Today’s column by economist Gregory Mankiw in the New York Times provides an occasion to reflect on a problem for public philosophy. In the column, Mankiw contrasts a rudimentary form of utilitarianism with a thoughtless version of the precautionary principle. Even if you agree with the policy prescriptions that he concocts from this mix of ingredients, no philosoph..
Speaking of philosophical methodologies (and there is of course a lot that falls under that heading), one longstanding issue is the extent to which philosophy must ultimately conform with common sense. Of course there have been countless counterintuitive theses defended in the history of philosophy, but the dominant view today seems to be that philosophy is indeed i..
A new edition of Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia is available, and contains a foreword by Thomas Nagel. Nagel describes not just the main themes of the book but also the intellectual environment from which it grew, as well Nozick’s own particular strengths, which in turn provides a view of Nagel’s thoughts about how to do philosophy well. From the forewor..
Rebecca Roache, a philosopher at Oxford and a fellow at its Future of Humanity Institute, is interviewed at Aeon Magazine about the ways in which emerging and future technologies could be used to change how we punish criminals. An article about the interview appears in the Telegraph. Roache also discusses technology and punishment in a blog post here.
The NY Times Magazine has an article on MIT’s new Pantheon project, which aims to map “cultural production.” According to it, the top ten most famous people of all time, anywhere, include these philosophers: Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Confucius, and Pythagoras. Philosophy: come for the money, stay for the fame.
You really have no choice but to check out this issue of Methode Journal featuring thirty short interviews with philosophers about free will. It’s a terrific line-up, and each interview is downloadable as its own pdf.
Take Parfit’s teletransporters, add “someone’s modus ponens is another’s modus tollens,” throw in a dash of existentialism, and you’ll get “The Machine“, an interesting philosophy comic from Existential Comics (there are some other goods ones there, too; be warned that at least one of them is bit racy). See also John Weldon’s animated story about teletransportation,..
NPR has a story about a new biography of civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael, who majored in philosophy at Howard University.
A new, peer-reviewed, open-access, interdisciplinary journal, Science, Religion & Culture, has been launched by Smith & Franklin publishing. There are a number of philosophers on the editorial board, including editor-in-chief Gregg D. Caruso (Corning Community College, SUNY), who explains what the new journal is about in this piece.
Amtrak is offering writing residencies aboard its trains. Lasting from two to five days, the residencies are roundtrip journeys that include accommodations on board a sleeper car equipped with a bed, a desk, and outlets. The program is open to all sorts of writers, not just philosophers. Amtrak says that “A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak..
1. Isn’t it supposed to be FAQ? So WTF (Where’s The “F”)? The truth of the matter is that this blog hasn’t been around long enough for any question to really have been asked frequently. Nonetheless, I have been asked some questions about this blog, and thought I might say a few words in response.
2. Is this blog an attack on Brian Leiter? Nope. Like many in philosoph..
William “Bro” Adams, a philosopher who has taught at Santa Clara University, UNC Chapel Hill, and Stanford, and who has served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) since 2014, is stepping down from that position, effective today, according to Inside Higher Ed. (more…)
This past Monday, Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, delivered the 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. (more…)
To φ Or Not To φ
by Tanya Kostochka
Önder Asan, a philosophy instructor from Ankara, Turkey, was reportedly abducted there on April 1st. Asan had worked at one of the educational institutions* closed down by the Turkish government following the attempted military coup there last July. (more…)
Every once in a while a student will make some remark about philosophy (or about reading or writing philosophy, or about a philosophy course) that perfectly captures an aspect of it in an interesting or new or funny way. Sometimes these are in the form of complaints that their professors take as compliments, e.g., “this course makes my brain hurt.” Sometimes they ar..
Phil Skills is a new site featuring interviews with people who’ve had graduate training in philosophy and pursued careers outside of academia. The site was created by Eleni Manis, a former philosophy professor who received her PhD at Michigan and who is currently a research analyst and acting director of communications at the Office of the Nassau County Comptrolle..
Here is the weekly report of what’s new at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), and Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (NDPR) — plus a few bonus links. (more…)
There are online lists of logical fallacies , websites dedicated to explaining them, posters, children’s books, various videos, and, of course, memes. That many of the examples used to illustrate fallacies are humorous is no accident, as a lot of humor involves both upsetting expectations (e.g., saying something that deviates from what we think follows from what’s a..
A committee responsible for assessing how Eastern Illinois University (EIU) should best handle severe cuts to state funding and declining enrollments has recommended, among other things, that the school stop granting bachelor’s degrees in philosophy. The committee, known as “Workgroup No. 7,” was apparently unmoved by previous appeals from members of EIU’s Departmen..
Philosopher James Conant of the University of Chicago has been named as one of three winners of this year’s prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorships. (more…)
The Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA) is undergoing some changes, according to outgoing Secretary-Treasurer Andrew Cullison and incoming Secretary-Treasurer Jeffrey Dunn (both at DePauw University). (more…)
Have you noticed all the philosophy that’s been happening on television lately? (more…)
Sally Haslanger (MIT), Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins (UBC), and David Velleman (NYU) each received envelopes in the mail this past summer containing feces, according to an article at Buzzfeed by Katie J.M. Baker. As the article notes, “All three philosophy professors were embroiled in a 2014 academic brawl over what they perceived as an abuse of power within their field,”..
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…)