Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jennifer Mather Saul

Jennifer Saul is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. She works in Philosophy of Language, Feminist Philosophy and Philosophy of Psychology. She is especially interested in finding ways that philosophical debates (like that over what is said) connect up with real-world concerns (like lying and misleading). And she likes nothing better than an excuse to discuss political scandals in great detail. Her books include Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions and Feminism: Issues and Arguments. She is Director of the Implicit Bias and Philosophy Research Network.

Saul's new book is Lying, Misleading, and What is Said: An Exploration in Philosophy of Language and in Ethics. Her reply to my recent query about what she has been reading:
Sadly, being Head of Department doesn't leave me much time at all to read books. Most of the book reading I do these days is reading aloud to my 7-year-old son. He has a taste for the oldies, the really oldies, so it's been (simplified versions of) the Odyssey and Gilgamesh. Watching his reaction makes it clear there's a reason these have stood the test of time. He also has a love of Enid Blyton, a very familiar children's writer for the British, but totally unknown to Americans. As an American ex-pat mother of a child born and raised in the UK, it's a new discovery. Lots of other lefty parents avoid these like the plague for their appalling gender, race and class attitudes. I actually enjoy discussing these issues with him, as he's very critical and reflective. And I can't help but think it's better to discuss and criticise this stuff than to simply avoid it, since avoidance simply won't work as a life-long strategy.
Learn more about Lying, Misleading, and What is Said at the Oxford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue