On the occasion of its 85th anniversary, Businessweek put together a list of the 85 “most disruptive” ideas during the past 85 years. Containing some predictable entries like the birth-control pill and email, as well as some odd ones such as kitty litter and name-brand jeans, the list offers not one philosophical idea. It is, of course, a business magazine; no surpr..
As reported last month, the University of Southern Maine has announced drastic cuts to faculty and staff and an academic restructuring so as to make up for a budget shortfall. The philosophy department there was merged with the English department, and there is one (unconfirmed) report that one philosopher was forced into retirement on pain of termination with reduce..
David Barnett, whom the University of Colorado is moving to fire (previously), is suing the university for $2 million, claiming that university Chancellor Phil DiStefano and philosophy professor Alison Jaggar made defamatory statements about him. From The Daily Camera:
In his notice of claim, Barnett says the statements made by CU officials have damaged his reput..
We are now experiencing the tragic consequences of failing to appreciate the need to invest more resources, expertise and support in developing countries, including those where the Ebola outbreak is happening. Such investments would have allowed for health systems in those parts of the world to be better equipped to respond to and minimize the unfolding crisis. For ..
Brian Leiter (Chicago) announced that he will be stepping down as editor of the Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR), a highly influential reputational ranking of philosophy Ph.D. programs he created in 1989 while he was a graduate student, and which has been published on the Internet since 1996. The 2014-15 edition of the PGR will be officially co-edited by Leiter an..
Tweeters? Twitterers? Anyway, here is a collage of philosophers with over 1000 followers on Twitter, with links to each of their Twitter accounts.
You can follow Daily Nous on Twitter, too: @DailyNousEditor.
If you are reading this then the Daily Nous website is working. Woohoo! As you can see, it looks a little different. (If it doesn’t, try a “hard reload” of the page.) There are still some kinks that need to be smoothed out, so please be patient. If you notice something isn’t working, it would be great if you could send me an email at [email protected] lettin..
Alex Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He is known for his work in philosophy of science, particularly philosophy of biology, as well as the philosophy of social science and metaphysics. In the following guest post* he discusses the current controversy regarding the Philosophical Gourmet Report, defending its accuracy, value..
1. “Something as ‘mundane’ as coffee tasting generates one of the most challenging philosophical questions…” Anna Marmadoro (Oxford) on Aristotle on perception.
2. The mayor of Sao Paolo, Brazil, who has a PhD in philosophy, has been trying to implement progressive transportation policies in his city. He “has succeeded so far in unifying voters: They want him out.”
3. A psychologist discusses the relationship between happiness and being focused on others, at Big Questions Online.
4. The Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry has a new blog.
5. Peter Singer is interviewed about the animal rights movement, “4 decades after he started it.”
6. True Detective continues to get the philosophical treatment at The Critique, with a post on the show’s ethical outlook. Previous entries in this series are here and here.
7. Joe Cole (Guilford College) has authored a bilingual “heartwarming parable of perseverance” for children called I Built My House on a Volcano. A brief article about how the book came about is here.
8. Alex Byrne (MIT), along with Wi-Phi and Kahn Academy, have put together a video about mind-body dualism.
9. Ezekiel Emanuel, director of clinical bioethics at the NIH, explains why he hopes to die at age 75. Related.
10. Thanks so much for your criticism!
It has been around for a while, but in case you aren’t familiar with it, you may want to check out The Philosopher’s Eye. It’s Wiley-Blackwell’s philosophy blog. They “aim to provide regular thought-provoking coverage of real-world events with a critical, philosophical eye.” Recent features include three video interviews on philosophy and climate change, of Michael ..
Gerald Dworkin has a thoug..
An anonymous donor has provided the University of Montreal with 1.5 million dollars (Canadian) to fund the Aesop Chair in Philosophy. It’s first holder is philosopher of science Frédéric Bouchard.
1. Why are they so angry? Amia Srinivasan (Oxford) makes the case for anger, arguing that it can be a huge source of strength and power, particularly for the apparently weak and powerless, on the BBC. (via Aidan McGlynn)
2. When people who have been blind their whole life are given the power of sight, what do they see? — on the puzzle William Molyneaux posed to John Locke regarding touch and sight (via Matt McAdam, Robert Long). More here.
3. The current multi-chapter issue of Nautilus (#16) is dedicated to nothingness. One part: an article by physicist Alan Lightman on consciousness of nothingness.
4. Parasites affect our thought and behavior. The most studied of these parasites is toxoplasma gondii, which affects perhaps half the world’s human population. There’s some new research on how it operates.
5. A now-classic poem which you should send to all of your students at this time of year.
6. “Has anyone ever tried to date a philosopher?… Because if you ever have… you will know you never should date a philosopher” — and so begins Jess Zimmerman’s rather funny telling of “When Your Asshole Boyfriend is a Philosopher of Neuroscience,” a story about her dating her philosophy professor (click the white ►on the bottom of the screen).
7. Some profs think that Richard Dawkins would fail PHIL 101.
8. I’m thinking of how fun the next APA could be if everybody would do Somebody. Get your mind out of the gutter, perv — Somebody is a messaging app that is also a performance art project. That’s possible, right, philosophers of art?
9. Three logicians walk into a bar.
Shahin Izadi, who received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, must have decided that the academic job market was too easy and so decided to go for a sure thing — indie film-making. He is currently making a movie called Ironwood, about two candidates for an academic job who take a roadtrip to do their interviews and go camping. You can learn mor..
Dan Kaufman, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, is suing his university and several of its employees for $2 million for damages relating to his “banishment” from campus for two months this past spring.
Kaufman has filed four notices of claim, a step required by Colorado law for anyone seeking to sue a public entity, and alleges that he h..
Grad students of philosophy! And other relevant parties! Behold! Daniel Silvermint, assistant professor of philosophy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut, has developed a list of unhelpful thoughts that might occur to you every once in a while. He calls them “grad traps,” and the idea is that if you are able to recognize t..
1. Do athletes need more philosophy?
2. Bertrand Russell plays himself, being interviewed, as part of a 1967 Bollywood movie. A Buddhist monk explains, and links to the clip.
3. Are people abusing Jonathan Bennett’s earlymoderntexts.com? Eric Schliesser comments.
4. What do our students want from us? For us to challenge them, and for us to care.
5. A review of a new novel composed entirely of fictional letters of recommendation, itself written as a letter of recommendation.
6. Plato’s Symposium—live!
7. Berlin didn’t ask what makes foxes into foxes and hedgehogs into hedgehogs, but Alison Gopnik does, in the Wall Street Journal.
8. Peter Worley gives a TEDx talk on doing philosophy with children.
9. Relatedly, this three-minute animation is a great introduction for kids to cogito ergo sum.
10. The Philosopher’s Diet, by Richard Watson, starts with “Fat. I presume you want to get rid of it. Then quit eating so much.” I have no idea where it goes from there. It came out in 1985 and is still available at Amazon and also as a free Google doc of unknown legality.
11. Not the, uh, deepest thing you’ll read about holes.
“Beer and Trembling” and other bars philosophy professors opened after being denied tenure. (via Mark Alfano)
Suggestions—for other bars or the drinks served at them—welcome in the comments.
Gillian Russell (Washington University in St. Louis) was tagged last week by Franz Berto (Amsterdam) in the logic playground, where the game has been playing for a while now. Let’s see where Russell’s tag takes us.
There’s a pervasive thought in many cultures and religions—one that I’ve found attractive in the past—that moral anxiety in human agents is a ..
In dismissing philosophy as an antiquated relic of our prescientific past, the scientist is making a very large and dubious assumption: that the abstract methods of philosophy, despite the discipline’s string of successes over recent centuries, have nothing more to contribute to our developing understanding of the world. Perhaps scientists think they already have th..
Atomicity is the thesis that everything is ultimately composed of atoms, entities that lack proper parts. Atomicity is standardly defined as “for every x there is a y such that y is an atom and y is a part of x”, i.e. ever..
1. Don’t call your college students “kids,” says Sean A. Valles (Michigan State).
2. Jakob Hohwy (Monash), who works in philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology, and is the author of The Predictive Mind, is guest-blogging at Brains this week.
3. A thought experiment shows that the psychological arrow of time hooks up with the thermodynamic arrow of time and provides a useful definition of a memory, to boot.
4. Africa Must Be Modern, writes Nigerian philosopher Olúfémi Táíwò.
5. Can we learn anything from imagining what it is like to be a tick?
6. “Doping expresses the spirit of sport” — Savulescu on why we should allow performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
7. Brief report from the 6th Annual Wittgenstein Conference is good PR but it might be called “journalism goes on holiday.”
8. Four professors apply to share the job of university president.
9. Performance art: “Plato’s Porno Cave” — no, they don’t really mean porn, they mean, er, “fantastical idealized version of relations between human beings.” And no they don’t really mean Plato either, it seems (SFW, BTW).
Gary Gutting.: You obviously don’t see scientific cosmology as supporting any case for theism. You also think that it refutes theistic religions’ claiming that the primary purpose of God’s creation is the existence of human beings. What, finally, is your view about the minimal theistic view that the universe was created by an intelligent being (regardless of its pur..
No one has reason to accept a scheme of cooperation that places their lives under the control of others, that deprives them of meaningful political participation, that deprives their children of the opportunity to qualify for better jobs, and that deprives them of a share in the wealth they help to produce.
T.M. Scanlon has a brief TED essay sharing some contractual..
You can invent a silly product, market it well, and use the proceeds to fund a charity. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newest inductee into the pantheon of famous philosophy majors: “Banana Bill” — the inventer of the banana slicer. Do not neglect to read the reviews of this esteemed product. (via Dale Miller)
…for good reasons? How about more? That’s a finding of a recent survey conducted at over 100 British universities. So do we add this to the list of reasons to major in philosophy?
Andrew Cullison, currently at SUNY Fredonia, has accepted a position at DePauw University as associate professor of philosophy and director of the university’s Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, effective July 1st, 2014. Cullison works in epistemology, ethics, meta-ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion. He is currently Secretary-Tr..
Several years ago, during an era of relative plenty, I tried to persuade our philosophy department to credit a new history course I was teaching on the Enlightenment. Neither the reading list, bursting with texts from Bacon and Locke to Montesquieu and Diderot, nor the publication of my own book on Hume and Rousseau undid the suspicion that a professional historian..