Lucy Allais, currently senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Sussex and associate professor of philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, has accepted an appointment at the University of California, San Diego, where she will be in residence during the Winter and Spring quarters. The remainder of her time will be at Witwatersrand. Professor Allai..
1. “The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined.” Physicist George Ellis is interviewed at Scientific American’s site.
2. The researchers behind a study (previously) that concluded that students would rather self-administer shocks than spend time alone with their thoughts do not appear to have spent enough time with their thoughts. (via Bryce Huebner)
3. Reports about the findings from a study that purported to show that “children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction” have come under scrutiny from philosopher Helen de Cruz (Oxford).
4. The leader of the Ukrainian rebels, Alexander Borodai, has a degree in philosophy from Moscow State University. He is the son of Yury Borodai, who is also a philosopher. Borodai the elder argues that humans evolved from apes through masturbation. Or at least so says an article in the Moscow Times, which notes that Borodai the junior “is not known to have a girlfriend.”
5. Teresa Marques, a philosopher at the University of Lisbon, critiques the Portguese Science and Technology Foundation’s employment of the European Science Foundation to review the country’s research institutes, arguing that it could lead to “disaster.”
6. Art and the philosophy and history of science come together in an exhibition called “Inventing Temperature” at the Korean Cultural Centre in London.
7. “Our actions in the concrete world and the manner in which we inquire into the world is premised on our concepts. And this is precisely why philosophy matters,” says Levi R. Bryant (Collins College), at his blog, Larval Subjects.
8. The Independent has a series called “Book of a Lifetime.” A.C. Grayling reveals his pick here.
9. Debate continues over “Confucius Institutes.”
10. Socrates makes Buzzfeed… for seven times he was a total douchebag — like “when he invented the entire Socratic method.”
Update: oh, and 11 & 12: Two from around the philosoblogosphere: Martha Bolton’s remarks from the inaugural meeting of the Society for Modern Philosophy, at The Mod Squad; and Bas Van Der Vossen on “Why Philosophers Should Stay Out of Politics,” at Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
Many graduate philosophy programs rely upon what could be characterized as a game of bait and switch. These programs exist not because there is a job market for their graduates. They exist for a variety of reasons, including the intrinsic value of philosophy and institutional mandates to produce Ph.D.’s. But they also exist in part to help universities reduce the co..
Some means — even though they’re best for achieving a goal — might be so evil that the goal should be dropped, as long as we’re not forced to pursue it. If the only way to promote freedom from repression is terror, this could be enough to justify dropping this legitimate goal.
David Enoch, professor of philosophy and law at Hebrew University, weighs in on the curren..
Inside Higher Ed has an article on the APA’s creation of a task force to look into whether to create a code of conduct for the profession, and if so, what such a code would look like. Several philosophers were interviewed for the article.
William D. “Bro” Adams, a philosopher who taught at Santa Clara University, UNC Chapel Hill, and Stanford, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the 10th Chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities. Here is some background about him:
Adams earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Colorado College and a Ph.D. from the University of Californ..
Torin Doppelt, a PhD candidate in philosophy at Queen’s University, has created Spinoza’s Ethics 2.0, a an interesting digital humanities project that “provides a representation of the structure of the geometrical demonstrations of Spinoza’s Ethics” (via Philosophy Matters). I asked him if he could say a little more about the project for Daily Nous readers. He write..
Heidi Lockwood is associate professor of philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, where she focuses on questions in logic, metaphysics, and epistemology. She also works on issues in the philosophy profession, particularly regarding the treatment of women (see this post for example). She kindly authored the following guest post* on the issue of whose resp..
Kristina Meshelski, an assistant professor of philosophy at CSU Northridge, has kindly authored the following guest post about the recent discussion of trigger warnings at Bully Bloggers by Jack Halberstam (USC), “You Are Triggering Me! The Neo-Liberal Rhetoric of Harm, Danger, and Trauma.”
I know many philosophers who teach ethics use at the very least some form..
Following up on an earlier post, according to an official spokesperson at Rutgers, Peter Ludlow will not be joining the Rutgers faculty.
“When Rutgers learned of allegations against Professor Ludlow at Northwestern, the university requested relevant information from Professor Ludlow and his attorney,” spokesman Greg Trevor said in a statement. “This information w..
1. NPR’s Tamara Keith, a philosophy major, tells her “it doesn’t hurt to ask” story.
2. Someone who sounds a bit like Carly Rae Jepsen sings “Call Me Nietzsche” (press ►)
3. Susannah Kate Devitt (Queensland University of Technology) makes use of a few different metrics to provide a ranking of philosophy journals.
4. Chris Bertram discusses Rousseau’s moral psychology with Nigel Warburton at Philosophy Bites.
5. PBS’s Nova discusses science, religion, and philosophy with Gregg Caruso (Corning Community College).
6. Those working in bioethics or philosophy of medicine or rule consequentialism may be interested in this piece by economist Emily Oster (Chicago) on whether “doctors stick to the rules too much.”
7. Now if they could only make one of these that’s activated when you haven’t typed enough words.
8. Laurentian University is starting up a School of the Environment, headed by philosopher Brett Buchanan.
9. “Too many scholars keep too much to themselves” — D.E. Wittkower (Old Dominion), Evan Selinger (RIT), and Lucinda Rush (Old Dominion) discuss academics’ lack of public engagement (and also have a piece in which they focus on the problem in philosophy of technology).
10. The Victoria & Albert Museum is hunting for an edition of Plato’s works that was owned by 18th Century actor and playwright David Garrick (a student of Samuel Johnson). Do you have it?
11. Is this the earliest “drowning kid” example?
Tom Krell, a PhD student at DePaul, records pop music under the name How To Dress Well. His latest release, What is This Heart, was just favorably reviewed in The New York Times. I’m enjoying it right now, and you can, too, right here.
Any educated person can rattle off a list of the great achievements of science and technology in the past 50 years: the Big Bang, cloning, the Internet, etc. People who have no idea what the Higgs boson is or why it matters still can tell you that it was discovered in July 2013 by a heroic team of scientists and that the discovery reveals something deep about the un..
1. The Good Society jounal is providing open access to its new special issue, “Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration,” with articles by Elizabeth Anderson (Michigan), Christopher Bennett (Sheffield), and a number of political theorists and law professors.
2. Philosophy of extra-terrestrials? Carol Cleland (Colorado), Iris Fry (Technion), and Clément Vidal (Free University of Brussels) are three philosophers who will be taking part in an upcoming symposium organized by NASA and the Library of Congress on encountering alien cultures.
3. Colin Ward’s book, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, is now available as a free download.
4. Slate on peer-review’s problems, and a suggested solution.
5. Should we genetically engineer humans in order to save the environment? Matthew Liao (NYU) is featured in a story about that at the BBC’s site.
6. John Searle lecture: “Consciousness as a Problem in Philosophy and Neurobiology” (video).
7. “There are plenty of situations when random chance really is your best option. And those situations might be far more prevalent in our modern lives than we generally admit.”
8. “What’s So Funny?” Mary Beard talks about theories of humor in The Chronicle.
9. Laura D’Olimpio (Notre Dame Australia), Michael Levine (Univ. Western Australia), and Mairead Phillips (Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy) discuss philosophy and film.
10. Check your Bat-Privilege.
Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) “is a collection of students in English-speaking philosophy departments that aims to examine and address issues of minority participation in academic philosophy.” There are currently chapters of the organization at a number of US philosophy departments that put on talks, workshops, reading groups, and various other events.
There is n..
The Atlantic has a short piece on Helen De Cruz’s interviews with non-academic philosophers, which were posted at NewApps in three parts (1, 2, 3). The article ends with a telling quote from Carl Baker, who is now a statistical researcher at the House of Commons Library:
If I had to highlight one weakness in my postgraduate training it would be the lack of discussio..
Shalom Lappin (King’s College London) and Paul Russell (University of British Columbia) will be heading to the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg. Lappin works on formal and computational semantics, computational linguistics, the cognitive basis of language acquisition, and related topics. Russell works mainly..
“A whole is nothing over and above its parts.” Taken at face value, this claim seems to imply that some individuals (i.e., complex wholes) are several things. But this is puzzling: how can w..
A reader writes:
Recently I have found myself engaging less with the work of certain philosophers who have engaged in highly objectionable or unprofessional behavior, either not addressing and citing it when it could be relevant, or not reading it when I am unsure of its relevance. I am unsure whether I should be moved by these “personal” considerations. On the one ..
Edge.org’s 2014 annual question is “What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?” Many weigh in on the question with interesting answers, including philosophers Andy Clark (Edinburgh), Daniel Dennett (Tufts), Steve Fuller (Warwick), Tamar Gendler (Yale), Ian Gold (McGill), Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, A.C. Grayling (Birkbeck), Thomas Metzinger (Johannes Gutenberg-U..
Spencer Case, a PhD student at the University of Colorado, writing in the National Review, describes and criticizes some of the practices his department is adopting in the wake of the site visit by the APA Committee on the Status of Women.
Update: Some people have asked why I have posted a link to this article. Let me say first that as a general rule, my linking to..
On the second day of this blog’s existence, I wrote a post answering some questions I had received from readers, including this:
Is this blog an attack on Brian Leiter? Nope. Like many in philosophy, I have a sincere appreciation for Professor Leiter’s efforts over the years to disseminate information about the profession that had typically been known to and control..
Flavorwire lists the “30 Harshest Philosopher-on-Philosopher Insults in History.” I have heard worse.
Over 1000 people so far have signed a petition asking the U.S. Department of Labor to “open an investigation into the labor practices of our colleges and universities in the employment of contingent faculty, including adjunct instructors and full-time contract faculty outside the tenure-track.”
Jack Russell Weinstein is a Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Institute for Philosophy in Public Life at the University of North Dakota. He is the host of the radio show Why? Philosophical Discussions about Everyday Life and the author of its blog, PQED. He generously agreed to author a guest post* on the meanings and methods of public philosophy. Comm..
1. Advocates of the “open carry” of firearms sometimes enter stores, restaurants, and other establishments, proudly and openly carrying their guns. What is the rational thing to do in this situation? Jack Russell Weinstein (North Dakota) has an answer: GTFO. Wonkette has the story.
2. The mechanism by which the brain reinforces learning has a side-effect that causes you to value the option you chose over equivalent non-chosen options. I’m sure this has no bearing on how philosophy is done.
4. Simon Blackburn (Cambridge), John Haldane (St. Andrews), and Melissa Lane (Princeton) discuss the philosophy of solitude, together, on BBC Radio 4.
5. “Scientists rarely have the opportunity or support to step back from their research and ask how it connects with other work on similar topics. I see one role of philosophers of science as the provision of that larger, interpretive picture.” Helen Longino (Stanford) answers some questions about her last book, Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality.
6. Michael Sandel (Harvard) is a guest on the latest episode of The Partially Examined Life discussing what should and should not be sold. (via Dirk Felleman)
7. Pierre Bourdieu, while a soldier in the French army, took thousands of photos of the Algerian people during the Algerian War (1954-1962). Columbia University press has posted some on their blog. They have been published as Picturing Algeria.
8. Kudos to Minnesota Monthly for interviewing Valerie Tiberius (Minnesota) for its special issue on happiness, and kudos to Professor Tiberius for being able to put some of her ideas out there in such a Minnesota Monthly-reader-friendly way.
9. Aaron James (UC Irvine), the author of Assholes: A Theory, is one of the guests on a recent episode of CBC Radio’s show, “How To Do It?” The topic: how to deal with people you hate.
10. In case you missed it the first time around: “Psychologists search philosophical mind for bullshit detector, find ‘friendship deterrence system’ instead.”
1. You have just 10 minutes until your next meeting? Write. 15 minutes between classes? Write. 8 minutes before that advisee comes knocking? Write, dammit.
2. Early risers are less moral at night, compared with night owls.
3. An interview with Corey Mohler, the man behind Existentialist Comics. (via Philosophy Matters)
4. “Conspiracy theorists ruin the whole game for great academics like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. Radio hosts… who prop up wild theories… effectively make the public uneasy about trusting people who take the more nuanced approach toward investigating the ills of the world.”
5. This sounds interesting: a book in which the chapters alternate between a novel in which a philosophy professor is coming to terms with his changing views, and the philosophical manuscript the professor is writing. It’s called The Thinker Artist and is by Mark Anderson (Belmont).
6. An article describing and assessing Bertrand Russell’s pacifism and its value, with supporting roles by D.H. Lawrence and Wittgenstein.
7. Newcomb’s Problem + AI + Simulation = the philosophical equivalent of The Ring? Meet Roko’s Basilisk. (via Cristin Chall)
8. Regret (via George Felis).
“Derek Parfit and Janet Radcliffe-Richards believe that philosophy should guide behaviour. Their marriage shows that it can.” Prospect Magazine has the story. (via Doug Portmore)