The series of brief audio clips by John Cleese on the value of philosophy is making the rounds again, this time courtesy of a post at Open Culture. The public service announcements were commissioned by the American Philosophical Association in 2000 in celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary.
For example, here is Cleese on what philosophers do:
Philosofriends, care to share your thoughts, hopes, fears, predictions, ideas, stories, etc., about the election? (more…)
This week, two philosophers—Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU) in the New York Times Magazine and Gary Gutting (Notre Dame) in The Chronicle of Higher Education—have discussed the point of a college education.
Appiah observes that there are “two distinct visions of higher education contend throughout our classrooms and campuses.”
One is “Utility University,” which..
Adversarialism, eh? Alright then, to start I want to point out that philosophers have been pushing this macho schtick from the beginning. Socrates is indeed their hero; if only they could do what he does, whether it be reducing their debating partners to silence or, even better, extracting succinct concessions to their intellectual superiority: “Yes, Socrates,” “You..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has published a new guide for philosophers seeking non-academic employment, entitled Beyond Academia: Professional Opportunities for Philosophers. According to a press release about the publication, (more…)
I’m often asked—by non-academics, natch—if anything in my philosophical education has been of value to me in the conduct of my lived life. I have found this question hard to answer in the terms my interlocutors demand, largely because is because posed to me in what I call ‘lock-key’ form: is there a lock you have been able to open with a philosophical key? The l..
“Alternative for Germany” (AfD) is a German political party, gaining in popularity, which supports “the idea of banning mosques” and has an official who has declared that “it may be necessary to shoot at migrants trying to enter the country illegally.” AfD has supported, and been supported by, a political movement known as “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamizati..
2015 is drawing to a close. I hope you had a good year.
The year saw Daily Nous’s first birthday (in March) and a number of new features, including:
Have you ever had a problem and thought, “I bet a professional philosopher could help”? If so, you are almost certainly a professional philosopher yourself, and if so, you almost certainly do need help. Here it is. Announcing Ought Experiment, a new Daily Nous guest column offering personalized advice for your academic life.
My name is Louie Generis (no it isn’t)..
Last year, Valerie Tiberius, professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, conducted what she called “The Value of Philosophy Survey.” Over 2,500 philosophers responded to the survey, which asked 24 questions, and in her Presidential Address at the Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA) last month, Professor Tiberius discu..
The summer issue of The Hedgehog Review is out and features a symposium, “On the Business of Philosophy.” The main element of the symposium is Richard Rorty’s Page-Barbour Lectures at the University of Virginia, with responses from Susan Haack (Miami), Robert Pippin (Chicago), and Matthew Crawford (Virginia). (more…)
Herman Cappelen (primary investigator), Øystein Linnebo, and Camilla Serck-Hanssen, all at the University of Oslo, have won a $3.6 million grant for a 5-year project on Conceptual Engineering. The grant is funded by the Research Council of Norway‘s Toppforsk program, which recently announced roughly $120 million worth of grants to 46 projects. The Conceptual Engine..
The Philosophy Documentation Center‘s mailing lists provides a breakdown of how many U.S. and Canadian philosophers claim various areas of specialization. I don’t know how accurate the list is—it gives a total count of approximately 14,600 philosophers, including about 2,500 graduate students and 450 independent scholars—but I don’t have any reason to think it i..
It is standard operating procedure at the University of St. Thomas (Houston) for faculty to receive and return their renewal contracts for the following academic year by May 15th. May 15th has come and gone, and not one of the 11 members of the university’s Department of Philosophy has received their contract (neither has anyone in the English Department there). (mo..
A pair of philosophy graduate students write in with a topic for discussion:
Dear Philosophical Community,
Like many of our graduate student and faculty colleagues in philosophy, we are becoming increasingly alarmed by our political situation as the Trump administration has made good on reprehensible campaign promises. (more…)
Martin Smith (Edinburgh) is the inaugural winner of the Public Philosophy Prize from the Marc Sanders Foundation for his paper “Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row is Not Surprising.” The prize is publication of the essay in Philosophers’ Imprint and $4,500. (more…)
The “Professor Watchlist” is a website listing professors who someone has thought “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The list was created by Turning Point, a student-oriented non-profit organization which takes as its mission “to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fi..
Dale Jacquette, Senior Professorial Chair in Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Bern (Switzerland), died this past Sunday. Prior to moving to Bern in 2008, he was professor of philosophy at Penn State University. He also held visiting appointments or was affiliated with the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, the Julius Maximil..
What are the traits of great philosophers? Matthew Hammerton, a PhD student at Australian National University, came across a passage by Cambridge University mathematician Timothy Gowers about how genius is neither necessary nor sufficient for success as a research mathematician, asking whether philosophers thought something similar about those who produce high quali..
Phil Skills is a new site featuring interviews with people who’ve had graduate training in philosophy and pursued careers outside of academia. The site was created by Eleni Manis, a former philosophy professor who received her PhD at Michigan and who is currently a research analyst and acting director of communications at the Office of the Nassau County Comptrolle..
A new project—The Open Commons of Phenomenology—aims to provide an open access digital platform for “the entire corpus of phenomenology,” including canonical texts, research related to phenomenology, and other materials, by 2020. (more…)
Morton White, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, died on May 27th. Over the course of his career he taught philosophy at City College of New York, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. (more…)
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.
3 Quarks Daily has announced the winners of its 2015 prize for best philosophy blog post:
- Top Quark, $500: Vidar Halgunset, Slow Corruption
- Strange Quark, $200: Daniel Silvermint, On How We Talk About Passing
- Charm Quark, $100: Lisa Herzog, (One of) Effective Altruism’s blind spot(s)
Of the top two posts, Judge John Collins (Columbia) writes: “they w..
Burleigh Taylor Wilkins, who was professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara for forty-five years, died last month at the age of 83. Wilkins worked in political and legal philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of history. His career also included appointments at MIT, Princeton, and Rice. A festschrift for him, Essays In Honor of Burleigh W..