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Curtis, Annaleigh, , . Feminism Part 1: The Sameness Approach
2014, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: In both academic and non-academic discussions of feminism, there is sometimes a lack of appreciation for the diversity among feminist positions. Two people may be called feminists while disagreeing about a range of theoretical and practical issues, like the nature of oppression, sex work, or abortion. In this and the next essay, I lay out two general feminist approaches to sexist oppression: the sameness approach, the difference approach, and the dominance approach. This first essay focuses on the sameness approach.

Comment: An introduction to ‘the sameness approach’ in feminism.
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Curtis, Annaleigh, , . Feminism Part 2: The Difference Approach
2014, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: Different strands of thought that arise out of political movements are often difficult to categorize and also often answer to many names. The ‘difference approach’ to feminism is discussed here, following Haslanger and Hackett. This approach is sometimes also called radical, cultural, or gynocentric feminism.

Comment: An introduction to feminism, focusing on ‘the Difference Approach’ to feminism.
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Driver, Julia, , . Ethics: The Fundamentals
2006, Wiley-Blackwell.
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Editor’s Note: Ethics: The Fundamentals explores core ideas and arguments in moral theory by introducing students to different philosophical approaches to ethics, including virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, divine command theory, and feminist ethics. The first volume in the new Fundamentals of Philosophy series. Presents lively, real-world examples and thoughtful discussion of key moral philosophers and their ideas. Constitutes an excellent resource for readers coming to the subject of ethics for the first time.

Comment: This book offers good preliminary introductions to a number of topics in ethics. Each section could be assigned individually as a starting point for the given topic. The sections on utilitarianism and consequentialism are particularly good introductions. Primarily of use to early undergraduates or students who have not studied ethics before.

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Gannett, Lisa, , . Echoes From the Cave: Philosophical Conversations Since Plato
2014, Oup Canada.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: Echoes from the Cave: Philosophical Conversations since Plato is an anthology of classic and contemporary readings in philosophy compiled to introduce students to the main problems discussed by philosophers past and present

Comment: This is an anthology of texts on central topics in philosophy, many of which might be suitable for the DRL.

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Goldstein, Rebecca, , . Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
2014, Pantheon Books.
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Added by: Jamie Collin, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Imagine that Plato came to life in the twenty-first century and embarked on a multi-city speaking tour. How would he mediate a debate between a Freudian psychoanalyst and a ‘tiger mum’ on how to raise the perfect child? How would he handle the host of a right-wing news program who denies there can be morality without religion? What would Plato make of Google, and of the idea that knowledge can be crowdsourced rather than reasoned out by experts? Plato at the Googleplex is acclaimed thinker Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s dazzling investigation of these conundra. With a philosopher’s depth and erudition and a novelist’s imagination and wit, Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us by allowing us to eavesdrop on Plato as he takes on the modern world; it is a stunningly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics and science.

Comment: Useful in a general intro to philosophy course. This is partcularly suited for a general introduction course because it touches on a number of disparate parts of philosophy, and because it provides arguments for the continued value of philosophy.

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Haramia, Chelsea, , . Applied Ethics
2018, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: To date, there are several areas of applied ethical study. Given their situational nature, they are often distinct from one another, though they regularly employ similar methods detailed here. Applied ethicists qua applied ethicists are more concerned with particular cases than with more abstract theoretical questions. They aim to apply their ethical training to the study of actual ethical situations, and to draw conclusions about the moral status of scenarios that people out in the world actually encounter, and of situations that have real, practical import.

Comment: An overview of the nature of applied or practical ethics.
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Lavelle, J Suilin, , Kenny Smith. Do our modern skulls house stone-age minds?
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge
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Summary: This is the fifth chapter of the book Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. The chapter explores scientific interpretations of how our minds evolved, and some of the methodologies used in forming these interpretations. It relates evolutionary debates to a core issue in the philosophy of mind, namely, whether all knowledge comes from experience, or whether we have ‘inborn’ knowledge about certain aspects of our world.

Comment: Good introduction to evolutionary psychology and the debate about nativism for undergraduate students. It looks at examples coming from ecology such as beaver colonies to understand how the human mind might have adapted to solve specific tasks that our ancestors faced. It is the first chapter of the book dedicated to the philosophy of cognitive sciences. Useful in philosophy of science or philosophy of mind courses.

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Lone, Jana Mohr, , . Philosophical Inquiry in Childhood
2018, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: Children begin speculating about philosophical questions early in their lives. Almost as soon as they can formulate them, most children start asking what we call “big questions.” Walk into any kindergarten class, and you-ll see children eager to explore almost any facet of their lives. Virtually every parent is familiar with the experience of listening to “why” questions—question after question—from young children, to whom the world, a familiar blur to adults in the rush of everything on our minds, is a series of fresh and vivid encounters. Brimming with curiosity about aspects of life most adults take for granted, children demonstrate an interest in exploring the most basic elements of the human condition. Philosophy for Children takes as a starting point young peopl’-s inclinations to question the meaning of such concepts as truth, knowledge, identity, fairness, justice, morality, art, and beauty.

Comment: A brief introduction to philosophy for children or pre-college philosophy.
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Massimi, Michela, , John Peacock. The origins of the universe: laws, testability and observability in cosmology
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge.
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Summary: How did our universe form and evolve? Was there really a Big Bang, and what came before it? This chapter takes the reader through the history of contemporary cosmology and looks at how scientists arrived at the current understanding of our universe. It explores the history of astronomy, with the nebular hypothesis back in the eighteenth century, and in more recent times, Einstein’s general relativity and the ensuing cosmological models. Finally, it explains the current Standard Model and early universe cosmology as well as the experimental evidence behind it.

Comment: This chapter could be used as an introductory reading to philosophy of cosmology. It provides a general overview of the history of cosmology and of the philosophical problems (laws, uniqueness, observability) that stood in the way of cosmology becoming a science. It is recommendable for undergraduate courses.

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Massimi, Michela, , John Peacock. What are dark matter and dark energy?
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Summary: According to the currently accepted model in cosmology, our universe is made up of 5% of ordinary matter, 25% cold dark matter, and 70% dark energy. But what kind of entities are dark matter and dark energy? This chapter asks what the evidence for these entities is and which rival theories are currently available. This provides with an opportunity to explore a well-known philosophical problem known as under-determination of theory by evidence.

Comment: This Chapter could serve as an introduction to contemporary cosmology and particle physics or as an example to illustrate the problem of under-determination of theory by evidence. The chapter looks at alternative theories that explain the same experimental evidence without recourse to the hypothesis of dark matter and dark energy and discusses the rationale for choosing between rival research programs. Like the rest of the chapters in this book, it is a reading recommendable for undergraduate students. It is recommended to read it after Chapter 2 of the same book.

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Massimi, Michela, , Duncan Pritchard. What is this thing called science?
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge
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Summary: This chapter offers a general introduction to philosophy of science. The first part of the chapter takes the reader through the famous relativist debate about Galileo and Cardinal Bellarmine. Several important questions on the topic are explored, such as what makes scientific knowledge special compared with other kinds of knowledge or the importance of demarcating science from non-science. Finally, the chapters gives an overview on how philosophers such as Popper, Duhem, Quine and Kuhn came to answer these questions.

Comment: This chapter could be used as in introductory reading to review the nature of scientific knowledge and the most important debates about the scientific method. It is recommendable for undergraduate courses in philosophy of science. No previous knowledge of the field is needed in order to understand the content. The chapter is an introduction to the rest of the book Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Some discussions explored here, such as the problem of underdetermination or Tomas Kuhn’s view of scientific knowledge are central to the following chapters in philosophy of cosmology.

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Midgley, Mary, , . What is Philosophy For?
2018, London: Bloomsbury Academic
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Why should anybody take an interest in philosophy? Is it just another detailed study like metallurgy? Or is it similar to history, literature and even religion: a study meant to do some personal good and influence our lives? In her last published work, Mary Midgley addresses provocative questions, interrogating the various forms of our current intellectual anxieties and confusions and how we might deal with them. In doing so, she provides a robust, yet not uncritical, defence of philosophy and the life of the mind.
This defence is expertly placed in the context of contemporary debates about science, religion, and philosophy. It asks whether, in light of rampant scientific and technological developments, we still need philosophy to help us think about the big questions of meaning, knowledge, and value.

Comment: An accessible text that could serve well as an alternative introduction to philosophical methodology.

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Peterson, Bailie, , . Attributes of God
2018, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: Theists believe God exists, atheists believe that God does not exist, and agnostics suspend judgment on the issue. But what do each of these mean by ‘God’? What is the concept of God that underlies the debate? This essay explains three important features of a widely-accepted idea of God and discusses some puzzles and paradoxes related to their application.

Comment: An introduction to a traditional concept of God accepted by many theistic religions.
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Phnuyal, Abiral Chitrakar, , . The Ontology of Race
2018, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: Various racial concepts have been employed at different times in human history – most prominently since the 17th century – to classify humans into groups, often to great social, political, ethical, medical, and scientific significance. But what are races, and on what are they grounded?

Comment: An 1000-word overview of many of the main theories of what races are.
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Series, Peggy, , Mark Sprevak. From Intelligent machines to the human brain
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge
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Summary: How does one make a clever adaptive machine that can recognise speech, control an aircraft, and detect credit card fraud? Recent years have seen a revolution in the kinds of tasks computers can do. Underlying these advances is the burgeoning field of machine learning and computational neuroscience. The same methods that allow us to make clever machines also appear to hold the key to understanding ourselves: to explaining how our brain and mind work. This chapter explores this exciting new field and some of the philosophical questions that it raises.

Comment: Really good chapter that could serve to introduce scientific ideas behind the mind-computer analogy. The chapter zooms in on the actual functioning of the human mind as a computer able to perform computations. Recommendable for undergraduate students in Philosophy of Mind or Philosophy of science courses.

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