1. “Discrimination Is Un-Christian, too” — philosophy graduate student Kathryn Pogin (Notre Dame, Northwestern) on the Hobby Lobby decision, in the NYT.
2. The genetics of belief: “If these predispositions [towards certain beliefs] are…to some degree genetically rooted, they may not lend themselves to rational debate and compromise.”
3. HooPs—the Hardwood Philosophical Society—uses “‘the basketball court as a transformation for African American men’ by integrating the sport with Eastern and African philosophies.” More here.
4. Read the introduction to the best-titled book in political theory, ever.
5. How you broke peer review, and what you can do to fix it (via David Wiens).
6. Plato’s Timaeus is called “the first pop science book ever” in Forbes.
7. How to mitigate bias in philosophy job searches.
8. “the statutes of [Oxford] required … an original contribution to knowledge. But what was presented by a candidate was either already known to [H.A.] Prichard and therefore not original, or else mere opinion and therefore not knowledge.” That’s J.O. Urmson, quoted in a letter to the editor in the LRB. (via Danny Woods)
9. The science of chaos in the brain.
10. “Isaiah Berlin was capable of bitching with the best of them” says a reviewer of a new book about Berlin and Isaac Deutscher.
11. Annoying strawman.
Slate’s Rebecca Schuman reports on recent discussions in the philosophical community on relations between professors and students. Several philosophers were interviewed for the article, including Carla Fehr (Waterloo), Meena Krishnamurthy (Manitoba), Rachel McKinnon (College of Charleston), and Eric Wiland (University of Missouri–St. Louis).
Over breakfast at a sandwich place in Kowloon Tong, three of Hong Kong’s most famous student activists are talking about their roles in Occupy Central. Like all students, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting, both 18, and Alex Chow Yong-kang, 23, talk about problems within the government and the need for greater social justice. They draw on philosophical argumen..
Philipp Blum, one of the co-editors of the journal, dialectica, has a request for other journal editors:
I think it would be very helpful if philosophy journals would make
publicly available much more information on acceptance rates and
He notes that dialectica has been doing this for 14 years; check out these charts and graphs, which could s..
The Philosophical Underclass is a Facebook group of philosophers who request and provide electronic copies of philosophical works from and to each other. It is the idea of Kevin Timpe (Northwest Nazarene University), who explains how it came about:
I work at a university that has very poor journal access. The librarians are great at getting me just about anything vi..
Necessarily, it seems to me, a co-authored work, growing… out of collaborative discussion and intellectual exchange, cannot have an authentic and distinctive voice. Inevitably, unless one author completely dominates the others, it will be written in the flat, correct, acceptable one-dimensional language of the Academy. There will be no dark recesses or ironic ov..
Bruce Springsteen was photographed reading a book about philosophers lately, and one result has been a jump in sales for the book, Examined Lives by James Miller (New School). Now if I could only get Beyoncé to read my manuscript… in public…
Peter Ludlow’s defamation lawsuit against Sun-Times Media, Cumulus Broadcasting, and Fox Television Stations, Inc., for describing the sexual assault he has been accused of as “rape,” was dismissed. Details here. (via Feminist Philosophers)
Anna Alexandrova (Cambridge) writes: “Dear Daily Nous, I have just tried to access you from Russia and you are blocked (see screenshot). My sincere congratulations! You are doing something right clearly.”
The University of Colorado Department of Philosophy’s “Best Practices for Faculty and Students” document, in which the department sets out ways to make itself a “safe, inclusive, and welcoming place for all men and women, including members of underrepresented groups, to work, teach and study” is available online, on the climate section of the department’s website. T..
1. Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins makes some personal resolutions about how to treat other philosophers.
2. Students prefer administering painful electric shocks to themselves rather than just sitting and thinking. [Insert joke here, folks] 3. On the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website you can view 142 works of art with “philosopher” in their title and 149 with “philosophy“. (I haven’t checked whether there is much overlap.)
4. Also in art & philosophy news, you can now purchase an Aesthetics for Birds sticker, created to celebrate that blog’s one-year anniversary. Proceeds go to charity.
5. Is American anti-government individualism owed, in part, to a deleted punctuation mark? Political theoriest Danielle Allen investigates.
6. String theory and the space brain threat.
7. “The players of any given sport have a moral responsibility to adhere to their agreed code. But it doesn’t at all follow that the sports with less restrictive codes are morally inferior.” David Papineau on morality and fakery in sports.
8. Why is the non-academic job market “much more humane and sensible” than the academic job market?
9. Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef discuss human nature at Rationally Speaking. (via Philosophy TV)
10. How Plato invented the alarm clock.
11. A reminder about the old Wikipedia philosophy conspiracy, in case you missed it.
12. Happy Independence Day! Here’s a little article on The Virtues of Captain America, a book by Mark White (College of Staten Island / CUNY).
It obviously would not have counted as the survival of, say, Plato’s Academy if, at some point in the waning of Athens’s golden cultural era it had taken up the training of military leaders, or merchants, or rhetoricians. Nor would it count as the survival of a Franciscan monastery if it responded to a decline in religious enthusiasm by filling its vacant rooms with..
We’ve all dated a dude in academia and, yes, that mysterious air of “think of all these deep, important, bookish things that he knows” can be intoxicating at first. His vague condescension can even be a turn-on, in the right context. But cut to six months later when you’re hungover, blearily sharing a plate of hash browns at the Waffle House he deeply feels is benea..
It’s getting late, at least where I live. How about a bedtime story?
And in the 2500 eons of time before ranked time, there was formlessness. Apart from The Academy and The Lyceum, one knew not where a department stood, nor how deeply one might plant one’s feet. One’s judgment was clouded by the gossip of the philosophers and the void created by opinion and argument..
So I guess we are on a roll here with philosopher-musicians. Christy Mag Uidhir brings The Counterfactuals to my attention. Composed of a music professor and three philosophers — Jason Decker and Daniel Groll of Carleton College, and Michael Fuerstein of St. Olaf College — The Counterfactuals make indie rock with a kind of midwestern feel (does that sound right?..
1. Vivian Feldblyum may have earlier wooed you with “The Deductive Logic Love Song” but now she is singing the epistemology break-up song, “Do I Have Hands?” Perhaps she is seeing someone else?
2. The new edition of Onora O’Neill’s Acting on Principle, an “incisive and thoughtful defence” of Kant’s moral theory, is reviewed by Michael Rosen in The Times Literary Supplement.
3. Your loved ones? “I think most of them would sacrifice one more line on your resume for one more day of quality time with you.” Thoughts on work-life balance from the widow of an academic star.
4. Relatedly, if you think you are feeling burned out, but want to know more about the phenomenon, there is the new interdisciplinary journal Burnout Research.
5. Goal Imperialism and The Great 21st Century Fun Crisis, as described by Patricia Marino.
6. Ethics and economics in The Wire.
7. John Martin Fischer takes on the boredom and lack of motivation objections to immortality.
8. Zombie bats. Ha.
The Immortality Project at UC Riverside, headed up by John Martin Fischer, has announced the winners of grants totaling $1.5 million. The winners include a number of philosophers working on a variety of projects.
Philosophers among the winners include Yuval Avnur (Scripps), Christopher Belshaw (Open University), Stephan Blatti (Memphis), Ben Bradley (Syracuse), Mik..
1. Jason Stanley (Yale) brings political philosophy to bear on Detroit and the idea of “emergency managers” in The New York Times. Detroit’s Metro Times calls it the “most interesting read on the situation.”
2. “Things you should know before publishing a book.”
3. Looking for a brief, clear, and motivated explanation of likelihoodist, Bayesian, and frequentist methods in statistics that doesn’t already depend on you knowing a lot about math and probability? Greg Gandenberger, a PhD student at Pittsburgh, has two posts for you.
4. John Protevi (LSU) on path-dependence and merit in the philosophy job market.
5. How to deal with the fact that, for many of us, while “our salaries only reflect nine months’ worth of work, obligations from our colleges and universities often do leach into our summer time, time that is ostensibly our own.” In IHE.
6. Next time you see someone doodling while you’re giving a talk or teaching a class, don’t get offended—that person may, like Jesse Prinz (CUNY), just be trying to “help himself pay attention,” says The Wall Street Journal.
7. The inaugural issue of Recreational Mathematics is out, and looks kind of fun. (via Bookforum)
8. Myisha Cherry (John Jay College) at the Huffington Post on why love isn’t all we need.
9. When it comes to love, we are the highly suggestible types. “The ideal situation is… to both be told you’re a good match, and at the same time actually be one. [But]… if you have to choose only one or the other, the mere myth of compatibility works just as well as the truth.” The head of OK Cupid writes, rather amusingly, about the experiments OK Cupid has performed on its users.
10. While we’re on love, this may be related. This probably isn’t.
Steven Weinstein (Waterloo) is currently working on “multiple time dimensions, causality and determinism in relativistic classical and quantum physics, the arrow of time” and sweet pop music perfect for a sunny Saturday. His latest single, “Don’t Tell Me” has just been released. For those who want more, check out his recent album, Last Free Man. (via Evelyn Brister)
1. Is Žižek a plagiarist? Update: Newsweek gets on the story. Update 2: Žižek’s response.
2. “Philosophers ought to do their best to find a female captain, not merely a ship’s figurehead,” says Susannah Kate Devitt, reviewing the latest Australian Association of Philosophy (AAP) Conference.
3. The ethics of sex with dead people? Of course, there’s dignity. But maybe, there’s Louis CK.*
(*This is Louis CK talking about sex with dead people; you figure out whether that is NSFW.)
4. A discussion of “liquid democracy,” under which each person is “allowed to delegate the task of voting to someone whom he considers to be superior to himself.”
5. “I don’t think that what is needed is more eye-catching public performances by professional philosophers… What I wish for is better philosophy, and better history of philosophy, from those intellectuals and scientists who are in the public eye already and who wrongly believe they know what they are talking about when they venture into philosophy.” An interview with journalist-philosopher Anthony Gottlieb.
6. How an invention of Leibniz’s anticipated the central idea of modern computing.
7. A wide-ranging interview of Mark Okrent (Bates College) that touches on his entry into philosophy, changes to teaching and to universities, capitalism, phenomenology, pragmatism, and other topics.
8. The lifestyle section ofThe Times of India lists ten “leadership tips” from philosophers, complete with animated gifs. Meanwhile, leadership is the topic of the week at Philosophy Talk.
9. There’s a series of novels by Alexander McCall Smith featuring “insatiably curious philosopher and woman detective” Isabel Dalhousie. I have no idea if they are any good. The first is called The Sunday Philosophy Club.
Friday Fun bonus link:
10. “The front of the palate introduces profound blackcurrant flavour, followed on the middle palate by Maraschino cherry, dark chocolate and mocha coffee fruit elements with savoury oak… Drink with: Wagyu beef sirloin with horseradish and grilled mushrooms” –from a review of “The Philosophy” (cabernet sauvignon – shiraz blend). What a wasted opportunity. Proper reviews of a wine called “The Philosophy” are welcome in the comments.
So you’ve had your long weekend and your fireworks, but now it is time for a Monday morning beat down, USA, courtesy of Jeremy Bentham:
The opinions of the modern Americans on Government, like those of their good ancestors on witchcraft, would be too ridiculous to deserve any notice, if like them too, contemptible and extravagant as they be, they had not led to the ..
The New York Times recently published an article on a study about the relative difference in earnings between majors, particularly how much a recession affects the earning potential of different majors. Its conclusion was that “For high-earning majors, graduating into a recession increases their earnings advantage, and for low-earning ones, it increases their disadv..
In response to a petition received earlier in the year asking it to develop a professional code of conduct for philosophers, the American Philosophical Association has created a task force the aim of which is to “explore whether such a code of conduct is warranted and, if so, to develop one for board approval.” The task force was appointed by Chesire Calhoun (Arizon..
PhilPapers and the Philosophy Documentation Center will be working together to expand the amount of information available via PhilPapers and to better manage PhilPapers’ subscription services. PhilPapers has also upgraded its search system. David Bourget and David Chalmers tell us what’s going on and what to expect: (more…)
Mike Otsuka (LSE) and friends have been collecting humorous titles of philosophy works. He gave me permission to share the project with Daily Nous readers. So, below is a list of titles selected from their collection, starting with a classic. Feel free to add more in the comments. (more…)
Sherri Roush, who works in philosophy of science and epistemology, and who is currently full professor at Berkeley, will be moving to the Philosophy Department at King’s College London this summer to take up the inaugural Peter Sowerby Chair in Philosophy and Medicine. According to KCL Philosophy Department Head Rosa Antognazza, this is a newly endowed chair “create..