New additions to the Heap of Links…

  1. “The face is the focal point of our most pressing ethical struggle, which is the struggle to see, vividly and without hindrance, the reality of our fellow human beings” — during the time of masks, a thoughtful essay by Talbot Brewer (Virginia) on the philosophy of faces, touching on race, humanity, love, the future, and more
  2. “This is probably the stupidest thing I have ever read” — trending on Twitter: Patricia Churchland (UCSD) on the observation of Philip Goff (Durham) that “the data of neuroscience is neutral between materialism, dualism, and panpsychism”
  3. Begin “with how ordinary people tend to see things and try to ‘meet them where they are at'” — Nathan Nobis (Morehouse) brings philosophy to the public with open-access books, a kind of introductory online philosophy encyclopedia, and “logic-based therapy”
  4. “The most used and abused philosophical source to interpret [Trump’s] presidency” — yet now “her former aficionados will stop citing Arendt precisely when she is relevant,” says Samuel Moyn (Yale)
  5. How many holes do various objects have? — results of a recent survey (via Fiery Cushman)
  6. “Success in this profession is too unpredictable to try to game the system. So do work you’re happy with and hope for the best.” — Tamler Sommers (Houston) offers advice on writing public philosophy and related matters
  7. Infinity vs. God — some arguments for why God is impossible, from Michael Huemer (Colorado)

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!

The Hedgehog Review
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3 years ago

#2 – Is it me or do the critics of panpsychism seem angry? Is there something about this issue that causes that?

3 years ago

The Churchland thing is so annoying. In subsequent tweets, she implies she’s entitled to be this contemptuously dismissive because she’s already engaged seriously with panpsychists and they’ve responded in bad faith. But the specific complaints she brings up (e.g. “conscious rocks”, “spooky stuff”) make it seem like her engagement with contemporary panpsychism has been limited to reading the headlines of a couple of pop-phil articles about it.

Sam Duncan
3 years ago

What annoys me is that the Daily Nous has chosen to broadcast Churchland’s childish insult. Playground name calling is hardly good philosophy nor is it newsworthy. The fact that it’s a famous person tweeting the insults doesn’t make them so. And I think there’s something a bit more insidious here than the Daily Nous falling to the level of a gossip site breathlessly covering Twitter beefs between celebs. Churchland is already a big deal and while Goff is established he doesn’t seem to be on her level in the pecking order. Trying to shut someone up or get their ideas dismissed through ridicule rather than argument is pretty ugly especially when the ridicule comes from someone higher up the food chain. It reminds me of nothing so much as professors in grad seminars or established figures in colloquia trying to shut down a grad student who’s raised an uncomfortable question or even devastating objection to their pet position. Yes Churchland does provide some argument later on but it starts with an insult and it’s the insult that’s the headline here.

3 years ago

I agree with Churchland (even if her choice of words is poor). I find panpsychism a lamentable development in contemporary philosophy of mind. I’ve read Goff, I’ve read Strawson, I’ve read Chalmers, and I remain perplexed. This feels like one of those times where we focus on the harshness of the criticism and forget that the view being criticized *truly makes no sense*.