REP Editorial September 2016
This month sees some exciting new articles added to the REP, as part of our ongoing reviewing and updating procedure. Our expert subject editors regularly review the entries in their areas to see which need updating, which new entries are needed, and which need to be replaced because of developments in philosophy and scholarship. Remember that those articles which are replaced are still archived and free for everyone to read.
Becko Copenhaver has been developing the REP's strength in 17th and 18th century philosophy, with entries added on mind and body, Natural Law and Isaac Newton. One of the important realisations of the study of 17th century philosophy has been how important is the interplay between natural science and philosophy — in fact, there was no sharp distinction between these enterprises. It will be useful for all students of 17th century philosophy, then, to have a new entry on Newton by Zvi Beiner.
Other recent to additions 17th and 18th century philosophy include an entry on Mechanism in Modern Philosophy (which will be of interest to philosophers of science who are exploring the idea of mechanism today) and one on the Scottish Enlightenment (which will appeal to all those with an interest in Scottish culture, nationalists or not!).
Now that we are in the middle of the second decade of the 21st century, philosophy from the 20th needs to be treated more historically. As 20th century editor, Paul Livingston has been surveying the whole of 20th century Western philosophy in both its 'analytic' and 'continental' forms. Biographical entries are an important component of this revision. Accordingly we have substantial new entries on Jaako Hintikka, Bruno Latour, John McDowell, Timothy Williamson, Philippa Foot and Stanley Cavell.
In addition to these wholly new pieces, we also have some important revisions of older topics, including Jay Bernstein’s exceptionally lucid exposition of the complex thought of Adorno, and the thematic articles on Hermeneutics, Existentialism and Critical Theory. These would all be terrific places for students to start examining these difficult but rewarding subjects.
Another highlight of the most recent update is a definitive assessment of the Gettier problem by Stephen Hetherington.
Coming soon, in the next few months: more 17th and 18th century articles, more 20th century articles, and some new epistemology. Watch this space!
General Editor, REP
Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge