Making the rounds this morning is the news of parents who are being investigated for neglect for allowing their children, ages 10 and 6, to walk, by themselves, the one mile from a park to their home in Silver Spring, Maryland. There have been a rash of such stories recently, it seems, most notably one about a South Carolina mother who was arrested (!) for allowing..
Sandra D. Mitchell (Pittsburgh HPS) has been elected President of the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA). Professor Mitchell will serve a two-year term (from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016) as Vice-President and President-Elect of the PSA, after which she will serve a two-year term (January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018) as President of the Assoc..
CORRECTION: It appears that, contrary to what I initially posted, Professor Tooley did not write the report mentioned in this post. I was provided a link to the report by a source who prefers to remain anonymous, was told it was by Tooley, and it is hosted on Tooley’s site. However, according to this page, the author of the report is one James Murphy. My apologies t..
Graduate student teaching fellows at the University of Oregon have published a letter expressing their intent to strike, starting on December 2nd, over the university administration’s unwillingness to offer the graduate teaching fellows (GTFs) two weeks of paid leave for illness or childbirth. The conflict between the negotiating parties has been exacerbated by the ..
Anna Stubblefield, a professor of philosophy at Rutgers-Newark who had been accused of sexually assaulting a mentally disabled student in her office (previously), will be in court in December and January for a pair of evidence hearings, according to an article at NJ.com.
From the article:
Prosecutors allege Stubblefield, 44, of West Orange, repeatedly sexually..
As part of the course, college students are teaching second graders at the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence in Springfield to question their own assumptions, lis..
In most philosophy classes the religious traditions of the Middle East and Asia are in the periphery as the other to philosophy – the impulses to conformism and irrationality which are to overcome by the self-reflection and rationality of philosophy. But regarding philosophy Africa is treated as the other to the other, as being the birthplace of human beings but not..
Eric Schwitzgebel thinks that science fiction and speculative fiction more broadly is “a powerful philosophical tool.” He has been soliciting suggestions of philosophical science fiction from other philosophers this week at The Splintered Mind and you can view the results here and here.
Sort of related (to this and the big story of late).
UPDATE (10/6/14): Mor..
Ole Koksvik (Bergen), along with the help of friends, has put together a very useful set of tips for giving a philosophy talk. I appreciated the “rationale” section, in which he notes, among other things, that “giving a bad presentation is impolite.” There is some good advice throughout, much of which is consistent with the general rule that guides how I put toget..
We must find a method of caring without touching, of contacting without making contact. The physiological barriers are, for the time being, necessary. But we cannot stop people from caring about one another, so we must create, for the time being, mechanisms for caring. Since we will never be able to beat back humanity, we must coordinate humanity, at the family leve..
We’re confusing consumer satisfaction with product value.
That’s Philip B. Stark, a professor of statistics at Berkeley, discussing a mathematical critique of student evaluations of teachers he has written with a colleague, Richard Freishtat. There’s an article about the critique in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The study itself is here. Here’s a recap of major..
I normally don’t link to job advertisements but you should really check out the position they’re hiring for in the Philosophy Department at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople.
1. Coseru on Pigliucci on Priest, i.e., what does Buddhism really have to say about contradictions?
2. A guide to Plato’s early and middle dialogues, with outlines, interpretive essays, and other supplementary material, has been created by Mark Anderson and Ginger Osborn (Belmont University), and is available for free here.
3. “Exercise. I’m sorry, you pasty, pale, smoking philosophy grads, arching your eyebrows into a Cartesian curve as you watch the human movement mob winding their way through the miniature traffic cones of their existence. You are wrong and they are right. Well you’re half right. You think, therefore you are, but also you jog, therefore you sleep, therefore you’re not overwhelmed by existential angst… Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run, whatever, but take care of your body. You’re going to need it. Most of you mob are going to live to nearly 100… and this long luxurious life ahead of you is going to make you depressed. But don’t despair. There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise. Do it.” That’s Tim Minchin at the 2013 University of Western Australia graduation, in a funny address that ranges from the meaning of life to luck to power to learning and, well, exercise.
4. Speaking of philosophy and exercise, ancient philosophy is part of the training regimen at Saracens Rugby Club.
5. Moral philosophy is now part of the curriculum in New South Wales, Australia, according to a post at The Conversation.
6. Philosophy blogosphere news: Jon Cogburn (LSU) has quit NewAPPS and is now back to blogging solo, following a controversial post about ableist language, which appeared to be a reaction to, among other things, a complaint about ableism in the comments on a post about the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” protests following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
7. “Philosophers should listen to punk rock,” says Jesse Prinz (CUNY).
8. Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein (1993), starring Karl Johnson and Tilda Swinton, is available for viewing, free, on YouTube.
9. Daniel Dennett (Tufts) is interviewed about atheism on the Friendly Atheist podcast.
10. Relatedly, someone is very happy to have a surprising new follower.
A philosophy professor sends in the following inquiry for discussion:
One way to try to make introductory-level philosophy courses more appealing to women is to include more articles written by women on the syllabus. I have seen a good deal of discussion and suggestions about this. Another way might be to try to include more topics that are more likely to be of int..
1. “Scientists that talk philosophy down are simply superficial: they have a philosophy (usually some ill-digested mixture of Popper and Kuhn) and think that this is the “true” philosophy, and do not realize that this has limitations,” says scientist.
2. The Phaedo may be missing some painful, convulsive, gasping.
3. The Critique is a site that aims to bring philosophy to bear on a variety of current events, from police brutality to the Emmy awards.
4. A series of posts on philosophy and a basic income.
5. “How to solve the hardest logic puzzle ever in two questions” and the four other most-downloaded articles from Analysis this year are now available free of charge.
6. Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, a new online, open access journal, is now accepting submissions.
7. “Not all interactions with fellow humans are positive” — on the advantages of robot graders.
8. Philosophers of art, this is great but I don’t know why.
9. The bias towards the past.
People have been experimenting on journal referees and have learned some useful information. First off, whatever you do, don’t ask Professor Procrastinate to referee for you. He cannot be trusted. Second, shorten deadlines. Third, offer cash rewards or publicize how long the referees took to do the work.
We randomly assign referees to four groups: a control group wit..
Simon Blackburn gives us his version of a “kids, these days, let me tell you” cranky rant about selfies, which he rescues from crankyland only by saying we should respond to the vanity and conceit and narcissism encouraged in today’s society with mockery. Seems to me, though, that only someone completely full of himself would attempt such a sweeping characterization..
How does the epistemology of logical claims work?
Says Carnap: “Well, such claims are analytic: true in virtue of meaning. So we know them a priori, and in the same breath we appreciate their necessity.”
Quine retorts: “Don’t even mention ..
There is quite a bit that can be done to reconcile analytical and continental approaches, combining them into an expanded view of philosophy that has both depth and breadth, and is concerned both with specific technical “puzzles” as well as with broad socio-political issues.
At Scientia Salon, Massimo Pigliucci tries to get a grip on what the analytic – contintental..
1. Dave Chalmers on explaining consciousness: the TED talk version.
2. Traveling abroad to avoid long wait lists for a treatment, or to find less costly doctors, or to try out an experimental therapy? Jeremy Snyder (Simon Fraser), featured in an article in the National Post on the ethics of medical tourism, suggests you check out this site for some information and cautionary tales.
3. Novelist/philosopher Clancy Martin (Missouri-Kansas City) on his journey from analytic philosophy to Walter Benjamin.
4. A profile of Michael Bratman (Stanford) and his work on shared agency.
5. “This Debate Has No Title” — a panel discussion of paradoxes of self-reference featuring Hilary Lawson, Patricia Waugh, and Peter Cameron. (via Frankie May)
6. Spinoza and others invoked by a rabbi to argue for the value of dissent in Jewish communities.
7. A blog about using pop songs to explain philosophy. (via Leiter)
8. A post about string theory and post-empiricism, in the wake of a conference that featured “two remarkable talks by prominent physicists, both of whom invoked philosophy in a manner unprecedented for this kind of scientific gathering.” (via David Killoren)
9. And while we are on physics, theoretical physicist Paul Steinhardt (Princeton) asks whether modern cosmology supports Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence. I’m sure it feels that way to Nietzsche scholars, who have to keep saying “that’s not what he meant.” (To be fair, Nietzsche is only mentioned in passing.)
10. Abuse of Philosophy Series: Descartes on brand/business dualism.
Update (6/30/14): The Philosophical Gourmet versus Jennings’ Placement Data.
Update (6/25/14): Jennings tells us which departments have relatively high placement rates.
Update (6/20/14): In a new pos..
The widespread perception is that most faculty members do not engage with the public—either because they don’t want to or because they know they won’t be rewarded for it.
In The Chronicle of Higher Education, historian David M. Perry (Dominican University) discusses obstacles to public engagement by academics. This is something that should be of concern to philosoph..
The primary value of Unger’s critique of philosophy may be that it generates good and thoughtful responses. There was Schliesser’s the other day, and also the post by Pigliucci (though he says in a comment it was not aimed at Unger directly). Now Marcus Arvan has a more sympathetic take on what Unger is up to, and it is well worth reading.
What I agree with Unger on..
Reading Quine’s “Two Dogmas”? You’re doing it all wrong, says Hilary Putnam.
A computer has apparently passed a version of the Turing Test.
Eugene Goostman seems like a typical 13-year-old Ukrainian boy — at least, that’s what a third of judges at a Turing Test competition this Saturday thought. Goostman says that he likes hamburgers and candy and that his father is a gynecologist, but it’s all a lie. This boy is a program created by compute..
Many philosophers travel for work, delivering talks or participating in conferences and the like. In deciding whether to attend another conference, or accept another invitation, one factor is whether one has traveled enough, or too much. But how much is that? While there will be a lot of personal factors involved in that assessment, let’s see if we can get a sense o..
If you could ask a long-dead philosopher any one question, who would you you pick, and what would you ask? (For our purposes here, “long-dead” will mean “died 50 years or more ago.”) Post your question in the comments. Folks are welcome to try to answer, too, as they think the philosopher asked would do so.
A recent event at Stanford raised the question of what good ethics courses do, with a particular focus on the question of whether such courses can and should make students more moral. Tamar Schapiro, Barbara Fried, and Benoit Monin (all Stanford) were the featured participants, and you can view their talks and the following discussion here. What is the job of the mo..