Sofia Huerter, an MA student at the University of Colorado, has written a response to the recent critique of her department’s proposed climate policies by CU PhD student Spencer Case that appeared in the National Review. Meanwhile, Case has published a reply to some criticisms of his article, once again at the National Review.
Philosophy is a bit like a computer with a memory leak. It starts well, dealing with significant and serious issues that matter to anyone. Yet, in time, its very success slows it down. Philosophy begins to care more about philosophers’ questions than philosophical ones, consuming increasing amount of intellectual attention. Scholasticism is the ultimate freezing of ..
1. Heather Douglas (Waterloo) and others on how to fix Canadian science policy (audio here).
2. “Good luck idiots. I hope you enjoy your new kangaroo overlords,” said Machiavelli.
3. A continental philosopher complains about the “imperialistic approach of analytic philosophy.”
4. How confronting moral dilemmas in a foreign language makes you more utilitarian, in The New York Times.
5. Teaching a multi-religious philosophy of religion course to a multi-religious class in Beirut, “with car bombs detonating almost every week”.
6. John Martin Fischer’s Immortality Project, in Slate.
7. A brief for the philosophy of food, by Dwight Furrow (San Diego Mesa)
8. Genoveva Marti and Edouard Machery on reference and experimental philosophy at Philosophy TV.
9. John Locke is British MP Lisa Nandy’s favorite political philosopher. See her in a brief and somewhat cheesy modern made-for-tv interview about Locke’s ideas and life.
Meanwhile, elsewhere* in The Weekly Standard, Abigail Lavin, an advertising and marketing professional who recently obtained her master’s degree in philosophy from Columbia, reviews Should I Go to Grad School and reflects on her experience straddling academia and the “real world.”
We’ve all heard Stephen Hawking claim that philosophy is dead because philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. And we’ve all concluded from this that Stephen Hawking’s ideas about philosophy are dead, because he has not kept up with modern developments in philosophy. One wonders when he last read any philosophy of science.
Now we have a pa..
1. Churchland vs. McGinn in the New Your Review of Books.
2. The philosophy of mind of the Robocop remake? I’d buy that for a dollar.
3. The ethics of whistleblowing and state secrecy — a review essay by political theoriest William Scheuerman.
4. How do you know you’re not a zombie yourself?
5. “The emotional component of our moral judgment is not strictly based on a harmful act’s outcome” a recent finding from the Brown University Moral Psychology Research Lab.
6. Meanwhile, a team of philosophers at Case Western using fMRI claim to have “found that the human brain has an analytic network and an empathetic network that tend to suppress one another.”
7. Argentina has a National Thinking Office, and its strategic coordinator is a philosopher. Apparently both the appointment and the office are controversial.
8. Using teamwork to get ahead in academia.
Ergo is a new general, open access philosophy journal that launches today. In their introduction, Franz Huber and Jonathan Weisberg describe the data and other factors that led to the creation of the new journal. They also reveal their own statistics, including acceptance rates and time-to-decisions.
Besides the introduction, there are four articles in the current ..
We can ask, what is attention, anyway? The folks over at Brains, the group blog on the philosophy and science of minds, are currently putting on a symposium on one answer to this question offered up by Philipp Koralus (Oxford) in his article, “The Erotetic Theory of Attention: Questions, Focus, and Distraction” (in Mind & Language). Koralus provides a précis of his ..
Move over, 6 Million Dollar Man, and make room for the 7.5 Million Dollar Moral Robot. The Office of Naval Research is doling out $7.5 million in grants to researchers at Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale, and Georgetown “to explore how to build a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems.”
UPDATE: A related ..
The accusations of sexual misconduct against an as-of-yet-officially unnamed prominent moral and political philosopher (previously here and here) are no longer being made anonymously. They are now being advanced by a friend of one of the alleged victims, a Yale 2010 graduate named Emma Sloan. Ms. Sloan is soliciting funds for the legal case of her friend at this sit..
Jeremy Waldron is leaving Oxford to return full-time to New York University (via Leiter), opening up Oxford’s famed Chichele Professorship in Social and Political Theory. Before Waldron, the chair was held by G.A. Cohen, Charles Taylor, John Plamenatz, Isaiah Berlin, and G.D.H. Cole. Who will be next?
– Not happening. Yet.
Transcendence is the recently released sci-fi movie the plot of which involves uploading the mind of a scientist (played by Johnny Depp) to a computer system. You can watch the trailer here, and then you can head over to OUP Blog and watch a few brief videos of Nick Bostrom (Oxford) discussing the movie and the plausibility of uploading, whole ..
The notion of incarceration goes back to the beginning of philosophy, with the imprisonment and execution of Socrates—and the idea, expressed by his student Plato in the Republic, that we are all imprisoned by the cave of our own reflections but don’t realize it. “ face a lot of the issues ordinary people face, but in a heightened condition. We’re all doing life in ..
It is that time of the year when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the semester is ending, and the students are asking, “I know I missed a lot of classes and didn’t complete some of my assignments but I was wondering if there is, you know, anything I can do now to get a better grade.” It is tempting to recommend “invent and use time machine.” But perhaps..
“I’m sorry Bentham, but the thing-in-itself is bit harder to depict than a goddman panopticon!”
Well done, Existential Comics.
Stan Sloane: Welcome back everyone to Mile High Stadium. We’re here near the end of a very tense fourth quarter, with the score tied 31-31 and the Denver Broncos on the march against the stout defense of the Chieftains of Kansas City. I’m Stan Sloane – former Pro Bowl QB – here in the booth with my partner Marcus Aurelius, Last Good Emperor of Rome. Marcus, it’s bee..
“We’re just trying to tweak the mammalian system a little bit to do what a lot of other species do naturally.” Those are the words of Lloyd Klickstein of Novartis, the Swiss drug company collaborating with scientists at the University of Kansas Medical Center who will soon begin injecting deaf study subjects with a “harmless virus containing a gene that should trigg..
The Foundational Research Institute says that it “brings together researchers from diverse fields to examine how humanity can best reduce suffering in the future. We draw on insights from artificial intelligence, technology, anthropic reasoning, international relations, sociology, public policy, ethics, and many other disciplines.” Its website seems to be mainly the..
create a repository of the best arguments for any idea, where emotional manipulation and flowery rhetoric are removed, leaving only the core statements, arranged in a network. So the next time a discussion touches a difficult i..
This is a very different kind of Game of Thrones spoiler. Francis Schmidt, associate professor of art and animation at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, was suspended without pay for a photo he shared on Google+, where it was seen by several colleagues. The photo? A picture of his daughter wearing a Game of Thrones t-shirt with the words “I will take what is m..
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made a senior offer to Ned Markosian, currently professor of philosophy at Western Washington University. Markosian works in metaphysics.
Last month The Guardian published a couple of pieces on mental illness in academia. The first was a blog post on the “culture of acceptance” of mental health issues in academia (in which “acceptance” is meant to be understood as something like “neglect”). A follow-up article remarked on a study of 14,000 university employees that showed “growing stress levels among ..
We all think we can teach politics, but there is some almost tragic sense in which it can only be learned… by the mistakes you make…. You can go to any number of lectures about what politics is like but it doesn’t survive contact with the enemy…. It’s not a seminar room. It’s not an exercise in persuasion…. Politics is an alternative to war, but you live it ..
The Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT) hosts several events in political philosophy and theory, including a large annual conference each fall, the MANCEPT Workshops. One of the panels at the upcoming conference is entitled “No Reparation, Without Preparation!” and aims to provide preparatory assistance for the plaintiffs in a proposed lawsuit against t..
Felicia Nimue Ackerman, a philosopher at Brown, has had over 200 letters to the editor published in the New York Times, The New Yorker reports. “She responds to articles on a variety of topics—ageism, fatism, ‘society’s tendency to medicalize virtually everything’—but her underlying interest is in personal freedom.” She was also profiled in an earlier article in the..
Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford has sold its most expensive book ever: a two volume edition of the complete works of Plato, in the original ancient Greek, published in 1513. The price? £75,000. The mystery is: who bought it? The only clue the article gives is that the purchase was made by “an overseas institution.”