Nicholas of Cusa on the Radio
2014 is the 550th anniversity of the death of 15th Century German philosopher Nicholas of Cusa (aka Nicolaus Cusanus), and you are probably asking yourself what the folks at Australian public radio are doing about it. I don’t know why you are asking yourself this, as the answer is pretty obviously a radio program. Dermot Moran (University College Dublin) and others ..
What is Happiness?
Everyone thinks happiness is at least sometimes good, but what is it? Dan Haybron (St. Louis University) takes on some traditional accounts and defends the “emotional-state” view in the most recent edition of the The Stone.
Ernesto Laclau (1935-2014)
Ernesto Laclau, an Argentine political theorist at the University of Essex, has died. Laclau worked in the continental post-Marxist tradition, and is known for his work with his partner, Chantal Mouffe, in particular the book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics.
Philosophers win Guggenheim Fellowships
Philosophers Eva Feder Kittay (Stony Brook), L.A. Paul (UNC Chapel Hill), and John Palmer (University of Florida) are among the 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship winners. (via Leiter)
Philosopher’s Carnival #162
Recent posts from all over the philosophy blogosphere are selected and summarized at Aesthetics for Birds in the new Philosopher’s Carnival. Lots of interesting posts there!
Heap of Links
1. The science of looking smarter.
2. Professors, you’ve been rated by your students, but have you been drawn?
3. Article on author Lucy Eyre, her philosophically-informed novel, If Minds Had Toes, and the value of teenagers studying philosophy (free registration required).
4. Raising a moral child.
5. An Italian philosopher who had been jailed for nine years fo..
Same Old Song and Dance?
Maybe you’ve always thought there was something off about Ayn Rand, but I bet you weren’t thinking off-Broadway. Well this May, The Anthem, a theater production inspired by Rand’s short novel Anthem, will open at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in NYC—and it is a musical. Sources have yet to reveal whether Rush has agreed to be the pit band. Perhaps The Anthem is meant ..
Political Theory Conference as Preparation for Lawsuit
The Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT) hosts several events in political philosophy and theory, including a large annual conference each fall, the MANCEPT Workshops. One of the panels at the upcoming conference is entitled “No Reparation, Without Preparation!” and aims to provide preparatory assistance for the plaintiffs in a proposed lawsuit against t..
Good Philosophical Comic Strips (Friday Fun)
Let’s get a list of good philosophical comic strips going. Post one you like. If it is online, great; list a brief description along with the web address, like so:
Dinosaur Comics on philosophical progress – http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=787.
If you just have a hard copy, take a photo of it and post it somewhere online. Or, if you can’t do that, send the p..
Are Sperm Donors Deadbeat Dads?
“I… think that donor conception is irresponsible. I sometimes compare it to ‘deadbeat dads’: men who abandon their wives and children and don’t provide for them. I think a sperm donor is a kind of deadbeat dad who creates children and then doesn’t care for them.”
So says David Velleman in a brief interview in The Irish Times, in which he is also asked about the no..
Free Porn Studies
The inaugural issue of the academic journal Porn Studies is out, and it’s a big one, by which I mean it is a double issue. Not that size matters. The publisher, Taylor & Francis, has made the entire contents free to download, and after a cursory inspection I can report two things my readership probably wants to know: (1) it seems to be entirely SFW, and (2) it seems..
Philosopher May Hold Record For Most Letters To The Editor
Felicia Nimue Ackerman, a philosopher at Brown, has had over 200 letters to the editor published in the New York Times, The New Yorker reports. “She responds to articles on a variety of topics—ageism, fatism, ‘society’s tendency to medicalize virtually everything’—but her underlying interest is in personal freedom.” She was also profiled in an earlier article in the..
Philosophers Among the 2014 ACLS Fellows
The 2014 Fellows of the American Council of Learned Societies have been announced, and the winners include five people working in philosophy: Michael Brownstein (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Alyssa DeBlasio (Dickinson College), Richard Moran (Harvard), William Newman (Indiana), and Anat Schechtman (Chicago). The fellowships include 6-12 months of salary repl..
A Philosophical Look at Zoos
Lori Gruen (Wesleyan University) has a post at OUPblog in which she makes use of the recent giraffe and lion killings at the Copenhagen Zoo as a launching point for some brief reflections on the ethics of zoos.
Mark LeBar (Ohio University) to Florida State
Mark LeBar, currently professor of philosophy at Ohio University, has accepted a senior appointment at Florida State University, beginning January 2015. Professor LeBar works in moral, social, and political philosophy, as well as ancient philosophy.
Raiders of the Lost Death Mask
For the past few years philosopher Sean Kelly (Harvard) has been on a quest to locate the missing “death mask” of Blaise Pascal. You didn’t even know it existed, let alone that it was missing, did you? The news story does not say that Kelly will be making use of the death mask in a bizarre cult ceremony in a secret temple located beneath Emerson Hall. But it doesn’t..
Comedians on Philosophers
Modern Day Philosophers is a series of podcasts of comedians talking about philosophers. It is hosted by comedian Danny Lobell, and has featured a variety of conversations with comedians discussing and learning about a variety of philosophers, including Lewis Black on William James, Janeane Garofalo on Tom Regan, Bill Burr on Adam Smith, Fred Stoller on Heraclitus, ..
Pretty Penny Paid for Plato
Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford has sold its most expensive book ever: a two volume edition of the complete works of Plato, in the original ancient Greek, published in 1513. The price? £75,000. The mystery is: who bought it? The only clue the article gives is that the purchase was made by “an overseas institution.”
“Significant” Women Philosophers
Charles Murray (American Enterprise Institute), speaking at the University of Texas yesterday, reiterates that “he had found no ‘evidence’ to prove that any woman had been a ‘significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.'” Story here. Gifs of people facepalming themselves here. I wonder what he thinks we would learn from such a c..
You’ve Got To Know When To Tollens…
Professional poker player Sam Holden will be walking away from the table to pursue a degree in philosophy at the University of Kent. Story here.
At his blog, Holden writes:
Over the past few years, before properly considering life after poker, I’ve tried to embrace my inner geek. I find myself listening to debates, podcasts, lectures and speeches whilst playing o..
Impoverished Graduate Students
“The poverty of graduate school is often joked about. How many professors reminisce fondly about just scraping by in grad school? How many people joke about the number of people they fit in their hotel room at the conference or how many times they had to eat ramen?” For some students from poorer families, though, the poverty of graduate school is no laughing matter…
Philosophy in 1000 Words or Less
Andrew Chapman, a philosophy graduate student at University of Colorado, has started a website called 1000-Word Philosophy, a collection of introductory philosophy essays, each 1000 words or less. From the site’s about page:
Professional philosophy can seem abstract, esoteric, and hyper-specialized. But we all ask and try to answer philosophical questions myriad time..
4 Out of 5 Top “Global Thought Leaders” Are Philosophers
The Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI) recently released its 2013 list of “Global Thought Leaders” and 4 out of the top 5 are philosophers, as Peter Singer reports. How is the ranking done? “In our analysis, the importance and influence of a thinker and/or idea is measured not only by how well they come across in a particular segment or on a specific platform such ..
Nagel on Wallace on Regret
Thomas Nagel, who wrote, among other things, The View from Nowhere, reviews R. Jay Wallace‘s The View from Here in the London Review of Books. The book is about the “complex interaction and competition between the attitudes of affirmation and regret that are almost inevitable as we look back on our lives and celebrate or deplore the conditions and choices that have ..
Anthony Brueckner (1953-2014)
Anthony Brueckner, a professor of philosophy at UC Santa Barbara, has died. Professor Brueckner worked mainly in epistemology. He is the author of Essays on Skepticism and many articles (I recall a time when it seemed like every issue of Analysis had at least one article by him in it). Those interested may care to read an article Brueckner wrote with John Martin Fis..
How Political Should the APA Be?
An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses whether professional academic organizations should take overt stances on the political issues of the day. The American Philosophical Association is not mentioned in the article, though others are, such as the American Economic Association, the American Political Science Association, and the American History A..
The Anthropology of the College Professor
Anthropologist John Ziker (Boise State) applied the tools of his trade to the species homo academicus and reports the first of his findings on how professors use their time. Some excerpts:
On average, our faculty participants worked 61 hours per week. That is 50 percent more than a 40-hour workweek. It’s a good thing they love what they do. They worked just over 10 ..
World’s Largest Philosophy and Music Festival
I don’t know what the other competitors for this title are, but apparently the world’s largest philosophy and music festival, How The Light Gets In, will be taking place from May 22nd to June 1st in Hay-on-Wye in Wales. It is indeed a big event. Philosophers on the roster include Simon Blackburn, Nancy Cartwright, John Harris, John Heil, Angie Hobbs, Ted Honderich, ..