Here’s the latest Mini-Heap.

  1. Are you indoctrinating your students? — David Gooblar (Iowa) suggests professors model open-mindedness and intellectual humility
  2. “I didn’t go into philosophy because I thought it would make me a lot of money; I found it intellectually interesting. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had great instrumental value as well.” — investor Bill Miller on how his study of philosophy contributed to success
  3. “I have mostly become less harshly critical. Many of the views that I formerly thought to be false, absurd, and evidence of feebleness of intellect, I now think merely to be false.” — an interview with the ever-amusing Alastair Norcross (Colorado) at What Is It Like To Be a Philosopher?
  4. Could there ever be an AI that’s an artist? — no, argues Sean Kelly (Harvard), for we must be able to interpret an artist’s work as responding to “social necessity” or as expressing value, and we can’t think of AI as doing that
  5. Protecting cultural landmarks from destruction by terrorists and others is often justified by connecting such protection to the saving of human lives — but what, precisely, is the nature of that connection? Erich Hatala Matthes (Wellesley) breaks it down
  6. It turns out that, contra the Telegraph’s reporting, that letter from Einstein about Hume’s influence on him is not newly discovered — here’s a paper by John Norton (Pittsburgh) about it (via Kevin Meeker, who contacted the person supposed to have made this “discovery” and confirmed that the journalist misrepresented the situation)
  7. Would you like a visit from Henry David Thoreau? — Brent Ranalli, a Thoreau scholar, portrays him and is available for visits and performances

Mini-Heap posts appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, the ever-growing collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

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. Thanks!


Beyond the Ivory Tower. Workshop for academics on writing short pieces for wide audiences on big questions. Taking place October 18th to 19th. Application deadline July 30th. Funding provided.
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