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Does a book reviewer (whose review will be published) have an ethical responsibility to give a fair and just book review? Does that responsibility just extend to the author, or to readers of the review as well?

Yes, a reviewer has an ethical responsibility to authors to give a fair and just review, and a similar obligation to the readers as well. The author may have money, a job, happiness, and reputation at stake in the review, and so an unfair and inaccurate review can wrongly harm the author. Readers, however, have an interest in allocating the finite time and other resources of their lives well, and there are opportunity costs to reading one book when others would serve their interests better. So, an unfair and inaccurate review can harm readers, too.

I have stumbled across the “Guidelines for Non-Sexist Use of Language” in the American Philosophical Association. It recommends changing, “For Aristotle, man is, above all, Political Man." to “Aristotle regarded human beings as inherently political.” Now, I could be convinced that many texts are sexually biased, but is it important to change the formulation of such propositions? In the first quote, "Man" is a metonym, standing for all humanity in a manner similar to how the word "bread" stands for Jesus' flesh when it appears in parts of the New Testament, whereas in the second, the term with the same referent, "human beings" is used. If one were translating a book into English, and it featured a similar use of a metonym, an important question then would be whether to maintain that formulation, even though it contravenes these guidlines, or to change it. Is it important to replace "Man" with "Humanity" even though they have both been used to stand for the same thing for a long time?

This is a question with which I've struggled for some time. The answer depends upon one's interpretation of Aristotle, one's view of the meaning of the relevant terms, and the proper way to approach historical texts. I've come down on the side of the APA on this one, but in a qualified sense. Here's why: 1. While interpreting the conventional use of "man" as a metonymic figure is not wrong, it is incomplete. I've become convinced on both empirical grounds and on my reading through the history of philosophy that the term is something of what Hilda Smith calls "false universals." That is, while it poses as representing humanity and in a sense does, it's burdened with masculinist connotations. 2. Aristotle, of course, doesn't use the term, "man," but rather mostly variations of anthropos . Anthropos , however, is in my view also a false universal; but it's closer to "humanity"--which, by the way, isn't always used in a neutral way, either, but is I think less inflected than "man." ...

I'm applying to very competitive doctoral programs in philosophy. Everything in my application package is stellar except for my GRE scores. How much do admissions committees at competitive programs weigh GRE scores? Does Math matter more than Verbal? Is there a general baseline score I should try to aim at getting over?

Unfortunately, GRE 's tend to be very important. Of course, the extent to which they matter or don't matter and the weighting of verbal and math (not to mention baselines) depends upon the specific institution, even the specific composition of the admissions committee, which will vary from year to year. Nevertheless, do what you can to improve your scores. In my experience, verbal tends to be more important. Try to score well into the 90s.