Philosophers and Theorists on the Charlie Hebdo Attacks (updated)
Yesterday, twelve people were shot dead at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine. It was reported that the gunmen shouted “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” in Arabic (“Allahu Akbar”), and so the attack is believed to be the work of militant Islamists in response to offensive cartoons that appeared in the magazine.
Teaching As If Our Students Were Not Future Philosophers
Since most of our undergraduate students are planning to go to graduate school in philosophy and become professional philosophers, it makes sense that the undergraduate philosophy curriculum is typically filled with courses that prepare them for that future. Their courses should introduce them to the way that contemporary professional philosophers understand their f..
This Year in Philosophical Intellectual History
This fall, one of the most powerful institutions in the field of philosophy in this country began to collapse…
In “The Rise and Fall of the Philosophical Gourmet Report,” a brief post at the U.S. Intellectual History Blog, historian Ben Alpers takes a look at one of the major stories in the philosophy profession this year. Alpers is cautious about his account o..
Lack of Political Diversity: A Problem?
In a recent paper, a group of social psychologists—Jonathan Haidt (NYU), José L. Duarte (ASU), Jarret T. Crawford (College of New Jersey), Charlotta Stern (Stockholm), Lee Jussim (Rutgers ), and Philip E. Tetlock (UPenn)—argue that political diversity is lacking in academic psychology and that
this lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of so..
Woody Allen, Please, No
On a small town college campus, a philosophy professor in existential crisis gives his life new purpose when he enters into a relationship with his student.
That is the description of Woody Allen’s currently untitled 2015 movie. It is in post-production and stars Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix, Jamie Blackley, and Parker Posey. More information here and here.
Philosophers from Poverty
The announcement of the UPDirectory has prompted a number of comments about a category not included among its underrepresented groups: philosophers who grew up in poverty. One theme in many of these comments is a sense of isolation and difference that comes from having that kind of background. The point of this post is just to open up a space for philosophers to dis..
More on the Barnett story
The story about the University of Colorado beginning the steps of firing associate professor of philosophy David Barnett (previously) has been on the radio and television news here in Boulder.
Here is some further info on the story:
· Some philosophy students have come to Barnett’s defense.
· Barnett will be challenging the decision by appealing to the universi..
What Are Some of Your Sayings?
If I’m remembering correctly, T.M. Scanlon recounts a story in which a person sitting next to him on a plane asks him what he does for a living. Scanlon admits he is a philosopher, and the fellow passenger asks, “What are some of your sayings?” Jonathan Wolff has an old column that mentions this story (he has apparently heard a few different versions, so perhaps he ..
Philosophy in Figures
Ryan Reece, a post-doc in experimental particle physics at UC Santa Cruz, likes “carving out philosophical positions with diagrams.” It’s an interesting project, which you can view here. He welcomes comments. (Via David Grober-Morrow.)
Philosophy Student Wins on “The Voice”
The Voice is a popular televised singing competition on NBC. The finale of its sixth season aired last night, and the winner is Josh Kaufman, who took part in the competition while taking a break from pursuing his master’s degree in philosophy at Northern Illinois University. You can watch Mr. Kaufman talking about his philosophy studies here, and see him singing St..
The Philosophy and Science of Creativity
Scientific American has published an excerpt from the introduction to The Philosophy of Creativity: New Essays, a new collection edited by Elliot Samuel Paul (Columbia) and Scott Barry Kaufman (NYU). In the various contributions, “philosophers draw on scientific research and scientific work is informed by philosophical perspectives.” Paul and Kaufman are two of the..
More on Teaching Philosophy in Prison
The notion of incarceration goes back to the beginning of philosophy, with the imprisonment and execution of Socrates—and the idea, expressed by his student Plato in the Republic, that we are all imprisoned by the cave of our own reflections but don’t realize it. “ face a lot of the issues ordinary people face, but in a heightened condition. We’re all doing life in ..
Five Years In Philosophy
Massimo Pigliucci, currently professor at CUNY and soon to be holder of the K.D. Irani Professorship in Philosophy there, takes the occasion of his 50th birthday to reflect on his first five years as a professor of philosophy (following 26 years as a biologist) and on the discipline as a whole, particularly the relationship between philosophy and science.
Teaching Philosophy in Prisons
Currently over two million people in the United States are in prison, and about nine million worldwide. There are many questions worth asking about the systems of criminal justice that lead to that result. The focus of this post, though, is quite narrow. It concerns just one thing academic philosophers can do, as academic philosophers, in light of this: teach prison..