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 21st Conference of the Parties (“COP 21”), a major international climate negotiation involving representatives of nearly every country in the world, and organized through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is currently taking place in Paris.
One of the central goals of this year’s conference is “to achieve a legally binding and univers..
Happy World Philosophy Day, everyone! The day was created in 2002 by the UN to celebrate philosophy. It is celebrated on the third Thursday of November.
Marking World Philosophy Day, the head of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has stressed that sustainability calls for new ways of thinking about ourselves and the planet..
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..
An undergraduate student in philosophy writes in with a question that I suspect many philosophers confronted at some point in their studies. Perhaps we can provide some assistance:
I am a philosophy student in my last year of undergrad studies in need of some advice. I am about to apply to graduate studies in philosophy but not sure what I should choose to focus ..
The problem with the internet is that “nobody trusts it, yet everybody is referring to it.” That’s Nikhil Sonnad, a reporter and former philosophy student, in an article at Quartz about how the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is a model for improving the internet.
Its creators have solved one of the internet’s fundamental problems: How to provide author..
Jennifer Frey (South Carolina) and Candace Vogler (Chicago) have received a $2.1 million grant for their project, “Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning of Life.” The project will be jointly hosted by the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina and is funded prim..
The Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association (APA) has published an open letter on sexual harassment. It is addressed ” first and foremost to victims of sexual harassment within the profession of philosophy, and secondly, to all members of the APA.”
We are committed, both personally and as the primary governing body of the association, to comba..
Many of you will remember Nina Strohminger‘s amusing review of Colin McGinn’s book, The Meaning of Disgust. The review, written with the kind of frankness McGinn’s own reviews are known for, appeared in the journal, Emotion Review. Several months after its publication, the journal received a letter from McGinn responding to the review. That letter, along with Strohm..
Are there too many philosophy PhDs? Do those seeking PhDs in philosophy have an accurate understanding of their chances of securing a permanent academic position? Ingrid Robeyns (Utrecht), is beginning a research project on the topic. She writes that, in the Netherlands,
In those debates, one often hears the rough number that about 9 out of 10 PhD students aspire..
By now most of you will have heard about the two most recent publicized incidents of police killing unarmed black men in the United States. (Warning: the following videos are very disturbing.) One was a shooting that took place in South Carolina:
The other, even more horrifically, was the allowing of a police dog to maul to death a New Jersey man who had alread..
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources has released the results of its annual survey of faculty salaries. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that
For the second consecutive year, salary increases for professors at public colleges outpaced those of their peers at private institutions: Their salaries rose by 2.1 percent and 2..
The Alexis de Tocqueville Project in Law, Liberty, and Morality at the University of New Orleans has been offering free for-credit college philosophy courses to local high school students. It sounds great. Chris Surprenant, assistant professor of philosophy at UNO and director of the Tocqueville Project, shared some information about the course:
The overarching f..
In a recent paper, a group of social psychologists—Jonathan Haidt (NYU), José L. Duarte (ASU), Jarret T. Crawford (College of New Jersey), Charlotta Stern (Stockholm), Lee Jussim (Rutgers ), and Philip E. Tetlock (UPenn)—argue that political diversity is lacking in academic psychology and that
this lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of so..
The notion of incarceration goes back to the beginning of philosophy, with the imprisonment and execution of Socrates—and the idea, expressed by his student Plato in the Republic, that we are all imprisoned by the cave of our own reflections but don’t realize it. “ face a lot of the issues ordinary people face, but in a heightened condition. We’re all doing life in ..
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..
In an essay at Aeon, Huw Price (Cambridge) writes about “reputation traps.”
His example of this is scientific research on cold fusion, or low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), “the controversial idea that nuclear reactions similar to those in the Sun could, under certain conditions, also occur close to room temperature.” Cold fusion held out the promise of clean an..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week I heap reflexive and excessive scorn on a philosopher who’s worried that their work is taking them in controversial directions, and that contemporary philosophy might not be all that welcoming a place for such work. Oh, wait.
One of the papers I’m working on has a significantly controversial (maybe e..
In the movie Back to the Future II, Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel 30 years into the future, to today, October 21st, 2015. The movie was ahead of its time, at least when it came to marketing, apparently.
The movie also raised an important question which, alas, is still with us today, namely:
A philosopher whose last name starts with a letter towards the end of the alphabet writes in:I wonder how often members of search committees work through alphabetized stacks of dossiers? I recently had a few conversations with people who have been on search committees, and both mentioned working through an alphabetized stack.
I work in phil cog. sci. and psy..
Philosophers seem pretty territorial about their discipline. Whether that’s owed to high standards, insecurity, or something else, I don’t know. But we tend to be on guard when non-philosophers take up philosophical questions, cautious about assigning work in our classes that is by non-philosophers, and seemingly comfortable with deploying the phrase “not technicall..
Over the past several years we have seen an increased use of video calls (e.g., Skype) as a replacement for in-person first-round interviews at the Eastern Division meeting of the APA. Though there may be some holdouts (for various reasons), the trend seems likely to continue. What have been the effects of this change, so far, on the job market? And are they saluta..
Do you use Turnitin or SafeAssign in your courses to help deter and catch plagiarism? It turns out such software is not very good, reports Inside Higher Ed. Here are the results of a recent test conducted by Susan E. Schorn, a writing coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin:
Out of a total of 37 sources, the software fully identified 15, partially identi..
In one of the comments on the recent post about attendance, Chris requests a follow-up discussion on the mechanics of class participation. Some relevant questions:
- What kinds of class participation do you ask your students for?
- How do you encourage a wide range of students to participate?
- Does participation count as part of your students’ final grade? If so,..
Jennifer Baker (College of Charleston) asked the students in her introductory philosophy course to report (anonymously) “ideas of theirs that changed after studying some philosophy.” I think this is a great idea for learning what kinds of topics and readings make an impact on the students’ thinking, which can be of use in both planning and pitching philosophy course..
Philosophy, like any human activity, is influenced by the circumstances in which it takes place. Technological, scientific, economic, political, cultural, social, etc., factors influence how philosophy is conducted and at least some of which questions philosophers take up. Philosophy is also the product of its history, with the philosophical agenda of each era stron..
Lee Anne Fennell, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, has written a short and amusing paper entitled “Do Not Cite or Circulate.” It’s directed at legal academics, but applies just as well to philosophers. From the opening paragraph:
Law professors, who are generally quite enamored of their own words and not especially reluctant to toss around the..
In the wake of Peter Railton’s Dewey Lecture, I have been asked to create a space on Daily Nous for philosophers to share their experiences of depression and other forms of mental illness. Discussion of the personal and professional challenges confronting those afflicted by these conditions, ways in which the behavior of others affected your experiences in this rega..