Jeff McMahan, currently Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, has accepted Oxford University’s offer of the White’s Chair in Moral Philosophy. He will take up the professorship, which was first endowed in 1621, around mid-October, 2015, in time for the start of Oxford’s Michaelmas term. McMahan is known for his work in theoretical and applied ethics, includ..
1. Tonight, some PBS television stations will be airing a documentary on Grace Lee Boggs, a 98-year-old social activist who holds a PhD in philosophy from Bryn Mawr.
2. Some of Jeremy Bentham’s writings on sex, which fit with the characteristically progressive program of early utilitarianism, have been published under the title Of Sexual Irregularities, and Other Wr..
Existential Comics covers the Germany v. France game.
The goal by Sokratis in the soccer game between Greece and Costa Rica is sort of like what happens in this scene in Monty Python’s Philosopher’s World Cup (via Kay Mathiesen).
Guillaume Attia is running a philosophy version of the World Cup, in which you can vote for your favorite team.
UPDATE: Philosophy Refe..
Ryan Reece, a post-doc in experimental particle physics at UC Santa Cruz, likes “carving out philosophical positions with diagrams.” It’s an interesting project, which you can view here. He welcomes comments. (Via David Grober-Morrow.)
In dismissing philosophy as an antiquated relic of our prescientific past, the scientist is making a very large and dubious assumption: that the abstract methods of philosophy, despite the discipline’s string of successes over recent centuries, have nothing more to contribute to our developing understanding of the world. Perhaps scientists think they already have th..
Atomicity is the thesis that everything is ultimately composed of atoms, entities that lack proper parts. Atomicity is standardly defined as “for every x there is a y such that y is an atom and y is a part of x”, i.e. ever..
1. Charts and graphs may have their place in philosophy, but this is taking things too far.
2. An angel comes to the APA and offers to answer one question…
3. An audio illusion, via Lewis Powell, who reminds us of these words from Locke: “We are further to consider concerning perception, that the ideas we receive by sensation are often, in grown people, altered by..
Wittgenstein once remarked that you could write a book of philosophy consisting entirely of jokes. We all know who could have authored that book. Jonathan Lieberson, who made that connection to Wittgenstein, described Sidney as a combination of Spinoza and Groucho Marx. But Sidney worried about this very gift. He worried that all that people would know of him would ..
Feminist Philosophers has posted an anonymous “open letter” about sexual harassment in philosophy. Part 1 of the letter lists “34 things NOT to say in response to complaints about sexual harassment in philosophy.” Part 2 provides some elaboration and explanation of the list, including what seems to be a central point: “Countering complaints about sexual harassment b..
“Varieties of Understanding: Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology” is a project funded with $4.2 million from the Templeton Foundation, and which is lead by philosophers Stephen Grimm (Fordham), Michael Strevens (NYU), Gordon Graham (Princeton Theological Seminary), and others. They recently announced the winners of their grant competition, which i..
1. Cosmological study concludes that there should be nothing, rather than something.
2. Those with episodic amnesia are not “stuck in time“, says Carl Craver (Washington U. in St.Louis).
3. Does a simulation of time-traveling photons help resolve the grandfather paradox?
4. Biology and politics: people are more likely to vote if they have low levels of cortisol, a s..
Despite including the bullshit phrase, “order of magnitude,” this is useful to keep in mind, especially as one travels the internet, for both the folks who see bullshit and are tempted to respond to it, and f..
Louise Antony (UMass) and Ann Cudd (Kansas) are co-directing the 3rd Biennial Workshop for “The Mentoring Project for Pre-trenure Women Faculty in Philosophy”, to take place next year in June, 2015. “The Mentoring Project aims to build long-term mentoring relationships between eminent senior women and junior women in the field of philosophy.” Applications are not ye..
1. Heather Douglas (Waterloo) and others on how to fix Canadian science policy (audio here).
2. “Good luck idiots. I hope you enjoy your new kangaroo overlords,” said Machiavelli.
3. A continental philosopher complains about the “imperialistic approach of analytic philosophy.”
4. How confronting moral dilemmas in a foreign language makes you more utilitarian, in The..
I saw this very clever cover for a book on set theory and it got me wondering about good book design in philosophy. Let’s take a few moments to judge books by their covers. Share ones you think are particularly good here (and provide links to images if possible).
Robert Parris Moses “became one of the most influential leaders of the black civil rights movement in the 1960s and afterwards. Martin Luther King called his grassroot organizing an inspiration.” He went to Stuyvesant High School, majored in philosophy at Hamilton College, and earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Harvard. Recently, Paul Jay at The Real News c..
Helen De Cruz has begun a series of posts at NewAPPS collating responses to her interviews of several philosophers who left the academy to pursue careers elsewhere. The careers include software engineers, consultant, television writer, counselor, and others. She writes:
In the course of this week, NewApps will provide an overview of their responses in a series of thr..
“Philosophers care too much about deep-sounding meta-questions, instead of sticking to what can be observed and calculated.”
Finally, the deeply depressing critique. Here we see the unfortunate consequence of a lifetime spent in an academic/educational system that is focused on taking ambitious dreams and crushing them into easily-quantified units of productive work..
“On occasion, someone will ask you why you’re a philosopher and not a scientist or some other, more obviously respectable, intellectual.”
I don’t know when Bryan Frances wrote “Why I Think Research in Non-Applied, Non-Interdisciplinary, Non-Historical Philosophy is Worthwhile” but now is a pretty good time to read it. It’s not even four pages long.
Peter Ludlow, who is currently engaged in legal disputes with Northwestern University and its officials regarding alleged sexual misconduct, had been offered a position at Rutgers University in their Department of Philosophy and as director of the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. According to news reports, officials at Rutgers said they were not aware of the al..
Tim Crane interviewed John Searle, and all he got was a lousy t-shirt another dimissal of the state of contemporary philosophy: “It’s in terrible shape!” Searle also talks about his influences, discusses his new book on perception, makes what we can charitably call an “opening move” on the topic of human rights, and offers some advice to young philosophers:
1. Is it exploitative or otherwise wrong to travel to Brazil to see the World Cup? Daniel Campos asks what an ethical fan should do.
2. For those continental philosophers who felt immune from Unger’s critique of analytic philosophy,there’s this: “Geuss describes teaching philosophy as ‘a mildly discreditable day job’ largely directed towards churning out the next ge..
At present, the small gestures made toward greater inclusiveness can in fact lead only to somewhat more robust representation of people who are all already in most important respects members of the same society. It excludes at the outset the people whose way of life separates them from the institutions in which philosophy is practiced and transmitted.
Update (6/20/14): Both Whiting and Malink have deferred deciding on their offers until Spring 2015. Meanwhile, Whiting will be a Visiting Professor at Pitt for Spring of 2015.
Hey, remember Philosophy Tag? Someone got called home for dinner or something in the middle of the last game and that was that for a while, but now it is back, courtesy of Sara Bernstein (Duke). Let’s see who she has tagged…
Consider the following case, Battlefield: You are at the battlefield and see that some of your soldiers are about to be slaughtered by..
The primary value of Unger’s critique of philosophy may be that it generates good and thoughtful responses. There was Schliesser’s the other day, and also the post by Pigliucci (though he says in a comment it was not aimed at Unger directly). Now Marcus Arvan has a more sympathetic take on what Unger is up to, and it is well worth reading.
What I agree with Unger on..
Meanwhile, elsewhere* in The Weekly Standard, Abigail Lavin, an advertising and marketing professional who recently obtained her master’s degree in philosophy from Columbia, reviews Should I Go to Grad School and reflects on her experience straddling academia and the “real world.”
The Weekly Standard has an article about the sexual misconduct allegations against a well-known professor of moral and political philosophy at Yale (previously). No doubt many readers will agree with author Charlotte Allen that the story has a “dark side.” Yet many may be surprised to learn what that is:
Unfortunately, this story… has a dark side. It is also a st..