Public Philosophy and OutreachCategory
The following is a guest post* by Adam Briggle and Robert Frodeman, both professors of Philosophy at the University of North Texas and co-authors of Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy. This essay originally appeared in The Guardian and is reposted here with permission of the authors.
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..
Via a chock-full-of-philosophy-links post at the wonderful Omnivore blog at Bookforum comes “The Philosopher As Public Intellectual” by Patrick Baert, a sociologist at Cambridge University. The essay is part of a forthcoming collection, Public Intellectuals in the Global Arena: Professors or Pundits? (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..
We are accumulating a large list of philosophers who do public philosophy in the comments to “Who Does Public Philosophy?” It is great to see that so many academics are involved in bringing philosophy to people outside their classrooms and peer groups, and especially heartening to see so many names on that list of people who haven’t been much mentioned before in the..
The American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Public Philosophy is compiling a list of philosophers who have careers doing public philosophy, either exclusively or concurrently with careers in academic philosophy, and can use your help in identifying them.
There are a variety of ways to do public philosophy, so to be more specific, the committee is lookin..
A new philosophy show is in the works, and its creator has made three of its episodes—which together make up a miniseries on the philosophy of war—available to anyone teaching a course to which they would be relevant. (more…)
Philosophy professors generally like to assign papers to students. The format of a paper allows the student to exercise certain skills of careful exposition and argumentation in ways that quizzes and timed exams don’t. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) often do not include graded work—and certainly not graded papers. The massiveness and openness (inexpensivenes..
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..
Jason Brennan (Georgetown) thinks that facts about public ignorance haven’t been sufficiently appreciated by political philosophers and political theorists. Such facts should temper our enthusiasm for democracy and make us more sympathetic to epistocracy (rule by the knowledgeable). The self-described “bleeding heart libertarian” recently published a book, Against D..
The Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization, PLATO, “advocates and supports introducing philosophy to children and youth through programs,
resource-sharing, and the development of a national network in pre-college philosophy.” They’ve recently posted an interview, conveniently organized by topic, with Texas A&M philosophy professor Claire Katz and English PhD..
During its last fundraiser, Philosophy Talk, the weekly radio show hosted by Stanford University’s John Perry and Kenneth Taylor, failed to make it more than 4% of the way to its $150,000 goal, according to The Stanford Daily. (more…)
Local school teachers, professors and students of philosophy at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), and several community organizations have teamed up for a bilingual project called Philosophy for Children in the Borderlands: (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Ben Baker, Louise Daoust, and Rob Willison (University of Pennsylvania) on a recent attempt at publicly engaged philosophy at the University Pennsylvania—one that others might be interested in trying out elsewhere.
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:
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, ..
The plans for growing and diversifying philosophy can’t be a shotgun approach. We need to find places every year where we can advocate and promote philosophical growth with precision because of our limited resources. We can do this through a robust development and advocacy process along with PR and advertising campaigns. There are lots of ways to grow and diversify ..
Kelly Truelove compiles data about the online activities of philosophers, astronomers, physicists, and others, under the handle @TrueSciPhi. Recently, at his site, he posted about the most popular online philosophy videos.
In the “Under 20 Minutes” category, the most popular items over the past year have been offerings from 8-Bit Philosophy and The School of Life..
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..
How did the United States go from a country that incarcerated roughly 500,000 citizens in 1980 to one that incarcerates roughly 2.3 million today? Civil unrest and rising crime were used to focus public debate on ideals of law and order. Those ideals were then employed to justify a criminal-justice system that, given social conditions, runs counter to race-neutral, ..
Working on a project in public philosophy? Need some money to help do it? You can apply for funding from the American Philosophical Association’s Berry Fund, administered by the APA’s Committee on Public Philosophy. From a post at the Committee’s blog:
Grants are generally under $1000. Some sample projects that The Berry Fund is supporting:
(1) a philosophy and sc..
In his guest post the other day, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong wrote:
many top departments today view colleagues with suspicion when they choose to write accessible books instead of technical journal articles. Philosophers often risk their professional reputations when they appear on television or write for newspapers or magazines. How can they be serious about philos..
Popular essays, fictions, aphorisms, dialogues, autobiographical reflections and personal letters have historically played a central role in philosophy. So also have public acts of direct confrontation with the structures of one’s society: Socrates’ trial and acceptance of the hemlock; Confucius’ inspiring personal correctness. It was really only with the generation..
The Philosophy Foundation, an educational charity in the UK, is trying to set up a community space in South-East London to bring philosophy to younger students and the broader community, to be called “The Philosophy Shop.” A lot of their work is done in school classrooms, but they would like to be able to continue their work after the school day is done, as well as..
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..
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..