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, courtesy of Philosophical Percolations. They were first posted in PhilPercs’ “Saturday Linkorama,” along with lots of other philosophy-related links, by Jon..
Nuance is not a virtue of good sociological theory. Sociologists typically use it as a term of praise, and almost without exception when nuance is mentioned it is because someone is asking for more of it. I shall argue that, ..
Richard Dawid, currently research fellow at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, has accepted a position as senior lecturer at the University of Stockholm. Dawid works mainly in philosophy of science and philosophy of physics. You can read an interview with him here.
I’ve been teaching high school students a week’s worth of philosophy each summer for the past three years, and I’ve had tremendous success doing it.
So writes Kristopher G. Phillips (Southern Utah), in a post at Philosophical Percolations on the Lyceum Program for High Schoolers, which he co-founded as a graduate student at the University of Iowa with Greg Stoute..
About 9 p.m., the Bible study concludes. As the group prepares to share a concluding prayer, Roof suddenly stands, pulls out a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and says he has come to kill black people. He shoots the Rev. Pinckney first, at near point-blank range. Simmons tries to protect the pastor, a father of two young children, but Roof shoots him multiple time..
Nick Huggett (UIC) and Christian Wüthrich (Geneva) have won a $1.1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to support their project, “Space and Time after Quantum Gravity,” on the philosophical implications of theories of quantum gravity (a continuation of their “Beyond Spacetime” project).
Professor Wüthrich writes:
The premise of the project is that..
Tommy Maranges, AKA Philosophy Bro (@PhiloBro) has written a book. It’s a translation of Descartes’ Meditations. A translation into which language, you ask? Modern vernacular. Or, as the kids say, “as the kids say.”
His version starts off with:
HOLY SHIT FUCK ME, it feels like my eyeballs are going to explode. I barely remember shit and I lost my phone, I blew..
The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy is out! By philosopher Michael Patton (Montevallo) and illustrator Kevin Cannon, the book stars Heraclitus as the reader’s guide and companion through various philosophical topics, including logic, perception, minds, free will, god, and ethics. At over 150 pages, it has the heft and look of a big graphic novel, and it’s all ab..
There’s an interesting post at Show and Tell about the speaking styles of philosophers. It begins with this:
There is a telling anecdote about G.E.M. Anscombe and A.J. Ayer. Anscombe said to Ayer, “You know, if you didn’t talk so fast, no one would think you were so clever.” Ayer rapidly replied, “And if you didn’t talk so slowly, no one would think you were so v..
Kyle York at McSweeney’s presents a very funny selection of lesser-known trolley problem variations. Here are just a few. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
The Time Traveler
There’s an out of control trolley speeding towards a worker. You have the ability to pull a lever and change the trolley’s path so it hits a different worker. The different worker i..
Seven philosophers were awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Johnny Brennan of the ACLS writes with the details:
The Canadian Minister of State recently announced the recipients of 150 new and renewed “Canada Research Chairs.” Two new Canada chairs have been awarded to philosophers: Travis Dumsday (Concordia U. College of Alberta), who works in philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and medieval, and Gregoire Webber (Queen’s University), who works on quest..
A graduate student in philosophy who prefers to remain anonymous writes in with questions “concerning self-promotion and marketing oneself in order to move up in the world of philosophy.” He asks: “Is blatant self-promotion just a feature of the discipline now? Is doing anything necessary to sway the public opinion a necessary evil? Or should we be calling these p..
Our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.
The inconsistency in this curriculum is obvious. For example, at the outset of the school year, my son brought home a l..
Boston Dynamics builds robots. Here’s a video of “Spot,” their robotic dog. Watch until at least the 10-second mark.
Is it wrong to kick the dog? What can we learn from our reactions to this video?
An article here reports on the reactions of others.
Shawn Miller (UC Davis) writes in with some news about the good work being done at PhilWiki:
The Philosopher’s Index, an academic philosophy database available through the libraries of many universities and colleges, is rolling out a service that contains not merely abstracts (which it has long featured), but the full text of its indexed articles, according to a recent press release. Called “The Philosopher’s Index with Full Text,” it provides articles from..
The faculty panel responsible for reviewing the University of Colorado’s allegations against associate professor of philosophy David Barnett (previously) has concluded that he is not guilty of retaliation. While university administrators had wanted to fire Barnett, the panel voted 4-1 for a one year suspension without pay instead. Barnett had been accused of retalia..
Yesterday, twelve people were shot dead at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine. It was reported that the gunmen shouted “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” in Arabic (“Allahu Akbar”), and so the attack is believed to be the work of militant Islamists in response to offensive cartoons that appeared in the magazine.
Today is the last day of the Daily Nous t-shirt sale! As far as I know, this is the only shirt with this fantastic quote from Socrates on it, and once today is over it will not be available again, until perhaps I make it available again. The shirt is surprisingly popular among the celebrity set, and even with folks who aren’t the biggest fans of Daily Nous. As I exp..
The profession runs on reputation — basically the shared perception that you’re a smart guy. But how do you get reputation? Not by having a chair at a major school; that helps your visibility, but doesn’t protect you from being perceived as none too bright…. Nor does having the support of a powerful person do very much; you can be the favorite student of the top p..
Bernd Magnus, professor emeritus in the Depaartment of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, has died. Professor Magnus worked on Nietzsche and Heidegger. An article in UCR Today describes how, as a child in Germany, he was sent to a concentration camp and later escaped. According to a rabbi quoted in the article Magnus had the following to say, ref..
David Fate Norton, professor emeritus of philosophy at McGill, has died. Professor Norton worked on Hume and other 18th Century British philosophy, especially skepticism and moral theory. Among other things, he authored David Hume: Common-Sense Moralist, Sceptical Metaphysician, and co-edited the OUP edition of Hume’s Treatise and The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Th..
Over the summer, Nicholas Rescher (Pittsburgh), in his capacity as executive editor of American Philosophical Quarterly, published a brief editorial entitled “Growing Pains” (vol. 51, no.3) in which he notes the growth of the philosophy profession and laments its bad effects.
The scholarly output of the profession has far outstripped its numerical g..
A couple of weeks back we discussed questions related to funding and philosophy in the context of Daniel Dennett’s review of a recent book by Alfred Mele (original post; Mele’s reply). Matthew Brown, a philosopher of science (UT Dallas), thinks that one of the central questions raised there should get more attention. He wants us to “think past the specific details o..
Yesterday’s post, “Funding and Philosophical Results,” on Daniel Dennett’s critique of Alfred Mele’s acceptance of money from the John Templeton Foundation, generated a fair amount of discussion, with contributions from Dennett and his critics. Al Mele has now written a reply to Dennett, presented in the guest post*, below.
Reply to Dennett
Dan Dennett sugges..
Brian Leiter has declared that the two of three options presented by the majority of the Philosophical Gourmet Report’s board members which included requests that he step down immediately are “unacceptable.” He explains that he has already put in a significant amount of work towards the production of the 2014 edition of the PGR so he as “at least co-edited” it. He a..