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New Philosophy of Science Association Officers

Sandra D. Mitchell (Pittsburgh HPS) has been elected President of the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA). Professor Mitchell will serve a two-year term (from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016) as Vice-President and President-Elect of the PSA, after which she will serve a two-year term (January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018) as President of the Assoc..

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1. Coseru on Pigliucci on Priest, i.e., what does Buddhism really have to say about contradictions?
2. A guide to Plato’s early and middle dialogues, with outlines, interpretive essays, and other supplementary material, has been created by Mark Anderson and Ginger Osborn (Belmont University), and is available for free here.
3. “Exercise. I’m sorry, you pasty, pale, smoking philosophy grads, arching your eyebrows into a Cartesian curve as you watch the human movement mob winding their way through the miniature traffic cones of their existence. You are wrong and they are right. Well you’re half right. You think, therefore you are, but also you jog, therefore you sleep, therefore you’re not overwhelmed by existential angst… Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run, whatever, but take care of your body. You’re going to need it. Most of you mob are going to live to nearly 100… and this long luxurious life ahead of you is going to make you depressed. But don’t despair. There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise. Do it.” That’s Tim Minchin at the 2013 University of Western Australia graduation, in a funny address that ranges from the meaning of life to luck to power to learning and, well, exercise.
4. Speaking of philosophy and exercise, ancient philosophy is part of the training regimen at Saracens Rugby Club.
5. Moral philosophy is now part of the curriculum in New South Wales, Australia, according to a post at The Conversation.
6. Philosophy blogosphere news: Jon Cogburn (LSU) has quit NewAPPS and is now back to blogging solo, following a controversial post about ableist language, which appeared to be a reaction to, among other things, a complaint about ableism in the comments on a post about the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” protests following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
7. “Philosophers should listen to punk rock,” says Jesse Prinz (CUNY).
8. Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein (1993), starring Karl Johnson and Tilda Swinton, is available for viewing, free, on YouTube.
9. Daniel Dennett (Tufts) is interviewed about atheism on the Friendly Atheist podcast.
10. Relatedly, someone is very happy to have a surprising new follower.

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1. “Scientists that talk philosophy down are simply superficial: they have a philosophy (usually some ill-digested mixture of Popper and Kuhn) and think that this is the “true” philosophy, and do not realize that this has limitations,” says scientist.
2. The Phaedo may be missing some painful, convulsive, gasping.
3. The Critique is a site that aims to bring philosophy to bear on a variety of current events, from police brutality to the Emmy awards.
4. A series of posts on philosophy and a basic income.
5. “How to solve the hardest logic puzzle ever in two questions” and the four other most-downloaded articles from Analysis this year are now available free of charge.
6. Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, a new online, open access journal, is now accepting submissions.
7. “Not all interactions with fellow humans are positive” — on the advantages of robot graders.
8. Philosophers of art, this is great but I don’t know why.
9. The bias towards the past.

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Blackburn and Me, Me, Me

Simon Blackburn gives us his version of a “kids, these days, let me tell you” cranky rant about selfies, which he rescues from crankyland only by saying we should respond to the vanity and conceit and narcissism encouraged in today’s society with mockery. Seems to me, though, that only someone completely full of himself would attempt such a sweeping characterization..

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Philosophy Tag

Last week, A.J. Cotnoir (St. Andrews) tagged Franz Berto (Amsterdam). Will the next it be in Europe again? Let’s see…

How does the epistemology of logical claims work?
Says Carnap: “Well, such claims are analytic: true in virtue of meaning. So we know them a priori, and in the same breath we appreciate their necessity.”
Quine retorts: “Don’t even mention ..

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1. Dave Chalmers on explaining consciousness: the TED talk version.
2. Traveling abroad to avoid long wait lists for a treatment, or to find less costly doctors, or to try out an experimental therapy? Jeremy Snyder (Simon Fraser), featured in an article in the National Post on the ethics of medical tourism, suggests you check out this site for some information and cautionary tales.
3. Novelist/philosopher Clancy Martin (Missouri-Kansas City) on his journey from analytic philosophy to Walter Benjamin.
4. A profile of Michael Bratman (Stanford) and his work on shared agency.
5. “This Debate Has No Title” — a panel discussion of paradoxes of self-reference featuring Hilary Lawson, Patricia Waugh, and Peter Cameron. (via Frankie May)
6. Spinoza and others invoked by a rabbi to argue for the value of dissent in Jewish communities.
7. A blog about using pop songs to explain philosophy. (via Leiter)
8. A post about string theory and post-empiricism, in the wake of a conference that featured “two remarkable talks by prominent physicists, both of whom invoked philosophy in a manner unprecedented for this kind of scientific gathering.” (via David Killoren)
9. And while we are on physics, theoretical physicist Paul Steinhardt (Princeton) asks whether modern cosmology supports Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence. I’m sure it feels that way to Nietzsche scholars, who have to keep saying “that’s not what he meant.” (To be fair, Nietzsche is only mentioned in passing.)
10. Abuse of Philosophy Series: Descartes on brand/business dualism.

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