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Monthly Archives:

May 2014

1. Jeff Sebo talks about moral status while drawing very fast. And well. Hmmm, maybe he isn’t the one drawing.
2. If privacy is dead, perhaps we should be seeking some obscurity instead? (And here’s an article by the same authors in Wired.)
3. Jesse Prinz, who got his PhD at the University of Chicago, is profiled in the university’s magazine. Relatedly, here is a short video featuring Prinz discussing spirituality.
4. “The goal of philosophy of science is not to answer scientific questions, but to answer questions about science.” Janet Stemwedel (San Jose State) explains philosophy of science over at Scientific American.
5. Adrian Piper’s latest art installation, The Probable Trust Registry, is on display in Manhattan.
6. Recently we asked, “Would you do it over again?” Marcus Arvan takes up the question in a thoughtful post over at Philosopher’s Cocoon.
7. Strategic Misogyny is a new blog that welcomes readers to share their stories of sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in academia.
8. Dinosaur Comics wades into the ideal/non-ideal theory discussion in political philosophy.
9. Go play in a philosophical ball pit. “Socratic dialogue is encouraged.”


David Armstrong (1926-2014)

David Armstrong, a philosopher known for his work in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, has died. He had retired from the University of Sydney in 1992, and had previously held appointments at Birkbeck and University of Melbourne, and visiting positions at Yale, Stanford, Franklin and Marshall, University of Texas, and Notre Dame.

UPDATE (5/15/14): In the comme..


1. Elizabeth Anderson discusses the history and varieties of egalitarianism at
2. “On Being Annoyed” by Tom Roberts (Exeter). A friend asks: the next “On Bullshit”?
3. I’m not sure how helpful it is to ask “What if Plato was an employee benefits professional?” though I do like Dilbert on this idea.
4. A “lost” video interview of Foucault on themes from his Madness and Civilization.
5. Jonathan Iwry and Micah Kaats (two of Adrienne Martin’s students at U. Penn) rapping about responsibility and emotions.
6. Patrick Lin (Cal Poly) in Wired on the moral problems with driverless cars (via Alexandra King).
7. Video of the sex lives of philosophers. Not that kind of video, perv. It’s a lecture.
8. 8-Bit Philosophy (previously) on Nietzsche and scientism.
9. Can coffee make you more ethical?
10. Panayiota Vassilopoulou (Liverpool) will be exploring “mutual ways in which philosophical reflection and art can transform us” as the first “philosopher-in-residence” at the Bluecoat arts center.
11. National Geographic asked Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to name “Africa’s Greatest Innovators in Arts and Sciences” and Kwame Anthony Appiah made the list.
12. “How To Stop a Wedding.” It’s not philosophy, but it kind of reads like applied just war theory. Includes helpful illustrations.
13. Which came first, the universe or the math? (Bonus Mother’s Day link)


1. Does the formal modeling of game theory teach us anything new? Here is a list of some counterintuitive findings, suggesting that the answer is Yes.
2. The University of Oregon has a new academic-freedom policy, and it isn’t just for faculty.
3. The New York Times has a short “op-doc” on lawyer Steven Wise’s efforts to get animals recognized as rights-bearers.
4. Philosophers of time: here are some infographics on a few movie and tv time travel plots. Of course there are also these charts for the brain-twisting movie Primer.
5. Some criticisms of “trigger warnings” on syllabi.
6. “What’s the value of these potions on the open market?” — if Ayn Rand wrote Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
7. Gregg Caruso and Neil Levy appear on Philosophy TV to discuss the relationship between consciousness and moral responsibility.
8. Tile, the tiny plastic tag you can attach to your keys or slip into your crush’s bag and then track using an app on your phone, has started shipping. Should you be freaked out?
9. This bunch may need help. I will leave it to you to decide what that means in this context.


1. I’ll have the Frege Legs with Russell Sprouts, please.
2. Steven Nadler on the Jewish ban of Spinoza and the relation between wisdom and orthodoxy.
3. A multi-author forum on privacy and the framework for a “digital bill of rights.”
4. Are you more utilitarian in a foreign language?
5. Science Magazine’s special issue on the science of inequality.
6. Want to guest blog on the metaphysics of love?
7. Michael Sandel: Public Philosopher — the BBC Podcast Series.
8. Can we learn about social media from Dostoevsky?
9. The fox and the hedgehog. For reals. (via MR)
10. The head of Japan’s central bank, Haruhiko Kuroda, does a little philosophy on the side.
11. The art of live-blogging philosophy.
12. What kind of person who believes Marxism explains Buzzfeed are you?
13. What should you do with the things you value most? (via @JonnyGeller)


The $4.8 Million Experience

Samuel Newlands (Notre Dame), L. A. Paul (North Carolina), and Michael Rea (Notre Dame) have won a grant of $4.8 million from the Templeton Foundation for a three-year interdisciplinary project on the nature of experience. The project explores the nature and implications of transformative experiences, the character of religious and spiritual experiences, and how wor..


1. A Henry David Thoreau tumblr.
2. “Jean-Paul Sartre was literally obsessed with crabs. Also, mescaline.” That and other weird facts about some famous existentialists.
3. What can you do with a philosophy degree? Conduct secret negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas, for one. Meet Sergio Jaramillo Caro, Colombia’s high commission for peace and holder of an M.Phil in philosophy from Cambridge. (via Daniel Levine)
4. “Does Anything Really Matter or Did We Just Evolve to Think So?” — an intro text version of Sharon Street‘s evolutionary argument against moral realism.
5. What Disney’s Frozen is really about.
6. Why “queer” cases are important for the metaphysics of love.
7. “A Theory of Boardroom Justice.” Something tells me Jerry Cohen would not have been surprised.
8. Follow your dreams or develop the technology to control them? While you wait for the latter, some tips.
9. Eating cheese and death by bedsheet tangle: for the next time you need to teach your students that correlation does not imply causation.
10. A philosopher’s proposal for how to get politicians to take the interests of future generations more seriously. 
11. “In the other room, the puzzle is all together, but they keep flipping in just one piece at a time” — director David Lynch on the formation of ideas, in a short video excerpt from an interview. It may resonate with some philosophers.


Black Philosopher, White Academy

A post at Lewis Gordon’s website about Bruce Kuklick’s book on William Fontaine, an African-American philosopher who taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1947-1967, has been making the rounds on social media lately.

William Thomas Fontaine was born on December 2, 1909, in Chester, Pennsylvania. An alumnus of the historic black institution Lincoln University..