Following on the heels of last week’s discussion of non-philosophers teaching critical thinking, the Chronicle of Higher Education drew attention to a meta-analysis of studies about whether colleges succeed in teaching critical thinking at all. As it turns out, they do:
Students’ critical-thinking skills do improve in college. The difference is comparable to a st..
You may have heard of, and if so probably by now forgotten about, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” A meme before the age of memes, it is older than some Daily Nous readers. Heck, Wikipedia describes it as a “parlour game.” No one has “parlours” anymore. Barely anyone has a “parlor,” even.
And yet, “Six Degrees of Francis Bacon” kind of works, doesn’t it?
The winner of the 2015 American Philosophical Association’s Book Prize is Manuel Vargas (University of San Francisco) for his Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Oxford University Press).
I am very excited to announce that Daily Nous will soon have its own comic strips!
The call for cartoonists generated so many good submissions that I couldn’t pick just one of them—instead, there will be four. Each of the four strips will appear one at a time, on Tuesdays or Thursdays, every other week. The artists (and their strips) are Rachel Katler (Ad Hoc),..
Which philosophical ideas (or examples) would make for a good Halloween costume?
Yes, Brain in Vat. We all think we’ve thought of that one already. What else?
Eternal Recurrence? You went as that last year! And the year before.
I suppose you could go as anything. Just make a sign that says “p & ¬ p” and walk behind it.
How would you go about dressing up ..
An undergraduate who is interested in pursuing graduate studies in philosophy writes in seeking advice about making up for deficits in his logic background:
I’m a student at a small liberal arts college. I have a double major in Philosophy and Literature. My school’s Philosophy program is very good at what it does, but it is limited. Among other things, there are..
by Pete Mandik
Earlier in the week I put up a website that allows one to click through the tree-like structure of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in the Heap of Links (in the right sidebar). I believe the visualization is by Pierre Bellon, a web engineer who has “old-school philosophy” as a hobby.
In response, David Stern (Iowa), sent in this helpful message:
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..