Philosophy News Summary

Recent philosophy-related news.*


1. The Public Philosophy Network (PPN) has announced the inaugural winners of two of its awards: The winner of the 2023 PPN Leadership Award is Nancy McHugh, Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. “Nancy’s work on restorative justice, her work teaching incarcerated students and students transitioning out of the prison system, and the kaleidoscope of community-engaged projects she’s developed at the Fitz Center is an inspiration,” says the PPN. The winner of the 2023 PPN Early Career Excellence Award is Jared Talley, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Boise State’s School of Public Service, “for his work collaborating with rural communities and policy-makers on environmental governance and community resilience.”

2. The North American Society of Social Philosophy (NASSP) has issued a “statement of support” condemning the recent violent attack on Professor Katy Fulfler and her students in a philosophy of gender course at the University of Waterloo. It reads, in part:

We are outraged and horrified that a professor was terrorized and assaulted for doing her job: helping others to think through the complexities of gender and social justice. As social philosophers, we value Philosophy of Gender as a subject for classroom inquiry and scholarship. We stand with all those who teach and write on subjects that expose them to violence and the fear of violence. We recognize that the presence or threat of violence undermines the possibility of learning and the building of learning environments that empower all of their members. We are committed to continuing to build such environments.

3. A Montessori school and the Wisdom’s Edge Foundation partnered to create a new philosophy camp for elementary school students. The students learned aspects of critical thinking, read translations of classic philosophical texts, and engaged in activities that got them to “apply philosophy to their experiences.” You can read more about it here.

4. The Diversity Reading List in Philosophy (DRL), a project which “collects high quality texts in philosophy written by authors from under-represented groups,” is now being supported by the Marc Sanders Foundation (MSF). The support includes funding for stipends to for the site’s Managers and Editors and managing a donations system for the project. They write, “This is a big change for the DRL, which has been entirely volunteer-run since 2015. Any funds received in this way will contribute towards the ongoing work of maintaining and developing the DRL.” Learn more about the arrangement at this new page at the MSF site.

5. In recent weeks, two new AI interfaces have been released for public use. One is Claude by Anthropic, a firm created by researchers and employees who left Open AI (the creators of ChatGPT) in order to develop AI in a way more attentive to its dangers, they say. The other is LLama2 from Meta (Facebook). I tried out the latter, and the conversation took a couple of surprising turns, including the AI offering me $500 to work on assessing Meta’s existing social media as a preliminary step towards creating a social media platform for marginalized persons. You can read about it on Twitter or Bluesky. (Whole conversation here.)

Over the summer, many news items will be consolidated in posts like this.

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10 months ago

Get on Mastodon

Kenny Easwaran
10 months ago

Wow, it comes right out the gate with “Invent” is a word that can cause harm to marginalized communities! Doesn’t even need any pushing!