New Mini-Heap…

  1. The meaning of nihilism — Nolen Gertz (Twente) distinguishes nihilism from other concepts in its vicinity, such as pessimism, cynicism, and apathy
  2. “What else from philosophy influenced the construction and design of LinkedIn?” — Tyler Cowen (GMU) interviews Reid Hoffman, who has an MA in philosophy and who helped develop PayPal, LinkedIn, & other ventures (via Robert Long)
  3. “At 97, he wondered whether he’d been deceiving himself about the meaning of life and death” — a documentary about philosopher Herbert Fingarette made during the last few months of his life
  4. “If our actions are harming other animals, then we have a responsibility to try to reduce or repair these harms” — Jeff Sebo (NYU) on what humans owe to animals
  5. “Philosophy has a profound impact on me” — an interview with Cixin Liu, author of the tremendous Three-Body Problem science fiction trilogy
  6. “The protests have been extraordinarily popular and remarkably effective—not in spite of but because of… tactics of uncivil disobedience” — Candice Delmas (Northeastern) on the uncivil disobedience of the Hong Kong protestors
  7. Scientists use frog cells to build the first “living robots” — this “new form of life” has “enormous potential” but it also “raises a bevy of ethical questions”

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. Discussion welcome.

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!


Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Patrick S. O'Donnell
4 years ago

I posted the following piece on Professor Fingarette’s birthday shortly before his death. His daughter wrote to me that her husband came across it while looking for items on her father, characterizing it as “a touching and beautiful tribute” that was “particularly special for my father to hear.” Having been a teaching assistant for Fingarette I was, in turn, moved to tears, and once more when she sent me notice of the short documentary.

Animal Symbolicum
Animal Symbolicum
4 years ago

It’s difficult to square Reid Hoffman’s self-professed belief in the wondrous complexity of the human being with his self-professed vision of human interactions as business transactions. Oh, the marvelous variety of ways to brand oneself, to commodify oneself, to produce something of market value! Promulgating neo-liberal capitalist ideas of mind-numbing, cyclopean sameness under the guise of innovation is Silicon Valley’s great trick. It’s also, not coincidentally, college- and university-administration’s great trick.

Preston Stovall
Preston Stovall
4 years ago

I would have appreciated some notice and discussion of the role of philosophers in the events detailed here:

In fact, it seems to be philosophers all the way around. I’ve published in Quillette a handful of times, first on the basis of a recommendation from Jonathan Haidt as he didn’t think the piece was right for the Heterodox Academy’s blog. This was all before Quillette began paying for essays, and before I was aware of just how ideologically insulated and polarizing certain portions of the discipline are. It would be a good thing, I think, if philosophers were more openly and collectively discussing how to respond to these trends. Organizations like Quillette and the Heterodox Academy should be seen, in part, as one such response. I am of the mind that it does no good to any of us that the people taking part in the conversations occurring at places like that are being met with this kind of treatment.