France has declared a national state of emergency and tightened borders after at least 120 people were killed in a night of gun and bomb attacks in Paris. Eighty people were reported killed after gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall and took dozens hostage. The siege ended when security forces stormed the building. People were shot dead at bars and restaurant..
Students at Georgetown University have staged a sit-in at University President John (“Jack”) DeGioia’s office, calling for, among other things, a frank discussion of how Georgetown benefited from slavery, as well as the renaming of a building currently called Mulledy Hall. Christina Cauterucci at Slate writes:
At the center of the students’ grievances is Mulledy ..
You don’t often hear praise in popular culture for the writing of contemporary philosophers, yet The Browser, a popular aggregator of online writing, has included several among their nominees for their 2015 “Golden Giraffes” writing award.
- David Benatar, “We Are Creatures That Should Not Exist”
- Alain de Botton, “We Hate Cheap Things”
- Les Gre..
After program cut upon program cut, at what point does a liberal arts institution cease to be one?
That’s the question in an article at Inside Higher Ed that centers around faculty cuts at Wartburg College in Iowa, a Christian college.
This month, at least three tenure-track faculty members at Wartburg received notices that the college was not recommending the..
The Philosophy Documentation Center‘s mailing lists provides a breakdown of how many U.S. and Canadian philosophers claim various areas of specialization. I don’t know how accurate the list is—it gives a total count of approximately 14,600 philosophers, including about 2,500 graduate students and 450 independent scholars—but I don’t have any reason to think it i..
A new interview is up at What Is It Like To Be a Philosopher?, this time with Joshua Knobe (Yale). Interviewer Clifford Sosis (Coastal Carolina) asks Knobe a range of questions about his life and ideas.
Some interesting excerpts:
On the job market:
I lived pretty far from campus and hardly ever came in. As a result, I was woefully ignorant about just about ..
This week, two philosophers—Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU) in the New York Times Magazine and Gary Gutting (Notre Dame) in The Chronicle of Higher Education—have discussed the point of a college education.
Appiah observes that there are “two distinct visions of higher education contend throughout our classrooms and campuses.”
One is “Utility University,” which..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! We had ourselves quite the weekend, didn’t we? Well hang on to your armchairs, folks, because apparently it’s time for a Very Special Episode. After the heated conversation about professional cliques, a certain blog editor wrote in with a question about the role and consequences of anonymity in online philosophical discussion:
Have you ever had a problem and thought, “I bet a professional philosopher could help”? If so, you are almost certainly a professional philosopher yourself, and if so, you almost certainly do need help. Here it is. Announcing Ought Experiment, a new Daily Nous guest column offering personalized advice for your academic life.
My name is Louie Generis (no it isn’t)..
I decided to start What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? because one of the things I like most about conferences, and hanging out with philosophers generally, is learning about the people who do philosophy. How we are similar. How we are diff..
By now you’ve all seen the new Star Wars trailer, so, philosofriends…
“I find your bad faith disturbing” — Sartre Vader
A reader who prefers to remain anonymous writes in asking about the television-watching habits of philosophers. He notes that philosophers and other academics are often proud to abstain from television, and to not even own one of the infernal contraptions. (“How do you know someone doesn’t own a television? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” See also: here, here, and h..
Philosophers at St. Olaf College and Carleton College objected when a local pub, The Contented Cow, scheduled conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier Jim Fetzer to give one four in a series of “CowTalks” on assorted political issues. Alan Rubenstein (Carleton) withdrew from a debate with Fetzer (see update) at the Cow, and St. Olaf professors Gordon Marino, Danny M..
Flavorwire posts a set of (de)motivational posters featuring quotes “from your favorite depressing philosophers.” Philosophers, I think we can do better. My attempts:
These were pretty easy to make by modifying this blank version of the stereotypical corporate motivational poster, but afterwards (of course) I noticed what looks like an even easier met..
For the second installment of our Hobbies of Philosophers series, I talked with Meg Wallace (Kentucky). Meg works on metaphysics and philosophy of language, and her philosophy is super bad-ass. But today we are talking about her other life as an equally bad-ass aerialist. I spoke with Meg about what aerialism is all about, how she got involved with it, and how she c..
The post, “Philosophers from Poverty,” is still growing, with a range of interesting, informative, and often moving accounts of the lives of philosophers from poor and lower class backgrounds. As that discussion continues, it may be useful to expand upon suggestions for how, if at all, we might alter our thinking, behavior, practices, policies, and the like, in ligh..
In an essay at Tablet Magazine, Jürgen Habermas describes the impact of Jewish philosophers and sociologists who returned to Germany after the Holocaust. An exceerpt:
On the present occasion I cannot make a contribution to exile research, but only sift through some recollections from the unreliable perspective of a contemporary witness. After their return to the ..
Someone posted at the Philosophy Metametablog recently the following excerpt from an interview with Nicholas Rescher (Pittsburgh) conducted by Charlie Hobbs (Texas State) and published in Kinesis which seems worth discussing, particularly in light of all of various recent issues in the profession (though note that the interview was conducted in 2004).
Hobbs: Is t..
Brian Talbot (Washington University in St. Louis) has been pairing up well-known philosophers with the celebrities who look like them. He kindly agreed to let me share the idea with you. Here’s my favorite so far:
That’s David Hume and Jon Lovitz.
This match, owed to Julia Staffel, is also quite good:
Descartes and Richie Sambora, of course.
This week’s Friday Fun comes courtesy of David Boonin (University of Colorado). Thank you, David, for your suggestion, and for inspiring others to send in their contributions to this occasional series (seriously, be inspired people, or this series may not last).
David writes, “The idea is to come up with a single sentence that summarizes the most important thing(s)..