This stark opposition between analytic clarity and continental obscurity must be qualified. Certainly, analytic philosophers tend to see clarity as a virtue. Yet the very concern to be clear can lead to the creation of precise definitions and fine distinctions marked with technical terms. Especially but not only when logical formalization is used, the resulting writ..
It’s that time of the year when the interview season for tenure-track jobs is drawing to a close, most of the campus visits are done, and offers are being made (don’t forget to post hires at Appointments in Philosophy), so there should be a fresh crop of amusing or awful or cringe-worthy stories for candidates to share about their experiences visiting campuses, alon..
Making the rounds yesterday was the dress. Take a look, and figure out which two colors it is:
Some people see the dress as white and gold, others see it as blue and black. Which do you see it as?
How should graduate programs address the fact that some of their graduates will not find jobs in academia? There was a brief discussion of this here back in the early days of DN, but I am prompted by a reader to revisit the question. He writes:
My department has a terminal MA program. By admitting students into this program, one of the responsibilities that we ta..
There are many little everyday steps leading up to the production of a philosophical manuscript. Charles Rathkopf (CUNY) writes in asking philosophers about “the daily habits of routine research.”
Do they take notes on paper, then transfer to a computer? Does anyone still try to write anything substantial with pen and paper? What bibliographic system is best? Do ..
Today is National Adjunct Walkout Day (NAWD). There was some discussion of this here last week. Some information about the day and planned activities is at this Tumblr site, as well as on Facebook. The Chronicle of Higher Education interviews Ellen Schrecker (Yeshiva University), whose research includes academic labor and the broader labor movement, about the day. T..
Lee Anne Fennell, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, has written a short and amusing paper entitled “Do Not Cite or Circulate.” It’s directed at legal academics, but applies just as well to philosophers. From the opening paragraph:
Law professors, who are generally quite enamored of their own words and not especially reluctant to toss around the..
In the wake of Peter Railton’s Dewey Lecture, I have been asked to create a space on Daily Nous for philosophers to share their experiences of depression and other forms of mental illness. Discussion of the personal and professional challenges confronting those afflicted by these conditions, ways in which the behavior of others affected your experiences in this rega..
The Alexis de Tocqueville Project in Law, Liberty, and Morality at the University of New Orleans has been offering free for-credit college philosophy courses to local high school students. It sounds great. Chris Surprenant, assistant professor of philosophy at UNO and director of the Tocqueville Project, shared some information about the course:
The overarching f..
A number of people have remarked (here and elsewhere) on the Dewey Lecture delivered by Peter Railton (Michigan) at the American Philosophical Association’s Central Division Meeting this past week. Professor Railton has been kind enough to provide me with a copy of the lecture, which he emphasizes is a draft. I have posted it here (UPDATE 2/27/15: this is a link to..
Many graduate programs set aside a time for all prospective students to visit and learn about their departments and universities. Lauren Leydon-Hardy, a philosophy graduate student at Northwestern University, writes in with some information about one aspect of their “recruitment weekend”:
When I visited Northwestern as a prospective student in 2011, I used an opp..
Keith Donnellan, professor emeritus in the philosophy department at UCLA, has died. Donnellan was known for his work in philosophy of language, particularly on definite descriptors. I will post links to obituaries as they appear.
The following is a guest post* by Robert Kirkman, associate professor in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech and director of its Center for Ethics and Technology, in which he takes up the problem of academic philosophy’s seeming irrelevance to others both inside and outside of academia.
Can We Save Philosophy?
by Robert Kirkman
I write this from the ..
The Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association is underway. Let’s hear about it.
Check out “Hanti’s Notes on Doing a PhD and Getting a Job in Philosophy” by Hanti Lin, assistant professor of philosophy at UC Davis. It has a lot of good advice. Of particular value is the “When to do what?” section. Also, I appreciate the “Health maintenance” section, the issues under which do not get discussed as frequently as they should. Throughout the guide, L..
Boston Dynamics builds robots. Here’s a video of “Spot,” their robotic dog. Watch until at least the 10-second mark.
Is it wrong to kick the dog? What can we learn from our reactions to this video?
An article here reports on the reactions of others.
A graduate student writes in asking for suggestions of “careers that might be especially ‘philosophy friendly’. By that I mean careers that either have employers who typically value the skills developed and areas of research explored in the study of philosophy or allow someone who studied philosophy to do something semi-related they might enjoy.”
He adds, “I’m th..
Flavorwire posts a set of (de)motivational posters featuring quotes “from your favorite depressing philosophers.” Philosophers, I think we can do better. My attempts:
These were pretty easy to make by modifying this blank version of the stereotypical corporate motivational poster, but afterwards (of course) I noticed what looks like an even easier met..
According to press release from the university:
The gift to the center, part of the UA’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will be used to help the center to collaborate with the colle..
Adjuncts sometimes say they make up higher education’s invisible class. So an idea pitched on social media a few months ago struck a chord: What would happen if adjuncts across the country turned that invisibility on its head by all walking out on the same day? National Adjunct Walkout Day, proposed for Feb. 25, immediately gained support, and adjuncts continue to u..
In the discussion of the “Networking and Merit” post last week there were a number of comments (including a few that did not get approved) about conferences that are invitation-only or appear to be cliquey, accepting mainly friends of the organizers or those closely connected to them.
Our standards for good journals involve anonymous review, as our recent “journ..
In November of last year, Daily Nous hosted a guest post that exposed the extraordinary plagiarism of Iranian philosopher Mahmoud Khatami (follow-ups here and here). One of the articles alleged to be a work of plagiarism was a 2007 article of his in Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy, entitled “On the illuminationist approach to imaginal power: outline of ..
A new study by an interdisciplinary team of researchers focuses on “who hires whose graduates as faculty” in order to “present and analyze comprehensive placement data on nearly 19,000 regular faculty in three disparate disciplines. Across disciplines, we find that faculty hiring follows a common and steeply hierarchical structure that reflects profound social inequ..
The blog 454 W 23rd St New York, NY 10011—2157 provides a “list of shibboleth names”—mispronounced names of cultural VIPs “by which the privileged judge their inferiors.” It reminded me of a conversation I had a long time ago with a rather distinguished professor of philosophy, in her office, that went something like this:
Me: So I was wondering if you could pr..
Critiquing the Philosophy Tag game, commenter “Aspasia,” a tenure-track professor, worries about it “perpetuating the status quo of getting somewhere by networking rather than on the basis of merit in philosophy.” Leave aside Philosophy Tag. Let’s look at the broader issue about the role of networking in philosophy. It crops up in a lot of places such as publishing ..
Irving Singer, professor emeritus of philosophy at MIT, has died. He had been at MIT since 1958. The following is from an obituary posted by MIT:
Singer was an eminent philosopher whose academic career spanned 65 years — with more than half a century as a professor at MIT. Singer was the author of 21 books in the field of humanistic philosophy, focusing on topic..
Cheryl Abbate, the former Marquette University philosophy graduate student who had become the target of a smear campaign by associate professor of political science John McAdams, has responded to some of the claims being made in various articles since it was announced that Marquette is seeking to fire McAdams. She writes:
It should be noted that there are a numb..
Which philosophy books would you recommend for a high school library? That is the question currently being asked by Hallie Liberto (Connecticut), on behalf of her mom:
My mom is currently choosing books for the philosophy section of the high school library at the Overseas School of Colombo. She wants some recommendations—books that would be particularly good fo..