Heap of Links

1. “I’m not sure, for example, what the philosophy REF panel would make of Berkeley’s research on tar-water, or even Bentham’s on prisons, for that matter.” That’s Jonathan Wolff on exciting scholarship and whether disciplinarity is just a blip in the history of academia.
2. The History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh has launched “Instant HPS“, a series of brief videos on various topics, including “Is Your Brain a Computer?”, “Is Race Real?”, and “Einstein’s Astonishing Idea.” (via Edouard Machery)
3. Jeremy Waldron (NYU/Oxford) has an essay on Cass Sunstein’s (Harvard) work in which he says that Sunstein’s arguments for nudging (based on the heuristics and biases work in social psychology) are “remarkably tone-deaf to concerns about autonomy.” Nudges get a skeptical look at Aeon this week, too. And, by the way, the issue of the NYRB the Waldron essay appears in is chock full of articles by and about philosophers. Unfortunately, most of them are currently behind paywalls.
4. Kristen Andrews (York) is the new “featured scholar” at Brains. She works on human cognition in humans and non-human animals.
5. “The fossil fuel divestment campaign makes demands that no corporate executive could ever meet,” says Scott Wisor (Birmingham), at Ethics & International Affairs.
6. Eddy Nahmias (Georgia State) tests “willusionism.”
7. “In a perfect world, unlikely findings would be both published and scrutinized — and maybe that world’s not so far from the world we have. Still, the evidence appears to be badly mixed; can any conclusion – save that we’ve got a mess on our hands – be safely drawn?” — an excerpt from a new book by John Doris (Washington University in St. Louis) (via Leiter). Shen-yi Liao (Leeds) comments on it here.
8. A review of recent defenses of the humanities, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
9. The truth and nothing but the truth (with a comment at the end from God, in bold, related to this recent thread).

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9 years ago

Wow. I hope it’s just poor writing and I’m misconstruing the claims, but I find the reasoning in the “Willusioning” shockingly bad. Surely Nahmias doesn’t really believe, as the article seems to imply, that neuroscience is incompatible with free will only it “lead[s] people to reject it”!

Perhaps his view is closer to the quote from Knobe, that “whatever it is that we find threatening to free will, it isn’t neuroscience”? (I’m assuming, though, that the “we” in this statement means what most people find threatening, and isn’t meant to imply they rightly find, or fail to find it, so. Right? I hope?)

Tom Hurka
Tom Hurka
9 years ago

The New York Review of Each Other’s Books lives up to its name in having Nagel review Scanlon — each a fine philosopher but too closely associated for the one to be an objective reviewer of the other. They do this all the time.