by Rachel Katler
Welcome back to Ought Experiment, which sadly is not a comic strip. I think this week’s question is about getting kids to do the assigned readings, but if I’m being totally honest with you here, I kind of skimmed the letter:
I can’t get my students to do the readings! Maybe a third of them will be with me for the first few weeks, but term after te..
The BBC reports that
Leading companies and universities are being asked to remove names from application forms in an effort to stop “unconscious bias” against potential recruits from black and ethnic minority backgrounds… Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Ucas, the UK’s university admissions service, will carry out “name-blind” applications from 2..
Some colleges have no philosophers. Some colleges have philosophers, but not many, yielding a very low philosopher-to-student ratio, particularly when compared to elite institutions or flagship state schools. Such colleges—which include many community colleges, state branch campuses, and historically black colleges and universities—seem to turn out very few stud..
Earlier in the week we discussed the job market significance of alphabetical order, and just yesterday featured some poetry by philosophers, so what better way to round out the week than with a post that combines these things? Maybe a post that combines these things and fixes you a drink? OK, that would be better. But this is still pretty great.
Sarah Adams, a PhD ..
Open educational resources (OER) are “any kind of material that you can use in teaching and learning that is openly available.” Richard Zach (Calgary) explains that “openly available” in this context means:
- Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
- Reuse – the right t..
Below are last week’s additions and updates to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (NDPR), and Wi-Phi Wireless Philosophy, appearing here via special arrangement with Philosophical Percolations. They were first posted in PhilPercs’ “Saturday Linkorama” along with lots of other..
“Critical thinking” means a very particular sort of thing to philosophers (mostly identifying, reconstructing, and evaluating arguments), but in the desperate struggle to stay relevant, other academic disciplines have started to appropriate the term “critical thinking” to describe what they do. I have read blog posts and articles by historians and literature profess..
The following is a guest post* by Kevin Temple, a PhD candidate in philosophy at The New School for Social Research. It appears here courtesy of Adjunct Commuter Weekly, where it was first published. Adjunct Commuter Weekly is the first magazine to address the lifestyle needs and shared interests of a rapidly growing and increasingly influential demographic. Edited ..
It is National Poetry Day in the UK and Ireland.
There are some contemporary philosophers who are also poets—successful, well-published, and acclaimed poets. It strikes me as an unusual combination, and an impressive one at that, as the kinds of linguistic skills and stylistic sensibilities that these literary endeavors require seem so different.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, a philosopher who has written nonfiction for non-philosophers, as well as novels, is interviewed in The Chronicle of Higher Education about writing. Some of her insights about those kinds of writing seem just as relevant to—and helpful for—the kind of writing philosophers typically do.
Chronicle: Is there a way in which writing fi..
Lecturing as a teaching style is not particularly trendy these days, but perhaps it is particularly well-suited for the humanities. Writing in the New York Times, history professor Molly Worthen (UNC) makes the case:
In the humanities, there are sound reasons for sticking with the traditional model of the large lecture course combined with small weekly discussion..
The following is a guest post* by the organizers of the recent online philosophy conference, Minds Online, Cameron Buckner (Houston), Nick Byrd (Florida State), and John Schwenkler (Florida State). They lay out some of the advantages of online conferences and compare them to some of the advantages of in-person conferences, share some data about their conference, and..
When Alfred Nobel, the renowned inventor of dynamite, died in 1896, he left behind a will that laid a foundation for the prestigious Nobel Prizes.
He directed most of his wealth to fund prizes for those who confer the “greatest benefit on mankind” in a number of specified fields. Hence we have the Nobel Prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine or physiology, liter..
Here are last week’s additions and updates to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (NDPR), and Wi-Phi Wireless Philosophy, appearing here via special arrangement with Philosophical Percolations. They were first posted in PhilPercs’ “Saturday Linkorama” along with lots of other ..
Would the philosophers who populate the canon have gotten tenure? Would they have survived the Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessments in the UK? Lloyd Strickland (Manchester Metropolitan University) is skeptical:
Immanuel Kant might look worthy of the nod – his three Critiques shaped a lot of the philosophy that came afterwards. However, those works were..
Last year, the Royal Society of Canada launched a new initiative to provide recognition for notables among the “emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada.” Called the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, it will be welcoming 48 new members this fall, including three philosophers: Kristin Andrews (York University), Ant..
This is a great public service and a great idea.
Stefan Schubert, a visiting philosophy professor at the London School of Economics, and Spencer Greenberg, a mathematician and entrepreneur who started Clearer Thinking, a site aimed to help people “avoid thinking traps and make improved decisions, to better achieve the goals they value most,” are producing videos ..
One thing that a Philosophy Head or Chair has to bear in mind continuously is “out-of-sight, out-of-mind.” I’ve always made it a point to tell higher administrators about the many accomplishments of Philosophy faculty—probably to the point of annoying them somewhat. But there’s simply no substitute for self-promotion with administrators who often don’t think of th..
The Philosophy Documentation Center‘s mailing lists provides a breakdown of how many U.S. and Canadian philosophers claim various areas of specialization. I don’t know how accurate the list is—it gives a total count of approximately 14,600 philosophers, including about 2,500 graduate students and 450 independent scholars—but I don’t have any reason to think it i..
Last spring we discussed some issues regarding self-promotion in philosophy. The focus then was largely on egotistical and boorish online behavior. The current discussion of Academia.edu here has brought renewed interest to the topic, particularly on the question of how to do it well, and a request for a guide to online self-promotion in philosophy.
Here are five predictions about the state of philosophy in ten years:
1. Philosophy’s popularity as a major will increase. This will be owed in part to the swing of the cultural pendulum, to economic growth making people more comfortable with a major lacking a clearly-defined career path, to efforts by the profession to emphasize the practical value of philosophy..
If you were to be rated—as a person—on a scale of 1 to 10, what do you think you’d get? Questions like that might have been lurking in people’s minds since news broke a couple of weeks ago about Peeple, an app that was pitched as “Yelp for people“. Initially, the idea was that anyone, once they’ve confirmed they know you, could leave a review of you on the Peepl..
An undergraduate student in philosophy writes in with a question that I suspect many philosophers confronted at some point in their studies. Perhaps we can provide some assistance:
I am a philosophy student in my last year of undergrad studies in need of some advice. I am about to apply to graduate studies in philosophy but not sure what I should choose to focus ..
In the movie Back to the Future II, Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel 30 years into the future, to today, October 21st, 2015. The movie was ahead of its time, at least when it came to marketing, apparently.
The movie also raised an important question which, alas, is still with us today, namely:
Mathias Frisch, currently professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, is moving to the University of Hannover to take up a chair in the philosophy of science. He will start there in the Spring (the German “Sommersemester”). Frisch works largely in philosophy of physics and philosophical issues concerning climate change.
(P.S. Junior folks on the mark..
BB&T, a banking firm, has apparently stopped its multi-million dollar campaign to buy space in college curricula for the work of Ayn Rand. For years it had provided gifts to colleges and universities called “Moral Foundations grants,” which came with various provisions for bringing attention to the work of Rand. According to a study discussed at Inside Higher Ed, “a..