Way back in the 2000s, at the Eastern APA’s conference hotel in DC, the fire alarms went off in the middle of the night. The hotel was briefly evacuated, but, because it was winter, rather than keep everyone outside, the hotel let people take shelter in the ballroom—the very ballroom at which the Smoker had taken place earlier that night. The tables were still in ..
Heap of Links
1. Why are they so angry? Amia Srinivasan (Oxford) makes the case for anger, arguing that it can be a huge source of strength and power, particularly for the apparently weak and powerless, on the BBC. (via Aidan McGlynn)
2. When people who have been blind their whole life are given the power of sight, what do they see? — on the puzzle William Molyneaux posed to Joh..
The Morality of the Boycott
Over 500 philosophers have signed on to the boycott of University of Illinois, initiated after it rescinded Steven Salaita’s job offer. Already, the boycott has affected the university’s department of philosophy. David Blacker (Delaware), cancelled a talk he was to give there that was co-sponsored by the philosophy department. Eric Schwitzgebel (Riverside) reports t..
Blacks in Philosophy in the US
In “What is the State of Blacks in Philosophy?” a recent article in Critical Philosophy of Race, authors Tina Fernandes Botts (Michigan), Liam Kofi Bright (Carnegie Mellon), Myisha Cherry (John Jay College), Guntur Mallarangeng (San Francisco), and Quayshawn Spencer (San Francisco) “introduce into philosophical discussion the preliminary results of an empiri..
Philosophers’ Ethical Non-Monogamy Group
Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins (British Columbia) and Rebecca Kukla (Georgetown) have informed me that they have created a new, private, “Philosophers’ Ethical Non-Monogamy Group” on Facebook.
This is a group for the exploration of political, personal, disciplinary, and theoretical issues surrounding ethical non-monogamy. We welcome those who identify as professional phil..
Why Not Skype Interview?
Over the past few years more and more philosophy departments are moving to a model of hiring that ditches the interviewing of candidates at the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association and replaces them with interviews over Skype or other video-conferencing technology. The case for doing so seems quite strong. It is less expensive for candi..
Heap of Links
1. A symposium at Boston Review called “Against Empathy,” featuring Paul Bloom, Peter Singer, Nomy Arpaly, Barbara Fried, Jesse Prinz, and others.
2. “Imagine that women are proportionately represented in the journals we are discussing…. Could there be any reason for ensuring that more papers by women are published in these journals? Possibly, yes, for two reasons..
Indie Film by Philosopher about Job Market
Shahin Izadi, who received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, must have decided that the academic job market was too easy and so decided to go for a sure thing — indie film-making. He is currently making a movie called Ironwood, about two candidates for an academic job who take a roadtrip to do their interviews and go camping. You can learn mor..
What Was I Thinking?
As I pressed the “publish” button on the “Philosophical Topics of Interest to Women?” post, the old Saturday Night Live commercial for “Chess for Girls!” popped into my head. It was a warning, but one that I allowed to go unheeded. In part this was owed to exhaustion, in part to distraction, in part to what might be a less-than-optimal amount of conscientiousness ab..
Another Colorado Investigation
An associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Bradley Monton, is being investigated by the university.
Associate professor Brad Monton is the subject of a report by Denver-based attorney David Fine for university administrators…. CU declined to provide the Camera with the results of Fine’s investigation and would not disclose the nature of the..
Philosophical Topics of Interest to Women?
A philosophy professor sends in the following inquiry for discussion:
One way to try to make introductory-level philosophy courses more appealing to women is to include more articles written by women on the syllabus. I have seen a good deal of discussion and suggestions about this. Another way might be to try to include more topics that are more likely to be of int..
Tweets and Woofs
Gerald Dworkin on philosophical one-liners.
Sen on Poverty, Energy, and the Environment
I would like to comment on two quite different, but ultimately related, areas of neglected environmental analyses that demand immediate attention. The first is the general problem of not having anything like an overall normative framework, involving ethics as well as science, that could serve as the basis of debates and discussions on policy recommendations. Despite..
What’s Wrong with Oxford Scholarship Online?
Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) is the digital imprint for Oxford University Press, making available electronic versions of OUP books. According to Bob Pasnau (Colorado), they are terrible. His library started an OSO subscription and stopped purchasing hard copies of OUP books, and he has not been very happy.
For a great many purposes, I prefer to read material on s..
Heap of Links
1. “Scientists that talk philosophy down are simply superficial: they have a philosophy (usually some ill-digested mixture of Popper and Kuhn) and think that this is the “true” philosophy, and do not realize that this has limitations,” says scientist.
2. The Phaedo may be missing some painful, convulsive, gasping.
3. The Critique is a site that aims to bring philoso..
Dan Kaufman Sues University of Colorado
Dan Kaufman, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, is suing his university and several of its employees for $2 million for damages relating to his “banishment” from campus for two months this past spring.
Kaufman has filed four notices of claim, a step required by Colorado law for anyone seeking to sue a public entity, and alleges that he h..
Salaita Decision Reaffirmed
It does not appear that the University of Illinois will be altering the decision to rescind Steven Salaita’s job offer. From a post at the “Chancellor’s Blog”:
The decision regarding Prof. Salaita was not influenced in any way by his positions on the conflict in the Middle East nor his criticism of Israel….
We are a university built on precisely this type of dialogu..
How to Accelerate Refereeing
People have been experimenting on journal referees and have learned some useful information. First off, whatever you do, don’t ask Professor Procrastinate to referee for you. He cannot be trusted. Second, shorten deadlines. Third, offer cash rewards or publicize how long the referees took to do the work.
We randomly assign referees to four groups: a control group wit..
What Are Professional Philosophers For?
Most academic philosophy departments see themselves primarily as housing a specialized academic discipline, and contributing only incidentally here or there to a university’s general education curriculum. The priority needs to be reversed. Frankly, there is little or no need for specialized academic philosophy; if it disappeared overnight, the only ones who would no..
Grad Traps! (Guest Post by Daniel Silvermint)
Grad students of philosophy! And other relevant parties! Behold! Daniel Silvermint, assistant professor of philosophy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut, has developed a list of unhelpful thoughts that might occur to you every once in a while. He calls them “grad traps,” and the idea is that if you are able to recognize t..
Ferguson & Philosophy Class
It is the beginning of the school year. Some professors start off their first class with deep puzzles, or thought experiments, or polls. Others begin with definitions of philosophy or by reciting and discussing inspiring passages from great philosophical works. Still others, strangely, hand out syllabi and read through them. There are those, though, that like to bri..
Gillian Bennett, Dementia, and Assisted Suicide
I will take my life today around noon. It is time. Dementia is taking its toll and I have nearly lost myself. I have nearly lost me. Jonathan, the straightest and brightest of men, will be at my side as a loving witness….
We do NOT talk much about how we die. Yet facing death is thoroughly interesting and absorbing and challenging. I have choices which I have revie..
Update on Barnett
David Barnett, whom the University of Colorado is attempting to fire based on claims that he retaliated against a graduate student for her accusations of sexual assault by fellow graduate student (previously), “has been given relief from teaching duties, with pay, until he is given a hearing on the allegations against him,” according to his attorney. Barnett, an ass..
Virtual Dissertation Writers Groups
Joshua Smart, a philosophy graduate student at the University of Missouri, is coordinating the formation of virtual discussion groups for dissertation writers. He writes:
Here’s the basic setup. Interested students can fill out the contact form… and at the beginning of each semester I will email all participants with the information for their three-membered group…
On Being Professional Philosophers and Parents
Helen De Cruz has interviewed seven tenured philosophy professors about parenthood’s effects on their careers. She has a post about it at NewAPPS, which makes for an interesting read, and others are sharing their own experiences in the comments.
Heap of Links
1. What should we think about the ice bucket challenge?
2. Al Mele (Florida State) and Eddy Nahmias (Georgia State) talk about free will and science at Philosophy TV.
3. The challenges for an analytic feminist philosopher of religion.
4. Free for you to use: a Prezi tour through the history of Western philosophy, by Mark Alfano (University of Oregon).
5. Why a philo..
Moral Philosopher Busts Fraudster
Jonathan Glover (KCL) can add “crime-fighter” to his list of accomplishments. The Hampstead & Highgate Express reports:
A fraudster is facing jail after a bungled attempt to dupe a world-renowned philosopher into handing over his bank cards. Nishathur Chowdhury was arrested at the Primrose Hill home of Professor Jonathan Glover, a best-selling author and leading mor..
Loeb Classical Library — Online Soon
Harvard University Press is digitizing the entirety of The Loeb Classical Library and putting it online. While a free trial will be available, permanent access to the collection will be through paid individual and institutional subscriptions. For book lovers, the familiar little red and green hard copies will remain in print. There is an article about the online ver..