In 2012, physicists Lawrence Krauss claimed that “…science progresses and philosophy doesn’t”, and Neil deGrasse Tyson infamously echoes such opinions… Lots of high profile physicists make dead wrong claims about a subject in which they are not experts, repeating misperceptions even after philosophers keep correcting them. This is like listening to creationists re..
Dominic McIver Lopes, professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia, has been awarded one of the 2015-16 Guggenheim Foundation fellowships. McIver Lopes works mainly in aesthetics. He is president of the American Society for Aesthetics as well as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division. You can read more about ..
I am a professor of philosophy at a public university. What is the value of philosophy to the taxpayers who subsidize my teaching? Philosophy is an abstruse and difficult field. Many of those whose taxes support higher education probably would have a hard time seeing the point of most philosophical debates. Why ask people to pay for discussions of seemingly arcane a..
Is there a word more overused in philosophy nowadays than “intuition”? That is many people’s intuition sense of things, but why go with gut feelings when there is data? That’s right: data. James Andow of the University of Reading has just published findings on the use of the word “intuition” and its variations in an article in Metaphilosophy entitled “How ‘Intuitio..
By now most of you will have heard about the two most recent publicized incidents of police killing unarmed black men in the United States. (Warning: the following videos are very disturbing.) One was a shooting that took place in South Carolina:
The other, even more horrifically, was the allowing of a police dog to maul to death a New Jersey man who had alread..
“If Your Website’s Full of Assholes, It’s Your Fault” is a 2011 post from well-known blogger Anil Dash in which he writes about a specific kind of challenge faced by bloggers and online media providers. They are often forced to defend their enterprises “because so many of the most visible, prominent, and popular places on the web are full of unkindness and hateful b..
A philosopher writes in with a query about paying philosophers for talks and the like…
I’d like to learn more about honorarium practices for philosophy talks. How common is it to offer an honorarium? Under what circumstances (e.g. departmental colloquium, conference, public lecture, etc.)? What is a typical amount? It would be especially helpful if respondents ..
Furman University has developed an exciting scholarship program for students interested in studying philosophy. J. Aaron Simmons, associate professor of philosophy there, kindly took some time to write up a description of it, posted below. Do any other schools have something like this?
Preemptively Changing the Narrative through a Philosophy Scholarship Progr..
Philosophy, like any human activity, is influenced by the circumstances in which it takes place. Technological, scientific, economic, political, cultural, social, etc., factors influence how philosophy is conducted and at least some of which questions philosophers take up. Philosophy is also the product of its history, with the philosophical agenda of each era stron..
Christia Mercer (Columbia) reports on her experiences teaching philosophy to inmates as part of the new Justice-in-Education Initiative, sponsored by Columbia University’s Center for Justice, and calls for greater attention to the educational needs of prisoners, in an op-ed in The Washington Post. She writes:
My incarcerated students differ radically from the one..
What are the boundaries of philosophy? Why are they there and what is their nature? How do such boundaries structure the way philosophers approach understanding people, events, relationships, institutions, and so on? A few recent pieces around the Internet explore versions of these questions.
Justin E.H. Smith (Université Paris Diderot) argues at Berfrois that th..
An assistant professor writes in with the following query:
I’ve been asked recently to review some books for major presses, which is great and I love doing it (free books!) But I have no idea how to do it and they really give no guidelines. They just say something like, “tell me what you think.” Obviously I have all sorts of thoughts, and I’d really like to know ..
Last year, the American Philosophical Association (APA) and the British Philosophical Association (BPA) teamed up to conduct a survey of philosophy journals, and the results are now in. 43 journals were surveyed on submission and acceptance rates, review process, and the percentages of papers submitted and accepted that were written by women and members of minority ..
Several weeks back Daily Nous had a post which served as a space for philosophers to discuss their experiences of depression and mental illness. At the time, I was asked by several people to do a like post for disability and chronic illnesses. Here it is. Discussion of the personal and professional challenges confronting those with disabilities and chronic illnesse..
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources has released the results of its annual survey of faculty salaries. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that
For the second consecutive year, salary increases for professors at public colleges outpaced those of their peers at private institutions: Their salaries rose by 2.1 percent and 2..
The National Endowment for the Humanities is now accepting nominations for the National Humanities Medal, which “honors individuals and organizations whose work has deepened our nation’s understanding of and engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects.” This particular prize, which goes to up to twelve people each year, ..
The Campaign for Better Citation and Credit-Giving Practices is a new site aimed at “providing a forum for individuals in academic philosophy to bring to light general instances of work not receiving due credit or citations.” It offers a forum in which to “(A) argue that particular works or authors have been unfairly neglected (i.e. not adequately cited or otherwise..
Patricia Marino is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Waterloo. She works in ethics, epistemology, the philosophy of sex and love, and the philosophy of economics. She also has a blog, The Kramer is Now, full of amusing and insightful thoughts about philosophy, culture, economics, politics, and various aspects of life. Below is a guest post* by h..
A graduate student in philosophy asks:
I really enjoyed the daily habits of routine research post. I am wondering if you could open up a new discussion that addresses the related issues with regards to philosophers who use English as their second language. In my own experiences, doing research in a non-native language often comes with unique challenges that call ..
In the world of Star Trek, a rule called the “prime directive” prohibits our heroes from interfering in the development of alien cultures. I don’t think they had in mind the kind of “cultures” that could be grown in a Petri dish, but, as it turns out, NASA has predicted that we will find extraterrestrial life within the next 20 years, and that the life in question w..
The following guest post* is by Marcus Arvan (Tampa). Marcus runs The Philosophers’ Cocoon, a helpful blog aimed at early-career philosophers. Last week saw the posting of a report on philosophers’ citation practices by Kieran Healy. Marcus has written on this topic a few times over the years at The Philosophers’ Cocoon (the latest is here), and so I asked him if he..
This stark opposition between analytic clarity and continental obscurity must be qualified. Certainly, analytic philosophers tend to see clarity as a virtue. Yet the very concern to be clear can lead to the creation of precise definitions and fine distinctions marked with technical terms. Especially but not only when logical formalization is used, the resulting writ..
How should graduate programs address the fact that some of their graduates will not find jobs in academia? There was a brief discussion of this here back in the early days of DN, but I am prompted by a reader to revisit the question. He writes:
My department has a terminal MA program. By admitting students into this program, one of the responsibilities that we ta..
Lee Anne Fennell, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, has written a short and amusing paper entitled “Do Not Cite or Circulate.” It’s directed at legal academics, but applies just as well to philosophers. From the opening paragraph:
Law professors, who are generally quite enamored of their own words and not especially reluctant to toss around the..
In the wake of Peter Railton’s Dewey Lecture, I have been asked to create a space on Daily Nous for philosophers to share their experiences of depression and other forms of mental illness. Discussion of the personal and professional challenges confronting those afflicted by these conditions, ways in which the behavior of others affected your experiences in this rega..
The Alexis de Tocqueville Project in Law, Liberty, and Morality at the University of New Orleans has been offering free for-credit college philosophy courses to local high school students. It sounds great. Chris Surprenant, assistant professor of philosophy at UNO and director of the Tocqueville Project, shared some information about the course:
The overarching f..
A number of people have remarked (here and elsewhere) on the Dewey Lecture delivered by Peter Railton (Michigan) at the American Philosophical Association’s Central Division Meeting this past week. Professor Railton has been kind enough to provide me with a copy of the lecture, which he emphasizes is a draft. I have posted it here (UPDATE 2/27/15: this is a link to..