Today’s column by economist Gregory Mankiw in the New York Times provides an occasion to reflect on a problem for public philosophy. In the column, Mankiw contrasts a rudimentary form of utilitarianism with a thoughtless version of the precautionary principle. Even if you agree with the policy prescriptions that he concocts from this mix of ingredients, no philosoph..
Speaking of philosophical methodologies (and there is of course a lot that falls under that heading), one longstanding issue is the extent to which philosophy must ultimately conform with common sense. Of course there have been countless counterintuitive theses defended in the history of philosophy, but the dominant view today seems to be that philosophy is indeed i..
A new edition of Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia is available, and contains a foreword by Thomas Nagel. Nagel describes not just the main themes of the book but also the intellectual environment from which it grew, as well Nozick’s own particular strengths, which in turn provides a view of Nagel’s thoughts about how to do philosophy well. From the forewor..
Rebecca Roache, a philosopher at Oxford and a fellow at its Future of Humanity Institute, is interviewed at Aeon Magazine about the ways in which emerging and future technologies could be used to change how we punish criminals. An article about the interview appears in the Telegraph. Roache also discusses technology and punishment in a blog post here.
The NY Times Magazine has an article on MIT’s new Pantheon project, which aims to map “cultural production.” According to it, the top ten most famous people of all time, anywhere, include these philosophers: Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Confucius, and Pythagoras. Philosophy: come for the money, stay for the fame.
You really have no choice but to check out this issue of Methode Journal featuring thirty short interviews with philosophers about free will. It’s a terrific line-up, and each interview is downloadable as its own pdf.
Take Parfit’s teletransporters, add “someone’s modus ponens is another’s modus tollens,” throw in a dash of existentialism, and you’ll get “The Machine“, an interesting philosophy comic from Existential Comics (there are some other goods ones there, too; be warned that at least one of them is bit racy). See also John Weldon’s animated story about teletransportation,..
NPR has a story about a new biography of civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael, who majored in philosophy at Howard University.
A new, peer-reviewed, open-access, interdisciplinary journal, Science, Religion & Culture, has been launched by Smith & Franklin publishing. There are a number of philosophers on the editorial board, including editor-in-chief Gregg D. Caruso (Corning Community College, SUNY), who explains what the new journal is about in this piece.
Amtrak is offering writing residencies aboard its trains. Lasting from two to five days, the residencies are roundtrip journeys that include accommodations on board a sleeper car equipped with a bed, a desk, and outlets. The program is open to all sorts of writers, not just philosophers. Amtrak says that “A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak..
1. Isn’t it supposed to be FAQ? So WTF (Where’s The “F”)? The truth of the matter is that this blog hasn’t been around long enough for any question to really have been asked frequently. Nonetheless, I have been asked some questions about this blog, and thought I might say a few words in response.
2. Is this blog an attack on Brian Leiter? Nope. Like many in philosoph..
Three members of the APA Inclusiveness Committee publish a statement “to correct unfounded accusations that the American Philosophical Association (APA) discriminates based on disability against people like us.” (This is in response to a recent petition noted here.)
Janice Dowell, program committee chair for the 2015 Central Division meeting of the APA, says that the committee would like to especially encourage submissions in continental philosophy. She writes, “Continental philosophy is often underrepresented on our submitted program and one source of the difficulty seems to be that we receive so few submissions in that area.”..
This piece in the UC Berkeley alumni magazine brings together the answers of a number of people, from current students to professors to people who have pursued a wide range of careers outside of academia. This quote from John MacFarlane, chair of the Department of Philosophy at Berkeley, is great:
“There’s a kind of pre-professional way of looking at it as, ‘Well, th..
Jeffrey Ketland, a philosophy fellow and tutor at Pembroke College at Oxford University, who was accused of harassment of a BPhil student who later committed suicide, has been fired from his position.
Jeffrey J. Williams conducts a wide-ranging and thoughtful interview with Bob Brandom in the journal Symploke. The interview (PDF) covers Brandom’s thoughts about the enterprise of philosophy, its analytic and continental traditions, its major figures, as well as reflections on his own life and career.
From the interview:
Jeffrey J. Williams: What would you say, in..
Critical-Theory.com has set up a March Madness tournament, bracket and all, of “overrated philosophers.” You can enter your vote here.
How much service, and what kinds, are appropriate for junior faculty? Is more teaching preferable to more service? Do service burdens vary by gender? Brian Weatherson presents some anecdata and comments at And Another Thing, and Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins discusses her experience at her blog, Field Notes. Have any readers had noteworthy experiences in this regard? Does..
This week’s Friday Fun comes courtesy of David Boonin (University of Colorado). Thank you, David, for your suggestion, and for inspiring others to send in their contributions to this occasional series (seriously, be inspired people, or this series may not last).
David writes, “The idea is to come up with a single sentence that summarizes the most important thing(s)..
A screenwriter considers the question.
In case you haven’t checked recently, Philosophy Bites has conducted 292 audio interviews with philosophers. What a great service! Here’s the list of the interviewees.
Adrienne Martin, associate professor of philosophy at University of Pennsylvania, will be moving to Claremont-McKenna to take up the Murty and Shankar Professorship of Philosophy, Politics & Economics. Professor Martin is known for, among other things, her work on hope.
W, a candidate for an assistant professorship in philosophy at Nazareth College whose offer was rescinded mid-negotiation responds to criticisms in this article at Inside Higher Ed and also at The Philosophy Smoker. Karen Kelsky, of the website The Professor is In, offers her opinion and some advice about negotiation in light of W’s experience, as does Katy Waldman ..
…in times of upheaval, in times when the social norms change, there will be many people, many good-‐intentioned and good-‐willed people for whom the injustices of the status quo remain invisible, who don’t really u..
Gillian Russell, currently associate professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis has accepted an offer from UNC Chapel Hill and will be joining them as full professor starting in July, 2015. Professor Russell specializes in philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and epistemology.
Are you a philosopher who has been hired this past season? Or are you someone who has hired a philosopher? If so, you can let the philosophical community know with this easy form. The information you submit will then be displayed for all to see in the table below. It can also be viewed in its own window here. (Thanks to Carolyn Dicey Jennings at the NewApps blog for..
If so, and if you work at an institution of higher learning in the UK, and you received your PhD less than 10 years ago, you can attempt to get nominated for a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Philosophy and Theology. The deadline for nominations is May 14, 2014.
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