A graduate student in philosophy who prefers to remain anonymous writes in with questions “concerning self-promotion and marketing oneself in order to move up in the world of philosophy.” He asks: “Is blatant self-promotion just a feature of the discipline now? Is doing anything necessary to sway the public opinion a necessary evil? Or should we be calling these p..
Our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.
The inconsistency in this curriculum is obvious. For example, at the outset of the school year, my son brought home a l..
Boston Dynamics builds robots. Here’s a video of “Spot,” their robotic dog. Watch until at least the 10-second mark.
Is it wrong to kick the dog? What can we learn from our reactions to this video?
An article here reports on the reactions of others.
Shawn Miller (UC Davis) writes in with some news about the good work being done at PhilWiki:
The Philosopher’s Index, an academic philosophy database available through the libraries of many universities and colleges, is rolling out a service that contains not merely abstracts (which it has long featured), but the full text of its indexed articles, according to a recent press release. Called “The Philosopher’s Index with Full Text,” it provides articles from..
The faculty panel responsible for reviewing the University of Colorado’s allegations against associate professor of philosophy David Barnett (previously) has concluded that he is not guilty of retaliation. While university administrators had wanted to fire Barnett, the panel voted 4-1 for a one year suspension without pay instead. Barnett had been accused of retalia..
Yesterday, twelve people were shot dead at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine. It was reported that the gunmen shouted “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” in Arabic (“Allahu Akbar”), and so the attack is believed to be the work of militant Islamists in response to offensive cartoons that appeared in the magazine.
Today is the last day of the Daily Nous t-shirt sale! As far as I know, this is the only shirt with this fantastic quote from Socrates on it, and once today is over it will not be available again, until perhaps I make it available again. The shirt is surprisingly popular among the celebrity set, and even with folks who aren’t the biggest fans of Daily Nous. As I exp..
The profession runs on reputation — basically the shared perception that you’re a smart guy. But how do you get reputation? Not by having a chair at a major school; that helps your visibility, but doesn’t protect you from being perceived as none too bright…. Nor does having the support of a powerful person do very much; you can be the favorite student of the top p..
Bernd Magnus, professor emeritus in the Depaartment of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, has died. Professor Magnus worked on Nietzsche and Heidegger. An article in UCR Today describes how, as a child in Germany, he was sent to a concentration camp and later escaped. According to a rabbi quoted in the article Magnus had the following to say, ref..
David Fate Norton, professor emeritus of philosophy at McGill, has died. Professor Norton worked on Hume and other 18th Century British philosophy, especially skepticism and moral theory. Among other things, he authored David Hume: Common-Sense Moralist, Sceptical Metaphysician, and co-edited the OUP edition of Hume’s Treatise and The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Th..
Over the summer, Nicholas Rescher (Pittsburgh), in his capacity as executive editor of American Philosophical Quarterly, published a brief editorial entitled “Growing Pains” (vol. 51, no.3) in which he notes the growth of the philosophy profession and laments its bad effects.
The scholarly output of the profession has far outstripped its numerical g..
A couple of weeks back we discussed questions related to funding and philosophy in the context of Daniel Dennett’s review of a recent book by Alfred Mele (original post; Mele’s reply). Matthew Brown, a philosopher of science (UT Dallas), thinks that one of the central questions raised there should get more attention. He wants us to “think past the specific details o..
Yesterday’s post, “Funding and Philosophical Results,” on Daniel Dennett’s critique of Alfred Mele’s acceptance of money from the John Templeton Foundation, generated a fair amount of discussion, with contributions from Dennett and his critics. Al Mele has now written a reply to Dennett, presented in the guest post*, below.
Reply to Dennett
Dan Dennett sugges..
Brian Leiter has declared that the two of three options presented by the majority of the Philosophical Gourmet Report’s board members which included requests that he step down immediately are “unacceptable.” He explains that he has already put in a significant amount of work towards the production of the 2014 edition of the PGR so he as “at least co-edited” it. He a..
Gerhard Øverland, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo, has died. Professor Øverland worked in moral philosophy, particularly applied ethics. There is an obituary here.
The big business news this week is that multinational corporation Apple released some new products. A report now reveals a serious problem with one of the devices, the Apple watch.
Daily Nous began on the first Friday in March, and now it is the first Friday in September. It’s six months old, so still a baby, but nonetheless this seems like a good enough occasion to bore you with some blogging about the blog.
1. First things first.
THANK YOU! Daily Nous is still alive, and doing pretty well, as you’ll see, and of course that is owed to you: t..
1. “Sometimes a deepening of a view may go so deep as to change its character without actually changing its letter,” says Joseph Raz (King’s College, London), in a wide-ranging interview at 3am Magazine.
2. Huw Price (Cambridge) is part of “The scientific A-Team saving the world from killer viruses, rogue AI and the paperclip apocalypse.”
3. A Time Travel Dialogue b..
The selections for the latest Philosopher’s Annual, which takes as its goal “to select the ten best articles published in philosophy each year—an attempt as simple to state as it is admittedly impossible to fulfill” have been made. At the Philosop-her blog, Meena Krishnamurthy (Manitoba) notes that the latest volume, unlike any over the past decade, includes article..
The Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist group has banned the study of philosophy and chemistry in schools in the northern Syrian city of al-Raqa and established an “Islamic curriculum” for students, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said Friday.
Of course, the absence of philosophy in the schools is probably the least of the problems in that region, but ..
Here at Daily Nous, comments are moderated. Over the past several months, I have heard some complaints and received some questions about the moderation here, so I thought I would take a moment to speak to these.
Question: Why do you moderate comments at your blog?
Answer: Because I am no fun. Anti-fun, actually.
Question: No, seriously. Why?
Answer: Because I must hav..
In our last round, Charlie Kurth (Washington University in St. Louis) was tagged by Gillian Russell (Washington University in St. Louis), a tag that was geographically close but one that boldly shifted the game from the epistemology of logic to moral psychology. Now it’s time for Kurth to make his move:
Practical reflection is having a hard time of it. Wherea..
In line with the principle of charity in cooperative communication, people will try to reconstruct the meaning of unknown terms on the presumption that what the speaker utters is true and relevant — particularly when they defer to the speaker as an authority. If what the speaker asserts seem bizarre or false on its face, it is prudent to suspect that the problem lie..
Wittgenstein once remarked that you could write a book of philosophy consisting entirely of jokes. We all know who could have authored that book. Jonathan Lieberson, who made that connection to Wittgenstein, described Sidney as a combination of Spinoza and Groucho Marx. But Sidney worried about this very gift. He worried that all that people would know of him would ..
Philosophers easily get the idea that somehow or other, just by considering things about the world that they already know, they can write up deep stories which are true, or pretty nearly true, about how it is with the world. By that I especially mean the world of things that includes themselves, and everything that’s spatio-temporally related to them, or anything th..
Modeled on the well-populated site, Women of Philosophy, a group of philosophers are creating a number of other databases, starting with one for Latina/Latino or Hispanic philosophers. Elizabeth Anderson, Tina Fernandes Botts, Ruth Chang, Sally Haslanger, and Manuel Vargas explain the initiative in a letter posted at Feminist Philosophers.
John Kaag (UMass Lowell) holds the surgical scissors and is asked to cut the cord. Time stands still, and he reflects on the relations between philosophy and fatherhood.
The prospect of struggle in life and fatherhood is not an indication that we should opt out, but rather lean in—like Sisyphus, who is destined to push the boulder up a hill, only to have it roll dow..