Philosophy News Share: June 2022
As mentioned in my Summer 2022 Plans, to help keep readers up to date with what’s happening in the philosophy world this summer, I’ll be be creating a space each month for individuals and institutions to share news.
Here is the one for June 2022.
If you have news of the sort that would typically appear on Daily Nous, please share it in the comments. (For examples of such news, see the list in the first of these posts.)
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We would like to call your attention to a case at the University of Gothenburg, Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science (https://www.gu.se/en/flov), involving the closing of a successful MA-program in the history of philosophy (https://www.gu.se/en/study-gothenburg/ancient-and-medieval-philosophy-and-classical-philology-masters-programme-h2amp) and the wrongful firing of a tenured professor. We believe it is crucial that scholars not least in the humanities are made aware of this particular situation, since we fear that it illustrates a terrible case of what tenured staff at universities may experience more and more often, if we are not careful and watch the developments in university politics and the handling of management at the individual institutes and faculties.
The management at all levels at the University of Gothenburg has refused all kinds of communication, and several requests for information and a number of complaints have simply been ignored or, at most, brushed aside. The management is basically doing all this on its own authority without proper knowledge about its own actions. The MA-program has already been closed and the university intends to fire the professor who has not been accused of any kind of misconduct, but has, quite to the contrary, had an excellent track-record leading a major research project, and has obtained more funding than most scholars in the Humanities. However, she has had a difficult relationship with the management who was (secretly) making plans to fire her, and there is clear evidence that this management has abused its position. No one has been willing to take responsibility for the decisions in the matter and there are very clear cases of conflict of interest in the entire process.
We post this not only to inform you about the disgraceful nature of the particular case, but also because we find that it is somewhat distressing that an administration can fire a tenured professor on a basically non-existent foundation. Thus, there is a very serious structural issue: is it really possible to fire a tenured professor who has not been accused of any kind of misconduct just because the management doesn’t like her?
We hope that you also think that this is a matter that should be known beyond the walls of the University of Gothenburg and not only by scholars working in the field of philosophy but by scholars in the Humanities generally. Therefore, please spread the word.
We will, of course, be happy to answer any question you may have and all support will be much appreciated.
David Bloch, Sten Ebbesen and Filip RadovicReport
An Italian woman wins the gold medal at the Philosophy Olympics in LisbonReport
I hope people don’t mind my sharing the link to my substack series, ‘Parfit in Seven Parts‘. (It’s the sort of thing Justin would normally be happy to share in the heap of links, I think.) The introduction follows:
Derek Parfit was a great philosopher, but his work is not known for being especially approachable. Reasons and Persons was 500+ pages of incredibly dense (yet rewarding!) philosophy. The three volumes of On What Matters total almost 2000 pages. Very few people will (or should) read all this. In Parfit’s Ethics, I critically introduce Parfit’s central insights and arguments in around 130 pages (according to my preprint; Cambridge University Press somehow squeezes this into just 55 pages). But even this very short book is still, you know… a book… and so unlikely to be as widely read as random blog posts on the internet. Solution: turn the book into a series of blog posts!
So, here we are. I’ve written seven posts that break down different elements of Parfit’s thought into manageable chunks. (The first six draw heavily from my book; the seventh, on metaethics, contains more new material.) I hope this will prove valuable to philosophers, students, and philosophically-interested readers who would like to learn more about Parfit’s ideas without requiring a huge investment of time and effort. If some of your friends might meet this description, do them a favour and let them know of this resource!Report
This is really good. Thanks!Report
Since news about new/big grants are permitted here:
I’m the PI on a new NSF grant ($300,000) on space cybersecurity, policy, and risks.
The abstract and details are here: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2208458
If there are any researchers here in cybersecurity/war ethics or space ethics or law who have something to contribute (e.g., pointing me to your work, participating in our workshop next year, hosting our workshop, pitching in otherwise, etc.), feel free to contact me: palin [at] calpoly.edu
We’d also welcome perspectives from technical experts (in cybersecurity or space systems) and sci-fi people (in helping us imagine novel scenarios for cyberattacks).
Thanks, and best of luck with your own funding efforts! It’s getting more competitive, but there’s still good demand for practical philosophy, if you know where to look and how to frame it, i.e. crack the code…Report
APA announces Spring 2022 prize winners
The American Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the following eight prizes for the first half of 2022. APA prizes recognize many areas of philosophy research by philosophers at various career stages, as well as the teaching of philosophy and public philosophy. For more details about the winners and prizes, please visit the 2022 APA Prizes: Spring Edition page. Congratulations to all!
2023 John Dewey Lectures:
· Eastern: Howard McGary (Rutgers University)
· Central: Eleonore Stump (Saint Louis University)
2022–2023 Edinburgh Fellowship: Anthony Neal (Mississippi State University)
2022 Journal of Value Inquiry Prize: Robert Bass (Bowling Green State University)
2022 Dr. Martin R. Lebowitz and Eve Lewellis Lebowitz Prize: Alex Guerrero (Rutgers University) and Cristina Lafont (Northwestern University)
2021 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest:
· Kimberley Brownlee (University of British Columbia)
· Megan Craig (Stony Brook University)
· Iskra Fileva (University of Colorado Boulder)
· S. Andrew Schroeder (Claremont McKenna College)
· Annette Zimmermann (University of York & Harvard University)
2021 Alvin Plantinga Prize: Lara Buchak (Princeton University)
· Honorable Mention: Charity Anderson (Baylor University)
· Honorable Mention: Aaron Segal (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
2020 Israel Scheffler Prize in Philosophy of Education: Colin Macleod (University of Victoria)
2023 Ernest Sosa Prize Lecture: Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto)Report
Some of you might not have noticed the silliness going on in the media/public conversations about the sentient AI that Google had allegedly created.
Of course, philosophers are perhaps the best positioned to weigh in, but not too many have engaged (it seems), maybe because it’s so silly or would take too much work to bring everyone up to speed on the myriad, intertwined issues.
But if any of y’all are inclined to weigh in, here are some background links:
I’m sure some philosophers have reacted publicly to this. If you see any good/substantial ones, feel free to alert us with those links.Report
Sealey Moves from Fairfield to Penn State
Kris Sealey will be moving from her current position as professor of philosophy at Fairfield University to take up a position of philosophy at Penn State University.
Sealey works in the philosophy of race and especially Caribbean Philosophy. She is the author of Creolizing the Nation (Northwestern University Press, 2020). Her book has won the 2022 Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Outstanding Book Award. You can browse some of Sealey’s work at krissealey.com.
Kris Sealey will up her new position at Penn State University in fall 2023.Report
Edward Zalta wrote in to share the following: