In the new Oxford Review of Books, Daniel Kodsi, an apparently remarkably well-read Oxford undergraduate, conducts a wide-ranging three-part interview (I, II, III) with Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU). Here’s an excerpt from Part II:
Christia Mercer (Columbia), writing in “The Stone” at The New York Times:
René Descartes has long been credited with the near-single-handed creation of modern philosophy. Generations of students have read, and continue to read, his famous “Meditations” as the rejection of medieval ways of thinking and the invention of the modern self. They learned that he doubted..
Occasionally philosophers make claims about the benefits of teaching elementary and high school students philosophy. (more…)
Every society has a population that loves trashy, glittery entertainment; porn; gambling… and it would be foolish to despoil some beautiful area with it. Plunk it in the middle of some otherwise irredeemably inhospitable and infertile desert—concentrate the glitz and sleaze in one place where it can be indulged in with a minimal impact on the rest of the world. ..
“Feminist philosophy should be an essential resource for all philosophers, whatever their views about its political agenda,” says Gary Gutting (Notre Dame), in his latest column in “The Stone” at The New York Times.
Changes, including the rising popularity of feminist philosophy, as well as the increased number of institutional roles women are occupying (e.g., a..
Q: How do you feel about Trump’s performance thus far? Is this what you expected?
A: I’m very pleased with his performance. (more…)
People like me, who have been trying to do philosophy for more than forty years, do in due course learn, if they’re lucky, how to do what they’ve been trying to do: that is, they do learn how to do philosophy. But although I’ve learned how to do philosophy, nobody ever told me how do it, and, so far as I would guess, nobody will have told you how to do it, or is lik..
In a recent interview, Shalom Chalson, an undergraduate studying philosophy at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) asks Frank Jackson (ANU; currently visiting at NUS) about the prospects for change in philosophy: (more…)
Bas van Fraassen (Princeton) is interviewed by Richard Marshall at 3:AM Magazine. The whole interview is chock full of interestingness. Here are three brief and possibly provocative passages from the interview. (more…)
A commonly recognized form of intellectual achievement is the correct answering of questions. This kind of achievement is not a matter of mere quantity—one doesn’t get much credit for answering easy questions or trivial ones—but also quality. What counts is providing answers that add to the store of human understanding, understood broadly. (more…)
In “The Intellectual Achievement of Creating Questions,” I explained why I thought it would be a good idea for the profession to have a timeline of the creation of philosophical questions. (more…)
Question: lots of people think that continental and analytic philosophy are in opposition to each other, but you seem to reject that view. What does each school get wrong, you think? (more…)
What can we learn from constructing semantic networks of familiar works in the history of philosophy? A fair amount, according to Mark Alfano, a philosopher at Delft University of Technology and Australian Catholic University, as he explains in the following guest post*—such as which concepts tend to get more attention from readers than might seem appropriate give..
Recently, mainstream philosophy journals have tended to implement more and more stringent forms of peer review (e.g., from double-anonymous to triple-anonymous), probably in an attempt to prevent editorial decisions that are based on factors other than quality. Against this trend, we propose that journals should relax their standards of acceptance, as well as be les..
I used to teach a course in critical thinking at Ghent University. As behooves a good skeptic, I first presented my students with the usual laundry list of fallacies, after which I invited them to put the theory into practice. Take a popular piece from the newspaper or watch a political debate, and try to spot the fallacies.
I no longer give that assignment. (m..
There’s another great interview up at What Is It Like To Be a Philosopher?—this time with Graham Priest (CUNY). Interviewer Clifford Sosis (Coastal Carolina) asks Professor Priest about a his life, education, work, and the philosophical world. (more…)
“Since science took its modern form in the seventeenth century, it has been one long success story.” By contrast, we philosophers “don’t seem to have progressed much in the two and a half millennia since Plato wrote his dialogues.” That’s the conventional wisdom, as described by David Papineau (King’s College London) in The Times Literary Supplement. But if there’s ..
…I expect there will be deep and lasting tensions going forward among feminist philosophers. Most of the tensions have to do with perceptions of harm: harm to the author, the journal, communities of people who are marginalized and threatened, and to feminist philosophy. I hope feminist philosophers will explore and critically discuss questions about the harms caus..
On Friday, June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the recognition and provision of same-sex marriage. It requires each of the 50 states in the US to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples seeking them, and to recognize legi..
Athena in Action, a networking and mentoring workshop for graduate student women in philosophy, has posted a call for applicants to its 2016 workshop. Helpfully, the workshop website has a page that lists other summer diversity initiatives for philosophy:
For graduate women interested in mathematical philosophy:
Chiara Bottici (New School) was one of the opening speakers at the Night of Philosophy held at the French Embassy in New York City on April 24th, 2015. She chose a controversial figure to focus on—Machiavelli, whose “very status as a philosopher is contested”—in order to get at the question of what does and what does not count as philosophy.
Towards the end o..
I can only speak for myself, but being trained by a philosopher, I often feel I was exposed to an expectation of argumentative rigor that, to be perfectly frank, I can’t say I always find in the field of political theory proper. But this can result in drawbacks. Philosophers sometimes look at the rest of the humanities in the way that social scientists look at socia..
A list of scholars and writers, including several philosophers, have placed their names on a website beneath the statement, “Given our choices in the presidential election, we believe that Donald Trump is the candidate most likely to restore the promise of America, and we urge you to support him as we do.” (more…)
James Andow (Reading) has a very interesting post up at Imperfect Cognitions about how philosophers use intuitions. As he notes, and as everyone acknowledges, philosophers use intuitions. And, as everyone knows, reliance on intuitions has come under intense criticism, increasingly so during the past four decades. But how fair is the general criticism of philosophy t..
If all existing philosophical work—and all records and knowledge of it—were to be destroyed in some disaster, and only one sentence could be passed on to future intelligent beings (roughly like us we’ll assume) for them to restart the philosophical enterprise, what should that statement be?
The question is based on a similar one about science, which Richard F..
It’s Halloween, and philosophers everywhere are dressing up as obscure ideas and concepts that they’ll have to spend too much time explaining. Costumes are fun, but let’s not forget the horror, shall we? (more…)
Josh Knobe holds appointments in Yale’s Department of Philosophy and its Cognitive Science program. He has an office in the Psychology Department there and he works with both philosophy and psychology students. In a recent interview, he remarks on the cultural differences between the disciplines of philosophy and psychology:
It has been fascinating to experience ..