Inside Higher Ed reports on the recent social-media publicizing of allegations of sexual misconduct against “a professor of philosophy at Yale University.” (previously here and here, with a discussion of some of the relevant issues here.)
In the 50-plus years of its existence, the philosophy department has offered only one tenure-track position to a woman, and zero positions to people of color.
So writes undergraduate Emily Beszhak, about the Department of Philosophy at Western Washington University, in a letter to the editor of the school paper. The occasion of the letter was a recent hire by the de..
For years I provided very extensive comments on students’ papers. What stopped me was one of them, finally, saying “thank you.” It immediately struck me that hundreds of students over many semesters hadn’t cared enough to say anything to me about the comments, and in fact probably hadn’t cared about them at all. I switched to a more minimal commenting approach, at l..
“Don’t lie, because lying only fixes everything.”
I don’t know how philosophical Louis CK’s really getting, but I’m enough of a fan of his to give the Washington Post‘s headline writer a pass on this one: “Five times Louis C.K. got really philosophical on late-night talk shows.”
UPDATE: The Huffington Post has published an article on philosophical comedians, includ..
You can invent a silly product, market it well, and use the proceeds to fund a charity. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newest inductee into the pantheon of famous philosophy majors: “Banana Bill” — the inventer of the banana slicer. Do not neglect to read the reviews of this esteemed product. (via Dale Miller)
…for good reasons? How about more? That’s a finding of a recent survey conducted at over 100 British universities. So do we add this to the list of reasons to major in philosophy?
Andrew Cullison, currently at SUNY Fredonia, has accepted a position at DePauw University as associate professor of philosophy and director of the university’s Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, effective July 1st, 2014. Cullison works in epistemology, ethics, meta-ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion. He is currently Secretary-Tr..
Several years ago, during an era of relative plenty, I tried to persuade our philosophy department to credit a new history course I was teaching on the Enlightenment. Neither the reading list, bursting with texts from Bacon and Locke to Montesquieu and Diderot, nor the publication of my own book on Hume and Rousseau undid the suspicion that a professional historian..
Buddhist thought, and Asian thought in general, has often been written off by Western philosophers. How can contradictions be true? What’s all this talk of ineffability? This is all nonsense. The constructions I have described show how to make precise mathematical sense of the Buddhist views. This does not, of course, show that they are true. That’s a different matt..
Steve Awodey, a professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, has received a $7.5 million grant from the Department of Defense to “reshape the foundations of mathematics by developing a new approach that allows for large-scale formalization and computer verification” and to build on his earlier work showing “a deep and surprising connection between abstract..
Many philosophers travel for work, delivering talks or participating in conferences and the like. In deciding whether to attend another conference, or accept another invitation, one factor is whether one has traveled enough, or too much. But how much is that? While there will be a lot of personal factors involved in that assessment, let’s see if we can get a sense o..
If you could ask a long-dead philosopher any one question, who would you you pick, and what would you ask? (For our purposes here, “long-dead” will mean “died 50 years or more ago.”) Post your question in the comments. Folks are welcome to try to answer, too, as they think the philosopher asked would do so.
A recent event at Stanford raised the question of what good ethics courses do, with a particular focus on the question of whether such courses can and should make students more moral. Tamar Schapiro, Barbara Fried, and Benoit Monin (all Stanford) were the featured participants, and you can view their talks and the following discussion here. What is the job of the mo..
No, not me. Nor, alas, anyone related to me (as far as I know). But Marshall Weinberg, a University of Michigan alumnus, has donated $7.7 million to the University of Michigan for a new cognitive science institute, which will be a cooperative effort between the Departments of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Psychology. The Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science, as i..
St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, has received $1.5 million from an anonymous donor to endow a chair in Catholic philosophy. “The donor requested the gift be used to recruit and retain a distinguished Catholic philosopher who has a deep understanding of prominent Catholic thinkers, especially the Rev. Bernard Lonergan.” Details here.
If you can only be good at one thing, be good at lying. … Because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.
Jerry Dworkin (who put together Philosophy: a Commonplace Book) shares some of his latest discoveries of “humorous quotes, epigrams, aphorisms, parodies, etc. that have some connection to philosophy” over at 3 Quarks Daily. (via Jerry Dworkin)
Professional Philosophers in Industry is a LinkedIn group for philosophers who have left academic philosophy. “The purpose of this group is to provide professional philosophers who work (or seek to work) outside of traditional academic settings an opportunity to network, share information and opportunities, and generally pursue their professional development. Member..
Oxford University has offered the prestigious White’s Chair of Moral Philosophy to Jeff McMahan (Rutgers). The chair is currently held by John Broome. Recent holders include James Griffin, Bernard Williams, and R.M. Hare. McMahan has yet to make a decision about the offer.
At the suggestion of a friend I am creating a new page at Daily Nous for people to list their successes finding employment outside of academia. The idea of the page is to, first, show readers what some of the alternatives to academia are and give them a sense of their options, and second, to more accurately reflect the reality of the philosophy job market. So if you..
Just having the graduate students and Sara present in our space and asking us questions raises our consciousness, our neural system, to be thinking a little more about the ethical implications of what we do…. That could/should thinking is unique to philosophy and is something that science should embrace more and more.
So says Tom Daniel, professor of biology at U..
Last week we had a judge citing Mill in a rather complicated case in England. This week we have a judge citing Kant in a rather straightforward case in the United States. The judge apparently needed Kant to weigh in on the sentencing of a tire slasher:
Instead of sending David Toledo, 46, to state prison for the recommended five to 10 years, Common Pleas Judge Edwa..
Philosophy professors and graduate students: think back to when you decided to study philosophy seriously, or to try to make a career out of being a philosopher. Suppose you could travel back to that time and had only a few moments to answer one question from your past self, who asks you, “Should I try to be a philosopher?” How would you answer?
While I won’t requi..
I love philosophy, but I wonder if I love it as much as Stephen West. Here is a little bit of his story:
My parents met when my mom was at her cousin’s house smoking weed; my dad was living in her cousin’s dog house at the time, having been kicked out by his parents, both of whom were terribly abusive…. If I were asked to write a book cataloging the different inst..
Ergo is a new general, open access philosophy journal that launches today. In their introduction, Franz Huber and Jonathan Weisberg describe the data and other factors that led to the creation of the new journal. They also reveal their own statistics, including acceptance rates and time-to-decisions.
Besides the introduction, there are four articles in the current ..
We can ask, what is attention, anyway? The folks over at Brains, the group blog on the philosophy and science of minds, are currently putting on a symposium on one answer to this question offered up by Philipp Koralus (Oxford) in his article, “The Erotetic Theory of Attention: Questions, Focus, and Distraction” (in Mind & Language). Koralus provides a précis of his ..
Move over, 6 Million Dollar Man, and make room for the 7.5 Million Dollar Moral Robot. The Office of Naval Research is doling out $7.5 million in grants to researchers at Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale, and Georgetown “to explore how to build a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems.”
UPDATE: A related ..
The accusations of sexual misconduct against an as-of-yet-officially unnamed prominent moral and political philosopher (previously here and here) are no longer being made anonymously. They are now being advanced by a friend of one of the alleged victims, a Yale 2010 graduate named Emma Sloan. Ms. Sloan is soliciting funds for the legal case of her friend at this sit..
Jeremy Waldron is leaving Oxford to return full-time to New York University (via Leiter), opening up Oxford’s famed Chichele Professorship in Social and Political Theory. Before Waldron, the chair was held by G.A. Cohen, Charles Taylor, John Plamenatz, Isaiah Berlin, and G.D.H. Cole. Who will be next?