A recent event at Stanford raised the question of what good ethics courses do, with a particular focus on the question of whether such courses can and should make students more moral. Tamar Schapiro, Barbara Fried, and Benoit Monin (all Stanford) were the featured participants, and you can view their talks and the following discussion here. What is the job of the mo..
Last week we had a judge citing Mill in a rather complicated case in England. This week we have a judge citing Kant in a rather straightforward case in the United States. The judge apparently needed Kant to weigh in on the sentencing of a tire slasher:
Instead of sending David Toledo, 46, to state prison for the recommended five to 10 years, Common Pleas Judge Edwa..
Move over, 6 Million Dollar Man, and make room for the 7.5 Million Dollar Moral Robot. The Office of Naval Research is doling out $7.5 million in grants to researchers at Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale, and Georgetown “to explore how to build a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems.”
UPDATE: A related ..
Have you always wanted to be acknowledged in the preface of a philosophy book, but haven’t had the time or opportunity or insightfulness to do anything worthy of being so acknowledged? Or perhaps you have been thinking, “what have books done for me, lately?” Well Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski (both of Georgetown) have something special just for you. You can purch..
Last week we introduced Philosophy Tag, with Dana Howard (Ohio State) tagging Daniel Silvermint (Connecticut) for his piece, “Resistance and Well-Being.” That made Silvermint it. Let’s see who he tags:
“Oppression can make us angry, and perhaps even ought to. When defending anger, many will claim that it has instrumental value: for example, helping victims maint..
Jason Stanley (Yale) writes:
I just met with Professor Stephanie Spangler, Yale’s Deputy Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity and also the University’s Title IX Coordinator. She is responsible for oversight of the University’s policies and programs to address and prevent gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct (which are summarized at http://s..
You and a number of your colleagues keep asking what philosophy (of science, in particular) has done for science, lately. There are two answers here: first, much philosophy of science is simply not concerned with advancing science, which means that it is a category mistake (a useful philosophical concept) to ask why it didn’t.
BOOM! By now you have probably read abo..
Dennis McKerlie, a professor of philosophy at University of Calgary, has died. Professor McKerlie worked in moral and political philosophy. His final book, Justice Between the Young and Old, was published by Oxford in 2012. The Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary will be hosting a two-day conference on McKerlie’s work in February, 2015. More detail..
Scientific American has published an excerpt from the introduction to The Philosophy of Creativity: New Essays, a new collection edited by Elliot Samuel Paul (Columbia) and Scott Barry Kaufman (NYU). In the various contributions, “philosophers draw on scientific research and scientific work is informed by philosophical perspectives.” Paul and Kaufman are two of the..
For years I provided very extensive comments on students’ papers. What stopped me was one of them, finally, saying “thank you.” It immediately struck me that hundreds of students over many semesters hadn’t cared enough to say anything to me about the comments, and in fact probably hadn’t cared about them at all. I switched to a more minimal commenting approach, at l..
No, not me. Nor, alas, anyone related to me (as far as I know). But Marshall Weinberg, a University of Michigan alumnus, has donated $7.7 million to the University of Michigan for a new cognitive science institute, which will be a cooperative effort between the Departments of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Psychology. The Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science, as i..
The accusations of sexual misconduct against an as-of-yet-officially unnamed prominent moral and political philosopher (previously here and here) are no longer being made anonymously. They are now being advanced by a friend of one of the alleged victims, a Yale 2010 graduate named Emma Sloan. Ms. Sloan is soliciting funds for the legal case of her friend at this sit..
After yesterday’s heap of links included an unusual Wikihow article, it was brought to my attention that the Wikihow site is home to a number of illustrated articles that are more relevant to philosophy, if no less ridiculous. They include: How to Become a Philosopher (“Think about the world, what it means to live, to die, to exist, and what the point of it is“); Ho..
An experiment on unwitting professors shows that racial and gender bias persists, even in disciplines much more diverse than philosophy.
1. Elizabeth Anderson discusses the history and varieties of egalitarianism at libertarianism.org.
2. “On Being Annoyed” by Tom Roberts (Exeter). A friend asks: the next “On Bullshit”?
3. I’m not sure how helpful it is to ask “What if Plato was an employee benefits professional?” though I do like Dilbert on this idea.
4. A “lost” video interview of Foucault on theme..
Several years ago, during an era of relative plenty, I tried to persuade our philosophy department to credit a new history course I was teaching on the Enlightenment. Neither the reading list, bursting with texts from Bacon and Locke to Montesquieu and Diderot, nor the publication of my own book on Hume and Rousseau undid the suspicion that a professional historian..
John Broome (Oxford) is among the authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent “Fifth Assessment Report.” One of his tasks is to help the IPCC and its delegates craft the “Summary for Policy Makers” (SPM), a 30-page précis of the 2000-page report that, it is hoped, policy makers (or their assistants) will actually read. Every single sentence of..
The American Philosophical Association has put together a collection of syllabi for courses that are dedicated in whole or part to underrepresented areas in philosophy. It’s a helpful resource for those looking to develop new courses or augment existing ones.
Jeremy Waldron is leaving Oxford to return full-time to New York University (via Leiter), opening up Oxford’s famed Chichele Professorship in Social and Political Theory. Before Waldron, the chair was held by G.A. Cohen, Charles Taylor, John Plamenatz, Isaiah Berlin, and G.D.H. Cole. Who will be next?
St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, has received $1.5 million from an anonymous donor to endow a chair in Catholic philosophy. “The donor requested the gift be used to recruit and retain a distinguished Catholic philosopher who has a deep understanding of prominent Catholic thinkers, especially the Rev. Bernard Lonergan.” Details here.
In September of 2011, the Yale Daily News published an article that detailed two stories of sexual misconduct at Yale. Now, a woman who says she is the victim in “Case 2” in that article has claimed to be the person initiating the lawsuit mentioned in the anonymous blog post, “The Moral Philosopher and His International Affairs” (previously), and has started a site ..
In England, a judge who relied explicity on the writings of John Stuart Mill in his ruling granted an imprisoned mentally ill Jehovah’s Witness sex offender the right to refuse a blood transfusion after a suicide attempt.
The judge was told that had been moved to hospital from prison after cutting his arm with a razor blade and opening an artery. Specialists said ..
Very Bad Wizards is a series of fun and fascinating podcast conversations on morality and related issues between philosopher Tamler Sommers (Houston) and psychologist David Pizarro (Cornell) and occasional guests. They have recently put out their 46th episode, which features a discussion with Josh Knobe (Yale), and starts off with a discussion of how a person’s nudi..
Ned Markosian (Western Washington) has declined the offer from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
College graduates had double the odds of being engaged at work and three times the odds of thriving in Gallup’s five elements of well-being if they had had “emotional support”—professors who “made me excited about learning,” “cared about me as a person,” or “encouraged my hopes and dreams.” Graduates who had done a long-term project that took a semester or more, who..
I am pleased to introduce a new feature here at Daily Nous: Philosophy Tag. Here’s how it works: Philosopher 1 is tagged and becomes it. When you’re it, you have two weeks to do the following: choose an article by another living philosopher, Philosopher 2, that you’ve read and liked; write up your “tag,” including bibliographic information and a description of what ..
The 2nd Annual Online Undergraduate Philosophy Conference has begun and will be continuing over the next two weeks, at the rate of one session per day, over at Philosophy TV. The conference is sponsored by the Jackson Family Center for Ethics & Values at Coastal Carolina University and the Philosophy Association of UMASS Dartmouth in cooperation with Philosophy TV. ..
Last week we discussed whether some anonymous accusations of sexual impropriety against a prominent philosopher were mere gossip or rather were issues for the profession to deal with. Someone claiming to be the same author has now elaborated on the allegations, providing not just details on claims made previously, but also new accusations regarding sexual violence a..