Kenny Easwaran, currently at the University of Southern California, has accepted an offer as associate professor with tenure at Texas A&M, starting Fall 2014. Easwaran works on formal epistemology, decision theory, and philosophy of math.
One of the principal ways analytic philosophers can contribute to intellectual progress on topics of public interest is by drawing attention to, and rigorously debating, widespread assumptions about a subject. One of the core methodological principles underlying this project is that this strategy can be profitably applied to the metaphysics of love.
A group at the Un..
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 ..
Marcus Arvan over at Philosopher’s Cocoon draws attention to the 2012 Dewey Lecture by Ruth Millikan (University of Connecticut), to some of the details about her education that, he says, “really put things into perspective,” and to her views about the fragility of philosophy in light of its nature and the institutional pressures to which it is subjected.
Traditionally, the liberal arts have been the privilege of an upper class. There are three big reasons for this. First, it befits the leisure time of an upper class to explore the higher goods of human life: to play Beethoven, to study botany, to read Aristotle, to go on an imagination-expanding tour of Italy. Second, because their birthright is to occupy leadership..
The American Association of Philosophy Teachers awarded their 2014 Lenssen Prize to Ann J. Cahill and Stephen Bloch-Schulman, both of Elon University, for their paper, “Argumentation Step-By-Step: Learning Critical Thinking through Deliberative Practice,” published in Teaching Philosophy 35(1) in March 2012. The Lenssen Prize is awarded to the best paper concerning ..
Wake Forest University is looking into ways to assess the quality of life of its students and alumni. Among the things the university would like to know: “the level of meaning and purpose students find in their lives.”
It is that time of the year when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the semester is ending, and the students are asking, “I know I missed a lot of classes and didn’t complete some of my assignments but I was wondering if there is, you know, anything I can do now to get a better grade.” It is tempting to recommend “invent and use time machine.” But perhaps..
Platonic forms explained in an animation in the style of an old-fashioned video game. No, I don’t know why.
“I’m sorry Bentham, but the thing-in-itself is bit harder to depict than a goddman panopticon!”
Well done, Existential Comics.
“Rock and Roll Philosopher” Grant Maxwell has compiled a list of the top 15 philosophical songs. I suspect many philosophers would give this list the other kind of “R and R,” namely a revise and resubmit. Your suggested changes, folks? (Include links if you can.)
The female student who last year accused Colin McGinn of sexual harassment has now filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the University of Miami. Details here.
The other day, a graduate student in philosophy posted her account of an affair she has had with an older, prominent philosopher who works in her area (but was not a professor at her institution). She also claimed that the philosopher, who has a long-term partner, has had more than one such relation, particularly with younger women philosophers who admire him. She a..
In the end, the Happy Hour Test depends on affability, but its consequence goes beyond likability. If one “passes” the Happy Hour Test, I’d argue, there is an especially strong correlation to being a strong teacher, colleague, and college citizen.
How important is collegiality in getting a job? According to this column in IHE, very.
James Higginbotham, most recently Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, has died. He worked mainly in philosophy of language, prior to his appointment at USC held positions at Oxford, MIT, and Columbia. (via Leiter)
UPDATE (4/29/14): University of Southern California News posted an article about Higginbotham.
1. Wittgenstein and cricket.
2. The ethics of fashion.
3. A book of 33 interviews on the relation between science and religion
4. The philosophy of walking.
5. Dennett’s advice for criticizing with kindness.
6. Vox on Ziker (previously) on how professors spend their time.
7. A philosopher has written a memoir about surviving rape.
8. Venn diagram organizes the varie..
Judge in the Stubblefield case:
“Even if you found D.J, has the ability to communicate, you can’t overturn 20 years of his being determined to be incompetent,” Teare said during the hearing to gauge D.J.’s ability to communicate. “He does not have the ability to give consent.”
You can now search all of the writings of David Lewis for specific words and phrases. The results show up listed by publication, with bibliographic information. The site was created by Wolfgang Schwarz. (via Holly Lawford-Smith)
Stan Sloane: Welcome back everyone to Mile High Stadium. We’re here near the end of a very tense fourth quarter, with the score tied 31-31 and the Denver Broncos on the march against the stout defense of the Chieftains of Kansas City. I’m Stan Sloane – former Pro Bowl QB – here in the booth with my partner Marcus Aurelius, Last Good Emperor of Rome. Marcus, it’s bee..
This paper holds that philosophy is and has always been relevant to life. The history on this matter is against the likes of Kripke and Soames who claim otherwise, even when it comes to the recent Analytic tradition. But, even more importantly, we argue that even if this history is not quite right, that philosophers have both moral and instrumental reasons for makin..
A survey based on 115 forums held around the United States brought some seemingly good news about what the public thinks of philosophical education in college:
Nearly 9 in 10 of those returning questionnaires strongly or somewhat agreed that college should be “where students learn to develop the ability to think critically by studying a rich curriculum that includes..
“We’re just trying to tweak the mammalian system a little bit to do what a lot of other species do naturally.” Those are the words of Lloyd Klickstein of Novartis, the Swiss drug company collaborating with scientists at the University of Kansas Medical Center who will soon begin injecting deaf study subjects with a “harmless virus containing a gene that should trigg..
The Foundational Research Institute says that it “brings together researchers from diverse fields to examine how humanity can best reduce suffering in the future. We draw on insights from artificial intelligence, technology, anthropic reasoning, international relations, sociology, public policy, ethics, and many other disciplines.” Its website seems to be mainly the..
Andrew Chignell (Cornell) and Samuel Newlands (Notre Dame) are the recipients of a $4.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for their project, “Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations.”
What will they do with these funds?
The three-year interdisciplinary effort will explore the theoretical, empirical and practical dimensions of hope..
You may recall that 14 philosophers were among the candidates in Prospect Magazine’s 2014 World Thinker competition. The competition is over and the results are in. Amartya Sen comes in at the top spot! Other philosophers in the top 20 include Mary Beard (7), Jürgen Habermas (12), Slavoj Žižek (14), Nick Bostrom (15), Daniel Dennett (17), Rae Langton (18), Elizabeth..
It’s one thing to be told “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” and another thing to, well, actually not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Whether it is writing a paper or working through some task at a departmental meeting, there is the temptation to not move forward unless everything is just right, or until one knows everything is going to be j..
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected its 2014 class and it includes five philosophers: John Broome (Oxford), Arthur Fine (University of Washington), Ruth Millikan (University of Connecticut), David Velleman (NYU), and Gary Watson (Southern California). The full list of new members is here. “As one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and indepen..
create a repository of the best arguments for any idea, where emotional manipulation and flowery rhetoric are removed, leaving only the core statements, arranged in a network. So the next time a discussion touches a difficult i..