REP Editorial July 2017
The July and (forthcoming) October updates to REP add articles on a wide range of new topics, as well as revising some that were beginning to show their age a bit. Talking of age, it’s amazing to think that REP is twenty years old next year. Given the way philosophy changes, it’s hardly surprising then that REP needs to be in a constant state of renewal. As De Gaulle is supposed to have said: if you want to keep things the same, you have to be constantly changing.
Some things which are today’s hot topics in analytic philosophy were mere glints in their creators’ eyes twenty years ago. The political philosophy surrounding climate change is an obvious example, now discussed in detail by Idil Boran and Corey Katz, under the heading ‘Climate Change Justice’. Experimental Philosophy (forthcoming, October) was due for another look, and gets expert treatment by Ron Mallon, Tom Wysocki and Shaun Nichols.
Disjunctivism in the philosophy of perception had certainly been conceived in 1998, but it became an intense focus of research in the first decade of the present century. Bill Fish’s very lucid entry (slated for October) on this subtle topic will help all students and scholars attempting to get to grips with the latest in the philosophy of perception. Fish himself is a leader in the field, who has developed his own version of disjunctivism, and has written a fine introduction to the philosophy of perception published by Routledge. Other new July entries which are particularly timely are 'Collective Intentionality' and 'Social Epistemology.'
One exciting aspect of the way REP is developing is the extension of its historical component. Developments in early modern scholarship give us October entries on Isaac Beeckman, Isaac Barrow and Thomas Bayes (though the latter should be of interest also to all those philosophers currently riding the ‘Bayesian’ wave that is flowing all over the subject). But we are also treating the 20th century more historically, with new or updated entries on Elizabeth Anscombe (October), Noam Chomsky (October), Donald Davidson, Saul Kripke, Hilary Putnam (October), Paul Ricoeur, Richard Rorty and John Searle. A particularly useful entry here is the new Twentieth-Century Philosophy entry by Paul Livingston, one of our newer REP Subject Editors, and one of the most impressively wide-ranging and interesting philosophers I know.
General Editor, REP
Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge