Grad students of philosophy! And other relevant parties! Behold! Daniel Silvermint, assistant professor of philosophy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut, has developed a list of unhelpful thoughts that might occur to you every once in a while. He calls them “grad traps,” and the idea is that if you are able to recognize t..
1. Hindu philosophy of religion.
2. A series of posts on Cusa and Hegel.
3. Artificial wombs are already being tested and developed, and according to some, will be widely used in a few decades. They’re a little controversial.
4. Physicist Lawrence Krauss squares off against philosophers Angie Hobbs and Mary Midgley on the relationship between philosophy and science.
5. Ethical carnivorism.
6. You can download a behavioral economics introductory text for free.
7. Will OKCupid be hiring an ethicist?
8. XKCD on what makes for a good thesis defense.
9. Academic Seinfeld on Twitter.
Related to the earlier post of links to philosophers writing about the current conflict in Gaza and associated issues, some philosophers and political theorists are supporting “a principled refusal to associate with Israeli academic institutions that have not explicitly condemned the occupation.” They lay out their reasons here. (via Katharine Jenkins)
(Note: for ..
Last week, in the post about philosophy of religion, I wrote:
For a few reasons, it is not a sociologically surprising fact that most philosophy of religion in the West today is conducted by Christian theists. But it is certainly philosophically surprising (bordering on philosophically suspect) that, of all the possible options for religious belief (which include n..
Most academic philosophy departments see themselves primarily as housing a specialized academic discipline, and contributing only incidentally here or there to a university’s general education curriculum. The priority needs to be reversed. Frankly, there is little or no need for specialized academic philosophy; if it disappeared overnight, the only ones who would no..
Harvard University Press is digitizing the entirety of The Loeb Classical Library and putting it online. While a free trial will be available, permanent access to the collection will be through paid individual and institutional subscriptions. For book lovers, the familiar little red and green hard copies will remain in print. There is an article about the online ver..
“Of course my brain made me do it! What would you want, your stomach to make you do it?”
That’s from the text of a brief interview with Daniel Dennett at WBUR’s site.
Ramona Ilea (Pacific University) shares news of an online resource for philosophy professors she has helped create called Engaged Philosophy. The site is a repository of information about incorporating projects of civic engagement into philosophy courses.
When students do civic engagement projects in our philosophy classes, they commit to making changes in their com..
Continuing on the theme of the homogeneity of philosophy:
I strongly believe that it is central to a thorough education in the human sciences that we be compelled to learn in detail about traditions that precisely and obstinately do not speak to us…. I want to move myself somewhere other than where I started out. I agree that it is most urgent for the ‘white men’ w..
Many colleges and universities offer a lower-level course on “contemporary moral problems” or “ethics and social issues.” These courses typically include topics like free speech, affirmative action, abortion, drugs, same-sex marriage, capital punishment, poverty, treatment of animals, and the environment—and have for several decades. While these are important topi..
John Venn, an English philosopher who spent much of his career at Cambridge, died in 1923, but if he were alive today he would totally be dead, as it is his 180th birthday. Venn was named after the Venn diagram, owing to the fact that as a child he was terrible at math but good at drawing circles, and so was not held back in 5th grade. In celebration of this philoso..
Way back in the 2000s, at the Eastern APA’s conference hotel in DC, the fire alarms went off in the middle of the night. The hotel was briefly evacuated, but, because it was winter, rather than keep everyone outside, the hotel let people take shelter in the ballroom—the very ballroom at which the Smoker had taken place earlier that night. The tables were still in ..
Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) is the digital imprint for Oxford University Press, making available electronic versions of OUP books. According to Bob Pasnau (Colorado), they are terrible. His library started an OSO subscription and stopped purchasing hard copies of OUP books, and he has not been very happy.
For a great many purposes, I prefer to read material on s..
1. What should we think about the ice bucket challenge?
2. Al Mele (Florida State) and Eddy Nahmias (Georgia State) talk about free will and science at Philosophy TV.
3. The challenges for an analytic feminist philosopher of religion.
4. Free for you to use: a Prezi tour through the history of Western philosophy, by Mark Alfano (University of Oregon).
5. Why a philosopher teaches about privacy, in Forbes (via Robert Long), and a forum in the NYT about your possible violations of your children’s privacy.
6. The connection between “love for humanity” and human agency.
7. The potential condescension of informed consent.
8. A video installation based on Plato’s Timaeus. Watch it in the dark.
9. Against authenticity, part 8729. (via Colin Farrelly)
10. Feel better about your job, instantly. (via Molly Gardner)
11. Don’t philosophize like my brother! Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, take up epistemology.
It is… worth inquiring why classical Chinese philosophers are not especially influential in contemporary U.S. philosophy. One possibility is historical accident: Because the dominant culture in the United States traces back to Europe, the classical Chinese philosophers were not taught to, and thus not read by, the succeeding generations. Ignorance thus apparently ..
While we’ve been collecting your philosophical sayings here, someone else has been collecting what you might have said in the classroom or in office hours or wherever, when, perhaps, you weren’t being as careful with your words. Check out Philosophy Professor Quotes and have a laugh, perhaps at your own expense. (via Clayton Littlejohn (update: via Jon Cogburn at Ne..
1. Nicholas Kristof, writing in The New York Times, defends the value of the humanities by explaining how he has been affected by the ideas of Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, and Peter Singer.
2. CBS will be airing a television drama that “centers on a brilliant bioethicist [based on Arthur Caplan] who is called in at crisis moments to solve the most complicated, dynamic, and confounding medical issues imaginable.”
3. Speaking of TV, the Series Philosopher brings a little philosophy to bear on television shows, such as Veep, Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, The Big Bang Theory, and many more.
4. Pigliucci on Priest on Buddhism and logic — a critique.
5. Gricean Pragmatics, explained clearly and concisely, in a short video by Karen Lewis (Columbia).
6. Are you a philosopher who just doesn’t care about what to wear? Sure.
7. A physics writer takes up “why is there something rather than nothing?“
8. Step-up! The bystander effect and culture.
9. Counterfactuals are tricky.
If you are interested in volunteering to chair a session or respond to a paper at the 2015 Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, now is the time to sign up. The program chair, Janice Dowell, writes, “We’ve got a fantastic program so far. Commenting and chairing are good ways for young folks to meet more established people in their field..
So, what would a just South Africa look like, and how do we achieve it? If we’ve inherited a legacy of racial injustice, what does racial justice demand of us now? Different government policies may have radically different impacts on people’s lives. So the issue needs to be discussed as fully as possible in all sections of society. And philosophy can make an importa..
1. “By insisting that print [rather than online or ebook-only] is a necessary condition for scholarly quality, deans and scholars make it more difficult for university presses to stay in business, thereby making it more difficult for them to publish print books! At the same time, scholars insist on having their own work published in print while they increasingly engage the work of others online. And deans demand that scholars publish print books while not giving their libraries enough funds to buy them. So they insist on print and undermine the demand for it.” Matthew McAdam, humanities editor at Johns Hopkins University Press, on academia’s unsustainable and confused attitudes towards online and e-book publishing.
2. Kristie Dotson (Michigan State) is among several academics to have taken part in a series of “traveling hearings” organized by the African American Policy Forum on “juvenile justice, foster care, commercial sexual exploitation of children and ‘gender-specific’ experiences” particularly related to “coming up in Los Angeles in poor, disenfranchised black and Latino neighborhoods.” (via Sam Liao)
3. “It’s not A/B testing. It’s just being an asshole.” Tim Carmody explains what’s missing from the discussions about the recent social media experiments: “They’re all too quick to accept that users of these sites are readers who’ve agreed to let these sites show them things. They don’t recognize or respect that the users are also the ones who’ve made almost everything that those sites show.”
4. Apparently, “Federal Jurists ♥ Bentham.” (Update: alternative link.)
5. “The potential dangers of abusing such knowledge are one reason the storage of incidentally collected information is wrong. But there is another reason as well. The more insidious harm is not consequential but in principle. The collection of such data… violates our autonomy and dignity,” says Michael Lynch (Connecticut) at the NYT, on the NSA’s scary collection of everyone’s emails, chats, posts, etc. (via Hallie Liberto)
6. The American Political Science Association has created a new organized section, “political epistemology,” in response to a petition drive spearheaded by the editor of Critical Review, Jeffrey Friedman (Texas). The petition page describes some of political epistemology’s topics.
7. “Good metaphors have many other effects on readers than making them grasp some bit of information, and these are often precisely the effects the metaphor-user wants to have” says James Grant (Oxford) at OUP Blog.
8. Philosophy Talk on which books you should (have) read this summer.
9. In the spirit of your sayings (keep ’em coming, folks), check out the philosophy entries on lol my thesis. (via mlr)
Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins (British Columbia) and Rebecca Kukla (Georgetown) have informed me that they have created a new, private, “Philosophers’ Ethical Non-Monogamy Group” on Facebook.
This is a group for the exploration of political, personal, disciplinary, and theoretical issues surrounding ethical non-monogamy. We welcome those who identify as professional phil..
An associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Bradley Monton, is being investigated by the university.
Associate professor Brad Monton is the subject of a report by Denver-based attorney David Fine for university administrators…. CU declined to provide the Camera with the results of Fine’s investigation and would not disclose the nature of the..
It is the beginning of the school year. Some professors start off their first class with deep puzzles, or thought experiments, or polls. Others begin with definitions of philosophy or by reciting and discussing inspiring passages from great philosophical works. Still others, strangely, hand out syllabi and read through them. There are those, though, that like to bri..
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on East Carolina’s offer to McGinn (previously). The article confirms the earlier report, saying “The philosophy department had chosen Colin McGinn for a one-year appointment, but administrators declined to accept the department’s choice, without saying why.”
The appointment was for the “Whichard Distinguished Professorship” ..
Zac Cogley (Northern Michigan) has created a tumblr featuring links about and pictures of people in the news who have majored in or otherwise studied philosophy. It’s called Philosophy Students. (Submissions welcome.)
Jason Stanley (Yale) has a piece in today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine, a German newspaper. It is entitled “An Open Letter to the Protestors on the streets of Berlin chanting ‘Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, komm heraus und kämpf allein’ ”” which looks at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reactions to it, as well as the ideas of democracy and pluralism, through the lens ..
Jeffrey Ketland, who had been dismissed from his position as a philosophy fellow and tutor at Oxford’s Pembroke College following accusations that he had harassed a BPhil student who committed suicide (previously), was successful in his appeal of that decision and has been reinstated, according to this article in The Sunday Times.
Ketland, 50, a philosophy lecturer ..