HowTheLightGetsIn bills itself as “the world’s largest philosophy and music festival.” With 650 events, 370 acts, and 200 speakers on 9 stages over 11 days, it probably is. It takes place in the town of Hay-on-Wye, about 160 miles or so west of London. The schedule for the festival was recently released, and includes panels and debates with philosophers such as Sim..
A junior job candidate reports that twice this season she has been invited for on-campus interviews but told that the inviting departments would not be able to pay for her travel to the campuses. At all. This is like being invited over for dinner but then told that you will have to bring all of the food and drink. It’s like being taken out for a night on the town bu..
Alan Wertheimer, professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, has died. Professor Wertheimer worked mainly in ethics and political philosophy, both theoretical and applied, with well-known work on coercion, exploitation, and various topics in biomedical ethics. He spent most of his career at the University of Vermont, in the Department of Political Science, but ..
Last year, Daily Nous reported that Eleanor Dickey, professor of classics at University of Reading, had been collecting various possible responses to problems associated with the high ratio of PhD holders to academic jobs. The full report is here, and the helpful summary, which groups the more popular responses by type, is here.
Professor Dickey (et al) report th..
The Canadian Minister of State recently announced the recipients of 150 new and renewed “Canada Research Chairs.” Two new Canada chairs have been awarded to philosophers: Travis Dumsday (Concordia U. College of Alberta), who works in philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and medieval, and Gregoire Webber (Queen’s University), who works on quest..
Robert Stufflebeam, chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of New Orleans, shares some of the challenges his department faces, and some of the measures they have implemented in order to survive in hostile circumstances. He writes:
I’m the chair of the only remaining Department of Philosophy at a public university in the state of Louisiana. (LSU has ..
I decided to start What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? because one of the things I like most about conferences, and hanging out with philosophers generally, is learning about the people who do philosophy. How we are similar. How we are diff..
“If Your Website’s Full of Assholes, It’s Your Fault” is a 2011 post from well-known blogger Anil Dash in which he writes about a specific kind of challenge faced by bloggers and online media providers. They are often forced to defend their enterprises “because so many of the most visible, prominent, and popular places on the web are full of unkindness and hateful b..
A graduate student in philosophy who prefers to remain anonymous writes in with questions “concerning self-promotion and marketing oneself in order to move up in the world of philosophy.” He asks: “Is blatant self-promotion just a feature of the discipline now? Is doing anything necessary to sway the public opinion a necessary evil? Or should we be calling these p..
The Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, is facing drastic budget cuts that would severely curtail its activities, according to a report in The Daily Egyptian, the school paper.
Over the past fifty years The Center for Dewey Studies put together and published 37 volumes of John Dewey’s Collected Works, and over 22,000 pieces of De..
You know what to do.
There’s an interesting post at Show and Tell about the speaking styles of philosophers. It begins with this:
There is a telling anecdote about G.E.M. Anscombe and A.J. Ayer. Anscombe said to Ayer, “You know, if you didn’t talk so fast, no one would think you were so clever.” Ayer rapidly replied, “And if you didn’t talk so slowly, no one would think you were so v..
Chiara Bottici (New School) was one of the opening speakers at the Night of Philosophy held at the French Embassy in New York City on April 24th, 2015. She chose a controversial figure to focus on—Machiavelli, whose “very status as a philosopher is contested”—in order to get at the question of what does and what does not count as philosophy.
Towards the end o..
By now you’ve all seen the new Star Wars trailer, so, philosofriends…
“I find your bad faith disturbing” — Sartre Vader
Perhaps you saw this logic problem, purported to have been given to fifth graders in Singapore, flying around social media yesterday:
That’s right: a logic problem has gone viral.
It turns out that the problem was from a math olympiad test for high-school students, but perhaps the “are you smarter than a fifth grader from Singapore” framing helped propel t..
Many philosophy conferences charge fees, with one rate for faculty and a lower rate for students. A philosopher who is an adjunct at a state university, and who at this time would prefer to remain anonymous, is trying to get conferences to recognize a third category for adjuncts, visiting lecturers, postdocs, and the like, i.e., those who would like to participate i..
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has published its Humanities Indicators report for the United States, “The State of the Humanities: Higher Education 2015.” Among its findings:
- Humanities represent a little more than 10% of all Bachelor’s degrees, slightly more than 8% of all doctoral degrees, and just under 4% of all masters degrees.
- The number of stu..
Jason Turner, currently associate professor of philosophy at St. Louis University, has accepted an offer from the University of Arizona and will join them as associate professor this coming August. Turner works in metaphysics, philosophical logic, free will, and philosophy of action.
I am a professor of philosophy at a public university. What is the value of philosophy to the taxpayers who subsidize my teaching? Philosophy is an abstruse and difficult field. Many of those whose taxes support higher education probably would have a hard time seeing the point of most philosophical debates. Why ask people to pay for discussions of seemingly arcane a..
A forthcoming special issue of the European Journal of Political Theory will take up the topic of analytic and Continental approaches in political philosophy and political theory. The introduction to the issue, “Introduction: Analytic, Continental and the question of a bridge” by Clayton Chin and Lasse Thomassen (University of London) is now online (may be gated). T..
A philosopher writes in with a query about paying philosophers for talks and the like…
I’d like to learn more about honorarium practices for philosophy talks. How common is it to offer an honorarium? Under what circumstances (e.g. departmental colloquium, conference, public lecture, etc.)? What is a typical amount? It would be especially helpful if respondents ..
On April 12th, 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, allegedly ran away from a Baltimore police officer on a bicycle who had made eye contact with him. He was caught, arrested for possession of a switchblade, and dragged into a police van. At some point between his arrest and his delivery at a trauma center 40 minutes later, Gray sustained severe injuries th..
You may recall that this past December, Kathleen Wallace (Hofstra) brought to our attention that the U.S. Census Bureau was considering eliminating from its main survey the question asking for respondents’ field of undergraduate study. In light of many comments sent to the Bureau about this proposal, it has been rejected; the question will be retained. From the Fede..
The Miami New Times has a long and detailed account of the events leading up to Colin McGinn’s resignation from the University of Miami. It is based on hundreds of messages reviewed by the Times, “many of which have never been publicized,” a first person account from the student McGinn allegedly harassed, and conversations with McGinn.
UPDATE (4/30/15): Universit..
Peter Singer (Princeton) did an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit today to tout his new book, The Most Good You Can Do. He says he may come back tomorrow to answer some more questions. In the meanwhile, here are some excerpts:
Q: If you weren’t doing what you do now, what do you think you’d be doing?
A: I suppose I might be a political activist of some kind. B..
Philosophers are sometimes thought of as expert thinkers, more rational and less prone to errors in reasoning than others. Whether this is true, though, is an empirical question, and it is one that several researchers have taken up over the past decade or so. Their findings regularly show that philosophers, like the ordinary folk, are susceptible to various cognitiv..
Bert Baumgaertner, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Idaho, is one of the co-principal investigators on a nearly $10.6 million grant won from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant is to support the university’s new Center for Modeling Complex Interactions. According to a press release from UI, “the center will focus its efforts on u..
Hiring the Humanities is a new website that aims to assist those currently working in the humanities find employment outside academia. It was started by James Gibson, a former philosophy PhD student, who now works as a programmer. The site has just launched, and is looking for content from people who have transitioned from academia to a non-academic careers. It aims..