Public Philosophy and OutreachCategory
In 2015, Freddie Gray suffered fatal injuries in the back of a police van. Since then, the Baltimore police department has instituted various reforms, including an educational program for police that includes philosophy and literature. (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Myfanwy J. Williams, responding to last week’s post about claims made regarding the benefits of pre-college philosophy instruction. Dr. Williams is co-director of what she calls “a very small not-for-profit company,” which she is in the process of establishing with two fellow philosophers, John Foster and Faye Tucker (Second Though..
In the wake of suspected recent chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians by their own government, The Atlantic reached out to a few philosophers to learn what the “moral course of action” is for the United States. The collection of answers suggests a problem with public philosophy. (more…)
“We assume that certain kinds of questions are only for advanced students, and I think that the irony is that, in many cases, not encouraging all students to ask those questions is why some are not advanced.” (more…)
Are you helping to organize a summer philosophy program for undergraduates? What are the details? (more…)
It is a common refrain: academics need to get out of their ivory towers and start engaging with the general public. It can come from a place of sympathy, worrying that valuable ideas are not reaching the public, or it can come from a place of dismissiveness, implying that academic debates need to change radically to become relevant to the broader populace. But in ei..
This past Sunday’s edition of the Star-Ledger, the leading New Jersey-based newspaper, published five brief proposals to “upgrade democracy” authored by political philosophers and theorists, alongside assessments of their practicality by scholars from Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics. (more…)
Nearly 30 philosophers have embarked upon a project to engage in policy discussion and debates with the public in anticipation of the 2019 European Parliament elections. (more…)
Here’s an interesting way of using technology to bring philosophy to the people:
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..
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..
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..
Barry Smith, professor of philosophy and director of the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, is the co-host, with composer and sound designer Nick Ryan, of a new series on BBC Radio 4 called “The Uncommon Senses.” (more…)
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..