I’m asked from time to time which undergraduate courses best prepared me for working at Goldman Sachs and in the government. People assume I’ll list courses in economics or finance, but I always answer that the key was Professor Demos’s philosophy course and the conversations about existentialism in coffee shops around campus.
We are no longer able to detect the philosophical unless it comes to us in the form of the peer-reviewed academic article, published (preferably in English) in a journal with a stellar ranking and a top-notch editorial board. No wonder philosophy has become so irrelevant today. Why should anyone need philosophers, if philosophy limits itself so radically? (more…)..
“What is the meaning of life?” That’s probably the question that springs to mind when a non-philosopher is asked what philosophers study. And while some philosophers do in fact work on that question, like any single question it does not capture the extraordinary range and diversity of subjects philosophers are thinking and writing about. (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. ..
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:
One type of evidence that some claim is relevant to determining whether there has been progress in philosophy is whether philosophers have converged on answers to philosophical questions. (more…)
“To put something forward is an act of courage, and especially when you know people are going to tear it down. But I think tearing it down is the right response.” (more…)
Does philosophy make progress? Daniel Stoljar, professor of philosophy at Australia National University, thinks it does, and he defends that idea in his new book, Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism. In the following guest post,* he presents one kind of argument for his view. (more…)
“My views about how to do metaphysics as a feminist are undergoing a radical transformation… chiefly because of the Hypatia affair.” (more…)
“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..
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…)
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..
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 ..
A new call for papers has been circulating, soliciting work on the history of “Late Analytic Philosophy.” From the CFP:
In the last 25 to 30 years historical attention has been directed toward analytic philosophy: some analytic philosophers have begun reflecting on the philosophical tradition they belong to, while many other scholars have been working on what is ..
As we’ve discussed before, most of our students are not heading off to become philosophers. Increasingly, students already have jobs and are saddled with time-consuming responsibilities, and are coming from a broader range of socio-economic backgrounds. What good is a philosophical education for them? Jennifer Morton (City College of New York) takes up the question ..
A forthcoming special issue of the European Journal of Political Theory will take up the topic of analytic and Continental approaches in political philosophy and political theory. The introduction to the issue, “Introduction: Analytic, Continental and the question of a bridge” by Clayton Chin and Lasse Thomassen (University of London) is now online (may be gated). T..
What are the boundaries of philosophy? Why are they there and what is their nature? How do such boundaries structure the way philosophers approach understanding people, events, relationships, institutions, and so on? A few recent pieces around the Internet explore versions of these questions.
Justin E.H. Smith (Université Paris Diderot) argues at Berfrois that th..
Should ethics professors be held to higher ethical standards in their personal behavior? A post on that topic by Eric Schwitzgebel (UCR) at The Splintered Mind (which I had put in the Heap of Links last week) asks that question. (more…)
Among the humanities, philosophy is the field in which provincialism has most successfully disguised itself as a universal and timeless form of inquiry. It’s not at all uncommon to hear philosophy professors demur, when the subject of, say, classical Indian logic comes up, that they “regrettably don’t know anything about that.” What they really mean is: “My professi..
Philosophy was the first academic field; the founder of the Academy was Plato. Nevertheless, philosophy’s place in academe can stir up controversy. The ancient lineage itself provokes dissensi..