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When Others Philosophize in Public

Today’s column by economist Gregory Mankiw in the New York Times provides an occasion to reflect on a problem for public philosophy. In the column, Mankiw contrasts a rudimentary form of utilitarianism with a thoughtless version of the precautionary principle. Even if you agree with the policy prescriptions that he concocts from this mix of ingredients, no philosoph..

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Philosophy v. Common Sense

Speaking of philosophical methodologies (and there is of course a lot that falls under that heading), one longstanding issue is the extent to which philosophy must ultimately conform with common sense. Of course there have been countless counterintuitive theses defended in the history of philosophy, but the dominant view today seems to be that philosophy is indeed i..

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On the Write Track

Amtrak is offering writing residencies aboard its trains. Lasting from two to five days, the residencies are roundtrip journeys that include accommodations on board a sleeper car equipped with a bed, a desk, and outlets. The program is open to all sorts of writers, not just philosophers. Amtrak says that “A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak..

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Morton White (1917-2016)

Morton White, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, died on May 27th. Over the course of his career he taught philosophy at City College of New York, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University.  (more…)

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Is Your Department on the Chopping Block?

Inside Higher Ed today discusses a report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) on faculty cuts at the College of St. Rose (previously). A number of faculty were let go, leading the AAUP to declare that at the College, tenure is “virtually meaningless.” Among the programs affected is philosophy:

This is not the first time a philosophy ma..

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“Reputation Traps” in Philosophy

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“Reputation Traps” in Philosophy

In an essay at Aeon, Huw Price (Cambridge) writes about “reputation traps.”

His example of this is scientific research on cold fusion, or low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), “the controversial idea that nuclear reactions similar to those in the Sun could, under certain conditions, also occur close to room temperature.” Cold fusion held out the promise of clean an..

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