Simon Newman resigned from his position as president of Mount St. Mary’s University this afternoon, according to a message posted on the university’s website. Newman, you may recall, demoted two philosophers from their administrative posts and tried to fire both a tenured associate professor of philosophy, Thane Naberhaus, and an untenured communications professor, ..
Matthew Noah Smith (Leeds) has an article at Slate bringing together philosophy of mind and political philosophy to discuss the United States government’s attempts to get Apple to “unlock” the iPhone of a shooting suspect. It’s a great example of public philosophy. Professor Smith lays out the basics of extended cognition in clear but not oversimplified language, go..
An article on assessing faculty activities in The Chronicle of Higher Education (mainly on the controversy concerning the services of Academic Analytics) notes the question of how schools should calculate and weigh the impact of academics’ research in the news, online contexts and social media:
Some say the next faculty-productivity battlefield might be altmetric..
Jon Alstchul, associate professor of philosophy at Loyola University New Orleans, has died. Professor Altschul worked mainly in epistemology and philosophy of mind, and received his Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2009. A brief article in Loyola’s newpaper, The Maroon, reports university president Kevin Wildes saying, “All who knew Jon remembe..
José Benardete, professor emeritus of philosophy at Syracuse University, has died. The author of three books—the latest was Greatness of Soul: In Hume, Aristotle and Hobbes, As Shadowed by Milton’s Satan (Cambridge)—Professor Benardete was known for his work in metaphysics and, I am told, his dedication to a philosophical life. For years, numerous interesting a..
What is the name of the phenomenon by which someone who is an acknowledged expert in one area is led to be overconfident about his or her knowledge in other areas? It’s a specific version of illusory superiority, and it may be related to the Dunning-Kruger effect (a product of the correlation of overconfidence and lack of skill), but I’m wondering if it has its own ..
For no reason in particular, I thought it would be nice to have a list of fictional works in which one of the main characters is an academic philosopher. The rules are somewhat arbitrary. I am prepared to be flexible as to what counts as ficti..
Does your philosophy department have an alumni page on its website? I’m not referring to a page limited to PhD placements, but rather one that includes bachelors and masters degree holders. It’s a great way to advertise the value of studying philosophy to prospective majors and graduate students, and to help them gain a sense of the career possibilities open to them..
Philosophy majors are predicted to have higher average starting salaries than graduates in any other humanities major, reports the National Association of Colleges and Employers in its 2016 Salary Survey:
Philosophy majors are projected to earn an average starting salary of $49,000 (See Figure 1). This is up from last year, when projected salaries for philosophy ..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week’s question is from a grad student looking for advice on the habits that make one a better philosopher. After googling “how to be a better philosopher”, I’m prepared to fake my way through a half-decent answer:
I’m curious about what habits philosophers have cultivated that are specifically geared at being..
Bryan Frances thinks that there are several indicators suggesting that we’re at the start of a “golden age of philosophy.” These indicators include:
- Much greater knowledge of the individual empirical sciences plus the attempt to use them in approaching philosophical problems
- Much greater knowledge and use of formal sciences such as math, logic, formal semantic..
by Pete Mandik
John Perry and Ken Taylor, professors of philosophy at Stanford University and hosts of the radio program Philosophy Talk, have won a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to produce an eight-episode series called “A Philosophical Guide to the Cosmos.”
The series seems motivated by recent dismissals of philosophy by well-known scientists (see, for example here..
Don Howard (Notre Dame) has a post up at his Science Matters blog called “On the Pseudoproblem of Interdisciplinarity.” It begins by recounting some of the familiar complaints about the obstacles to interdisciplinary work that he has heard over the years:
From the beginning of my life in the academy, back in the 1960s, I have heard again, and again, and again the..
The Berggruen Institute’s Philosophy and Culture Center (previously) is now accepting nominations for its one million dollar philosophy prize, to be awarded to “a living thinker whose ideas have deeply influenced society and our way of life.” The prize is “intended as a life time achievement award for a modern day Socrates.” Nominations are due by May 31st, 2016, a..
Is there a burgeoning movement in philosophy to avoid for-profit journals?
A professor of philosophy writes:
I’ve now met over twenty-five junior and/or rising senior (e.g., assistant to early associate) faculty around the globe who are adopting a new policy towards journal refereeing. I don’t know whether there’s some sort of “movement” along these lines, but..
…so make sure you buy him one next time you see him. Goldschmidt, a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Wake Forest University, has just published, in Dialectica, “A Demonstration of the Causal Power of Absences.” I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the article in whole, below, to save folks who lack institutional access to Dialectica the $38 PDF downl..
Umberto Eco, known to the world as the author of novels such as The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum, has died. Obituaries have appeared in mamy outlets (e.g., New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, The Telegraph). Eco was also an academic, working in philosophy and semiotics. He’s quoted in several articles as saying, “I am a philosopher. I write novels only on..
The latest interview at What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? is up, and it’s with Dan Haybron (Saint Louis University). There’s a lot of interesting stuff in it, so worth a read. One theme that stuck out was the idea that, though most philosophers are quite nice, there is something “unfriendly” about philosophy. Professor Haybron says of grad school in philosophy:
A half-dozen academics have contributed brief essays to a collection at Times Higher Education on how to handle the academic workload and how to appropriately manage their time—especially in regards to accepting or declining various “opportunities.”
Some choice quotes:
“Why don’t you just say no, non-academic friends asked? Because, I explained, when you don..
The above image is a detail from the famous “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. “Enormously sized, lavishly detailed, and compellingly grotesque,” the work is now available to explore in an “online interactive adventure.” Viewers can take a “15 step” tour of the image, or go their own route, clicking on the flags placed on the image to listen to or..
Working on a project in public philosophy? Need some money to help do it? You can apply for funding from the American Philosophical Association’s Berry Fund, administered by the APA’s Committee on Public Philosophy. From a post at the Committee’s blog:
Grants are generally under $1000. Some sample projects that The Berry Fund is supporting:
(1) a philosophy and sc..
A philosopher currently on the job market writes in:I wanted to start a thread/have a place for job market candidates to talk about what is, and is not, helpful for our friends/mentors/professors/colleagues to say around this time of year. The job market is, by all accounts, abominable (and not only for those of us who don’t land jobs—there are different stre..
Cass Sunstein, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, defends serious academic writing against the pressures of popularization and accessibility. Articles in popular magazines and blogs “might be clear and beautifully written, but usually they don’t add much if anything to the stock of knowledge,” and “even when they are written by professors, they are often ..
It used to be that the timing of the job market in philosophy was anchored by the publication schedule of Jobs for Philosophers and the practice of holding first-round interviews at the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA). Now that the ads are posted continuously over the year, and video interviews, which can be scheduled anytime..
by Rachel Katler
The Canadian Philosophical Association (CPA) has written a letter to Turkey’s Council of Higher Education, stating concerns about academic repression in that country. (For more on the situation in Turkey, see previous posts here and here, for example.) The letter contains some eloquent and important remarks on academic freedom.
We recognize that th..