It has been around for a while, but in case you aren’t familiar with it, you may want to check out The Philosopher’s Eye. It’s Wiley-Blackwell’s philosophy blog. They “aim to provide regular thought-provoking coverage of real-world events with a critical, philosophical eye.” Recent features include three video interviews on philosophy and climate change, of Michael ..
Gerald Dworkin has a thoug..
An anonymous donor has provided the University of Montreal with 1.5 million dollars (Canadian) to fund the Aesop Chair in Philosophy. It’s first holder is philosopher of science Frédéric Bouchard.
1. Why are they so angry? Amia Srinivasan (Oxford) makes the case for anger, arguing that it can be a huge source of strength and power, particularly for the apparently weak and powerless, on the BBC. (via Aidan McGlynn)
2. When people who have been blind their whole life are given the power of sight, what do they see? — on the puzzle William Molyneaux posed to John Locke regarding touch and sight (via Matt McAdam, Robert Long). More here.
3. The current multi-chapter issue of Nautilus (#16) is dedicated to nothingness. One part: an article by physicist Alan Lightman on consciousness of nothingness.
4. Parasites affect our thought and behavior. The most studied of these parasites is toxoplasma gondii, which affects perhaps half the world’s human population. There’s some new research on how it operates.
5. A now-classic poem which you should send to all of your students at this time of year.
6. “Has anyone ever tried to date a philosopher?… Because if you ever have… you will know you never should date a philosopher” — and so begins Jess Zimmerman’s rather funny telling of “When Your Asshole Boyfriend is a Philosopher of Neuroscience,” a story about her dating her philosophy professor (click the white ►on the bottom of the screen).
7. Some profs think that Richard Dawkins would fail PHIL 101.
8. I’m thinking of how fun the next APA could be if everybody would do Somebody. Get your mind out of the gutter, perv — Somebody is a messaging app that is also a performance art project. That’s possible, right, philosophers of art?
9. Three logicians walk into a bar.
Shahin Izadi, who received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, must have decided that the academic job market was too easy and so decided to go for a sure thing — indie film-making. He is currently making a movie called Ironwood, about two candidates for an academic job who take a roadtrip to do their interviews and go camping. You can learn mor..
Dan Kaufman, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, is suing his university and several of its employees for $2 million for damages relating to his “banishment” from campus for two months this past spring.
Kaufman has filed four notices of claim, a step required by Colorado law for anyone seeking to sue a public entity, and alleges that he h..
Grad students of philosophy! And other relevant parties! Behold! Daniel Silvermint, assistant professor of philosophy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut, has developed a list of unhelpful thoughts that might occur to you every once in a while. He calls them “grad traps,” and the idea is that if you are able to recognize t..
1. Do athletes need more philosophy?
2. Bertrand Russell plays himself, being interviewed, as part of a 1967 Bollywood movie. A Buddhist monk explains, and links to the clip.
3. Are people abusing Jonathan Bennett’s earlymoderntexts.com? Eric Schliesser comments.
4. What do our students want from us? For us to challenge them, and for us to care.
5. A review of a new novel composed entirely of fictional letters of recommendation, itself written as a letter of recommendation.
6. Plato’s Symposium—live!
7. Berlin didn’t ask what makes foxes into foxes and hedgehogs into hedgehogs, but Alison Gopnik does, in the Wall Street Journal.
8. Peter Worley gives a TEDx talk on doing philosophy with children.
9. Relatedly, this three-minute animation is a great introduction for kids to cogito ergo sum.
10. The Philosopher’s Diet, by Richard Watson, starts with “Fat. I presume you want to get rid of it. Then quit eating so much.” I have no idea where it goes from there. It came out in 1985 and is still available at Amazon and also as a free Google doc of unknown legality.
11. Not the, uh, deepest thing you’ll read about holes.
“Beer and Trembling” and other bars philosophy professors opened after being denied tenure. (via Mark Alfano)
Suggestions—for other bars or the drinks served at them—welcome in the comments.
Gillian Russell (Washington University in St. Louis) was tagged last week by Franz Berto (Amsterdam) in the logic playground, where the game has been playing for a while now. Let’s see where Russell’s tag takes us.
There’s a pervasive thought in many cultures and religions—one that I’ve found attractive in the past—that moral anxiety in human agents is a ..
In dismissing philosophy as an antiquated relic of our prescientific past, the scientist is making a very large and dubious assumption: that the abstract methods of philosophy, despite the discipline’s string of successes over recent centuries, have nothing more to contribute to our developing understanding of the world. Perhaps scientists think they already have th..
Atomicity is the thesis that everything is ultimately composed of atoms, entities that lack proper parts. Atomicity is standardly defined as “for every x there is a y such that y is an atom and y is a part of x”, i.e. ever..
1. Don’t call your college students “kids,” says Sean A. Valles (Michigan State).
2. Jakob Hohwy (Monash), who works in philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology, and is the author of The Predictive Mind, is guest-blogging at Brains this week.
3. A thought experiment shows that the psychological arrow of time hooks up with the thermodynamic arrow of time and provides a useful definition of a memory, to boot.
4. Africa Must Be Modern, writes Nigerian philosopher Olúfémi Táíwò.
5. Can we learn anything from imagining what it is like to be a tick?
6. “Doping expresses the spirit of sport” — Savulescu on why we should allow performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
7. Brief report from the 6th Annual Wittgenstein Conference is good PR but it might be called “journalism goes on holiday.”
8. Four professors apply to share the job of university president.
9. Performance art: “Plato’s Porno Cave” — no, they don’t really mean porn, they mean, er, “fantastical idealized version of relations between human beings.” And no they don’t really mean Plato either, it seems (SFW, BTW).
Gary Gutting.: You obviously don’t see scientific cosmology as supporting any case for theism. You also think that it refutes theistic religions’ claiming that the primary purpose of God’s creation is the existence of human beings. What, finally, is your view about the minimal theistic view that the universe was created by an intelligent being (regardless of its pur..
No one has reason to accept a scheme of cooperation that places their lives under the control of others, that deprives them of meaningful political participation, that deprives their children of the opportunity to qualify for better jobs, and that deprives them of a share in the wealth they help to produce.
T.M. Scanlon has a brief TED essay sharing some contractual..
You can invent a silly product, market it well, and use the proceeds to fund a charity. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newest inductee into the pantheon of famous philosophy majors: “Banana Bill” — the inventer of the banana slicer. Do not neglect to read the reviews of this esteemed product. (via Dale Miller)
…for good reasons? How about more? That’s a finding of a recent survey conducted at over 100 British universities. So do we add this to the list of reasons to major in philosophy?
Andrew Cullison, currently at SUNY Fredonia, has accepted a position at DePauw University as associate professor of philosophy and director of the university’s Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, effective July 1st, 2014. Cullison works in epistemology, ethics, meta-ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion. He is currently Secretary-Tr..
Several years ago, during an era of relative plenty, I tried to persuade our philosophy department to credit a new history course I was teaching on the Enlightenment. Neither the reading list, bursting with texts from Bacon and Locke to Montesquieu and Diderot, nor the publication of my own book on Hume and Rousseau undid the suspicion that a professional historian..
Buddhist thought, and Asian thought in general, has often been written off by Western philosophers. How can contradictions be true? What’s all this talk of ineffability? This is all nonsense. The constructions I have described show how to make precise mathematical sense of the Buddhist views. This does not, of course, show that they are true. That’s a different matt..
Steve Awodey, a professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, has received a $7.5 million grant from the Department of Defense to “reshape the foundations of mathematics by developing a new approach that allows for large-scale formalization and computer verification” and to build on his earlier work showing “a deep and surprising connection between abstract..
The other day, a graduate student in philosophy posted her account of an affair she has had with an older, prominent philosopher who works in her area (but was not a professor at her institution). She also claimed that the philosopher, who has a long-term partner, has had more than one such relation, particularly with younger women philosophers who admire him. She a..
1. Wittgenstein and cricket.
2. The ethics of fashion.
3. A book of 33 interviews on the relation between science and religion
4. The philosophy of walking.
5. Dennett’s advice for criticizing with kindness.
6. Vox on Ziker (previously) on how professors spend their time.
7. A philosopher has written a memoir about surviving rape.
8. Venn diagram organizes the varieties of “irrational nonsense.”
9. “You have to make philosophy exciting…. What better way to do it than turn Plato’s ideas into a gripping time travel adventure story!” What better way, people?
A survey based on 115 forums held around the United States brought some seemingly good news about what the public thinks of philosophical education in college:
Nearly 9 in 10 of those returning questionnaires strongly or somewhat agreed that college should be “where students learn to develop the ability to think critically by studying a rich curriculum that includes..
Andrew Chignell (Cornell) and Samuel Newlands (Notre Dame) are the recipients of a $4.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for their project, “Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations.”
What will they do with these funds?
The three-year interdisciplinary effort will explore the theoretical, empirical and practical dimensions of hope..
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected its 2014 class and it includes five philosophers: John Broome (Oxford), Arthur Fine (University of Washington), Ruth Millikan (University of Connecticut), David Velleman (NYU), and Gary Watson (Southern California). The full list of new members is here. “As one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and indepen..
Inside Higher Ed has an article on Anna Stubblefield, the Rutgers-Newark philosophy professor accused of sexually assaulting a man (referred to in various accounts as “D.J.” or “John Roe”) with cerebral palsy.
In 2011, Stubblefield allegedly met with the man’s parents to inform them that the relationship had become sexual. The parents… say Stubblefield molested th..
I believe it is good for academics to take a turn in administration. It helps them to see how institutions function, and to befriend the people in the offices; it helps them to gain a broader picture of how universities operate, and where they fail; it helps them as individuals work more efficiently, given firmer pressures on schedules. And I think it is good for th..