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Monthly Archives:

August 2014

1. Hindu philosophy of religion.
2. A series of posts on Cusa and Hegel.
3. Artificial wombs are already being tested and developed, and according to some, will be widely used in a few decades. They’re a little controversial.
4. Physicist Lawrence Krauss squares off against philosophers Angie Hobbs and Mary Midgley on the relationship between philosophy and science.
5. Ethical carnivorism.
6. You can download a behavioral economics introductory text for free.
7. Will OKCupid be hiring an ethicist?
8. XKCD on what makes for a good thesis defense.
9. Academic Seinfeld on Twitter.


Philosophers Propose Boycott

Related to the earlier post of links to philosophers writing about the current conflict in Gaza and associated issues, some philosophers and political theorists are supporting “a principled refusal to associate with Israeli academic institutions that have not explicitly condemned the occupation.” They lay out their reasons here. (via Katharine Jenkins)

(Note: for ..


In the Overlap between Logic, Fun, and Information

John Venn, an English philosopher who spent much of his career at Cambridge, died in 1923, but if he were alive today he would totally be dead, as it is his 180th birthday. Venn was named after the Venn diagram, owing to the fact that as a child he was terrible at math but good at drawing circles, and so was not held back in 5th grade. In celebration of this philoso..


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 philosopher teaches about privacy, in Forbes (via Robert Long), and a forum in the NYT about your possible violations of your children’s privacy.
6. The connection between “love for humanity” and human agency.
7. The potential condescension of informed consent.
8. A video installation based on Plato’s Timaeus. Watch it in the dark.
9. Against authenticity, part 8729. (via Colin Farrelly)
10. Feel better about your job, instantly. (via Molly Gardner)
11. Don’t philosophize like my brother! Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, take up epistemology.


1. Nicholas Kristof, writing in The New York Times, defends the value of the humanities by explaining how he has been affected by the ideas of Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, and Peter Singer.
2. CBS will be airing a television drama that “centers on a brilliant bioethicist [based on Arthur Caplan] who is called in at crisis moments to solve the most complicated, dynamic, and confounding medical issues imaginable.”
3. Speaking of TV, the Series Philosopher brings a little philosophy to bear on television shows, such as Veep, Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, The Big Bang Theory, and many more.
4. Pigliucci on Priest on Buddhism and logic — a critique.
5. Gricean Pragmatics, explained clearly and concisely, in a short video by Karen Lewis (Columbia).
6. Are you a philosopher who just doesn’t care about what to wear? Sure.
7. A physics writer takes up “why is there something rather than nothing?
8. Step-up! The bystander effect and culture.
9. Counterfactuals are tricky.


1. “By insisting that print [rather than online or ebook-only] is a necessary condition for scholarly quality, deans and scholars make it more difficult for university presses to stay in business, thereby making it more difficult for them to publish print books! At the same time, scholars insist on having their own work published in print while they increasingly engage the work of others online. And deans demand that scholars publish print books while not giving their libraries enough funds to buy them. So they insist on print and undermine the demand for it.” Matthew McAdam, humanities editor at Johns Hopkins University Press, on academia’s unsustainable and confused attitudes towards online and e-book publishing.
2. Kristie Dotson (Michigan State) is among several academics to have taken part in a series of “traveling hearings” organized by the African American Policy Forum on “juvenile justice, foster care, commercial sexual exploitation of children and ‘gender-specific’ experiences” particularly related to “coming up in Los Angeles in poor, disenfranchised black and Latino neighborhoods.” (via Sam Liao)
3. “It’s not A/B testing. It’s just being an asshole.” Tim Carmody explains what’s missing from the discussions about the recent social media experiments: “They’re all too quick to accept that users of these sites are readers who’ve agreed to let these sites show them things. They don’t recognize or respect that the users are also the ones who’ve made almost everything that those sites show.”
4. Apparently, “Federal Jurists ♥ Bentham.” (Update: alternative link.)
5. “The potential dangers of abusing such knowledge are one reason the storage of incidentally collected information is wrong. But there is another reason as well. The more insidious harm is not consequential but in principle. The collection of such data… violates our autonomy and dignity,” says Michael Lynch (Connecticut) at the NYT, on the NSA’s scary collection of everyone’s emails, chats, posts, etc. (via Hallie Liberto)
6. The American Political Science Association has created a new organized section, “political epistemology,” in response to a petition drive spearheaded by the editor of Critical ReviewJeffrey Friedman (Texas). The petition page describes some of political epistemology’s topics.
7. “Good metaphors have many other effects on readers than making them grasp some bit of information, and these are often precisely the effects the metaphor-user wants to have” says James Grant (Oxford) at OUP Blog.
8. Philosophy Talk on which books you should (have) read this summer.
9. In the spirit of your sayings (keep ’em coming, folks), check out the philosophy entries on lol my thesis. (via mlr)