1. Tonight, some PBS television stations will be airing a documentary on Grace Lee Boggs, a 98-year-old social activist who holds a PhD in philosophy from Bryn Mawr.
2. Some of Jeremy Bentham’s writings on sex, which fit with the characteristically progressive program of early utilitarianism, have been published under the title Of Sexual Irregularities, and Other Writings on Sexual Morality, and you can read about it in The Guardian.
3. A press release provides a little more information on what the principals of The Experience Project grant are interested in learning about.
4. “These arguments have injected new life into a deterministic (as opposed to probabilistic) theory of the microscopic world first proposed, and rejected, at the birth of quantum mechanics.” Have we been wrong about quantum mechanics all along?
5. Unger explains what he means by “concretely empty ideas, whose emptiness owes to their analyticity.”
6. “The IRB might plausibly have decided that since the subjects’ environments, like those of all Facebook users, are constantly being manipulated by Facebook, the study’s risks were no greater than what the subjects experience in daily life as regular Facebook users, and so the study posed no more than “minimal risk” to them.”
7. The German professor who tweets philosophically as @NeinQuarterly is quitting academia.
Hey, remember Philosophy Tag? Someone got called home for dinner or something in the middle of the last game and that was that for a while, but now it is back, courtesy of Sara Bernstein (Duke). Let’s see who she has tagged…
Consider the following case, Battlefield: You are at the battlefield and see that some of your soldiers are about to be slaughtered by..
An office block from the 1950s built atop David Hume’s house is being demolished, and historians are hoping to find Hume’s wine cellar underneath. “He was a famous chef and prided himself on his cooking and he had a famous wine cellar,” historian Mike Turnbull says. Who knows what else will be, uh, exhumed from the site?
Except when offering perfectly parochial ideas, mainstream philosophy still offers hardly anything except for just so many concretely empty ideas.
Peter Unger has a new book coming out entitled Empty Ideas: A Critique of Analytic Philosophy. You can get a sense of what he means by “concretely empty idea” from the blurb on about the book on his website. You can also ..
Normally, self-affirmation is reserved for instances in which identity is threatened in direct ways: race, gender, age, weight, and the like. Here, Nyhan decided to apply it in an unrelated context: Could recalling a time when you felt good about yourself make you more broad-minded about highly politicized issues, like the Iraq surge or global warming? As it turns o..
A post at Lewis Gordon’s website about Bruce Kuklick’s book on William Fontaine, an African-American philosopher who taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1947-1967, has been making the rounds on social media lately.
William Thomas Fontaine was born on December 2, 1909, in Chester, Pennsylvania. An alumnus of the historic black institution Lincoln University..
Laurence Goldstein, a professor of philosophy at the University of Kent, has died. Before joining the department at Kent, Goldstein had held appointments at the University of Hong Kong as well as the Universities of Auckland, Cape Town, Glasgow, St. Andrews, Swansea, and Washington. He specialized in philosophy of logic, philosophy of language, and Wittgenstein. The..
Inside Higher Ed reports on the recent social-media publicizing of allegations of sexual misconduct against “a professor of philosophy at Yale University.” (previously here and here, with a discussion of some of the relevant issues here.)
In the 50-plus years of its existence, the philosophy department has offered only one tenure-track position to a woman, and zero positions to people of color.
So writes undergraduate Emily Beszhak, about the Department of Philosophy at Western Washington University, in a letter to the editor of the school paper. The occasion of the letter was a recent hire by the de..
For years I provided very extensive comments on students’ papers. What stopped me was one of them, finally, saying “thank you.” It immediately struck me that hundreds of students over many semesters hadn’t cared enough to say anything to me about the comments, and in fact probably hadn’t cared about them at all. I switched to a more minimal commenting approach, at l..
“Don’t lie, because lying only fixes everything.”
I don’t know how philosophical Louis CK’s really getting, but I’m enough of a fan of his to give the Washington Post‘s headline writer a pass on this one: “Five times Louis C.K. got really philosophical on late-night talk shows.”
UPDATE: The Huffington Post has published an article on philosophical comedians, includ..
Since it is inevitable that cheesy colleagues and well-meaning friends will be regularly bringing these to all future parties and dinners, let’s hope that they are good. Feel free to post your tasting notes.
Speaking of video games, Starcraft 2 is a “military science fiction real-time video game” that is used in at least one classroom to teach “critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, and adaptive decision making.” It also has been used by researchers at Simon Fraser University to demonstrate that “measurable declines in cognitive performance begin to oc..
Massimo Pigliucci, currently professor at CUNY and soon to be holder of the K.D. Irani Professorship in Philosophy there, takes the occasion of his 50th birthday to reflect on his first five years as a professor of philosophy (following 26 years as a biologist) and on the discipline as a whole, particularly the relationship between philosophy and science.
A new study on contingent or adjunct faculty has been released. The New York Times comments on it, and then itself comes in for some criticism for being a little late with the news: “The issue isn’t that they’re ‘treated almost like transient workers’ but that they’reactually transient workers. “
“I… think that donor conception is irresponsible. I sometimes compare it to ‘deadbeat dads’: men who abandon their wives and children and don’t provide for them. I think a sperm donor is a kind of deadbeat dad who creates children and then doesn’t care for them.”
The 2014 Fellows of the American Council of Learned Societies have been announced, and the winners include five people working in philosophy: Michael Brownstein (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Alyssa DeBlasio (Dickinson College), Richard Moran (Harvard), William Newman (Indiana), and Anat Schechtman (Chicago). The fellowships include 6-12 months of salary repl..
For the past few years philosopher Sean Kelly (Harvard) has been on a quest to locate the missing “death mask” of Blaise Pascal. You didn’t even know it existed, let alone that it was missing, did you? The news story does not say that Kelly will be making use of the death mask in a bizarre cult ceremony in a secret temple located beneath Emerson Hall. But it doesn’t..
“The poverty of graduate school is often joked about. How many professors reminisce fondly about just scraping by in grad school? How many people joke about the number of people they fit in their hotel room at the conference or how many times they had to eat ramen?” For some students from poorer families, though, the poverty of graduate school is no laughing matter…
I started Daily Nous on March 7 — one month ago today. I would like to thank my friends and colleagues in the profession for their encouragement of this project. I am also very appreciative of those of you who have sent in news items for me to post. Please keep doing so! Occasionally I have had posts that ask for your opinions and input; I am grateful to those who ..
“How, then, can philosophy become more inclusive and less boring?” Over at the Philosopher’s Cocoon, Marcus Arvan suggests that one way might be to have journals give referees different instructions from what they typically do.
Berit Brogaard (University of Missouri-St. Louis; philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of psychology) will be moving to University of Miami as full professor, starting in Fall 2014.
Douglas Lavin (Harvard; ethics, practical reasoning, action) will become a permanent lecturer in philosophy at University College London, starting Fall 2014.
Shelley Tremain has launched a petition asking the APA to develop a comprehensive accessibility policy and to create an advisory group to oversee its implementation. You can sign the petition, as well as read a response to it from APA Executive Director Amy Ferrer, here.
Philosophers Eleanore Stump and Helen de Cruz have started a petition asking the American Philosophical Association to produce a code of conduct and a statement of professional ethics for professional philosophers.
A student who is applying for admission to PhD programs in philosophy has noticed that at some universities, what the university’s graduate school asks applicants to include in their personal statements differs from what the same university’s philosophy department asks applicants to include. (more…)
To φ Or Not To φ
by Tanya Kostochka