I was attracted to philosophy because it is the most minimalistic art I can think of. To express ideas, you use only the most minimal, the most reduced resources: no body (as in theatre), no figures (as in pictorial art), no voice or sound (as in music), no story (as in literature)—just thoughts. They are ordered, ideally crystal-clear and sharp, but they are just..
Fifteen inmates at Statesville Correctional Center in Illinois took a course on mass incarceration with Northwestern University philosophy professor Jennifer Lackey. It was an interdisciplinary course with a range of guest lecturers, including Alex Kotlowitz, a writer and a senior lecturer in journalism at Northwestern. He gave them an assignment to write about thei..
In her interview at What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? (a part of which we discussed here), Sally Haslanger (MIT) draws attention to three problematic tendencies in philosophers. The first concerns the idea of multiple intelligences:
To be honest, I think most philosophers are pretty limited in their intelligences. They may be amazing along a certain dimension ..
When asked whether some of the work in experimental philosophy would be better characterized as psychology, Joshua Knobe (Yale) tells Pendaran Roberts (Warwick):
First off, it should be emphasised that analogous issues arise for just about any area of philosophy that pursues interdisciplinary research. (more…)
My current work on racial inequality and social justice—and to a lesser extent my earlier work—takes me into areas of knowledge outside of what we teach and learn in philosophy classrooms. In the last six years or so I have co-authored multiple works and grant proposals with an economist, sociologist, social psychologist, lawyer, and a historian. I have written wi..
egardless of whom you want to assign the task of reaching across the line , presently little crosses it. Few practicing physicists today care what philosophers do or think.
And as someone who has tried to write about topics on the intersection of both fields, I can report that this disciplinary segregation is meanwhile institutionalized: The physics journals won’..
Questions about right and wrong action, what kinds of things are of value, and what kinds of persons we should be—i.e., ethics—arise in nearly every area of scholarly inquiry. This provides opportunities for philosophy departments to play a role at their universities outside their traditional courses. (more…)
Retired businessman Louis J. Appignani has donated $2.2 million to the University of Miami for an endowed chair in “the study of atheism, humanism and secular ethics,” reports the New York Times. It is the first position of its kind in the United States. (more…)
Last summer, Daniel Haybron (St. Louis University) was awarded $5.1 million for a three year project on happiness and well-being, most of it from the John Templeton Foundation. The project launched an interdisciplinary grant competition, the winners of which were just announced. Of three hundred applicants, twenty-one teams received awards together totaling $3.3 mil..
The latest in a series of articles exhorting philosophers to engage with “real world problems” appears at Inside Higher Ed this morning, focusing on philosophy at land grant universities in the United States. The authors, Christopher P. Long and Michael O’Rourke (both of Michigan State), write:
To the extent that philosophy lost its way by turning inward, perhaps..
“Far from being years of ‘enduring failure,’ the last 150 years have been philosophy’s best.”
So argues Scott Soames (University of Southern California) in an essay on the influence of academic philosophy in The New York Times column, The Stone. Framed as a response to “When Philosophy Lost Its Way,” by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle (University of North Texas), ..
Don Howard (Notre Dame) has a post up at his Science Matters blog called “On the Pseudoproblem of Interdisciplinarity.” It begins by recounting some of the familiar complaints about the obstacles to interdisciplinary work that he has heard over the years:
From the beginning of my life in the academy, back in the 1960s, I have heard again, and again, and again the..
An interdisciplinary team consisting of academics working in philosophy, physics, history, and sociology have won a 2.5 million euro grant to fund a three year project about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. It first started up on 10 September 2008, and remains the lat..
Brian Robinson and Michael O’Rourke, both at Michigan State University, lead The Toolbox Project, an initiative which provides “philosophical yet practical enhancement to cross-disciplinary, collaborative science.” It is a fascinating and innovative use of philosophy to facilitate interdisciplinary research, and has been up and running for over a decade. I asked the..
The University of Cambridge has received a £10 million (approximately $14.9 million) grant from the Leverhulme Trust to create a new interdisciplinary institution on artificial intelligence and its implications for humanity, called the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. Huw Price, the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, will be the ..
Here are five predictions about the state of philosophy in ten years:
1. Philosophy’s popularity as a major will increase. This will be owed in part to the swing of the cultural pendulum, to economic growth making people more comfortable with a major lacking a clearly-defined career path, to efforts by the profession to emphasize the practical value of philosophy..
Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations, an interdisciplinary initiative headed by Andrew Chignell (Cornell) and Samuel Newlands (Notre Dame) which last year received about $4.5 million from the John Templeton Foundation, has just announced $2 million in funding for 18 projects. Philosophers receiving funding in this round include:
- Matthew Ben..
Yesterday’s post about interdisciplinary work in philosophy got me curious about how philosophers understand their work in relation to other disciplines.
One question we can ask of academics is: “what do they take themselves to be studying?” Of course, there are various ways of answering this question. One way of doing so is trying to determine where on a spectru..
HowTheLightGetsIn bills itself as “the world’s largest philosophy and music festival.” With 650 events, 370 acts, and 200 speakers on 9 stages over 11 days, it probably is. It takes place in the town of Hay-on-Wye, about 160 miles or so west of London. The schedule for the festival was recently released, and includes panels and debates with philosophers such as Sim..
The following is a guest post* by Robert Kirkman, associate professor in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech and director of its Center for Ethics and Technology, in which he takes up the problem of academic philosophy’s seeming irrelevance to others both inside and outside of academia.
Can We Save Philosophy?
by Robert Kirkman
I write this from the ..
Chris Eliasmith holds a Canada Research Chair in theoretical neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. He has a joint appointment in philosophy and systems design engineering. He also holds an appointment in computer science there. Over at the Ideas Can blog he discusses the challenges of interdisciplinary work. He says:
Not really a philosopher. And not really..
This summer has seen a series of guest posts by Elijah Millgram (Utah) on his new book, The Great Endarkenment: Philosophy for an Age of Hyperspecialization. One theme of the book is that there has been a steep increase in specialization that in some ways threatens knowledge. In the following post*, Millgram starts an exchange with Jerome Ravetz, author of Scientif..
The inaugural issue of the academic journal Porn Studies is out, and it’s a big one, by which I mean it is a double issue. Not that size matters. The publisher, Taylor & Francis, has made the entire contents free to download, and after a cursory inspection I can report two things my readership probably wants to know: (1) it seems to be entirely SFW, and (2) it seems..
Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle (both of the University of North Texas) have published an essay, “Socrates Untenured,” at Inside Higher Ed that makes a case for what they call “field philosophy” — a “context-driven, problem-focused, and interdisciplinary” approach. Their hope is that “a new philosophical practice, where philosophers work in real time with a variet..