Maintained by Hugh Mellor but apparently last updated in 2005, the Causes of Deaths of Philosophers website humorously speculates about, well, the causes and descriptions of deaths of philosophers. To wit:
Husserl: Phenomenally bad luck
Ryle: Gave up the ghost
Dancy: No particular reason
Sellars: Not given
Benacerraf: Number was up
Wittgenstein: Became the l..
As part of the course, college students are teaching second graders at the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence in Springfield to question their own assumptions, lis..
Philosophers, I have been asked to ask you all about reference manager / bibliographic software, such as Endnote, Qiqqa, Mendeley, Zotero, etc. Do you use any of these? Is there one in particular you would recommend?
The Eastern Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) has announced that it has named Peggy DesAutels, professor of philosophy at the University of Dayton, as its Distinguished Woman in Philosophy for 2014. DesAutels works in ethics, moral psychology, feminist philosophy, cognitive science, and biomedical ethics. According to the nomination, DesAutels “..
Peter Ludlow (Northwestern) is suing the undergraduate who accused him of sexually assaulting her. The lawsuit “alleges that the student knowingly made false statements to news media and Northwestern professors after he rebuffed her sexual advances.” Ludlow had previously launched a defamation lawsuit against Northwestern University officials, fellow philosophy prof..
I very much doubt that I would be able to provide anything like reliable judgments of philosophical quality based on the names of individuals in faculties, without spending an enormous amount of time reading people’s work. Although I’ve been in professional philosophy for nearly ten years, and have gained at least some familiarity with a large number of philosopher..
The above photo is a detail from a large, hand drawn chart entitled “Mathematical Logic and Foundations, 1847-1947.” It was made in 1976 by Joel Friedman (I believe this Joel Friedman, emeritus at UC Davis). A print of it has been hanging up in the University of South Carolina Department of Philosophy for as long as anyone here can remember. I do not know whether it..
A student writes in with a question:
I’m a student in my first semester at a terminal masters program, and as an undergraduate I mostly took courses outside of value theory. Would it help my application to a PhD program if I branched out and took a wide range of classes or should I double down and stick with the fields I enjoy?
More generally, to what extent d..
Laboratory assistants have to do all sorts of terrible, embarrassing things, but surely this is among the silliest: Enter a bar in Grenoble, France. Identify people who look moderately drunk. Walk up to them, tap them on the shoulder, and say something along the lines of, “Uh, hey, this is awkward, but, would you be interested in answering some questions about philo..
“The Strength of Weak Ties” (1973) by sociologist Mark Granovetter is an extraordinarily influential paper, one of the most cited in sociology (with nearly 30,000 citations, according to Google Scholar). Yet it was initially rejected. You can read the rejection letter via a link from here. It is an interesting case of peer reviewers dismissing an idea because they w..
Most of the discussions regarding “assessment” are fine examples of exactly what we do not want to see college producing: vague and uniform truisms, hooked up with measures so meaningless as to guarantee that nothing will ever change. It is the deadened life of the bureaucratic mind. But imagine, as an alternative, academics charting the careers of students who have..
Dudley Knowles, professor of philosophy at the University of Glasgow, has died. Professor Knowles worked in political philosophy and on Hegel. The department has added some memorial remarks to his web page. (Thanks to Fiona Macpherson and Alan Weir for this information.)
UPDATE (11/5/14): The Herald has published an obituary of Knowles.
UPDATE (11/5/14): Anoth..
Martin Tamny, Professor of Philosophy at CCNY and the CUNY Graduate Center, has died. Professor Tamny worked in the philosophy and history of science. Saul Fisher (Mercy College) sends along the following remembrance:
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Martin Tamny on October 18, 2014, at the age of 73.
Martin was born in the Bronx, New York..
Alexander Dietz, a graduate student at the University of Southern California, has been working on a project called Philosophy Summaries. It features “hierarchical summaries” of philosophy texts with an interface that allows you to drill down into the summaries of each section. Here’s how he describes it:
Philosophy books are usually divided into chapters, which a..
Lauren Ashwell is assistant professor of philosophy at Bates College. She works in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and feminist ethics, and her work has been published in Philosophical Studies, Philosophy Compass, Australasian Journal of Philosophy and elsewhere. So she’s good at her day job. But that is just a necessary, not sufficient, reason for being featured i..
It’s now official: Andrei Marmor, currently Professor of Philosophy and Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, will be moving to Cornell, taking up joint appointments in the university’s Sage School of Philosophy and Law School over the summer of 2015. Marmor works in legal and moral philosophy. His wife, Elizabeth Garrett, ..
In most philosophy classes the religious traditions of the Middle East and Asia are in the periphery as the other to philosophy – the impulses to conformism and irrationality which are to overcome by the self-reflection and rationality of philosophy. But regarding philosophy Africa is treated as the other to the other, as being the birthplace of human beings but not..
Philosophy professor Jan Boxill was named as an active participant in an academic fraud scheme in a 136-page report issued earlier today by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill entitled “Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.” The report details the existence of a number of phony “paper classes.” Accordi..
In June it was reported that Peter Ludlow was suing officials, a professor, and a graduate student at Northwestern University for defamation, gender discrimination and invasion of privacy. The following guest post* is an open letter to the philosophical community adopted by the Northwestern University Philosophy Graduate Students by way of a vote.
Open Letter from..
Recently I was asked by the editors of a journal whose mission and scholarship I support and respect to review a book by a scholar I very much admire. In the past, I would have accepted the invitation without a second thought and proceeded to read the book and develop a review. Over the past few years, however, as my work has focused on questions of public scholarsh..
Two minor updates about the site:
- Some of you may have already noticed this but a bug of the recent redesign has just been fixed: you can now successfully link to individual comments. Also, clicking on specific comments in the “Recent Comments” section of the sidebar will take you to the specific comment. I appreciate your patience while that was taken care of. ..
“Academics dress badly because we are so fulfilled in our work,” says Jonathan Wolff (UCL) in his column in The Guardian. Maybe. Or perhaps it is the pay? Or perhaps academics don’t dress particularly badly? Or perhaps local norms override profession-wide ones? Or gender norms? Wolff adds: “a colleague told me it probably takes her as long to decide what to wear to ..
Yesterday’s post, “Funding and Philosophical Results,” on Daniel Dennett’s critique of Alfred Mele’s acceptance of money from the John Templeton Foundation, generated a fair amount of discussion, with contributions from Dennett and his critics. Al Mele has now written a reply to Dennett, presented in the guest post*, below.
Reply to Dennett
Dan Dennett sugges..
When last we updated the game, Dan Haybron (St. Louis University) had tagged Michael Bishop (Florida State) for a book and an article. Not to give it all away but this week Bishop tags someone for a book. Whoa there, players! Let’s recall our humble roots and try to stick to articles from now on, okay? Now take it away, Bishop:
There is a robust tradition in ..
Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education has a long article (may be paywalled) on the University of Colorado Department of Philosophy’s issues with sexual misconduct and climate for women, with remarks from people inside and outside the department.
They wanted to help solve their field’s longstanding problems over the treatment of women and find ways to improve the ..
This year’s World Philosophy Day is one month away, on November 20th. From the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) website:
In establishing World Philosophy Day in 2005, the General Conference highlighted the importance of this discipline, especially for young people, underlining that “philosophy is a discipline that encourage..
I’ve been asked to solicit information from readers about how to get a permanent job teaching philosophy at a community college.
(a) Where are community college jobs typically advertised?
(b) What makes a job candidate look good, on paper, to community colleges?
(c) How is the job search process different at community colleges?
(d) What misc..
Suppose you were reviewing a scientific report that drew the conclusion that a diet without fat was in fact unhealthy, and that butter and cream and even bacon in moderation were good for you, and suppose further that the science was impeccable, carefully conducted and rigorously argued. Good news! Yes, but the author acknowledges in fine print that the research was..