Famous Papers First Rejected
“The Strength of Weak Ties” (1973) by sociologist Mark Granovetter is an extraordinarily influential paper, one of the most cited in sociology (with nearly 30,000 citations, according to Google Scholar). Yet it was initially rejected. You can read the rejection letter via a link from here. It is an interesting case of peer reviewers dismissing an idea because they w..
Assessment and Philosophy Courses
Most of the discussions regarding “assessment” are fine examples of exactly what we do not want to see college producing: vague and uniform truisms, hooked up with measures so meaningless as to guarantee that nothing will ever change. It is the deadened life of the bureaucratic mind. But imagine, as an alternative, academics charting the careers of students who have..
Dudley Knowles (1947 – 2014) (updated)
Dudley Knowles, professor of philosophy at the University of Glasgow, has died. Professor Knowles worked in political philosophy and on Hegel. The department has added some memorial remarks to his web page. (Thanks to Fiona Macpherson and Alan Weir for this information.)
UPDATE (11/5/14): The Herald has published an obituary of Knowles.
UPDATE (11/5/14): Anoth..
Martin Tamny (1941-2014)
Martin Tamny, Professor of Philosophy at CCNY and the CUNY Graduate Center, has died. Professor Tamny worked in the philosophy and history of science. Saul Fisher (Mercy College) sends along the following remembrance:
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Martin Tamny on October 18, 2014, at the age of 73.
Martin was born in the Bronx, New York..
Alexander Dietz, a graduate student at the University of Southern California, has been working on a project called Philosophy Summaries. It features “hierarchical summaries” of philosophy texts with an interface that allows you to drill down into the summaries of each section. Here’s how he describes it:
Philosophy books are usually divided into chapters, which a..
Hobbies of Philosophers: Lauren Ashwell
Lauren Ashwell is assistant professor of philosophy at Bates College. She works in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and feminist ethics, and her work has been published in Philosophical Studies, Philosophy Compass, Australasian Journal of Philosophy and elsewhere. So she’s good at her day job. But that is just a necessary, not sufficient, reason for being featured i..
Andrei Marmor (USC) to Cornell (official)
It’s now official: Andrei Marmor, currently Professor of Philosophy and Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, will be moving to Cornell, taking up joint appointments in the university’s Sage School of Philosophy and Law School over the summer of 2015. Marmor works in legal and moral philosophy. His wife, Elizabeth Garrett, ..
Another Explanation for Philosophy’s Whiteness
In most philosophy classes the religious traditions of the Middle East and Asia are in the periphery as the other to philosophy – the impulses to conformism and irrationality which are to overcome by the self-reflection and rationality of philosophy. But regarding philosophy Africa is treated as the other to the other, as being the birthplace of human beings but not..
Philosophy Professor Implicated in UNC Academic Fraud Investigation (several updates)
Philosophy professor Jan Boxill was named as an active participant in an academic fraud scheme in a 136-page report issued earlier today by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill entitled “Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.” The report details the existence of a number of phony “paper classes.” Accordi..
Open Letter from the Northwestern Philosophy Graduate Students (Guest Post)
In June it was reported that Peter Ludlow was suing officials, a professor, and a graduate student at Northwestern University for defamation, gender discrimination and invasion of privacy. The following guest post* is an open letter to the philosophical community adopted by the Northwestern University Philosophy Graduate Students by way of a vote.
Open Letter from..
Open Access and Journal-less Publishing
Recently I was asked by the editors of a journal whose mission and scholarship I support and respect to review a book by a scholar I very much admire. In the past, I would have accepted the invitation without a second thought and proceeded to read the book and develop a review. Over the past few years, however, as my work has focused on questions of public scholarsh..
Comment Linking, Accessing the Heap
Two minor updates about the site:
- Some of you may have already noticed this but a bug of the recent redesign has just been fixed: you can now successfully link to individual comments. Also, clicking on specific comments in the “Recent Comments” section of the sidebar will take you to the specific comment. I appreciate your patience while that was taken care of. ..
How Philosophers Dress
“Academics dress badly because we are so fulfilled in our work,” says Jonathan Wolff (UCL) in his column in The Guardian. Maybe. Or perhaps it is the pay? Or perhaps academics don’t dress particularly badly? Or perhaps local norms override profession-wide ones? Or gender norms? Wolff adds: “a colleague told me it probably takes her as long to decide what to wear to ..
Mele Replies to Dennett on Templeton Funding (Guest Post)
Yesterday’s post, “Funding and Philosophical Results,” on Daniel Dennett’s critique of Alfred Mele’s acceptance of money from the John Templeton Foundation, generated a fair amount of discussion, with contributions from Dennett and his critics. Al Mele has now written a reply to Dennett, presented in the guest post*, below.
Reply to Dennett
Dan Dennett sugges..
When last we updated the game, Dan Haybron (St. Louis University) had tagged Michael Bishop (Florida State) for a book and an article. Not to give it all away but this week Bishop tags someone for a book. Whoa there, players! Let’s recall our humble roots and try to stick to articles from now on, okay? Now take it away, Bishop:
There is a robust tradition in ..
Colorado’s Troubles in The Chronicle (several updates)
Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education has a long article (may be paywalled) on the University of Colorado Department of Philosophy’s issues with sexual misconduct and climate for women, with remarks from people inside and outside the department.
They wanted to help solve their field’s longstanding problems over the treatment of women and find ways to improve the ..
World Philosophy Day Plans
This year’s World Philosophy Day is one month away, on November 20th. From the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) website:
In establishing World Philosophy Day in 2005, the General Conference highlighted the importance of this discipline, especially for young people, underlining that “philosophy is a discipline that encourage..
Philosophy Jobs at Community Colleges (updated)
I’ve been asked to solicit information from readers about how to get a permanent job teaching philosophy at a community college.
(a) Where are community college jobs typically advertised?
(b) What makes a job candidate look good, on paper, to community colleges?
(c) How is the job search process different at community colleges?
(d) What misc..
Funding and Philosophical Results (Updated w/ Replies by Dennett)
Suppose you were reviewing a scientific report that drew the conclusion that a diet without fat was in fact unhealthy, and that butter and cream and even bacon in moderation were good for you, and suppose further that the science was impeccable, carefully conducted and rigorously argued. Good news! Yes, but the author acknowledges in fine print that the research was..
Philosophical Op-Ed Contest
The American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Public Philosophy is seeking nominations for the best opinion pieces or editorials published by philosophers in 2013.
We will honor up to five standout pieces that successfully blend philosophical argumentation with an op-ed writing style. Winning submissions will call public attention, either directly or indi..
Comfortable With a Kind of “Stupidity”
At some point, the conversation turned to why she had left graduate school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else. I had thought of her as one of the brightest people I knew and her subsequent career supports that view. What she said bothered ..
Bioethicists on Ebola
We are now experiencing the tragic consequences of failing to appreciate the need to invest more resources, expertise and support in developing countries, including those where the Ebola outbreak is happening. Such investments would have allowed for health systems in those parts of the world to be better equipped to respond to and minimize the unfolding crisis. For ..
Three Philosophers Awarded New Canada Research Chairs
The Canada Research Program has announced the recipients of the new Canada Research Chairs. Three philosophers are among the new recipients. They are:
- Ingo Brigandt, University of Alberta: Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Biology
- Marc-Antoine Dilhac, Université de Montréal: Canada Research Chair in Public Ethics and Political Theory
- Ken Waters..
Philosophers and Cognitive Bias
Should the order in which a person considers thought experiments affect one’s responses to them? Rationally, it seems no. Yet the “order effect” is well-confirmed. What about philosophers? We are supposed to have a kind of expertise in handling thought experiments and are known (?) for thinking clearly and rationally; certainly the content of our judgments are not s..
Ali Mazrui (1933 – 2014)
Ali Alamin Mazrui, who was Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities and professor of political science, African studies and philosophy, interpretation, and culture at Binghamton Univerity, and who held concurrent appointments at the University of Jos (Nigeria), Cornell University, and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya), died this pas..
Colorado to Resume Graduate Admissions (updated)
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado will resume admissions to its graduate program for the 2015-16 academic year. Admissions had been suspended last year following the site visit report of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Women (previously). From the university press release:
The move follows the enactment..
Professors in Poverty
A few weeks ago Salon published “Professors on Food Stamps: The Shocking True Story of Academia in 2014.” The article shares the plight of adjunct instructors, a lot of whom teach many courses at multiple institutions for minimal compensation.
“The most shocking thing is that many of us don’t even earn the federal minimum wage,” said Miranda Merklein, an adjunct ..
Philosopher’s Article Inspires Charity Challenge (M.A.D. Philosophy)
Last month, Ben Hale (Colorado) published an article in Slate, “The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola,” that emphasized how the disease piggybacks on human impulse to physically express care and affection for the sick and dying. Inspired by this article, Karin Tamerius, M.D., created a A Day Without Touch, a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Front..