When a field of study becomes large enough, its size “may impede the rise of new ideas,” according to Johan S.G. Chu and James A. Evans, in a new paper, “Slowed canonical progress in large fields of science,” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (more…)
“ME: Have you considered teaching Chinese philosophy in your department?
COLLEAGUE: Philosophy is by definition the tradition that goes back to Greece…” (more…)
To whom are we as philosophers speaking and responding; whom do we judge as being worthy of dialogue and, hopefully, our intellectual contributions? (more…)
“We need to understand the ‘minor figures’ to understand the ‘major figures’ adequately. But that’s not the only reason to be interested in minor figures, or to bring them to the attention of a wider audience. There is also the fact that apparently minor figures are sometimes major figures.” (more…)
Lisa Shapiro, professor of philosophy at Simon Fraser University, has won a C$2.78 million (approximately $2.04 million) grant to support her project, “Extending New Narratives in the History of Philosophy.” (more…)
A philosophy professor tasked with teaching the required proseminar for incoming graduate students has a question for Daily Nous readers. (more…)
“The question I regularly encountered, and still do, is: Is that still Philosophy?” (more…)
Anthony Booth, reader in philosophy at the University of Sussex, called his 2017 book Analytic Islamic Philosophy, yet he doesn’t think there is much to the division between analytic and Continental philosophy. (more…)
Progress: the push for academic philosophy to overcome its ethnocentrism and incorporate works from a greater diversity of cultures has reached the point that its advocates are having fruitful public disagreements about how best to do it. (more…)
Economists generally agree that protectionist policies (tariffs, subsidies, and other measures that shield domestic firms and laborers from foreign competition) are harmful to a nation’s overall economic well-being. Yet they continue to be implemented, in part because they sound good to an uninformed population susceptible to being swayed by nationalist rhetoric, an..
The Diversity Reading List (DRL), an online collection of philosophical works by members of traditionally underrepresented groups in philosophy, has recently been updated. (more…)
Our histories of philosophy are astonishingly parochial. Across two and half millennia and a whole planet, there are basically only 9 historical figures you can write about without running the risk of marginalizing yourself as a young philosopher. (more…)
Which figures in the history of philosophy are philosophers today paying most attention to? In a recent editorial in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy (BJHP), editor Michael Beaney (KCL, Humboldt) surveys recent publications to identify what changes have taken place in who is popular among historians of philosophy, and what changes he thinks should b..
We behave, by and large, as if we are operating in an efficient market in philosophical ideas, insights, and arguments. This state of affairs is, while intelligible and even rational in some sense, just bizarre.
Christia Mercer (Columbia), writing in “The Stone” at The New York Times:
René Descartes has long been credited with the near-single-handed creation of modern philosophy. Generations of students have read, and continue to read, his famous “Meditations” as the rejection of medieval ways of thinking and the invention of the modern self. They learned that he doubted..
“Trump is actually much more aligned with the dominant norms of academic philosophy in America than with the KKK”
MISSION STATEMENT: Know more things!
STRATEGIC PLAN: Find out more things by reading more, listening to more people, and asking about stuff we don’t understand but sure would like to. ..
A gem of a comment from Amy Olberding on the post earlier this week about expanding the philosophical canon is worth excerpting:
…let me just explain how these sorts of conversations read to me and how, it seems to me, they repeat endlessly. On my most cynical days, I think we can dispense with any further conversations about including non-western traditions. F..
The following is a guest post* by Gregory Lewis, a medical doctor and amateur philosopher, in which he looks through a statistical lens at the formation of the Western philosophical canon. You can read more of his writings, including an earlier version of the piece that follows, at his site.
“Perhaps all professional philosophers have wrestled with the problem of how to cover all the important things in the limited time of a single course.” But what are the important things? And who are the important figures?
Over 100 billion people, it is estimated, have lived on earth. About one-seventh of the world’s population lives in Africa now. So, by way of a simplistic and historically irresponsible calculation, we could very roughly (and probably under-) estimate that 15 billion people have lived in Africa. 15 billion. Compare that with this estimate of the number of African ph..
Would the philosophers who populate the canon have gotten tenure? Would they have survived the Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessments in the UK? Lloyd Strickland (Manchester Metropolitan University) is skeptical:
Immanuel Kant might look worthy of the nod – his three Critiques shaped a lot of the philosophy that came afterwards. However, those works were..
In the United States, there are about 100 doctorate-granting programs in philosophy. By my count, only seven have a permanent member of the philosophy faculty who specializes in Chinese philosophy.
That’s Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside), writing in the L.A. Times.
Philosophy professors in the United States have all heard of Confucius and the Daoist Laozi. Ma..
Alex Guerrero (Penn), is wondering what philosophers think should be done in a first-year PhD proseminar. He writes:
Given all the recent discussion about the canon, the problematic effects of policing the borders of philosophy, the white maleness of philosophy, and so on, what do people think should be done in a first-year PhD proseminar? Assume it’s a semester ..