Last week we had a judge citing Mill in a rather complicated case in England. This week we have a judge citing Kant in a rather straightforward case in the United States. The judge apparently needed Kant to weigh in on the sentencing of a tire slasher:
Instead of sending David Toledo, 46, to state prison for the recommended five to 10 years, Common Pleas Judge Edwa..
Philosophy professors and graduate students: think back to when you decided to study philosophy seriously, or to try to make a career out of being a philosopher. Suppose you could travel back to that time and had only a few moments to answer one question from your past self, who asks you, “Should I try to be a philosopher?” How would you answer?
While I won’t requi..
I love philosophy, but I wonder if I love it as much as Stephen West. Here is a little bit of his story:
My parents met when my mom was at her cousin’s house smoking weed; my dad was living in her cousin’s dog house at the time, having been kicked out by his parents, both of whom were terribly abusive…. If I were asked to write a book cataloging the different inst..
One of the principal ways analytic philosophers can contribute to intellectual progress on topics of public interest is by drawing attention to, and rigorously debating, widespread assumptions about a subject. One of the core methodological principles underlying this project is that this strategy can be profitably applied to the metaphysics of love.
A group at the Un..
In the end, the Happy Hour Test depends on affability, but its consequence goes beyond likability. If one “passes” the Happy Hour Test, I’d argue, there is an especially strong correlation to being a strong teacher, colleague, and college citizen.
How important is collegiality in getting a job? According to this column in IHE, very.
James Higginbotham, most recently Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, has died. He worked mainly in philosophy of language, prior to his appointment at USC held positions at Oxford, MIT, and Columbia. (via Leiter)
UPDATE (4/29/14): University of Southern California News posted an article about Higginbotham.
You can now search all of the writings of David Lewis for specific words and phrases. The results show up listed by publication, with bibliographic information. The site was created by Wolfgang Schwarz. (via Holly Lawford-Smith)
You may recall that 14 philosophers were among the candidates in Prospect Magazine’s 2014 World Thinker competition. The competition is over and the results are in. Amartya Sen comes in at the top spot! Other philosophers in the top 20 include Mary Beard (7), Jürgen Habermas (12), Slavoj Žižek (14), Nick Bostrom (15), Daniel Dennett (17), Rae Langton (18), Elizabeth..
To cut a long story very short I’ve extracted the information in the “influenced by” section for every philosopher on Wikipedia and used it to construct a network which I’ve then visualised.
Brendan Griffen ran with this and creat..
Women of Philosophy is a site “devoted to collecting information about women currently working in philosophy around the globe.” One goal of the site “is to make their work easily accessible so that the large number of women working in this profession will be recognized and appreciated.” If you are a woman working in philosophy, you can add yourself to the site’s dat..
Last month saw the opening of the Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy at the University of Dundee. At their inaugural workshop, James Williams (Dundee) delivered a brief address entitled “Continental Philosophy? Oh, Yes!” In it, he describes the areas and topics he thinks are especially fertile ground for future work in continental philosophy, including econo..
Currently over two million people in the United States are in prison, and about nine million worldwide. There are many questions worth asking about the systems of criminal justice that lead to that result. The focus of this post, though, is quite narrow. It concerns just one thing academic philosophers can do, as academic philosophers, in light of this: teach prison..
Dear Ambiguous Commentator,
Hi there. I don’t think we’ve met, but I appreciate your interest in the blog and I’m flattered that you have taken the time to share your thoughts. However, I read your comment and I am sorry to report that I won’t be publishing it. It’s not that I don’t want to hear from you, or that I don’t think your opinion matters. It’s just that I..
Ernesto Laclau, an Argentine political theorist at the University of Essex, has died. Laclau worked in the continental post-Marxist tradition, and is known for his work with his partner, Chantal Mouffe, in particular the book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics.
Maybe you’ve always thought there was something off about Ayn Rand, but I bet you weren’t thinking off-Broadway. Well this May, The Anthem, a theater production inspired by Rand’s short novel Anthem, will open at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in NYC—and it is a musical. Sources have yet to reveal whether Rush has agreed to be the pit band. Perhaps The Anthem is meant ..
Charles Murray (American Enterprise Institute), speaking at the University of Texas yesterday, reiterates that “he had found no ‘evidence’ to prove that any woman had been a ‘significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.'” Story here. Gifs of people facepalming themselves here. I wonder what he thinks we would learn from such a c..
Thomas Nagel, who wrote, among other things, The View from Nowhere, reviews R. Jay Wallace‘s The View from Here in the London Review of Books. The book is about the “complex interaction and competition between the attitudes of affirmation and regret that are almost inevitable as we look back on our lives and celebrate or deplore the conditions and choices that have ..
Eleanor Dickey, professor of classics at University of Reading, has been soliciting possible responses to the problem of the high ratio of PhD holders to academic jobs. She writes, “I received nearly a hundred responses, most containing heart-rending tales of woe as well as exciting ideas for tackling the issue. Clearly the problem is a major one, and the people suf..
For various reasons–personal, institutional, cultural, structural, etc.–some academics decide that the better course of action for them is to pursue careers outside of academia. Most PhD programs in philosophy, as far as I know, are not particularly interested in, or well set-up to be, helping their current students or recent graduates pursue non-academic careers…
Epictetus, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein — they’re just some of the philosophers known for putting big ideas into small packages. They are great to read, yet the aphoristic or epigrammatic style is not very common among philosophers today. Sydney Morgenbesser comes to mind as a more recent master of the philosophical quip (e.g., “Of course pragmatism is true; the trouble..
Once upon a time, there was a website called History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, run by a man named Peter Adamson. On the website was a blog that Peter Adamson wrote. And on that blog, boys and girls, was a very nice collection of philosophical excerpts from childrens’ books. Take a look and live happily ever after. The end.
Have you ever seen the obituary of Ludwig Wittgenstein written for Mind by Bertrand Russell?
Quite at first I was in doubt as to whether he was a man of genius or a crank…
While I was still doubtful as to his ability, I asked G. E. Moore for his opinion. Moore replied, ” I think very well of him indeed “. When I enquired the reason for his opinion, he said that i..
Philosofict is a free online magazine of philosophical fiction and poetry. Editor Ellie Farnsworth writes to tell me that the magazine “gives philosophers an avenue for creative release.” The second issue just came out.
After years combing through the details and knotty issues of the Trolley Problem, Judith Jarvis Thomson has come up with what she says is a novel solution. In a new article appearing in the journal Capillus, she first irons out what the problem is:
A trolley is speeding down the track towards five people who are stuck to it and will be killed if the trolley hits the..
There has been quite a bit of talk lately regarding speaking out about problems in the profession. This prompted one reader to send in the following request:
I would appreciate a post that invites suggestions, concrete suggestions, about how a woman who has been sexually assaulted or harassed might actually speak out. This includes women who have been harassed/assau..
Perhaps you know how to solve the mind-body problem, or how to prove that eternalism is (and always has been) true, or even which dinner party rules can be known a priori. But do you know which philosophers have appeared in which movies? Or which philosophical claims are linked to which couples of philosophers? Or which nasty line from a philosophical book review wa..
A team at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown (disclosure: my graduate alma mater), is putting together a massive open online course, or MOOC, on Bioethics, set to go live next month. In the meanwhile, they are maintaining a site about their efforts, which includes various posts on the making of the course, relevant data about MOOCs, and considerations of ..
UPDATE: There have been concerns expressed about the accuracy and completeness of this report. Comments are open.