Time for a new Mini-Heap.

  1. A virtual conference, “David Lewis and his place in the history of analytic philosophy,” is taking place over the next couple of days— you can watch it live and submit questions for the q&a’s
  2. “No superintelligence could never become so intelligent as to put all philosophical questions permanently to rest”— Eric Schwitzgebel (Riverside) on whether philosophy will ever come to an end
  3. “Those who take themselves to be fighting for ethical and political progress ought to be fostering a culture in which critics feel free to challenge their beliefs and ideals”— Jonny Thakkar (Swarthmore) on political correctness
  4. The PEA Soup blog turns 15! — reflections on its history from David Shoemaker (Tulane) and some of the site’s other contributors
  5. “The standard journal article has severe repercussions on the way we teach and practise scholarship in the history of philosophy”— “It narrows our way of reading texts and counters attempts at diversification of the canon,” argues Martin Lenz (Groningen)
  6. “It is better when many people are at a lower quality of life than a few at a higher quality of life”— Torbjörn Tännsjö (Stockholm) in an interviewed at Vox
  7. Universities are under siege because they “represent an idea of society that contains freedom and social solidarity”— Daniel Peres (Federal University of Bahia-Brazil) on the Brazilian government’s attack on higher education

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!


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Joel Pust
Joel Pust
4 years ago

How does the current interview of Tannsjo in Vox relate to the piece they commissioned by him and then killed out of fear it might suggest certain conclusions regarding abortion?

Preston Stovall
Preston Stovall
4 years ago

That piece by Jonny Thakkar on political correctness is worth a read. The juxtaposition of Plato and Mill is put to good effect, and he manages to paint a sympathetic picture of the totalitarian tendencies playing out in some segments of the academy today. For all the attention the twitteratti crowd receives in public fora, there ought to be more of us engaged with the issues at the plane of consideration Thakkar lines out.

Justin – have you considered adding Heterodox Academy updates to the heap of links? They’re fighting the good fight when it comes to the autonomy of the academy. The executive committee’s response to South Dakota’s call for public comment, on a law (HB 1087) meant to ensure that public universities in South Dakota promote freedom of speech and intellectual diversity, is a strong and sensible articulation of the need for academic autonomy. They also summarize a bunch of their data on freedom of expression surveys, and they suggest ways that South Dakota can coordinate with the Heterodox Academy going forward.

Given the way the comments sections in Daily Nous skew, and given the concerns we have over right-leaning U.S. political oversight of the education system, it’s not a bad idea to keep in mind that, on the ground, these things are being negotiated in good faith by lots of people. And that law was passed, so this is being hammered out in the details right now. Essays like Thakkar’s raise the prospect of discussing these issues with little of the socio-political ideology that fetters so much of the rest of the conversational sphere today. One might think philosophers would be more interested as a group in having a go at this.