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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/968

The department of philosophy is committed to the principle that the study of philosophy is a cornerstone of a liberal arts education, an education that enriches and empowers students by introducing them to rigorous analysis of their ways of thinking and acting. We take philosophy, broadly construed, to be the process of investigating and questioning human beings’ place in nature and history as well as their responsibilities to one another and to themselves, based upon the most complete, presently available understanding of science, culture, art, and religion. What distinguishes a philosophical mind is a habit of weighing the coherence, completeness, and trenchancy of various beliefs, arguments, and theories, and of doing so self-consciously within the historical context that marks our finite, human condition. The cultivation of these habits of mind enhances students’ abilities to learn across the curriculum, to contribute to the advancement of institutions, from arts and sciences to governments and global relations, and- not least- to grapple with the challenges and wonder of their own lives. For all these reasons, the overriding aim of the department of philosophy’s program is to help students develop these philosophical habits. Reflecting its history and the present make-up of its members, the department is in the advantageous position of being able to pursue this aim through six main areas of research: analytic philosophy and logic, ethics and political philosophy, history of philosophy, phenomenology and pragmatism, philosophy of religion, and philosophy and history of science. Website: www.bu.edu/philo

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  • Losing sight of the forest for the Ψ: beyond the wavefunction hegemony 

    Bokulich, Alisa (Oxford University Press, 2020-05)
    Traditionally Ψ is used to stand in for both the mathematical wavefunction (the representation) and the quantum state (the thing in the world). This elision has been elevated to a metaphysical thesis by advocates of the ...
  • Teaching and learning with Wittgenstein and Turing: sailing the seas of social media 

    Floyd, Juliet (2019)
    A history of the mutual impact of Turing and Wittgenstein on one another points to the contemporary foundational significance of our artful capacity to embed everyday words in forms of life. Wittgenstein’s mature focus on ...
  • Heideggerian ruminations on being and presence 

    Dahlstrom, Daniel (2019-05-20)
    As Aristotle puts it, ‘being’ (used interchangeably with ‘existence’ here) is said in many ways, including many opposing ways. Potentialities exist precisely as potentialities for specific actualities but the potentialities ...
  • Wittgenstein on ethics: working through Lebensformen 

    Floyd, Juliet (SAGE Publications, 2020-01-21)
    In his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein conveyed the idea that ethics cannot be located in an object or self-standing subject matter of propositional discourse, true or false. At the same time, he took his work ...
  • Debunking logical grounding: distinguishing metaphysics from semantics 

    Mcsweeney, Michaela (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2020-04-20)
    Many philosophers take purportedly logical cases of ground (such as a true disjunction being grounded in its true disjunct(s)) to be obvious cases, and indeed such cases have been used to motivate the existence of and ...
  • Calibration, coherence, and consilience in radiometric measures of geologic time 

    Bokulich, Alisa (University of Chicago Press, 2019-08-05)
    In 2012 the Geological Time Scale, which sets the temporal framework for studying the timing and tempo of all major geological, biological, and climatic events in Earth's history, had one-quarter of its boundaries moved ...
  • Missing in action: affectivity in being and time 

    Dahlstrom, Daniel (Pagrave Macmillan, 2019-08-14)
    Despite the importance that Heidegger assigns to affectivity structurally in Being and Time, accounts of the relevant sorts of affectivity are frequently and, in some cases, perhaps even egregiously missing from existential ...
  • Teaching and learning with Wittgenstein and Turing: sailing the seas of social media 

    Floyd, Juliet (Wiley, 2019-11)
    Results of the Boston University Mellon Sawyer seminar 2016–2019 (www.mellophilemerge.com) reveal that social and philosophical drives are increasingly central to our uses of technology, including AI. This raises critical ...
  • Theories as recipes: third-order virtue and vice 

    McSweeney, Michaela Markham (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-02)
    A basic way of evaluating metaphysical theories is to ask whether they give satisfying (not necessarily truthful!) answers to the questions they set out to resolve. I propose an account of “third-order” virtue that tells ...
  • "The True" in Journalism 

    Floyd, Juliet (Oxford University Press, 2019)
    “The True” is a central norm of journalism that cannot be reduced away to something else: opinion, consensus, social force, power, or demographic identity. There are no “alternative” facts, though there are of course ...

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