Michael Ruse (Florida State) has won the 2014 Bertrand Russell Society Award for exemplifying “the kind of dedication to science and reason that was championed by Bertrand Russell over his long life.” Ruse will accept the award at the Society’s upcoming annual meeting in June.
The reality is that we are all at best compromised agents, whether by biology, social circumstance, or brute luck. The differences among us are differences of degree that do not admit of categorical division into the normal and the abnormal. A morally serious inquiry into the requisite meaning of free will needs to face some basic facts….
We have gotten nothing f..
I love philosophy, but I wonder if I love it as much as Stephen West. Here is a little bit of his story:
My parents met when my mom was at her cousin’s house smoking weed; my dad was living in her cousin’s dog house at the time, having been kicked out by his parents, both of whom were terribly abusive…. If I were asked to write a book cataloging the different inst..
1. Want to annoy a metaphysician? Send him or her a link to this video, which purports to answer the question, “How Many Things Are There?”
2. Rousseau, pranking, and spanking.
3. You won’t believe who is saying that there is such a thing as a free lunch.
4. “Real philosophy has always flourished outside institutional walls,” says Scott Samuelson at the Huffington P..
The students come to class having read a passage from a text and having prepared some questions or points for discussion about it. The teacher arranges the classroom seating into two concentric circles. The students in the inner circle discuss and analyse the text while the students in the outer circle remain silent, observing and commenting on the discussion via sh..
That’s Neil deGrasse Tyson on majoring in philosophy. Chris Hardwick, over at Nerdist, interviews the famed astrophysicist and host of Cosmos, and one of the topics is philosophy (starting at 20:19). deGrasse Tyson thinks there is too much questioning in philosophy. Still, he has one question for philosophers: “Why are you wasting your time?” Sigh. There’s no one li..
The U.S. Department of Education released the names of colleges and universities “under investigation for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.” You can check to see which institutions are on the list here and read an article about the investigations here. (via Jennifer Frey)
UPDATE: Though the official D..
Jonathan Jacobs (Saint Louis University), editor of Res Philosophica, has created a blog, Letters from the Editors: Philosophy Journal Editors’ Perspectives on Academic Publishing.
He writes, “We welcome other contributors who are editors (of any rank) of a philosophy journal. We’d welcome nominations, including self-nomination, for contributors. And we’d certainly..
Undergraduates at SUNY Buffalo State have formed a Women in Philosophy organization that is credited with increasing women philosophy majors at the school. You can read about the group in this article or at their website.
William MacAskill, Oxford philosophy graduate student and soon-to-be fellow at Emmanuel College at Cambridge University, sits down with Peter Buffett (son of Warren Buffett) to hash out their differences over philanthropy.
How deeply we are lost! So deep that we do not know we are lost. How derelict we are! So great that we do not know our dereliction.
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In an infinite universe, there will be a faraway planet with a suburb just like this one. And there will be you and I talking, looking up at the stars.
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The madness of..
Steve Awodey, a professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, has received a $7.5 million grant from the Department of Defense to “reshape the foundations of mathematics by developing a new approach that allows for large-scale formalization and computer verification” and to build on his earlier work showing “a deep and surprising connection between abstract..
Kenny Easwaran, currently at the University of Southern California, has accepted an offer as associate professor with tenure at Texas A&M, starting Fall 2014. Easwaran works on formal epistemology, decision theory, and philosophy of math.
One of the principal ways analytic philosophers can contribute to intellectual progress on topics of public interest is by drawing attention to, and rigorously debating, widespread assumptions about a subject. One of the core methodological principles underlying this project is that this strategy can be profitably applied to the metaphysics of love.
A group at the Un..
The notion of incarceration goes back to the beginning of philosophy, with the imprisonment and execution of Socrates—and the idea, expressed by his student Plato in the Republic, that we are all imprisoned by the cave of our own reflections but don’t realize it. “ face a lot of the issues ordinary people face, but in a heightened condition. We’re all doing life in ..
Marcus Arvan over at Philosopher’s Cocoon draws attention to the 2012 Dewey Lecture by Ruth Millikan (University of Connecticut), to some of the details about her education that, he says, “really put things into perspective,” and to her views about the fragility of philosophy in light of its nature and the institutional pressures to which it is subjected.
Traditionally, the liberal arts have been the privilege of an upper class. There are three big reasons for this. First, it befits the leisure time of an upper class to explore the higher goods of human life: to play Beethoven, to study botany, to read Aristotle, to go on an imagination-expanding tour of Italy. Second, because their birthright is to occupy leadership..
The American Association of Philosophy Teachers awarded their 2014 Lenssen Prize to Ann J. Cahill and Stephen Bloch-Schulman, both of Elon University, for their paper, “Argumentation Step-By-Step: Learning Critical Thinking through Deliberative Practice,” published in Teaching Philosophy 35(1) in March 2012. The Lenssen Prize is awarded to the best paper concerning ..
Wake Forest University is looking into ways to assess the quality of life of its students and alumni. Among the things the university would like to know: “the level of meaning and purpose students find in their lives.”
It is that time of the year when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the semester is ending, and the students are asking, “I know I missed a lot of classes and didn’t complete some of my assignments but I was wondering if there is, you know, anything I can do now to get a better grade.” It is tempting to recommend “invent and use time machine.” But perhaps..
Platonic forms explained in an animation in the style of an old-fashioned video game. No, I don’t know why.
“I’m sorry Bentham, but the thing-in-itself is bit harder to depict than a goddman panopticon!”
Well done, Existential Comics.
“Rock and Roll Philosopher” Grant Maxwell has compiled a list of the top 15 philosophical songs. I suspect many philosophers would give this list the other kind of “R and R,” namely a revise and resubmit. Your suggested changes, folks? (Include links if you can.)
The female student who last year accused Colin McGinn of sexual harassment has now filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the University of Miami. Details here.
The other day, a graduate student in philosophy posted her account of an affair she has had with an older, prominent philosopher who works in her area (but was not a professor at her institution). She also claimed that the philosopher, who has a long-term partner, has had more than one such relation, particularly with younger women philosophers who admire him. She a..
In the end, the Happy Hour Test depends on affability, but its consequence goes beyond likability. If one “passes” the Happy Hour Test, I’d argue, there is an especially strong correlation to being a strong teacher, colleague, and college citizen.
How important is collegiality in getting a job? According to this column in IHE, very.
James Higginbotham, most recently Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, has died. He worked mainly in philosophy of language, prior to his appointment at USC held positions at Oxford, MIT, and Columbia. (via Leiter)
UPDATE (4/29/14): University of Southern California News posted an article about Higginbotham.
1. Wittgenstein and cricket.
2. The ethics of fashion.
3. A book of 33 interviews on the relation between science and religion
4. The philosophy of walking.
5. Dennett’s advice for criticizing with kindness.
6. Vox on Ziker (previously) on how professors spend their time.
7. A philosopher has written a memoir about surviving rape.
8. Venn diagram organizes the varie..