makes what I think is quite an important distinction, one that may permit us a little insight into what has seemed an intractable philosophical problem: namely, our inability to “reduce” various – mostly mental – concepts to…

  • This Week’s Special:  Frank Sibley’s, “Aesthetic Concepts”

    By Daniel A. Kaufman http://rci.rutgers.edu/~tripmcc/phil/poa/sidley-aestheticconcepts-controversy.pdf On tap this week is a paper that has had an enormous influence on contemporary aesthetics:  Frank Sibley’s 1959 paper, “Aesthetic Concepts.” The central message of Sibley’s thesis is essentially critical: Aesthetic concepts are not ascribed by way of criteria, but instead, require taste / discernment / perceptiveness to apply.  …

  • This Week’s Special: Cora Diamond’s, “Eating Meat and Eating People.”

    by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.laurentillinghast.com/DiamondEatingMeat.pdf Cora Diamond is one of the finest of the contemporary Wittgensteinians and more generally, one of the finest contemporary analytic philosophers.  On tap this week, is her outstanding – and influential – essay on the subject of animal rights, “Eating Meat and Eating People,” in which she presents a powerful…

  • This Week’s Special: C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” (1959)

    By Michael Boyle http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/students/envs_5110/snow_1959.pdf In 1956, Charles Percy Snow, physicist, novelist, and civil servant, published an article in the New Statesman, which, three years later, he would turn into a Rede Lecture and then publish as a book, The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution. The lecture and the book had a significant impact on…

  • This Week’s Special: Meditation One, in Rene Descartes’ “Meditations on First Philosophy.”

    By Daniel A. Kaufman http://selfpace.uconn.edu/class/percep/DescartesMeditations.pdf On tap this week is the (in)famous first Meditation, from Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy.  Specifically, I want to draw attention to the logic at the heart of what is – on its own merits – a critique of our claims to knowledge that is both simple and thought-provoking.…

  • This Week’s Special: Jerry Fodor’s “Special Sciences (Or: the Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)”

    By Daniel A. Kaufman http://fitelson.org/woodward/fodor.pdf On tap this week is one of the most influential essays in the philosophy of science, since the Second World War:  Jerry Fodor’s “Special Sciences,” which appeared in the journal Synthese, in 1974. The paper did two very important things.  First, it struck a crippling blow against a certain kind…

  • This Week’s Special: Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion”

    By Daniel A. Kaufman http://myweb.facstaff.wwu.edu/nmarkos/Zola/Thomson.Abortion.pdf It is rare that one will find near universal agreement as to the most important paper written on a particular subject, but that is exactly what we find with Judith Jarvis Thomson’s 1971 paper, “A Defense of Abortion,” whose impact on the discussion on the morality of abortion cannot be…

  • This Week’s Special: Henry Kamen’s “The Decline of Spain: A Historical Myth?”

    by Michael Boyle http://www.romanistik.uni-freiburg.de/raible/Lehre/2006_07/Materialien/1978_Kamen_Decline.pdf The story that is usually told about early-modern Spain involves depicting it as one of the great powers of Europe. Whether recounting tales of the voyages of exploration, the contributions of Velasquez, El Greco, and Cervantes, or the military power of Spain in Europe itself, Spain is seen as a major…