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Monthly Archives:

July 2014

Philosophy Tag

Gillian Russell (Washington University in St. Louis) was tagged last week by Franz Berto (Amsterdam) in the logic playground, where the game has been playing for a while now. Let’s see where Russell’s tag takes us.

There’s a pervasive thought in many cultures and religions—one that I’ve found attractive in the past—that moral anxiety in human agents is a ..


Blackburn and Me, Me, Me

Simon Blackburn gives us his version of a “kids, these days, let me tell you” cranky rant about selfies, which he rescues from crankyland only by saying we should respond to the vanity and conceit and narcissism encouraged in today’s society with mockery. Seems to me, though, that only someone completely full of himself would attempt such a sweeping characterization..


Philosophy Tag

Last week, A.J. Cotnoir (St. Andrews) tagged Franz Berto (Amsterdam). Will the next it be in Europe again? Let’s see…

How does the epistemology of logical claims work?
Says Carnap: “Well, such claims are analytic: true in virtue of meaning. So we know them a priori, and in the same breath we appreciate their necessity.”
Quine retorts: “Don’t even mention ..


1. Dave Chalmers on explaining consciousness: the TED talk version.
2. Traveling abroad to avoid long wait lists for a treatment, or to find less costly doctors, or to try out an experimental therapy? Jeremy Snyder (Simon Fraser), featured in an article in the National Post on the ethics of medical tourism, suggests you check out this site for some information and cautionary tales.
3. Novelist/philosopher Clancy Martin (Missouri-Kansas City) on his journey from analytic philosophy to Walter Benjamin.
4. A profile of Michael Bratman (Stanford) and his work on shared agency.
5. “This Debate Has No Title” — a panel discussion of paradoxes of self-reference featuring Hilary Lawson, Patricia Waugh, and Peter Cameron. (via Frankie May)
6. Spinoza and others invoked by a rabbi to argue for the value of dissent in Jewish communities.
7. A blog about using pop songs to explain philosophy. (via Leiter)
8. A post about string theory and post-empiricism, in the wake of a conference that featured “two remarkable talks by prominent physicists, both of whom invoked philosophy in a manner unprecedented for this kind of scientific gathering.” (via David Killoren)
9. And while we are on physics, theoretical physicist Paul Steinhardt (Princeton) asks whether modern cosmology supports Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence. I’m sure it feels that way to Nietzsche scholars, who have to keep saying “that’s not what he meant.” (To be fair, Nietzsche is only mentioned in passing.)
10. Abuse of Philosophy Series: Descartes on brand/business dualism.


Publishing? There’s an App for that.

HelpMePublish is an app that “provides databases on 13 major subject areas containing information on more than 6000 reputable academic journals provided by journal editors, subject experts and academic users.” According to a comment on another post here by James Maclaurin (Otago), a philosopher who devised the project, there are 557 philosophy journals in their data..


What Do Philosophy Majors Do? LinkedIn’s Answer

LinkedIn, a service I am familiar with largely through doing battle with its hydra-like emailing, has a feature called “Field of Study Explorer.” Its aim is to provide information to would be college students about the kinds of jobs and employers different majors end up with. Of course, what the service really tells you is what kinds of jobs and employers that diffe..


1. There is a “profound disconnect between Heidegger’s anti-Semitic prejudice and his philosophy,” argues Michael Marder (University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gastiez). But even if there wasn’t, Plato defended slavery and we still read him. Hmmm… so I guess part of the defense of Heidegger comes down to “what, too soon?”
2. The Mod Squad this week is featuring remarks from the inaugural meeting of the Society for Modern Philosophy by Don Rutherford (UCSD), today, and Martha Bolton (Rutgers), on Thursday.
3. Emphasize kindness, not respect, for a good philosophy classroom experience, says David Birch of the Philosophy Foundation.
4. The beautifully designed Nautilus brings us an article on psychopharmaceuticals used to suppress the feelings that accompany traumatic memories, asking: who are memories are for?
5. Eric Linus Kaplan, who went to grad school in philosophy for five years but may be better known as a television writer forThe Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, and other shows, has been blogging.
6. Alva Noë (Berkeley) asks whether the power of a work of art depends on its being the original, rather than a copy.
7. Aeon is currently featuring a four-minute flick on Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU) on the concept and uses of “honor.”
8. Apparently, Earth is home to some electricity-eating bacteria. Seriously. There are micro-organisms that “eat and excrete pure electrons.” They don’t even put ketchup on them. No this is not philosophy. It is just badass.
9. We haven’t checked in with 8-Bit Philosophy in a while. Looks like they’re up to Hegel’s philosophy of history.