OLD Heap of LinksCategory
1. “I’m not sure, for example, what the philosophy REF panel would make of Berkeley’s research on tar-water, or even Bentham’s on prisons, for that matter.” That’s Jonathan Wolff on exciting scholarship and whether disciplinarity is just a blip in the history of academia.
2. The History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh has launched “Instant HPS“, a series of brief videos on various topics, including “Is Your Brain a Computer?”, “Is Race Real?”, and “Einstein’s Astonishing Idea.” (via Edouard Machery)
3. Jeremy Waldron (NYU/Oxford) has an essay on Cass Sunstein’s (Harvard) work in which he says that Sunstein’s arguments for nudging (based on the heuristics and biases work in social psychology) are “remarkably tone-deaf to concerns about autonomy.” Nudges get a skeptical look at Aeon this week, too. And, by the way, the issue of the NYRB the Waldron essay appears in is chock full of articles by and about philosophers. Unfortunately, most of them are currently behind paywalls.
4. Kristen Andrews (York) is the new “featured scholar” at Brains. She works on human cognition in humans and non-human animals.
5. “The fossil fuel divestment campaign makes demands that no corporate executive could ever meet,” says Scott Wisor (Birmingham), at Ethics & International Affairs.
6. Eddy Nahmias (Georgia State) tests “willusionism.”
7. “In a perfect world, unlikely findings would be both published and scrutinized — and maybe that world’s not so far from the world we have. Still, the evidence appears to be badly mixed; can any conclusion – save that we’ve got a mess on our hands – be safely drawn?” — an excerpt from a new book by John Doris (Washington University in St. Louis) (via Leiter). Shen-yi Liao (Leeds) comments on it here.
8. A review of recent defenses of the humanities, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
9. The truth and nothing but the truth (with a comment at the end from God, in bold, related to this recent thread).
1. “The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined.” Physicist George Ellis is interviewed at Scientific American’s site.
2. The researchers behind a study (previously) that concluded that students would rather self-administer shocks than spend time alone with their thoughts do not appear to have spent enough time with their thoughts. (via Bryce Huebner)
3. Reports about the findings from a study that purported to show that “children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction” have come under scrutiny from philosopher Helen de Cruz (Oxford).
4. The leader of the Ukrainian rebels, Alexander Borodai, has a degree in philosophy from Moscow State University. He is the son of Yury Borodai, who is also a philosopher. Borodai the elder argues that humans evolved from apes through masturbation. Or at least so says an article in the Moscow Times, which notes that Borodai the junior “is not known to have a girlfriend.”
5. Teresa Marques, a philosopher at the University of Lisbon, critiques the Portguese Science and Technology Foundation’s employment of the European Science Foundation to review the country’s research institutes, arguing that it could lead to “disaster.”
6. Art and the philosophy and history of science come together in an exhibition called “Inventing Temperature” at the Korean Cultural Centre in London.
7. “Our actions in the concrete world and the manner in which we inquire into the world is premised on our concepts. And this is precisely why philosophy matters,” says Levi R. Bryant (Collins College), at his blog, Larval Subjects.
8. The Independent has a series called “Book of a Lifetime.” A.C. Grayling reveals his pick here.
9. Debate continues over “Confucius Institutes.”
10. Socrates makes Buzzfeed… for seven times he was a total douchebag — like “when he invented the entire Socratic method.”
Update: oh, and 11 & 12: Two from around the philosoblogosphere: Martha Bolton’s remarks from the inaugural meeting of the Society for Modern Philosophy, at The Mod Squad; and Bas Van Der Vossen on “Why Philosophers Should Stay Out of Politics,” at Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
1. Hindu philosophy of religion.
2. A series of posts on Cusa and Hegel.
3. Artificial wombs are already being tested and developed, and according to some, will be widely used in a few decades. They’re a little controversial.
4. Physicist Lawrence Krauss squares off against philosophers Angie Hobbs and Mary Midgley on the relationship between philosophy and science.
5. Ethical carnivorism.
6. You can download a behavioral economics introductory text for free.
7. Will OKCupid be hiring an ethicist?
8. XKCD on what makes for a good thesis defense.
9. Academic Seinfeld on Twitter.
1. A sculpture of Edgar Allen Poe, crafted by philosopher Stefanie Rocknak (Hartwick), will soon be unveiled at the corner of Boylston Street and Charles Street South in Boston. This story’s a triple win: philosopher, art, and, of course, aptonym. Here’s other sculptural work by Rocknak. And here’s a post about how Poe anticipated the idea of the Big Bang.
2. A search for resources for teaching students how to read philosophy.
3. A new blog, Second Shift, features several philosophers and other academics and “is aimed at bringing academic feminist analysis (broadly construed) into conversation with politics and pop culture.”
4. “In a new study, researchers used a smartphone app to track moral and immoral acts committed or witnessed by more than 1,200 people as they went about their days,” reports Wired and the New York Times.
5. “I’ve always been puzzled by the way that some moral philosophers create extraordinarily far fetched examples and then ask us to see what sorts of intuitions we have about these cases. I am skeptical that any intuitions we might dig up contain important ethical insights. But I’m also puzzled by those who argue from abstract general principles, for example, about the unethical treatment of causing other animals to suffer or fail to flourish, without knowing many details about particular animals and what might constitute their well-being.”– from an interesting and wide-ranging interview with Lori Gruen (Wesleyan).
6. Say goodbye to the “American Philological Association.”
7. The New Yorker’s Alex Ross on the Frankfurt School and its influence.
8. Several philosophers are name-checked in these reflections on how environmental considerations may alter our understanding of human progress.
9. “Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat?” asks the Chronicle of Higher Education, in an article featuring Nick Bostrom (Oxford) and others.
10. Sometimes it ain’t a bad move.
1. NPR’s Tamara Keith, a philosophy major, tells her “it doesn’t hurt to ask” story.
2. Someone who sounds a bit like Carly Rae Jepsen sings “Call Me Nietzsche” (press ►)
3. Susannah Kate Devitt (Queensland University of Technology) makes use of a few different metrics to provide a ranking of philosophy journals.
4. Chris Bertram discusses Rousseau’s moral psychology with Nigel Warburton at Philosophy Bites.
5. PBS’s Nova discusses science, religion, and philosophy with Gregg Caruso (Corning Community College).
6. Those working in bioethics or philosophy of medicine or rule consequentialism may be interested in this piece by economist Emily Oster (Chicago) on whether “doctors stick to the rules too much.”
7. Now if they could only make one of these that’s activated when you haven’t typed enough words.
8. Laurentian University is starting up a School of the Environment, headed by philosopher Brett Buchanan.
9. “Too many scholars keep too much to themselves” — D.E. Wittkower (Old Dominion), Evan Selinger (RIT), and Lucinda Rush (Old Dominion) discuss academics’ lack of public engagement (and also have a piece in which they focus on the problem in philosophy of technology).
10. The Victoria & Albert Museum is hunting for an edition of Plato’s works that was owned by 18th Century actor and playwright David Garrick (a student of Samuel Johnson). Do you have it?
11. Is this the earliest “drowning kid” example?
1. Want to annoy a metaphysician? Send him or her a link to this video, which purports to answer the question, “How Many Things Are There?”
2. Rousseau, pranking, and spanking.
3. You won’t believe who is saying that there is such a thing as a free lunch.
4. “Real philosophy has always flourished outside institutional walls,” says Scott Samuelson at the Huffington Post, who then goes on to recommend the study of seven philosophers who are probably known mostly to folks inside said walls. (UPDATE: Montaigne, one of the recommended philosophers, was featured in a 7-part series in The Guardian a few years back. Here is Part 1.)
5. An article about Dora Russell, “British feminist, sex radical, progressive educator, peace activist, and second wife of the philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell.”
6. The Wall Street Journal reports that philosophy, or something like it, is making its way into business school curricula, while Fast Company discusses the relevance of Aristotle to tech startups.
7. Don’t be a robot, says Evan Selinger (Rochester Institute of Technology) over at CNN.
8. Philosopher and “follower of Christ” Paul Gould (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) offers an explanation of why the Baptist Church needs philosophers.
9. In a better world, would most adjuncts be tenure-track?
10. A pop philosopher curates an art exhibition aimed at solving your personal problems (more).
11. I’m happy to admit: neither do I.
BONUS UPDATE: 12. On What Matters on what matters, the tumblr. (Not new, but new to me.)
1. What should we think about the ice bucket challenge?
2. Al Mele (Florida State) and Eddy Nahmias (Georgia State) talk about free will and science at Philosophy TV.
3. The challenges for an analytic feminist philosopher of religion.
4. Free for you to use: a Prezi tour through the history of Western philosophy, by Mark Alfano (University of Oregon).
5. Why a philosopher teaches about privacy, in Forbes (via Robert Long), and a forum in the NYT about your possible violations of your children’s privacy.
6. The connection between “love for humanity” and human agency.
7. The potential condescension of informed consent.
8. A video installation based on Plato’s Timaeus. Watch it in the dark.
9. Against authenticity, part 8729. (via Colin Farrelly)
10. Feel better about your job, instantly. (via Molly Gardner)
11. Don’t philosophize like my brother! Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, take up epistemology.
1. The Good Society jounal is providing open access to its new special issue, “Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration,” with articles by Elizabeth Anderson (Michigan), Christopher Bennett (Sheffield), and a number of political theorists and law professors.
2. Philosophy of extra-terrestrials? Carol Cleland (Colorado), Iris Fry (Technion), and Clément Vidal (Free University of Brussels) are three philosophers who will be taking part in an upcoming symposium organized by NASA and the Library of Congress on encountering alien cultures.
3. Colin Ward’s book, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, is now available as a free download.
4. Slate on peer-review’s problems, and a suggested solution.
5. Should we genetically engineer humans in order to save the environment? Matthew Liao (NYU) is featured in a story about that at the BBC’s site.
6. John Searle lecture: “Consciousness as a Problem in Philosophy and Neurobiology” (video).
7. “There are plenty of situations when random chance really is your best option. And those situations might be far more prevalent in our modern lives than we generally admit.”
8. “What’s So Funny?” Mary Beard talks about theories of humor in The Chronicle.
9. Laura D’Olimpio (Notre Dame Australia), Michael Levine (Univ. Western Australia), and Mairead Phillips (Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy) discuss philosophy and film.
10. Check your Bat-Privilege.
1. Was Nietzsche a transhumanist?
2. Help get Bar Philosophi, “a mixology/craft cocktail bar with drinks inspired by conversation-inducing writers and philosophers” off the ground. (via Erich Hatala Matthes)
3. Eric Winsberg (South Florida) on the difference between an art object and a scientific model.
4. More on the Philosophy of Phish course.
5. Ariel Rubinstein’s (Tel Aviv, NYU Economics) worldwide guide to cafés where you can not only work but think. (via David Grober-Morrow)
6. The Montaigne that Shakespeare read, reviewed.
7. Get Cambridge classicist Mary Beard’s look.
8. “Try the cucumber sandwich,” the Hatter said airily. “It’s wonderful. It doesn’t exist.” “You are a parasite,” Alice said — Ayn Rand’s Alice in Wonderland.
9. The abuse of philosophy (a new series?): Ford Focus Interior Design edition.
1. A defense of the lecture.
2. Harvard’s internal report on the scientific misconduct case of Marc Hauser.
3. “Socrates and the Crisis of the Universities“, a lecture by MM McCabe (video).
4. “The Philosophy” is a new shiraz-cab blend from McGuigan Wines. A bit pricier than these.
5. Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill” — non-ideal theory version.
6. “I enter the teletransporter.” One step closer?
7. Did Socrates play the harp?
8. Massimo Pigliucci asks, “What Has Philosophy Ever Done for Us?” in a short video.
9. The philosophical owl, now available as a greeting card. More wonderful animals by Grandville.
10. Internal: the threads on how much you travel for work, conformity to journal style, philosophers in government, and the pragmatism map are still open for your comments. Also, the post on philosophical critiques of Piketty has been updated with new links to critiques by others.
1. “No one goes into the humanities for reasons political, professional, or merely personal. We do so because devoting ourselves to some particular field strikes us an especially exciting and appropriate way of leading a life, because the work required seems to us noble, challenging, and rewarding, and because we love it.” David McCabe (Colgate) on how not to defend the humanities.
2. “Where will they all sleep and dine? How do philosophers party? What should we print on the pillows and promotional cups?” That’s from a very strange piece on the 2018 World Congress of Philosophy, which will be held in Beijing. “The question is, can China–with its largely untapped resources, ideas, and innovations–revive the once exceedingly gorgeous but now sadly torpid and dour discipline?”
3. Pills to fall in love, and pills to fall out of love: it’s likely not a matter of if, but of when. “We’re trying to get ahead of the technology and ahead of the science with some ethical arguments.” Australia’s ABC Radio hosts a discussion of the ethics of the pharmacology of love with Brian Earp (Oxford) and others.
4. “Throughout its 10-year run, Watterson made Calvin and Hobbes his mouthpiece for profound insights in aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, and existentialism” — a short piece on the upcoming documentary, Dear Mr. Watterson, about the beloved comic strip that adorns the doors of many a professor’s office. There’s a trailer at the link, too.
5. “The division of labor is not that philosophy is speculative while physics is not; rather, each discipline looks for different kinds of answers.” M. Anthony Mills, a philosophy graduate student at Notre Dame, responds to Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
6. Áine Mahon, a post-doc in philosophy at the University of Dublin, is interviewed in the Irish Times about philosophy in literature.
7. The Philosophy School of Phish, at Oregon State University, “is an experiment in engaged philosophy that will use a variety of venues to facilitate collaborative and experiential learning in the Phish community.” Uh huh. Taught by assistant professor Stephanie Jenkins, “This class will use Phish’s mythology, live performances, and social media presence in order to introduce key ideas in the history of philosophy in public settings. Specifically, we will explore possibilities publicly engaged scholarship holds for social transformation, community-building, and experiential learning.” And jamming, I am sure they meant to add.
8. “Even though Player 1 wants a health pack, he believes it is his duty to give it to Player 2.” 8-Bit Philosophy on Kant on freedom and moral responsibility.
1. Nicholas Kristof, writing in The New York Times, defends the value of the humanities by explaining how he has been affected by the ideas of Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, and Peter Singer.
2. CBS will be airing a television drama that “centers on a brilliant bioethicist [based on Arthur Caplan] who is called in at crisis moments to solve the most complicated, dynamic, and confounding medical issues imaginable.”
3. Speaking of TV, the Series Philosopher brings a little philosophy to bear on television shows, such as Veep, Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, The Big Bang Theory, and many more.
4. Pigliucci on Priest on Buddhism and logic — a critique.
5. Gricean Pragmatics, explained clearly and concisely, in a short video by Karen Lewis (Columbia).
6. Are you a philosopher who just doesn’t care about what to wear? Sure.
7. A physics writer takes up “why is there something rather than nothing?“
8. Step-up! The bystander effect and culture.
9. Counterfactuals are tricky.
1. “By insisting that print [rather than online or ebook-only] is a necessary condition for scholarly quality, deans and scholars make it more difficult for university presses to stay in business, thereby making it more difficult for them to publish print books! At the same time, scholars insist on having their own work published in print while they increasingly engage the work of others online. And deans demand that scholars publish print books while not giving their libraries enough funds to buy them. So they insist on print and undermine the demand for it.” Matthew McAdam, humanities editor at Johns Hopkins University Press, on academia’s unsustainable and confused attitudes towards online and e-book publishing.
2. Kristie Dotson (Michigan State) is among several academics to have taken part in a series of “traveling hearings” organized by the African American Policy Forum on “juvenile justice, foster care, commercial sexual exploitation of children and ‘gender-specific’ experiences” particularly related to “coming up in Los Angeles in poor, disenfranchised black and Latino neighborhoods.” (via Sam Liao)
3. “It’s not A/B testing. It’s just being an asshole.” Tim Carmody explains what’s missing from the discussions about the recent social media experiments: “They’re all too quick to accept that users of these sites are readers who’ve agreed to let these sites show them things. They don’t recognize or respect that the users are also the ones who’ve made almost everything that those sites show.”
4. Apparently, “Federal Jurists ♥ Bentham.” (Update: alternative link.)
5. “The potential dangers of abusing such knowledge are one reason the storage of incidentally collected information is wrong. But there is another reason as well. The more insidious harm is not consequential but in principle. The collection of such data… violates our autonomy and dignity,” says Michael Lynch (Connecticut) at the NYT, on the NSA’s scary collection of everyone’s emails, chats, posts, etc. (via Hallie Liberto)
6. The American Political Science Association has created a new organized section, “political epistemology,” in response to a petition drive spearheaded by the editor of Critical Review, Jeffrey Friedman (Texas). The petition page describes some of political epistemology’s topics.
7. “Good metaphors have many other effects on readers than making them grasp some bit of information, and these are often precisely the effects the metaphor-user wants to have” says James Grant (Oxford) at OUP Blog.
8. Philosophy Talk on which books you should (have) read this summer.
9. In the spirit of your sayings (keep ’em coming, folks), check out the philosophy entries on lol my thesis. (via mlr)
1. View many of Routledge’s philosophy books for free, through the end of June.
2. Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt) on Tom Burke (South Carolina) on untangling pragmatism.
3. The Singlestate Fallacy: “the erroneous assumption that our ordinary, default mindbody program (aka ‘state of consciousness’) contains all… thinking skills of use to philosophers.”
4. “He’s the chair of my dissertation committee,” I explained. “Not my uterus.”
5. “I shall now appeal to authority by quoting a philosopher who agrees with my premise, thereby wrapping my argument in the wisdom of the ages.” How to argue: a sadly accurate description.
6. The correspondence between Brian Medlin and Iris Murdoch has been published as Never Mind about the Bourgeoisie. Here’s one review.
7. The Limits of Logic — Simon Blackburn, Iain McGilchrist, and Beatrix Campbell at How The Light Gets In.
8. Philosophy PhD starts kids’ clothing company to combat gender stereotypes (via Feminist Philosophers).
9. “Why No One Understands My Genius” and other totally amazing philosophical works by Bryan Frances (Fordham). Do not neglect the descriptions of his current research interests.
10. Ruth Chang on how to make hard choices.
11. Kwame Anthony Appiah on religion.
12. The first issue of Filocracia: An Online Journal of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies is out.
13. A Facebook discussion group for issues related to philosophy and science.
1. A defense of majoring in philosophy, by Joseph Tinguely (South Dakota).
2. Artist Tino Seghal’s latest installation places philosophers in the Roman agora in Athens to engage people in dialogue.
3. Don’t think for yourself, says Caleb Cohoe (Metropolitan State University of Denver).
4. Aristotle, the biologist. (via Johann A. Klaassen)
5. How to get your students to do the reading.
6. How Stoical was Seneca? Mary Beard takes up the question.
7. “Placing the question of violence at the forefront almost inevitably serves to obscure the issues that are at the center of struggles for justice.” — an interview with Angela Davis.
8. An iPad app that “provides the tools you will use most often in introductory symbolic logic courses,” by D.K. Johnston (University of Victoria)
9. A script for a sketch of talk show starring Zach Galafianakis as Socrates, with guest “Justin Beaver,” based on Plato’s Ion.
10. Embodied cognition, featured on Australian public radio (transcript, too). (via Philosophy Matters)
11. “The philosopher’s misfortune is to be a part of nothing. To stand apart from everything.” — Another review of Wittgenstein Jr. by Lars Iyer.
12. For the combative moral philosopher.
1. Has a time travel simulation resolved the grandfather paradox? Philosophers of science, let us know (via Ben Stein, Manolo Martinez).
2. A philosopher defends Zionism.
3. Meanwhile, the rabbinical ruling refusing to reverse Spinoza’s excommunication from Judaism has been made public.
4. PBS Newshour discusses philosophy and athletics with Mark Edmundson (Virginia).
5. While we’re on sports, check out David Papineau’s post on game theory and team reasoning.
6. Developments in human enhancement, part… let’s just say we’ve lost count: using electricity to improve your memory.
7. “The older people got, the more happiness ordinary experiences delivered.”
8. “When you’re a philosopher, you work so much with abstractions. You feel a longing for something more concrete. I think [art] is a nice complement to the abstractness of philosophy” — a brief interview with philosopher and artist Karsten Harries (Yale). Here’s one of his paintings.
9. What does informed consent have to do with self-driving cars?
10. I think they mean the first rule of philosophy club.
1. Advocates of the “open carry” of firearms sometimes enter stores, restaurants, and other establishments, proudly and openly carrying their guns. What is the rational thing to do in this situation? Jack Russell Weinstein (North Dakota) has an answer: GTFO. Wonkette has the story.
2. The mechanism by which the brain reinforces learning has a side-effect that causes you to value the option you chose over equivalent non-chosen options. I’m sure this has no bearing on how philosophy is done.
4. Simon Blackburn (Cambridge), John Haldane (St. Andrews), and Melissa Lane (Princeton) discuss the philosophy of solitude, together, on BBC Radio 4.
5. “Scientists rarely have the opportunity or support to step back from their research and ask how it connects with other work on similar topics. I see one role of philosophers of science as the provision of that larger, interpretive picture.” Helen Longino (Stanford) answers some questions about her last book, Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality.
6. Michael Sandel (Harvard) is a guest on the latest episode of The Partially Examined Life discussing what should and should not be sold. (via Dirk Felleman)
7. Pierre Bourdieu, while a soldier in the French army, took thousands of photos of the Algerian people during the Algerian War (1954-1962). Columbia University press has posted some on their blog. They have been published as Picturing Algeria.
8. Kudos to Minnesota Monthly for interviewing Valerie Tiberius (Minnesota) for its special issue on happiness, and kudos to Professor Tiberius for being able to put some of her ideas out there in such a Minnesota Monthly-reader-friendly way.
9. Aaron James (UC Irvine), the author of Assholes: A Theory, is one of the guests on a recent episode of CBC Radio’s show, “How To Do It?” The topic: how to deal with people you hate.
10. In case you missed it the first time around: “Psychologists search philosophical mind for bullshit detector, find ‘friendship deterrence system’ instead.”
1. You have just 10 minutes until your next meeting? Write. 15 minutes between classes? Write. 8 minutes before that advisee comes knocking? Write, dammit.
2. Early risers are less moral at night, compared with night owls.
3. An interview with Corey Mohler, the man behind Existentialist Comics. (via Philosophy Matters)
4. “Conspiracy theorists ruin the whole game for great academics like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. Radio hosts… who prop up wild theories… effectively make the public uneasy about trusting people who take the more nuanced approach toward investigating the ills of the world.”
5. This sounds interesting: a book in which the chapters alternate between a novel in which a philosophy professor is coming to terms with his changing views, and the philosophical manuscript the professor is writing. It’s called The Thinker Artist and is by Mark Anderson (Belmont).
6. An article describing and assessing Bertrand Russell’s pacifism and its value, with supporting roles by D.H. Lawrence and Wittgenstein.
7. Newcomb’s Problem + AI + Simulation = the philosophical equivalent of The Ring? Meet Roko’s Basilisk. (via Cristin Chall)
8. Regret (via George Felis).
1. “Discrimination Is Un-Christian, too” — philosophy graduate student Kathryn Pogin (Notre Dame, Northwestern) on the Hobby Lobby decision, in the NYT.
2. The genetics of belief: “If these predispositions [towards certain beliefs] are…to some degree genetically rooted, they may not lend themselves to rational debate and compromise.”
3. HooPs—the Hardwood Philosophical Society—uses “‘the basketball court as a transformation for African American men’ by integrating the sport with Eastern and African philosophies.” More here.
4. Read the introduction to the best-titled book in political theory, ever.
5. How you broke peer review, and what you can do to fix it (via David Wiens).
6. Plato’s Timaeus is called “the first pop science book ever” in Forbes.
7. How to mitigate bias in philosophy job searches.
8. “the statutes of [Oxford] required … an original contribution to knowledge. But what was presented by a candidate was either already known to [H.A.] Prichard and therefore not original, or else mere opinion and therefore not knowledge.” That’s J.O. Urmson, quoted in a letter to the editor in the LRB. (via Danny Woods)
9. The science of chaos in the brain.
10. “Isaiah Berlin was capable of bitching with the best of them” says a reviewer of a new book about Berlin and Isaac Deutscher.
11. Annoying strawman.
1. Is it exploitative or otherwise wrong to travel to Brazil to see the World Cup? Daniel Campos asks what an ethical fan should do.
2. For those continental philosophers who felt immune from Unger’s critique of analytic philosophy,there’s this: “Geuss describes teaching philosophy as ‘a mildly discreditable day job’ largely directed towards churning out the next generation of civil servants and commercial elites… there is little more to be said for the value of philosophical endeavours.”
3. What do counterexamples do? asks Moti Mizrahi (St. John’s University).
4. A new journal, RIDE, takes as its aim to review digital editions of historical and other documents and resources. Check out the editor’s statement and the inaugural issue, which contains a review of Nietzschesource.
5. How cities use design to be inhospitable to the homeless – by Robert Rosenberger (Georgia Tech). (via Robert Long)
6. Wi-Phi philosophy videos and educational service Kahn Academy have teamed up and organized a new site here.
7. Ryan Born, a Georgia State philosophy MA
student graduate [correction], won author Sam Harris’s essay contest on the scientific understanding of morality. Harris responds, and Born follows up, twice, so far. (via Robert Long)
8. A brief article in the Hindustan Times about recently knighted Richard Sorabji shows that all around the world people have a common love of posting shitty comments.
1. Matthew Burstein has a blog, thought.o.matt, on “academia, media, philosophy, social institutions, teaching, and technology.” Included among the posts are his annotated syllabi for courses on queer theory, philosophy and film, and the moral dimensions of power.
2. Some updates on that class photo of Wittgenstein and Hitler (scroll down).
3. Chimps perform more rationally than humans in some game theory tests.
4. Duncan Richter goes in search of the prison cell of Socrates.
5. More on the philosopher who would be Argentina’s controversial “Secretary of Coordination of Strategic Planning for National Thought.” (previously)
6. The philosophers are playing Dungeons & Dragons and it is Ladies Night.
7. Could Facebook swing an election? Some new worries for political philosophers.
8. What’s the relationship between American Pragmatism and Chinese culture?
9. “We have a persistent subversion of female filmic stereotypes, particularly through drawing attention to the way in which they pervert male perspectives” — the philosophy of femme fatales in Christopher Nolan’s films.
10. The Lover’s Fallacy.
11. What is consciousness? “What is it? That’s not very hard. Well perhaps it is.” David Papineau on mind on the radio.
1. Human civilization is over, says Noam Chomsky.
2. But in case it’s not: a forum on parenthood and academia, at Times Higher Education.
3. Using statistics in your philosophical work? Need help? You can get free one-on-one stats consulting.
4. “Philosophy emerges in society when it loses meaning and fails to provide a unified and coherent picture of reality” — from an interesting review of newly translated lectures by Jean-Francois Lyotard (that’s right, Lyotard; get over it) on the value of philosophy.
5. The “most memorable” conversation one retired airman ever had was with Marjorie Grene, who earned her doctorate in 1935; “unable to find work in philosophy she farmed near Chicago and raised her daughter and son while writing several books about philosophy between 1944 and 1959.” Eventually she became chair of the philosophy department at UC Davis.
6. A recently republished 2009 interview with Judith Butler about Israel (with a rather sycophantic introduction).
7. Should the military use a version of deep brain stimulation to modify soldiers? Matthew Liao (NYU) discusses the issues.
8. Need to get the creative juices flowing? This article explains why you should go for a walk.
9. If you have some time to kill you can see what people have to say about their “philosophy professor” on Twitter.
10. The canon of philosophy karaoke songs ❤. (via Jeff Engelhardt)
1. Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins makes some personal resolutions about how to treat other philosophers.
2. Students prefer administering painful electric shocks to themselves rather than just sitting and thinking. [Insert joke here, folks] 3. On the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website you can view 142 works of art with “philosopher” in their title and 149 with “philosophy“. (I haven’t checked whether there is much overlap.)
4. Also in art & philosophy news, you can now purchase an Aesthetics for Birds sticker, created to celebrate that blog’s one-year anniversary. Proceeds go to charity.
5. Is American anti-government individualism owed, in part, to a deleted punctuation mark? Political theoriest Danielle Allen investigates.
6. String theory and the space brain threat.
7. “The players of any given sport have a moral responsibility to adhere to their agreed code. But it doesn’t at all follow that the sports with less restrictive codes are morally inferior.” David Papineau on morality and fakery in sports.
8. Why is the non-academic job market “much more humane and sensible” than the academic job market?
9. Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef discuss human nature at Rationally Speaking. (via Philosophy TV)
10. How Plato invented the alarm clock.
11. A reminder about the old Wikipedia philosophy conspiracy, in case you missed it.
12. Happy Independence Day! Here’s a little article on The Virtues of Captain America, a book by Mark White (College of Staten Island / CUNY).
1. Jeff Sebo talks about moral status while drawing very fast. And well. Hmmm, maybe he isn’t the one drawing.
2. If privacy is dead, perhaps we should be seeking some obscurity instead? (And here’s an article by the same authors in Wired.)
3. Jesse Prinz, who got his PhD at the University of Chicago, is profiled in the university’s magazine. Relatedly, here is a short video featuring Prinz discussing spirituality.
4. “The goal of philosophy of science is not to answer scientific questions, but to answer questions about science.” Janet Stemwedel (San Jose State) explains philosophy of science over at Scientific American.
5. Adrian Piper’s latest art installation, The Probable Trust Registry, is on display in Manhattan.
6. Recently we asked, “Would you do it over again?” Marcus Arvan takes up the question in a thoughtful post over at Philosopher’s Cocoon.
7. Strategic Misogyny is a new blog that welcomes readers to share their stories of sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in academia.
8. Dinosaur Comics wades into the ideal/non-ideal theory discussion in political philosophy.
9. Go play in a philosophical ball pit. “Socratic dialogue is encouraged.”
1. Elizabeth Anderson discusses the history and varieties of egalitarianism at libertarianism.org.
2. “On Being Annoyed” by Tom Roberts (Exeter). A friend asks: the next “On Bullshit”?
3. I’m not sure how helpful it is to ask “What if Plato was an employee benefits professional?” though I do like Dilbert on this idea.
4. A “lost” video interview of Foucault on themes from his Madness and Civilization.
5. Jonathan Iwry and Micah Kaats (two of Adrienne Martin’s students at U. Penn) rapping about responsibility and emotions.
6. Patrick Lin (Cal Poly) in Wired on the moral problems with driverless cars (via Alexandra King).
7. Video of the sex lives of philosophers. Not that kind of video, perv. It’s a lecture.
8. 8-Bit Philosophy (previously) on Nietzsche and scientism.
9. Can coffee make you more ethical?
10. Panayiota Vassilopoulou (Liverpool) will be exploring “mutual ways in which philosophical reflection and art can transform us” as the first “philosopher-in-residence” at the Bluecoat arts center.
11. National Geographic asked Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to name “Africa’s Greatest Innovators in Arts and Sciences” and Kwame Anthony Appiah made the list.
12. “How To Stop a Wedding.” It’s not philosophy, but it kind of reads like applied just war theory. Includes helpful illustrations.
13. Which came first, the universe or the math? (Bonus Mother’s Day link)
1. Why study paradoxes? Roy Cook (Minnesota) answers.
2. An argument for the following: “The maxim ‘my country must fight a war to end this episode of political violence and politically-induced suffering’ is approximately equivalent to the maxim ‘the political elites of my country may fight wars at the times and places of their choosing, for the reasons of their choosing, whether their motives are good, wicked, or opportunistic,'” by Jacob Levy (McGill).
3. NorMind is a new informal network of philosophers of mind and cognitive science working in the Nordic countries (and nearby). (via Ole Koksvik)
4. How Rudolf Carnap ended up in philosophy, according to Hilary Putnam.
5. Why is there something rather than nothing? Jim Holt explains in a recent TED talk.
6. “Wittgenstein Jr is about a Wittgenstein-wannabe, a pseudo-Ludwig, a despairing, tormented philosopher in contemporary Cambridge struggling to produce a proper thought, who is nicknamed Wittgenstein by his students.” The Guardian has a review of this new novel by Lars Iyer.
7. In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy, Volume 1, by Eugene Thacker, is, according to Radiolab, “an academic treatise about the horror humanity feels as we realize that we are nothing but a speck in the universe.” Who knows, but apparently it is kind of a big deal in some entertainment circles.
8. Some people are trying to electrically stimulate their own brains to become smarter and happier. Please note that “plugging a 9-volt battery directly into your head is a bad idea, of course.” (via Matt Burstein). In other brain news, doctors have discovered a normal functioning woman with no cerebellum.
9. Would philosophers be good on this upcoming game show?
10. What it is sometimes like putting together the heap of links.
1. Vivian Feldblyum may have earlier wooed you with “The Deductive Logic Love Song” but now she is singing the epistemology break-up song, “Do I Have Hands?” Perhaps she is seeing someone else?
2. The new edition of Onora O’Neill’s Acting on Principle, an “incisive and thoughtful defence” of Kant’s moral theory, is reviewed by Michael Rosen in The Times Literary Supplement.
3. Your loved ones? “I think most of them would sacrifice one more line on your resume for one more day of quality time with you.” Thoughts on work-life balance from the widow of an academic star.
4. Relatedly, if you think you are feeling burned out, but want to know more about the phenomenon, there is the new interdisciplinary journal Burnout Research.
5. Goal Imperialism and The Great 21st Century Fun Crisis, as described by Patricia Marino.
6. Ethics and economics in The Wire.
7. John Martin Fischer takes on the boredom and lack of motivation objections to immortality.
8. Zombie bats. Ha.
1. Greasy spoons and Gricean maxims. (via Gerald Dworkin)
2. The regress problem for consequentialism, robot version.
3. “In a deeper and more troubling way, it is canny and subversive artifice, spiced with a moralistic claim to personal liberation. A tattoo is a personal statement but also an anthropological position that accords with the prevailing transvaluations of our time.” — from “A Theory for Tattoos.”
4. Data on the use of “he” and “she” over time in Philosopher’s Index abstracts, as analyzed by Eric Schwitzgebel at The Splintered Mind.
5. The philosophical origins for parts of the U.S Constitution, particularly the proscription against cruel punishments in the 8th Amendment, may be in Italy.
6. Marina Warner, former professor of creative writing at University of Essex and current chair of the Man Booker Prize, writes about resigning from higher education, “where enforcers rush to carry out the latest orders from their chiefs in an ecstasy of obedience to ideological principles which they do not seem to have examined, let alone discussed with the people they order to follow them.” Additional piece here.
7. Political epistemology gets a special double-issue of Critical Review.
8. The latest episode of the BBC’s Philosopher’s Arms is on trolleyology.
9. PhD(isabled) is “a space for PhD students with disability or chronic illness to share their experiences.” The latest post is by a grad student in a philosophy program.
10. 8-Bit Philosophy takes a clip from True Detective as an opportunity to illustrate Nietzsche’s idea of eternal recurrence.
11. By Bentham.