Agenda-Setting, Area-Defining, Influential Philosophy Textbooks
Philosophy textbooks—anthologies or introductory-level commentaries—can take on roles beyond the pedagogical purposes for which they’re put together. Through editorial and authorial choices of inclusion and exclusion such works can define or clarify fields of study, canonize specific works, identify a subdiscipline’s central problems, and, depending on uptake, s..
A Way Professors Make a “Real World” Difference
Amidst all the talk about public philosophy, let’s not forget a more traditional way philosophers have an impact on the world: by teaching well, encouraging inquiry and achievement, and helping students develop intellectual virtues. (more…)
Untangling the Strings: The Limits of Acceptable Donor Influence in Academia (guest post by Chris Surprenant)
“Our donors are supporting our projects, not the other way around.”
The following is a guest post* by Chris Surprenant, associate professor of philosophy at the University of New Orleans, on the role that those who fund academic programs may have in determining program goals, methods, materials, and staff. (more…)
On Deciding To Become A Philosopher
If I knew then what I know now, I certainly would’ve “decided” to become a philosopher. But back when I was working my way here, I didn’t really know what a philosopher was, or why one would want to be one. I didn’t have the materials for making the relevant decision—and by the time I did, I was already a philosopher.
A Visualization of Influence in the History of Philosophy
“I don’t know a lot about philosophy,” says Grant Louis Oliveira, a data analyst and quantitative social sciences researcher with an undergraduate degree in political science. He continues:
I’d like to change that and more rigorously explore my ideas, but I find the world of philosophy a bit impenetrable, and I don’t think I’m the only one. I know most the big na..
In Defense of Academic Writing
Cass Sunstein, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, defends serious academic writing against the pressures of popularization and accessibility. Articles in popular magazines and blogs “might be clear and beautifully written, but usually they don’t add much if anything to the stock of knowledge,” and “even when they are written by professors, they are often ..
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 ..