Here’s the latest edition of Mini-Heap—10 recent items from the frequently updated Heap of Links. Feel free to discuss.

The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the philosophical community, please send it in for consideration for the Heap.

  1. “But surely all the training and practice in thinking things through clearly makes philosophers immune to the kind of self-serving motivated reasoning that everyone else succumbs to?” — er
  2. The first episode of Season 2 of the terrific Hi-Phi Nation is out — it’s on “demographic inevitability, the midlife crisis, and how we seek happiness in the face of our approaching death.”
  3. More than just grade inflation — the problems with grading at American colleges
  4. “It seems to help me think when things are just on the edge of what I can normally handle.” — a philosopher describes his experience taking a “smart drug”
  5. The Philosophical Rasika Report — where grad students should go to study Indian philosophy
  6. The lies and the truth about “sex, love, and the aging woman” –Martha Nussbaum (Chicago) in the NYT’s The Stone
  7. GLAUCON: Now that we have determined the nature of justice, education, and proper governance, is it finally time for us to go home? /  THRASYMACHUS: We have left out the most pernicious evil that can be visited upon a citizenry. — Plato on political correctness
  8. The favorite Twitter feeds of philosophers who themselves have at least 1000 Twitter followers — if you don’t already, follow Daily Nous
  9. “Rather than looking for the knock-down argument against X, let’s focus on what may be promising in X and to supply the missing premise or distinction.” — Eric Schliesser on helping others improve their arguments
  10. “Waiter, there’s a beetle in my soup” — a philosopher creates a video game based on soup and Wittgenstein
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Brian Huss
Brian Huss
6 years ago

With respect to #3 – the way we grade:
The Economist article summarizes pretty well the problems with the way we tend to grade in North America.
I’ve long thought that we should just give students numerical grades – somewhere between 0 and 100 – and also include the average numerical score for the particular iteration of the course a student takes. Both could be included on students’ transcripts, and GPA would be determined by calculating the average distance from the mean over all courses taken. Some GPAs would be positive and some negative numbers, but the majority would have absolute values that are pretty small, and exceptional students would stand out. Taking easier courses or courses with easier instructors would not help your GPA. Does anyone see any problem with this proposal (other than getting it implemented widely)?