We behave, by and large, as if we are operating in an efficient market in philosophical ideas, insights, and arguments. This state of affairs is, while intelligible and even rational in some sense, just bizarre.
Christia Mercer (Columbia), writing in “The Stone” at The New York Times:
René Descartes has long been credited with the near-single-handed creation of modern philosophy. Generations of students have read, and continue to read, his famous “Meditations” as the rejection of medieval ways of thinking and the invention of the modern self. They learned that he doubted..
“Trump is actually much more aligned with the dominant norms of academic philosophy in America than with the KKK”
The following is a guest post* by Gregory Lewis, a medical doctor and amateur philosopher, in which he looks through a statistical lens at the formation of the Western philosophical canon. You can read more of his writings, including an earlier version of the piece that follows, at his site.
Over 100 billion people, it is estimated, have lived on earth. About one-seventh of the world’s population lives in Africa now. So, by way of a simplistic and historically irresponsible calculation, we could very roughly (and probably under-) estimate that 15 billion people have lived in Africa. 15 billion. Compare that with this estimate of the number of African ph..
MISSION STATEMENT: Know more things!
STRATEGIC PLAN: Find out more things by reading more, listening to more people, and asking about stuff we don’t understand but sure would like to. ..
A gem of a comment from Amy Olberding on the post earlier this week about expanding the philosophical canon is worth excerpting:
…let me just explain how these sorts of conversations read to me and how, it seems to me, they repeat endlessly. On my most cynical days, I think we can dispense with any further conversations about including non-western traditions. F..
“Perhaps all professional philosophers have wrestled with the problem of how to cover all the important things in the limited time of a single course.” But what are the important things? And who are the important figures?
In the United States, there are about 100 doctorate-granting programs in philosophy. By my count, only seven have a permanent member of the philosophy faculty who specializes in Chinese philosophy.
That’s Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside), writing in the L.A. Times.
Philosophy professors in the United States have all heard of Confucius and the Daoist Laozi. Ma..
Alex Guerrero (Penn), is wondering what philosophers think should be done in a first-year PhD proseminar. He writes:
Given all the recent discussion about the canon, the problematic effects of policing the borders of philosophy, the white maleness of philosophy, and so on, what do people think should be done in a first-year PhD proseminar? Assume it’s a semester ..
Would the philosophers who populate the canon have gotten tenure? Would they have survived the Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessments in the UK? Lloyd Strickland (Manchester Metropolitan University) is skeptical:
Immanuel Kant might look worthy of the nod – his three Critiques shaped a lot of the philosophy that came afterwards. However, those works were..