Andrew Mills (Otterbein) is conducting a survey about what philosophers think is distinctively valuable about philosophy. I’ve reproduced his note about it, below, and I encourage you to complete the survey. As he says, the survey might help us adjust our teaching “so that we are emphasizing those skills and content that we think are most important for students to k..
Kings College London (KCL) has made three senior appointments in philosophy—one full-time and two part-time:
This is the fourth in a series of guest posts* by Elijah Millgram (Utah) based on themes from his new book, The Great Endarkenment: Philosophy for an Age of Hyperspecialization. (Here are the first, second, and third entries.)
Metaphysics by Forgetting
by Elijah Millgram
We all remember the scene where Dorothy and her friends, standing in awe before the enor..
The kind of research and writing experience received up until the moment of candidacy does not train students to a writing practice where months of research lead into months of writing lead into months of revision — where a good, finished, ‘in the bag’ chapter will reasonably take two semesters to complete, if not more. The structure of the system has set us up to ..
The 2015 Ford Foundation Fellowships have been announced. Among the winners is Lori Gallegos de Castillo, who received one of the Dissertation Fellowships. Ms. Gallegos de Castillo is a PhD student in the Philosophy Department at Stony Brook. According to the department’s web site, “her dissertation work explores the role of empathy in how we acquire ethical knowled..
“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”
This line is attributed to several authors, but probably originated with Pascal. Writing shorter is hard, as anyone who has tried to cut several thousand words from a paper in order to submit it to an APA meeting will attest. Yet, when stripped of most non-essential material and organized as efficiently..
This is the third in a series of guest posts* by Elijah Millgram (Utah) based on themes from his new book, The Great Endarkenment: Philosophy for an Age of Hyperspecialization. Earlier posts are here and here.
Doing It All by Yourself
by Elijah Millgram
Every now and again I troll my friends’ children, telling them that I have superpowers: I can fly, make my..
On Friday, June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the recognition and provision of same-sex marriage. It requires each of the 50 states in the US to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples seeking them, and to recognize legi..
One of the benefits of thought experiments and hypothetical examples is that, since the people with which they’re populated aren’t real, you can relentlessly discuss your way through the logical space without having to worry about how they’ll take what you’re saying about them. Your conversation might justifiably sound a bit different, I’d think, if your interlocuto..
In this interview, Al Mele talks about his early love of sports (especially football), games and reading, being an East Detroit greaser, getting a football scholarship, being disinterested..
It has happened to all of us. It has happened to someone who someone you know heard about from someone else: a perfectly competent professor disciplined for saying something totally innocuous in class after being reported to the administration by oversensitive students.
We talked about this a bit here. In “Professors Running Scared? A less dramatic rendering of p..
Each week, the folks at Philosophical Percolations put together a massive list of philosophically relevant links they call the “Saturday Linkorama.” These include updates and new additions to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (NDPR), and Wi-Phi Wireless Philosophy, which app..
Below are last week’s updates and new additions to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), and Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. They appear here via special arrangement with Philosophical Percolations, where they were first posted, along with many other goodies, by Jon Cogburn, BP Morton, Mark Silcox, Duncan Ric..
Suppose you wanted to choose a career based on how much good it will allow you to do. Assessing careers with that in mind is one of the aims of 80,000 Hours, a non-profit organization co-founded by philosopher Will MacAskill. The group looks at four aspects of a job: (1) Role Impact — the extent to which the career enables you to help others; (2) Career Capital — ..
A group of rather successful philosophers currently or formerly employed at universities in the UK have put together a guide for students and other applicants from US universities who are interested in academic jobs in the UK, and kindly offered to allow me to post it here. The authors of the guide wish to remain anonymous because, apparently, human resources depart..
“Sleeping Beauty” papers “lie dormant for years before experiencing a sudden spike in citations as they are discovered and recognized as important.” A recent article in Nature discussed scientific papers that have slumbered for decades, as well as a way of assigning a “beauty coefficient” to papers.
The coefficient, B, is “a value based on the number of citations..
The following is a guest post* by Laura Kipnis, professor in Northwestern University’s School of Communication. Professor Kipnis wrote an opinion piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe,” in which she argued against certain policies and attitudes regarding sexual relations between faculty and students. In doing so, she referred ..
This is the fifth in a series of guest posts* by Elijah Millgram (Utah) based on themes from his new book, The Great Endarkenment: Philosophy for an Age of Hyperspecialization. (Here are the first, second, third, and fourth entries.)
Metaphysics as Intellectual Ergonomics
by Elijah Millgram
There’s an old Harry Harrison short story, “A Tale of the Ending,..
There are efforts afoot to preserve John Stuart Mill’s personal library, currently housed at Somerville Library at Oxford University. It is “an extraordinary collection of about 2,000 volumes, many of which record irreplaceable annotations that are currently a hidden treasure largely unknown to academics.” Somerville College acquired the library in 1905 as a gift fr..
A little while ago there was a discussion on Reddit about “the most beautiful paragraph or sentence you’ve ever read.” I don’t know about you, but I could really go for some reminders about the beauty of our craft right about now. Let’s do a philosophy version of this. What do you think would be a good candidate for philosophy’s most beautiful sentence or paragraph?..
How can we introduce those outside of higher education to philosophy? One little-used means is the museum.
I was not aware of any philosophy museums, but a recent news item on the Empathy Museum, ” the world’s first museum dedicated to helping visitors develop the skill of putting themselves in others’ shoes” put the idea in mind. (The Empathy Museum is the crea..
The audio of lectures given by John Rawls to students in his course “Philosophy 171: Modern Political Philosophy” are being made available on YouTube by the Harvard Philosophy Department. The lectures were delivered at Harvard in the spring semester of 1984. There were eleven lectures. The first three are already up—one, two, and three. What was the first day of c..
“Disability activists have launched a petition demanding Princeton University professor Peter Singer resign over his outspoken support for euthanasia and infanticide,” according to an article in The Washington Times.
The petition, which currently has 823 signatories, makes the following demands:
- That Princeton University officials should immediately call for..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) recently conducted its division elections. The newly elected officers are listed below. Unless otherwise noted, terms of service begin on July 1, 2015.
Vice President (2015-2016)
Eva Feder Kittay
Executive Committee Representatives (2015-2018)
Amie L. Thomasson
A Northwestern University professor who edits a bioethics magazine has shelved the publication over a dispute with administrators, who demand that public relations staff approve content. Katie Watson, a professor in the university’s Medical Humanities and Bioethics program who edits the journal Atrium, said the demand followed recent controversy over the school’s ce..
The following is a guest post* by Josh Parsons, associate professor of philosophy at Oxford University. It’s “a slightly jokey collection of what I called ‘dirty tricks for seminars’ (including some to use liberally, and others to beware of) that I am apt to dispense to graduate students and colleagues after a couple of drinks.” He kindly agreed to share it with Da..
A new website sponsored by the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at the University of Leeds offers philosophers a way to find “high-quality texts in philosophy, written by authors from under-represented groups. Its aim is to promote the work of such authors and facilitate finding and using their texts in teaching.” It’s called Diversity Reading ..
Mark Alfano, currently assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon, has accepted an offer from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he will become associate professor of philosophy, starting September 2015. Professor Alfano works in moral philosophy, epistemology, Nietzsche, philosophy of mind, and experimental philosophy.