Public Philosophy and OutreachCategory
The following is a guest post* by Adam Hosein, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. A version of this post initially appeared at Philosopher, a site at which philosophers are invited to describe their work. Thanks to Meena Krishnamurthy, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan and editor of Philosopher, for permiss..
Fifteen inmates at Statesville Correctional Center in Illinois took a course on mass incarceration with Northwestern University philosophy professor Jennifer Lackey. It was an interdisciplinary course with a range of guest lecturers, including Alex Kotlowitz, a writer and a senior lecturer in journalism at Northwestern. He gave them an assignment to write about thei..
The Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh will be hosting a summer program in philosophy of science for undergraduate students from underrepresented groups this July. (more…)
Freelance philosopher and writer Nigel Warburton, whom you may know from Philosophy Bites, is prompted by the occasion of a straightforward interview with a philosopher in the mainstream media (Daniel Dennett on BBC Radio 4) to observe how rare it is, and then, in a series of tweets, come up with increasingly ridiculous pitches for TV and radio producers about how ..
The Logos Dance Collective is
a fluctuating assemblage comprised of dancers, choreographers, musicians, composers, designers, cartographers, and philosophers, rebels against disciplinary constraints as it investigates how ideas that are typically relegated to the ivory tower—ideas about the limits of human knowledge, the nature of consciousness, the moral and ..
Philosophy In An Inclusive Key, or PIKSI, is a philosophy summer program “designed to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider future study in the field of philosophy.” (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Michael Connell, an Australian comedian. Connell has a thing for philosophy, especially Stoicism, which he incorporates into his act (e.g., “How you think shapes how you feel. What I’m saying is that if you don’t enjoy this show, it’s your fault.”). I asked him to talk about his work and conveying philosophical ideas to non-philosop..
Perhaps you saw this logic problem, purported to have been given to fifth graders in Singapore, flying around social media yesterday:
That’s right: a logic problem has gone viral.
It turns out that the problem was from a math olympiad test for high-school students, but perhaps the “are you smarter than a fifth grader from Singapore” framing helped propel t..
Rethink: A Philosophy Community Outreach Program at Columbia University, has been awarded the 2015 APA/PDC Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The aim of the prize, which has been jointly sponsored by the American Philosophical Association and the Philosophy Documentation Center since 1999, is “to recognize philosophy departments, research ce..
As reported in December, the Marc Sanders Foundation, which offers several philosophy essay prizes, has created a new award for public philosophy. Barry Maguire (UNC), who has played a large role in creating this prize and in other public philosophy initiatives, informs me that submissions for the award are now welcome, and has more details at his site, including:
What if there were a platform where philosophers can collaborate with investigative or beat reporters, nonfiction writers and documentary producers, and use the power..
Matthew Noah Smith (Leeds) has an article at Slate bringing together philosophy of mind and political philosophy to discuss the United States government’s attempts to get Apple to “unlock” the iPhone of a shooting suspect. It’s a great example of public philosophy. Professor Smith lays out the basics of extended cognition in clear but not oversimplified language, go..
The Republican Presidential Primary Debate earlier this week led to a spike in public attention to the study of philosophy. Various news outlets covered Marco Rubio’s claim that the United States needs “more welders and less philosophers,” as well as other disparaging comments about philosophy by John Kasich and Ted Cruz (see previous post), along with responses by ..
The American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Public Philosophy has announced the winners of the latest round of its Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest, for op-eds written in 2014. The winners are:
Suppose you wanted to choose a career based on how much good it will allow you to do. Assessing careers with that in mind is one of the aims of 80,000 Hours, a non-profit organization co-founded by philosopher Will MacAskill. The group looks at four aspects of a job: (1) Role Impact — the extent to which the career enables you to help others; (2) Career Capital — ..
Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, the digital wing of the journal Social Epistemology, has featured an exchange of short articles in the wake of “When Philosophy Lost Its Way” by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle (both of University of North Texas), an article we previously discussed a couple of times. The exchange is between Luke Maring (Northern Ariz..
The BBC has launched a new program called “The Global Philosopher.” Each episode is a public philosophy session led by Michael Sandel (Harvard) with participants video-conferenced in from all over the world. Video footage is then edited, put online at the BBC’s site, and also broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
You can watch the first episode, on immigration and refugees, ..
Philosophers at St. Olaf College and Carleton College objected when a local pub, The Contented Cow, scheduled conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier Jim Fetzer to give one four in a series of “CowTalks” on assorted political issues. Alan Rubenstein (Carleton) withdrew from a debate with Fetzer (see update) at the Cow, and St. Olaf professors Gordon Marino, Danny M..
Each year, Edge.org publishes responses to an “annual question.” This year’s question is “What scientific term of concept ought to be more widely known?” There are 206 responses, with a number of philosophers among the respondents.
Here are a few examples, to give you a sense of the variety: (more…)
Public debate is rife with poor reasoning, with certain confused or erroneous claims popping up again and again to affect opinions and policies. Some of these are owed to an inability to understand statistics, some are owed to a lack of scientific understanding, and some are philosophical mistakes. Logic and critical thinking courses already take up formal errors in..
Some fifth grade students in Irvine, California are getting an introduction to philosophy some eight years ahead of normal thanks to a new program developed by Marcello Fiocco, associate professor of philosophy at UC Irvine. The program, called TH!NK, is a four-week, 16-hour course taught by Fiocco and UC Irvine philosophy graduate students at Canyon View Elementary..
Peter Singer (Princeton) did an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit today to tout his new book, The Most Good You Can Do. He says he may come back tomorrow to answer some more questions. In the meanwhile, here are some excerpts:
Q: If you weren’t doing what you do now, what do you think you’d be doing?
A: I suppose I might be a political activist of some kind. B..
The president of a university philosophy club writes in seeking advice on how to attract new students at the activities fair to their table. One idea they’re keen on is to have laptops out with various philosophy-related games or other interactive sites running. He mentions Moral Machines, Cleverbot, Philosophy Experiments, and Information Is Beautiful’s ‘What Is C..
Lisa Guenther (Vanderbilt) is profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education (paywalled) for both her teaching of philosophy in prisons and her activism regarding “the carceral state.”
She had been researching “the politics of confinement and the ethics of torture,” and their connection to academia, when “suddenly I realized that I really can’t do this work by sim..
How can we introduce those outside of higher education to philosophy? One little-used means is the museum.
I was not aware of any philosophy museums, but a recent news item on the Empathy Museum, ” the world’s first museum dedicated to helping visitors develop the skill of putting themselves in others’ shoes” put the idea in mind. (The Empathy Museum is the crea..
Nancy McHugh, professor of philosophy at Wittenberg University, teaches philosophy in prisons as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. These classes are held in prison and have 15 regularly enrolled undergraduates (“outside” students) in them and 15 students who are inmates (“inside” students). McHugh recently co-authored a paper with a group that included..
What is the name of the phenomenon by which someone who is an acknowledged expert in one area is led to be overconfident about his or her knowledge in other areas? It’s a specific version of illusory superiority, and it may be related to the Dunning-Kruger effect (a product of the correlation of overconfidence and lack of skill), but I’m wondering if it has its own ..
Philosophy departments face many challenges. Philosophy is perceived by some as “less practical” and so less choiceworthy a course of study. Most entering students have not taken philosophy courses and do not come to college thinking about studying philosophy. Philosophy is unfamiliar, its critical element can scare away some students, and it has a reputation among ..