Readings for practical philosophers

I am of the view that philosophical thinking both is and should be an integral part of research in most or all academic disciplines.

Furthermore, I think that philosophers should try to solve real-world problems because (1) their expertise is often valuable, and (2) if not, there is a good chance that trying will make them better philosophers.

In this blog post, I collect three works that have helped me do, and think about how to do, practical philosophy. I hope that other philosophers will find them as useful as I have.

Book: A Companion to Applied Philosophy

Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. Editors: Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, Kimberley Brownlee, David Coady. Link.

Applied philosophy has been a growing area of research for the last 40 years. Until now, however, almost all of this research has been centered around the field of ethics. A Companion to Applied Philosophy breaks new ground, demonstrating that all areas of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind, can be applied, and are relevant to questions of everyday life.

Book: The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis

Springer International Publishing, 2016. Editors: Sven Ove Hansson, Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn. Link.

​This book describes argumentative tools and strategies that can be used to guide policy decisions under conditions of great uncertainty. Contributing authors explore methods from philosophical analysis and in particular argumentation analysis, showing how it can be used to systematize discussions about policy issues involving great uncertainty.

Special issue on ideal and non-ideal theory

Social Philosophy and Policy 33(1–2), 2016. Editor: David Schmidtz. Link.

Over the past decade, political philosophers and political theorists have had a common purpose: to reflect on the merits of realism and idealism when theorizing about the human condition and the nature of justice. We have settled that no one is against being realistic or against being idealistic per se. The contributions to this volume represent a conversation about what would make one attempt to articulate ideals better than another.


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