Daily Nous began on the first Friday in March, and now it is the first Friday in September. It’s six months old, so still a baby, but nonetheless this seems like a good enough occasion to bore you with some blogging about the blog.
1. First things first.
THANK YOU! Daily Nous is still alive, and doing pretty well, as you’ll see, and of course that is owed to you: t..
1. “Sometimes a deepening of a view may go so deep as to change its character without actually changing its letter,” says Joseph Raz (King’s College, London), in a wide-ranging interview at 3am Magazine.
2. Huw Price (Cambridge) is part of “The scientific A-Team saving the world from killer viruses, rogue AI and the paperclip apocalypse.”
3. A Time Travel Dialogue by John Carroll (NC State) is a new release from Open Book Publishers, which makes freely accessible online versions of all of its publications. An article about the book, which Carroll wrote with his students, is here.
4. “After death, nobody’s life should be off limits to researchers,” says history and science writer Jack El-Hai.
5. Do we really live in a two-dimensional hologram?
6. “Finnish avant garde composer and musician M.A. Numminen… caused a stir in the 60s by setting sex guides to music” and recently “took it upon himself to do the same for many of the Tractatus’s propositions.”
7. “I’m making this animation about a philosophy book, and by the way it has nine directors attached to it, they all have different styles, nothing looks the same, and it’s 2D. But don’t worry because the author is Lebanese,” says Salma Hayek.
8. “Man the killer ape versus man the benign, noble savage.” David Livingstone Smith (University of New England) is interviewed for the documentary Man’s First War.
9. Peter Momtchiloff, who has been the philosophy editor at Oxford University Press for over 20 years, is interviewed at Aesthetics for Birds.
10. Luciano Floridi (Oxford) on the value of uncertainty.
11. Students, are your parents upset by your liberal arts degree? This chart may be of help.
12. What would a philosopher king really be like?
BONUS UPDATE: “What Mary Didn’t Know” — Dorian Electra & the Electrodes rock out to Frank Jackson’s famous thought experiment. (via David Chalmers)
The selections for the latest Philosopher’s Annual, which takes as its goal “to select the ten best articles published in philosophy each year—an attempt as simple to state as it is admittedly impossible to fulfill” have been made. At the Philosop-her blog, Meena Krishnamurthy (Manitoba) notes that the latest volume, unlike any over the past decade, includes article..
The Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist group has banned the study of philosophy and chemistry in schools in the northern Syrian city of al-Raqa and established an “Islamic curriculum” for students, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said Friday.
Of course, the absence of philosophy in the schools is probably the least of the problems in that region, but ..
Here at Daily Nous, comments are moderated. Over the past several months, I have heard some complaints and received some questions about the moderation here, so I thought I would take a moment to speak to these.
Question: Why do you moderate comments at your blog?
Answer: Because I am no fun. Anti-fun, actually.
Question: No, seriously. Why?
Answer: Because I must hav..
In our last round, Charlie Kurth (Washington University in St. Louis) was tagged by Gillian Russell (Washington University in St. Louis), a tag that was geographically close but one that boldly shifted the game from the epistemology of logic to moral psychology. Now it’s time for Kurth to make his move:
Practical reflection is having a hard time of it. Wherea..
In line with the principle of charity in cooperative communication, people will try to reconstruct the meaning of unknown terms on the presumption that what the speaker utters is true and relevant — particularly when they defer to the speaker as an authority. If what the speaker asserts seem bizarre or false on its face, it is prudent to suspect that the problem lie..
Wittgenstein once remarked that you could write a book of philosophy consisting entirely of jokes. We all know who could have authored that book. Jonathan Lieberson, who made that connection to Wittgenstein, described Sidney as a combination of Spinoza and Groucho Marx. But Sidney worried about this very gift. He worried that all that people would know of him would ..
Philosophers easily get the idea that somehow or other, just by considering things about the world that they already know, they can write up deep stories which are true, or pretty nearly true, about how it is with the world. By that I especially mean the world of things that includes themselves, and everything that’s spatio-temporally related to them, or anything th..
Modeled on the well-populated site, Women of Philosophy, a group of philosophers are creating a number of other databases, starting with one for Latina/Latino or Hispanic philosophers. Elizabeth Anderson, Tina Fernandes Botts, Ruth Chang, Sally Haslanger, and Manuel Vargas explain the initiative in a letter posted at Feminist Philosophers.
John Kaag (UMass Lowell) holds the surgical scissors and is asked to cut the cord. Time stands still, and he reflects on the relations between philosophy and fatherhood.
The prospect of struggle in life and fatherhood is not an indication that we should opt out, but rather lean in—like Sisyphus, who is destined to push the boulder up a hill, only to have it roll dow..
Professional Philosophers in Industry is a LinkedIn group for philosophers who have left academic philosophy. “The purpose of this group is to provide professional philosophers who work (or seek to work) outside of traditional academic settings an opportunity to network, share information and opportunities, and generally pursue their professional development. Member..
Oxford University has offered the prestigious White’s Chair of Moral Philosophy to Jeff McMahan (Rutgers). The chair is currently held by John Broome. Recent holders include James Griffin, Bernard Williams, and R.M. Hare. McMahan has yet to make a decision about the offer.
At the suggestion of a friend I am creating a new page at Daily Nous for people to list their successes finding employment outside of academia. The idea of the page is to, first, show readers what some of the alternatives to academia are and give them a sense of their options, and second, to more accurately reflect the reality of the philosophy job market. So if you..
Just having the graduate students and Sara present in our space and asking us questions raises our consciousness, our neural system, to be thinking a little more about the ethical implications of what we do…. That could/should thinking is unique to philosophy and is something that science should embrace more and more.
So says Tom Daniel, professor of biology at U..
Last week we had a judge citing Mill in a rather complicated case in England. This week we have a judge citing Kant in a rather straightforward case in the United States. The judge apparently needed Kant to weigh in on the sentencing of a tire slasher:
Instead of sending David Toledo, 46, to state prison for the recommended five to 10 years, Common Pleas Judge Edwa..
Philosophy professors and graduate students: think back to when you decided to study philosophy seriously, or to try to make a career out of being a philosopher. Suppose you could travel back to that time and had only a few moments to answer one question from your past self, who asks you, “Should I try to be a philosopher?” How would you answer?
While I won’t requi..
I love philosophy, but I wonder if I love it as much as Stephen West. Here is a little bit of his story:
My parents met when my mom was at her cousin’s house smoking weed; my dad was living in her cousin’s dog house at the time, having been kicked out by his parents, both of whom were terribly abusive…. If I were asked to write a book cataloging the different inst..
One of the principal ways analytic philosophers can contribute to intellectual progress on topics of public interest is by drawing attention to, and rigorously debating, widespread assumptions about a subject. One of the core methodological principles underlying this project is that this strategy can be profitably applied to the metaphysics of love.
A group at the Un..
In the end, the Happy Hour Test depends on affability, but its consequence goes beyond likability. If one “passes” the Happy Hour Test, I’d argue, there is an especially strong correlation to being a strong teacher, colleague, and college citizen.
How important is collegiality in getting a job? According to this column in IHE, very.
James Higginbotham, most recently Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, has died. He worked mainly in philosophy of language, prior to his appointment at USC held positions at Oxford, MIT, and Columbia. (via Leiter)
UPDATE (4/29/14): University of Southern California News posted an article about Higginbotham.
You can now search all of the writings of David Lewis for specific words and phrases. The results show up listed by publication, with bibliographic information. The site was created by Wolfgang Schwarz. (via Holly Lawford-Smith)
You may recall that 14 philosophers were among the candidates in Prospect Magazine’s 2014 World Thinker competition. The competition is over and the results are in. Amartya Sen comes in at the top spot! Other philosophers in the top 20 include Mary Beard (7), Jürgen Habermas (12), Slavoj Žižek (14), Nick Bostrom (15), Daniel Dennett (17), Rae Langton (18), Elizabeth..
To cut a long story very short I’ve extracted the information in the “influenced by” section for every philosopher on Wikipedia and used it to construct a network which I’ve then visualised.
Brendan Griffen ran with this and creat..
Women of Philosophy is a site “devoted to collecting information about women currently working in philosophy around the globe.” One goal of the site “is to make their work easily accessible so that the large number of women working in this profession will be recognized and appreciated.” If you are a woman working in philosophy, you can add yourself to the site’s dat..
Last month saw the opening of the Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy at the University of Dundee. At their inaugural workshop, James Williams (Dundee) delivered a brief address entitled “Continental Philosophy? Oh, Yes!” In it, he describes the areas and topics he thinks are especially fertile ground for future work in continental philosophy, including econo..
Currently over two million people in the United States are in prison, and about nine million worldwide. There are many questions worth asking about the systems of criminal justice that lead to that result. The focus of this post, though, is quite narrow. It concerns just one thing academic philosophers can do, as academic philosophers, in light of this: teach prison..
Dear Ambiguous Commentator,
Hi there. I don’t think we’ve met, but I appreciate your interest in the blog and I’m flattered that you have taken the time to share your thoughts. However, I read your comment and I am sorry to report that I won’t be publishing it. It’s not that I don’t want to hear from you, or that I don’t think your opinion matters. It’s just that I..