At least not as a helpful label:
So I have a provocative proposal of my own: intellectually speaking, the more valid distinction is not between ‘European’ and ‘non-European’ philosophy, but between philosophical cultures that respond to Greek thought (however indirectly), and those that do not. (more…)
Philosophy professors generally like to assign papers to students. The format of a paper allows the student to exercise certain skills of careful exposition and argumentation in ways that quizzes and timed exams don’t. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) often do not include graded work—and certainly not graded papers. The massiveness and openness (inexpensivenes..
The case against philosophy conferences is depressingly formidable. I say “depressingly” because I love philosophy conferences. Here are some of the considerations against them: (more…)
The Board of Trustees of Western Illinois University (WIU), following up on its previously announced plans, ignored substantial opposition and voted unanimously this past Friday to eliminate its school’s philosophy major (along with majors in African-American studies, religious studies, and women’s studies).
Western’s interim provost and academic vice president, ..
“I must say, it is rather addictive, and sometimes really satisfying.”
That’s Massimo Pigliucci (CUNY) writing at Plato’s Footnote about the digital humanities—in that line, specifically about using Google’s Ngram Viewer, which, he adds, “philosophers make surprisingly little use of.” (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..
I am going to be taking the helm of a journal in 2017 and the publisher wants my editorial team to consider moving to the continuous publication model pioneered by the Royal Society Journals. On this mode..
Philosophy majors are predicted to have higher average starting salaries than graduates in any other humanities major, reports the National Association of Colleges and Employers in its 2016 Salary Survey:
Philosophy majors are projected to earn an average starting salary of $49,000 (See Figure 1). This is up from last year, when projected salaries for philosophy ..
A Modest Proposal: Slow Philosophy
In his review of Moral Prejudices by Annette Baier, Colin McGinn claimed that Baier had proposed that universities accommodate the demands of women’s reproductive clocks by allowing women to postpone tenure decisions until the age of 50 (New Republic, Oct. ..
The University of Essex Department of Philosophy will no longer be requiring its second- and final-year undergraduate students to take formal, year-end written exams, as departments at most other British universities still do. In an essay in The Guardian, department head Fabian Freyenhagen writes:
We realised, in response to feedback from students and employers, ..
A pair of essays in Times Higher Education—one by Simon Blackburn (Cambridge, UNC) and the other by Mariana Alessandri (Texas, Rio Grande Valley) and John Kaag (UMass, Lowell) —aim to defend the value of studying philosophy.
Each has interesting bits worth considering. Blackburn talks about progress in philosophy:
philosophy has indeed both changed and imp..
Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, has won the American Philosophical Association’s Quinn Prize. The prize, named for Philip L. Quinn, is “awarded in recognition of service to philosophy and philosophers, broadly construed.” The award includes $2500 and an engraved plaque.
The Phylo Job Wiki is up and running. From the site:
A job wiki is a space for philosophy job seekers to post unofficial information about the status of various job openings in philosophy. Job seekers traditionally share information about when hiring departments schedule interviews, make offers, and so forth. Although job seekers provide this information as a ser..
Following on the heels of last week’s discussion of non-philosophers teaching critical thinking, the Chronicle of Higher Education drew attention to a meta-analysis of studies about whether colleges succeed in teaching critical thinking at all. As it turns out, they do:
Students’ critical-thinking skills do improve in college. The difference is comparable to a st..
You may have heard of, and if so probably by now forgotten about, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” A meme before the age of memes, it is older than some Daily Nous readers. Heck, Wikipedia describes it as a “parlour game.” No one has “parlours” anymore. Barely anyone has a “parlor,” even.
And yet, “Six Degrees of Francis Bacon” kind of works, doesn’t it?
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..
Earlier this week the National Endowment for the Humanities announced funding of $36.6 million for more than 200 humanities projects. How did philosophers do? By my count, there were seven projects led by persons affiliated with philosophy departments, with their funding totaling $1.1 million. (If I missed any, please let me know.) Let’s congratulate the winners.
Because the views we espouse are always open to objections and disagreement, our practice at its best nurtures in the philosopher a capacity to withstand huge shifts in her understanding of even her most deeply entrenched beliefs about how things are in the world. Good philosophy of all stripes fosters in the practitioner the virtue of epistemic humility.
Under the so-called 5+2 program, humanities graduate students at Irvine will receive additional funding designed to push them through course work and their dissertations within five years. Those who finish within that time frame are eligible to apply for an up to two-year, teaching-intensive postdoc. Assistant adjunct professors, as they’re called, will receive rela..
Spanish philosopher Emilio Lledó Iñigo has been awarded the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. Eight such awards are given annually, in different fields. The Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts went to Francis Ford Coppola and the award for social sciences was given to economist Esther Duflo. The awards include a replica of a Joan..
Cosmology’s hot streak has stalled. Cosmologists have looked deep into time, almost all the way back to the Big Bang itself, but they don’t know what came before it. They don’t know whether the Big Bang was the beginning, or merely one of many beginnings. Something entirely unimaginable might have preceded it. Cosmologists don’t know if the world we see around us is..
If philosophy can sometimes sound weird to other philosophers, it can sound really weird to non-philosophers. Imagine (you can do it) you were in a conversation with some non-philosophers and they asked, “what’s your strangest philosophical belief?”
What would your answer be?
(image: detail of “They Have Slept In The Forest Too Long” by Max Ernst)
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..
“If Your Website’s Full of Assholes, It’s Your Fault” is a 2011 post from well-known blogger Anil Dash in which he writes about a specific kind of challenge faced by bloggers and online media providers. They are often forced to defend their enterprises “because so many of the most visible, prominent, and popular places on the web are full of unkindness and hateful b..
The Campaign for Better Citation and Credit-Giving Practices is a new site aimed at “providing a forum for individuals in academic philosophy to bring to light general instances of work not receiving due credit or citations.” It offers a forum in which to “(A) argue that particular works or authors have been unfairly neglected (i.e. not adequately cited or otherwise..
The announcement of the UPDirectory has prompted a number of comments about a category not included among its underrepresented groups: philosophers who grew up in poverty. One theme in many of these comments is a sense of isolation and difference that comes from having that kind of background. The point of this post is just to open up a space for philosophers to dis..