Jason Brennan (Georgetown) thinks that facts about public ignorance haven’t been sufficiently appreciated by political philosophers and political theorists. Such facts should temper our enthusiasm for democracy and make us more sympathetic to epistocracy (rule by the knowledgeable). The self-described “bleeding heart libertarian” recently published a book, Against D..
During its last fundraiser, Philosophy Talk, the weekly radio show hosted by Stanford University’s John Perry and Kenneth Taylor, failed to make it more than 4% of the way to its $150,000 goal, according to The Stanford Daily. (more…)
Local school teachers, professors and students of philosophy at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), and several community organizations have teamed up for a bilingual project called Philosophy for Children in the Borderlands: (more…)
The Bertrand Russell Society issues an annual award in recognition of individuals or institutions that follow “in the Russellian tradition of encouraging philosophical inquiry in a popular manner.” (more…)
PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) is a national network devoted to promoting pre-college philosophy education. It just created the PLATO Philosophy Fund (PPF), “which will provide funding for a wide range of innovative philosophy programs with the aim of broadening philosophy’s reach,” according to a post by PLATO founding president and PPF chair..
There will be an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Reddit today with Jennifer Nagel (Toronto). The session begins at 1pm Eastern Time (US), and you can submit a question ahead of time, check out the other questions, and then follow the discussion this afternoon, here.
The AMA is presented jointly between the moderators of the philosophy subReddit and the folks a..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) holds an annual contest for the best editorial or opinion pieces published by philosophers:
The goal is to honor five standout pieces that successfully blend philosophical argumentation with an op-ed writing style. Winning submissions will call public attention, either directly or indirectly, to the value of philosoph..
As reported in December, the Marc Sanders Foundation, which offers several philosophy essay prizes, has created a new award for public philosophy. Barry Maguire (UNC), who has played a large role in creating this prize and in other public philosophy initiatives, informs me that submissions for the award are now welcome, and has more details at his site, including:
The BBC has launched a new program called “The Global Philosopher.” Each episode is a public philosophy session led by Michael Sandel (Harvard) with participants video-conferenced in from all over the world. Video footage is then edited, put online at the BBC’s site, and also broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
You can watch the first episode, on immigration and refugees, ..
The plans for growing and diversifying philosophy can’t be a shotgun approach. We need to find places every year where we can advocate and promote philosophical growth with precision because of our limited resources. We can do this through a robust development and advocacy process along with PR and advertising campaigns. There are lots of ways to grow and diversify ..
Working on a project in public philosophy? Need some money to help do it? You can apply for funding from the American Philosophical Association’s Berry Fund, administered by the APA’s Committee on Public Philosophy. From a post at the Committee’s blog:
Grants are generally under $1000. Some sample projects that The Berry Fund is supporting:
(1) a philosophy and sc..
At the recent Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA), in a session organized by the APA’s Committee on Public Philosophy, Peter Fristedt and Mark Silver of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) described various grant programs available to philosophers interested in obtaining support for work in public philosophy. Mr. Fris..
In a comment in the ongoing discussion regarding the reaction to George Yancy’s “Dear White America,” University of Oregon professor of philosophy Naomi Zack puts forward the idea of an “American Society for the Protection of Philosophers.” She volunteers herself for it and asks interested others to contact her:
The American Philosophical Association should expre..
A few weeks ago, George Yancy (Emory) published an essay in The New York Times philosophy column, The Stone, called “Dear White America.” In it, he calls for white Americans to acknowledge their racism and their complicity with racist institutions. Yancy asks his readers to “listen with love” to what he has to say. But he knows that what he is saying is bound to pro..
Though the internet is, in a number of ways, good for philosophy, it isn’t always good to philosophers. The needless hostility, harassment and scary threats, personal insults, bullheadedness, impatient demands, etc., widely broadcast for all to see (and discussed a bit here) can be a deterrent to participation and a nasty “reward” for engaging with the public.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Philosophical Association (APA) are collaborating for two events at the APA’s upcoming Eastern Division Meeting next month in Washington, DC. The first is a plenary address by the chairman of the NEH, William “Bro” Adams, at noon on January 7th. Following that, there will be a session “Philosophy for t..
There’s a new project to bring philosophy to bear on policy issues. In this case it is free will skepticism and criminal justice.
The Justice Without Retribution Network (JWRN) will bring together res..
Rethink: A Philosophy Community Outreach Program at Columbia University, has been awarded the 2015 APA/PDC Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The aim of the prize, which has been jointly sponsored by the American Philosophical Association and the Philosophy Documentation Center since 1999, is “to recognize philosophy departments, research ce..
The Marc Sanders Foundation, which already sponsors a number of philosophy prizes, has agreed to sponsor an award for public philosophy: $4500 and publication of the winning essay in Philosophers’ Imprint. Four runners-up will receive honorable mentions. The award committee is chaired by Susan Wolf, and includes Thomas Hofweber, Barry Maguire, and Patricia O’Toole. ..
The series of brief audio clips by John Cleese on the value of philosophy is making the rounds again, this time courtesy of a post at Open Culture. The public service announcements were commissioned by the American Philosophical Association in 2000 in celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary.
For example, here is Cleese on what philosophers do:
Happy World Philosophy Day, everyone! The day was created in 2002 by the UN to celebrate philosophy. It is celebrated on the third Thursday of November.
Marking World Philosophy Day, the head of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has stressed that sustainability calls for new ways of thinking about ourselves and the planet..
Barry Maguire (UNC) is attempting to get a new prize for public philosophy up and running. By “public philosophy” he means “anything with significant philosophical content or method written by someone with significant philosophical trainining primarily for an audience of non-philosophers.”
He is collecting examples of public philosophy but is having trouble findi..
A pair of philosophers teamed up with a beautiful food website and a fancy coffee shop to bring some experimental philosophy to the people.
Shen-yi Liao (Leeds, soon Puget Sound) and Aaron Meskin (Leeds) served members of the public coffee at Laynes Espresso to investigate whether first-hand experience is required to judge something’s taste and whether knowledge ..
Scott Samuelson, associate professor of philosophy and humanities at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, is the 2015 recipient of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities. The Hiett Prize is awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, whose purpose is “enrich and deepen lives through the wisdom and imagination of the humanities.” According to the Dallas Inst..
Allen Buchanan (Duke/KCL) is the 2015-2016 winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Professorship. The Romanell Professorship is awarded on the basis of one’s “distinguished achievement and substantial contribution to the public understanding of philosophy.” It includes a $7,500 stipend and three lectures. More details about Buchanan’s work and why he won are here.
The American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Public Philosophy has announced the winners of the latest round of its Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest, for op-eds written in 2014. The winners are:
How can we introduce those outside of higher education to philosophy? One little-used means is the museum.
I was not aware of any philosophy museums, but a recent news item on the Empathy Museum, ” the world’s first museum dedicated to helping visitors develop the skill of putting themselves in others’ shoes” put the idea in mind. (The Empathy Museum is the crea..