Heidi Lockwood (Southern Connecticut) and Michael Tooley (Colorado) met at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) earlier this month for a debate sponsored by VCU’s Department of Philosophy. The subject was “Sexual Assault on Campus.” A video of the event was kindly provided to me by Mikhail Valdman, who moderated the event and cleared its release with the relevant ..
The first ever issue of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association is now available online. According to a press release from the APA, “All current APA members have free online access to the journal. Members will also receive a complimentary copy of the journal in the mail.” The journal is published by Cambridge University Press. The journal’s editor-in-c..
We, like I’m sure lots of other departments, are suffering from decreasing enrollment numbers. I was wondering if you could do a post asking people about their department’s high-enrollment/bread and butter courses. — a professor who does not care to make his particular department look bad in front of everyone (not that I’m sure it would, but okay).
Are there spe..
FAZ, one of the main newspapers in Germany, reports on the unraveling scandal regarding Heidegger’s anti-Semitic writings. The latest, I am told, is that Peter Trawny, one of the editors of the Gesamtausgabe, the definitive collection of Heidegger’s works (he edited the now infamous Black Notebooks) has admitted in a recent interview that he was pressured by the lea..
A reader who prefers to remain anonymous writes in asking about the television-watching habits of philosophers. He notes that philosophers and other academics are often proud to abstain from television, and to not even own one of the infernal contraptions. (“How do you know someone doesn’t own a television? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” See also: here, here, and h..
“This Is What We Look Like” is a new campaign aimed at “Promoting the presence, awareness, and progress of women in traditionally male dominated fields,” including philosophy. They’d like to fill the web with images of women doing what is stereotypically considered men’s work. You can buy one of their shirts at their storefront, and then send in a photo of yourself ..
For this installment of “Hobbies of Philosophers”, I talked to Steff Rocknak, professor of philosophy at Hartwick College. Steff works on Hume, Quine, philosophy of art, and philosophy of mind. But she also has a successful career as a sculptor—it is certainly much more than a hobby, so in this case, the title for this series is terribly inapt given the central im..
Kansas State University is about to open a Confucius Institute on its campus and some there, including associate professor of philosophy John Mahoney, are raising concerns. He writes in a guest editorial in The Collegian:
Is there an important difference between an international exchange program in which students cross borders to study abroad, and a international..
The University of Aberdeen is attempting to cut £10.5 million from its expenditures for the 2015-16 academic year, and they are starting with faculty and staff. It aims to cut 150 positions, according to an email sent to faculty and staff from new Senior Vice Principal Jeremy Kilburn, provided to me from a source at the university who prefers to remain anonymous. Th..
The family of the late William H. Baumer, a longtime philosopher at the University of Buffalo who died last June, has donated $500,000 to create the William H. Baumer Excellence Fund. The fund will support various initiatives in the Department of Philosophy, including “financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, supporting graduate student travel an..
Philosophy, like any human activity, is influenced by the circumstances in which it takes place. Technological, scientific, economic, political, cultural, social, etc., factors influence how philosophy is conducted and at least some of which questions philosophers take up. Philosophy is also the product of its history, with the philosophical agenda of each era stron..
It has happened to many a teacher. You are up there speaking in front of the class and the words escape your lips. And then you realize it: how awful they will sound if repeated on their own, out of context, by your students somewhere… to a friend, on social media, to an administrator, to a reporter. There is no “undo” on speech. (Yet.) All we have is the humor of..
Christia Mercer (Columbia) reports on her experiences teaching philosophy to inmates as part of the new Justice-in-Education Initiative, sponsored by Columbia University’s Center for Justice, and calls for greater attention to the educational needs of prisoners, in an op-ed in The Washington Post. She writes:
My incarcerated students differ radically from the one..
Did you read a particularly good op-ed in 2014 that was written by a philosopher? Are you a philosopher who wrote a particularly good op-ed that was published in 2014? Well, in that case, you should send that piece over to the American Philosophical Association (APA) for consideration for the Committee on Public Philosophy’s 2014 Op-Ed Contest. The Committee says:
Andrew Pessin, professor of philosophy at Connecticut College, is at the center of a controversy at Connecticut College regarding offensive speech for a Facebook post he wrote in August, 2014. In the post, reports Inside Higher Ed,
Pessin describes the situation in Gaza as one in which “a rabid pit bull is chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escap..
Grant Ramsey, currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, will become BOFZAP Research Professor in the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven, starting July 2016. Professor Ramsey works in philosophy of biology and philosophy of science, and runs the Ramsey Philosophy of Biology Lab, which, according to its website, “..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has announced the winners of several competitions. First up are the winners of the 2013 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest, which were awarded at the 2014 Eastern APA meeting:
Dale Jamieson (NYU)
“The Right’s New Climate Change Lie”
Todd May (Clemson)
“The Weight of the Past”
Jennifer Morton (City College)..
The nature of philosophy is to blame for philosophy’s woman problem, says Zachary Ernst, who left his position as tenured associate professor of philosophy at University of Missouri to work in the private sector, and who occasionally writes about academia and philosophy at his blog, Inklings. But it isn’t what you think. Ernst isn’t blaming philosophy’s combativenes..
People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully cont..
What are the boundaries of philosophy? Why are they there and what is their nature? How do such boundaries structure the way philosophers approach understanding people, events, relationships, institutions, and so on? A few recent pieces around the Internet explore versions of these questions.
Justin E.H. Smith (Université Paris Diderot) argues at Berfrois that th..
Recently, AskPhilosophers received the following question:
Why is so little phenomenology taught and researched in North American philosophy departments? Because it studies the essence of consciousness is it too continental for your analytic minds? Why must philosophy be categorized so strictly?
Jonathan Westphal (Hampshire College) responded:
I think the a..
Tiffany Sun, a student at Rosyln High School in New York, was one of 40 finalists in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search with an experimental philosophy project on the Trolley Problem. That’s the good news. The bad news? What she learned. From an article at Cogito.org:
Tiffany said the first step to conducting her research was coming up with experimental stimuli..
Eric Schliesser, currently Research Professor in Philosophy and Moral Sciences at Ghent University, has been offered a Chair in Political Theory in the Political Science department at the University of Amsterdam. He reports that he “will almost certainly accept.” Profesor Schliesser works mainly in the history of modern philosophy and philosophy of economics. He als..
Tristram McPherson, currently in the Department of Philosophy at Virginia Tech, will be taking up a position as associate professor of philosophy at The Ohio State University starting in September, 2015. Professor McPherson works in ethics and meta-ethics. The university is also hiring Amy Shuster, currently in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech, a..
By now many of you have heard that Kant’s house was spray-painted with the words meaning something like “Kant is an idiot” (the BBC reports that it says “Kant’s a sucker”). The Moscow Times informs us that Kant’s home, in what was known as Prussia but is now Kalingrad, Russia, “is in ruins and has become a hot spot for drinking and debauchery among local youths.”
An assistant professor writes in with the following query:
I’ve been asked recently to review some books for major presses, which is great and I love doing it (free books!) But I have no idea how to do it and they really give no guidelines. They just say something like, “tell me what you think.” Obviously I have all sorts of thoughts, and I’d really like to know ..
Clara Fisher, Newton International Fellow at the Gender Institute at London School of Economics, makes “the case for a tentatively optimistic reading of women’s contemporary place in philosophy” in an article in the Dublin Review of Books. She writes:
On the one hand, structural inequalities, such as women’s representation and inclusion, seem utterly entrenched, ..