The latest from the Heap of Links…

  1. “We use this fantasy canvas to talk about real-life issues” — a brief interview with Keisha Ray (McGovern Medical School), who is teaching bioethics to med students using science fiction
  2. “Visitors can either formulate their own questions or reach into one of two fishbowls filled with sample conundrums” — Rena Goldstein (UC Irvine) brings “Ask A Philosopher” to southern California
  3. “I don’t find my voice, or certainly not in that moment. Rather I hear all the others, and the feeling grows: I have nothing to say.” — Martin Lenz (Groningen) offers some practical advice for helping you “find your voice”
  4. “Free will and its prerequisites are emergent, higher-level phenomena. They emerge from physical processes, but are not reducible to them…They are irreducibly higher-level phenomena, but that makes them no less real.” — Christian List (LSE) begins a series of posts on his “naturalistic case for free will”
  5. “The best questions are short. If a question requires a long set-up, it’s probably not an effective question.” — and other advice for interviewing academic job candidates, from Steven Cahn (CUNY)
  6. “Self-control is fundamentally a set of practices. Innate traits, as well as environmental supports and constraints, modulate access to these practices” — Polaris Koi (Turku) on what ADHD can teach us about responsibility
  7. Can you write a philosophical argument that effectively convinces research participants to donate money to charity? — if so, you could win $500 for yourself and $500 for the charity of your choice

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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4 years ago

What happened to the link to the Daily Pennsylvanian story about students there upset w/ an article by Jonathan Anomaly? It seems to have disappeared, but I’m not sure why.

Reply to  Justin Weinberg
4 years ago

fair enough.

Matt Weiner
Matt Weiner
4 years ago

I don’t remember the article very well, but the Anomaly article that is occasioning the protest is indeed appalling. Some lowlights:
Anomaly quotes Darwin as saying “that in developed nations ‘the reckless, degraded, and often vicious members of society, tend to increase at a quicker rate than the provident and generally virtuous members,'” and says that we should take him seriously. In the sentence after the one Anomaly quotes, Darwin approvingly quotes one Mr. Greg saying “The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman multiplies like rabbits: the frugal, foreseeing, self-respecting, ambitious Scot [blah blah] passes his best years in struggle and in celibacy, marries late, and leaves few behind him.” I’m surprised to see we should take seriously concerns about genetically inferior Irish breeding like rabbits. (And if the argument is that the particular varieties of racism this was tethered to aren’t worth taking seriously, but the general idea is, well, that’s not great either.)
In the next paragraph, Anomaly says “The eugenics programs implemented in Nazi Germany are probably the main reason most people no longer acknowledge that there might be some truth to Darwin’s worries.” Leaving aside the question-begging use of “acknowledge,” and the downplaying of the awful history of eugenics in the US before the Nazis (which Anomaly later discusses), Anomaly is literally playing out this Hegelbon bit about Stephen A. Smith.
“It is striking that in addition to being racist and cruel, Nazi policies had dysgenic effects.” I would have hoped that a philosopher would have enough moral clarity to manage to avoid suggesting that the genetic superiority or not of the Jews was in any way worth mentioning when evaluating Nazi policies. I guess I would have hoped wrong.
Then there’s a paragraph in which Anomaly claims that “evidence exists” that we should worry about genetics in developed countries. The footnote for this evidence cites literally Richard Lynn, and also Gerhard Meisenberg, Mankind Quarterly’s then editor-in-chief. This is straight-up racist pseudoscience and it’s incredibly irresponsible of Anomaly not to acknowledge that this is at least controversial.

When I got to Richard Lynn I tapped out, but I think I had already had enough evidence to conclude that this piece is abhorrent, bad scholarship. Anomaly should be protected by academic freedom, but the people at Penn who protested him were right to do so.