Over a month has passed since the forced disappearance of the normalistas (student teachers) of the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, and still 43 remain missing.
On September 26, members of the Iguala municipal police and the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel ambushed the caravan of students as they traveled by bus within their home state of Gu..
Sherri Irvin (University of Oklahoma) writes in asking what PhD admissions committees think about master’s theses. Her query is below. Please share your thoughts.
Our MA program at the University of Oklahoma is increasingly serving as a stepping stone for students who are trying to get into PhD programs (our own and others), especially now that we have started to..
Wes Morriston, who retired this past summer after 42 years as a member of the philosophy department at the University of Colorado, has written a letter to the editor responding to the column by alumna Allison Blakeney (previously) asserting that the department has a “rape culture.”
There are several very basic things your readers need to know. No one in the departm..
For no reason in particular, I thought it would be nice to have a list of fictional works in which one of the main characters is an academic philosopher. The rules are somewhat arbitrary. I am prepared to be flexible as to what counts as ficti..
Percentages of U.S. Doctorates in Philosophy Given to Women and to Minorities, 1973-2014
by Eric Schwitzgebel
The Survey of Earned Doctorates is a questionnaire distributed by the U.S. National Science Foundation to doctorate recipients at a..
Kate Manne (Cornell) writes in The Stone in The New York Times that the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and the events that have occurred in its wake, suggest that a traditional understanding of racism is mistaken:
One possibility is that people are treated brutally because those who mistreat them fail to grasp their common humanity — or, similarly,..
Arthur Ward (Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State) teaches a unit on charitable giving in his ethics course and has come up with a way of doing so that gets the students really interested and involved:
I had heard of others doing some group work in class with this topic, asking students to research effective charities. It occurred to me that this was a great idea, b..
David Shorter, a professor world arts and cultures at UCLA, has published a list of “six key lessons” for people starting graduate school. Paraphrasing, they include:
1. Map out what the major requirements are for your program and for getting a job in your field and have a timetable for their completion.
2. Remember to act professionally and considerately with your..
Carol Gould (CUNY Graduate Center) has won the 2015 Joseph B. Gittler Award for “an outstanding scholarly contribution in the field of the philosophy of one or more of the social sciences” for her book, Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice.
The Ethical War Blog is a new group blog hosted by the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace. The Centre’s Jonathan Parry writes:
The Ethical War Blog will publish short and timely opinion articles on war-related topics in the news, written by specialists in the field, in an accessible and digestible format. The blog launches with five articles, with n..
David Barnett, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will be resigning from the school with a $210,000 settlement. Barnett had gone through termination proceedings last year on grounds that he had retaliated against a student who had complained about another student sexually assaulting her (previous stories on this here). The D..
It’s now official: Andrei Marmor, currently Professor of Philosophy and Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, will be moving to Cornell, taking up joint appointments in the university’s Sage School of Philosophy and Law School over the summer of 2015. Marmor works in legal and moral philosophy. His wife, Elizabeth Garrett, ..
1. “I’m not sure, for example, what the philosophy REF panel would make of Berkeley’s research on tar-water, or even Bentham’s on prisons, for that matter.” That’s Jonathan Wolff on exciting scholarship and whether disciplinarity is just a blip in the history of academia.
2. The History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh has launched “Instant HPS“, a series of brief videos on various topics, including “Is Your Brain a Computer?”, “Is Race Real?”, and “Einstein’s Astonishing Idea.” (via Edouard Machery)
3. Jeremy Waldron (NYU/Oxford) has an essay on Cass Sunstein’s (Harvard) work in which he says that Sunstein’s arguments for nudging (based on the heuristics and biases work in social psychology) are “remarkably tone-deaf to concerns about autonomy.” Nudges get a skeptical look at Aeon this week, too. And, by the way, the issue of the NYRB the Waldron essay appears in is chock full of articles by and about philosophers. Unfortunately, most of them are currently behind paywalls.
4. Kristen Andrews (York) is the new “featured scholar” at Brains. She works on human cognition in humans and non-human animals.
5. “The fossil fuel divestment campaign makes demands that no corporate executive could ever meet,” says Scott Wisor (Birmingham), at Ethics & International Affairs.
6. Eddy Nahmias (Georgia State) tests “willusionism.”
7. “In a perfect world, unlikely findings would be both published and scrutinized — and maybe that world’s not so far from the world we have. Still, the evidence appears to be badly mixed; can any conclusion – save that we’ve got a mess on our hands – be safely drawn?” — an excerpt from a new book by John Doris (Washington University in St. Louis) (via Leiter). Shen-yi Liao (Leeds) comments on it here.
8. A review of recent defenses of the humanities, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
9. The truth and nothing but the truth (with a comment at the end from God, in bold, related to this recent thread).
Miranda Fricker, Jennifer Saul, and Holly Lawford-Smith at the University of Sheffield are interested in hearing from anyone with an interest in epistemological, metaphysical, and normative issues that touch on, apply to, or might be extended to, Philosophy of Race broadly construed. They write:
“Our own interests range over issues of social construction, culpable i..
Lucy Allais, currently senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Sussex and associate professor of philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, has accepted an appointment at the University of California, San Diego, where she will be in residence during the Winter and Spring quarters. The remainder of her time will be at Witwatersrand. Professor Allai..
1. “The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined.” Physicist George Ellis is interviewed at Scientific American’s site.
2. The researchers behind a study (previously) that concluded that students would rather self-administer shocks than spend time alone with their thoughts do not appear to have spent enough time with their thoughts. (via Bryce Huebner)
3. Reports about the findings from a study that purported to show that “children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction” have come under scrutiny from philosopher Helen de Cruz (Oxford).
4. The leader of the Ukrainian rebels, Alexander Borodai, has a degree in philosophy from Moscow State University. He is the son of Yury Borodai, who is also a philosopher. Borodai the elder argues that humans evolved from apes through masturbation. Or at least so says an article in the Moscow Times, which notes that Borodai the junior “is not known to have a girlfriend.”
5. Teresa Marques, a philosopher at the University of Lisbon, critiques the Portguese Science and Technology Foundation’s employment of the European Science Foundation to review the country’s research institutes, arguing that it could lead to “disaster.”
6. Art and the philosophy and history of science come together in an exhibition called “Inventing Temperature” at the Korean Cultural Centre in London.
7. “Our actions in the concrete world and the manner in which we inquire into the world is premised on our concepts. And this is precisely why philosophy matters,” says Levi R. Bryant (Collins College), at his blog, Larval Subjects.
8. The Independent has a series called “Book of a Lifetime.” A.C. Grayling reveals his pick here.
9. Debate continues over “Confucius Institutes.”
10. Socrates makes Buzzfeed… for seven times he was a total douchebag — like “when he invented the entire Socratic method.”
Update: oh, and 11 & 12: Two from around the philosoblogosphere: Martha Bolton’s remarks from the inaugural meeting of the Society for Modern Philosophy, at The Mod Squad; and Bas Van Der Vossen on “Why Philosophers Should Stay Out of Politics,” at Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
Many graduate philosophy programs rely upon what could be characterized as a game of bait and switch. These programs exist not because there is a job market for their graduates. They exist for a variety of reasons, including the intrinsic value of philosophy and institutional mandates to produce Ph.D.’s. But they also exist in part to help universities reduce the co..
I saw this very clever cover for a book on set theory and it got me wondering about good book design in philosophy. Let’s take a few moments to judge books by their covers. Share ones you think are particularly good here (and provide links to images if possible).
The University of Oregon administration has told international graduate students that they will be deported if they join the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation strike, according to UO assistant professor of philosophy Mark Alfano. Additionally, the administration is attempting to undermine the strike by decreeing that undergraduates taking courses that use teachin..
Most colleges offer lower-level philosophy courses on contemporary moral problems, one of the aims of which is to teach students how to think philosophically about assorted social and political issues. There are more of these kinds of issues than could be covered adequately in a semester, so the instructor must select which to include, and there may be some difficul..
Helena De Bres (Wellesley) has created The Pink Guide to Philosophy, a place where students—especially those about to take their first philosophy course—can get acquainted with what philosophy is about and how to do it, all with the guidance of insect instructors Professor F. Lee Pink and Professor Philosa Flea, “your fearless guides to a better, brighter, more ..
Certain subfields of philosophy, such as feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, and philosophy of disability, are sometimes accused of being improperly “political.” Lately, I have seen several defenses of these subfields that consist in saying that all or most philosophy is political. For example, Magicalersatz at Feminist Philosophers writes, “I can’t see any sen..
An anonymous donor contributed $3 million for the creation of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking, named for a tough professor the donor had there over 30 years ago. One task that comes with the position: “spread the gospel of critical thinking across the university, from engineering to the technical arts to the huma..
For the most recent information about the efforts to reverse the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s decision to rescind Steven Salaita’s offer, see Corey Robin’s blog. According to him, six departments have voted no confidence in the university’s administration, seven professional associations have condemned the decision, and many scholars, including a num..
1. Hindu philosophy of religion.
2. A series of posts on Cusa and Hegel.
3. Artificial wombs are already being tested and developed, and according to some, will be widely used in a few decades. They’re a little controversial.
4. Physicist Lawrence Krauss squares off against philosophers Angie Hobbs and Mary Midgley on the relationship between philosophy and science.
5. Ethical carnivorism.
6. You can download a behavioral economics introductory text for free.
7. Will OKCupid be hiring an ethicist?
8. XKCD on what makes for a good thesis defense.
9. Academic Seinfeld on Twitter.
Related to the earlier post of links to philosophers writing about the current conflict in Gaza and associated issues, some philosophers and political theorists are supporting “a principled refusal to associate with Israeli academic institutions that have not explicitly condemned the occupation.” They lay out their reasons here. (via Katharine Jenkins)
(Note: for ..
Last week, in the post about philosophy of religion, I wrote:
For a few reasons, it is not a sociologically surprising fact that most philosophy of religion in the West today is conducted by Christian theists. But it is certainly philosophically surprising (bordering on philosophically suspect) that, of all the possible options for religious belief (which include n..