Philosophy

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  • Yet yet another probability paradox

    Alexander Pruss's Blog
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:53 am
    Start with a set M of countably infinitely many people, and a set D of countably infinitely many fair dice. Suppose that there are no natural orderings on the set D, and that each person in M has exactly one of the dice in D assigned to her. (Or if you prefer, these are sets of unique names of people and coins respectively.) You are a person in M, and you know what all the members of D are but have no information whatsoever on which member of D is yours. Now all the dice are simultaneously and independently tossed. Obviously, your probability that your die showed sixes is 1/6.Then the set of…
  • Sexist Chants and the Climate for Female Lecturers

    Continental Philosophy
    James Luchte
    17 Oct 2014 | 1:02 pm
    Feminist Philosophers – News Feminist Philosophers Can Use   “Universities have set in place a system which allows female lecturers’ careers to be influenced by their ability to “satisfy”, among others, young men who view women in the terms expressed in this and similar chants. This should give pause for thought about the implications of this marketised system for equal opportunities.”   See Sexist student chant raises wider concern about appraisals of female lecturers in The Conversation.   Missed the chanting story? See here for background.  
  • Every continental philosopher I have ever met dresses much nicer than me.

    Jon Cogburn's Blog
    Jon Cogburn
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:12 pm
    Nice explanation of why this is the case here.
  • Cornel West’s Disappointing Decline

    Philosophy News
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:49 pm
    From public intellectual to public personality. Cornel West seems more interested in name-dropping and ego-stroking than original thought… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Documenting the meltdown on Leiter and bad tactics in rankings

    gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life
    Noelle McAfee
    30 Sep 2014 | 8:12 pm
    If you are a philosopher in the English speaking world, you no doubt know that the old self-appointed emperor has lost his clothes. As of this writing, more than 520 philosophers (including the original signatories at the top) have signed a statement that they will decline to support his Philosophical Gourmet Report so long as he’s running it.  Twenty-four members of his board have asked him to relinquish management. Since I’ve been one of the characters in this tale, I’ve been keeping up with all the talk in the philosophy blogosphere.  For those interested in…
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Law and Ideology

    Christine Sypnowich
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:49 am
    [Revised entry by Christine Sypnowich on October 24, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] If law is a system of enforceable rules governing social relations and legislated by a political system, it might seem obvious that law is connected to ideology. Ideology refers, in a general sense, to a system of political ideas, and law and politics seem inextricably intertwined....
  • Charlie Dunbar Broad

    Kent Gustavsson
    23 Oct 2014 | 4:39 pm
    [Revised entry by Kent Gustavsson on October 23, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] ...
  • Paul-Henri Thiry (Baron) d'Holbach

    Michael LeBuffe
    22 Oct 2014 | 11:52 pm
    [Revised entry by Michael LeBuffe on October 22, 2014. Changes to: Bibliography] Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach was a philosopher, translator, and prominent social figure of the French Enlightenment. In his philosophical writings Holbach developed a deterministic and materialistic metaphysics which grounded his polemics against organized...
  • Conceptual Art

    Elisabeth Schellekens
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:32 pm
    [Revised entry by Elisabeth Schellekens on October 22, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The philosophy of art addresses a broad spectrum of theoretical issues arising from a wide variety of objects of attention. These range from Paleolithic cave painting to postmodern poetry, and from the problem of how music can convey emotion to that of the metaphysical status of...
  • Timon of Phlius

    Richard Bett
    22 Oct 2014 | 5:32 pm
    [Revised entry by Richard Bett on October 22, 2014. Changes to: Main text] Timon (c. 320 - 230 BCE) was the younger contemporary and leading disciple of Pyrrho of Elis. Unlike Pyrrho, he...
 
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    Talking Philosophy

  • Lessons from Ebola

    Mike LaBossiere
    24 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    English: Biosafety level 4 hazmat suit: researcher is working with the Ebola virus (Photo credit: Wikipedia) While Ebola outbreaks are not new, the latest outbreak has provided some important lessons. These lessons are actually nothing new, but the outbreak does provide a focus for discussing them. The first lesson is that most people are very bad at risk assessment. In the Ebola hot spots it is reasonable to be worried about catching Ebola. It is also reasonable to be concerned about the situation in general. However, many politicians, pundits and citizens in the United States are greatly…
  • Lessons from Gaming #2: Random Universe

    Mike LaBossiere
    22 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Call of Cthulhu (role-playing game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My experiences as a tabletop and video gamer have taught me numerous lessons that are applicable to the real world (assuming there is such a thing). One key skill in getting about in reality is the ability to model reality. Roughly put, this is the ability to get how things work and thus make reasonably accurate predictions. This ability is rather useful: getting how things work is a big step on the road to success. Many games, such as Call of Cthulhu, D&D, Pathfinder and Star Fleet Battles make extensive use of dice to model…
  • #Gamergate, Video Game Wars, & Evil

    Mike LaBossiere
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/106748964 As a gamer, philosopher and human being, I was morally outraged when I learned of the latest death threats against Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian, who is well known as a moral critic of the misogynistic rot defiling gaming, was scheduled to speak at Utah State University. Emails were sent that threatened a mass shooting if her talk was not cancelled. For legal reasons, the University was not able to prevent people from being weapons to the talk, so Sarkeesian elected to cancel her talk because of concerns for the safety of the audience. This incident…
  • Charity to those we oppose

    Russell Blackford
    19 Oct 2014 | 9:44 pm
    I have a couple of old blog posts, one from mid-2008 and the other from early 2010 in which I am highly critical of Australian journalist Guy Rundle. In both cases, particularly the second, I’m quite snarky about Rundle – but I’m not going to apologise about either. Neither goes beyond my rather loose standards of civility; the criticisms are of substance in each case; and there is no realistic possibility that even a large number of posts of this level of aggression would tend to intimidate Rundle, someone with considerable cultural influence and easy access to very large…
  • Asteroid Mining & Death from Above

    Mike LaBossiere
    17 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/475183125 Having written before on the ethics of asteroid mining, I thought I would return to this subject and address an additional moral concern, namely the potential dangers of asteroid (and comet) mining. My concern here is not with the dangers to the miners (though that is obviously a matter of concern) but with dangers to the rest of us. While the mining of asteroids and comets is currently the stuff of science fiction, such mining is certainly possible and might even prove to be economically viable. One factor worth considering is the high cost of…
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    AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

  • Question about Ethics - Charles Taliaferro responds

    24 Oct 2014 | 3:12 pm
    The Philippines has recently experiences the most devastating storm, Yolanda, in its history. The most affected areas of the country were wiped out and almost all sources of food and water became scarce. Looting became common in those areas. I honestly believe that stealing is wrong, but looting, which can be defined as stealing in the most extreme situations like those of life-and-death, seems a rather different case. My question then is this: is looting ever morally justified? Response from: Charles Taliaferro Please eliminate duplicate printing of reply
  • Question about Ethics - Charles Taliaferro responds

    24 Oct 2014 | 3:12 pm
    The Philippines has recently experiences the most devastating storm, Yolanda, in its history. The most affected areas of the country were wiped out and almost all sources of food and water became scarce. Looting became common in those areas. I honestly believe that stealing is wrong, but looting, which can be defined as stealing in the most extreme situations like those of life-and-death, seems a rather different case. My question then is this: is looting ever morally justified? Response from: Charles Taliaferro I express concern for all involved: the owners, looters, bi-standers.... I have…
  • Question about Logic - Stephen Maitzen responds

    23 Oct 2014 | 11:47 am
    What's the difference between understanding an opponent's argument, and agreeing with it? What prevents me from saying that if my opponent disagrees with my argument, he must misunderstand it? Response from: Stephen Maitzen Nothing prevents you from saying that, but then nothing prevents you from being wrong when you say it. If your argument is deductive, you might make progress by asking your opponent which (if any) premise in your argument he/she finds implausible and which (if any) inference in your argument he/she finds invalid. If your opponent rejects your conclusion, try finding out…
  • Question about Beauty, Biology - Allen Stairs responds

    23 Oct 2014 | 10:35 am
    Are 'dangerous' and 'aesthetically ugly' one and the same thing? I read somewhere once, that arachnophobia evolved as a defence mechanism against dangerous spiders. Even though most spider species are harmless, this evolved response is still there, as it is better to avoid all spiders, even the harmless ones to avoid being bitten by the really deadly ones. Seeing as this aesthetic disgust and fear arose for the purpose of keeping one safe, and very few spiders are actually dangerous, would it be incorrect to view the harmless ones as ugly? Similarly, there are some dangerous animals I…
  • Question about Art, Feminism - Nickolas Pappas responds

    16 Oct 2014 | 10:16 am
    I recently saw "Gone Girl" (spoiler alert!) and have been reading articles about the portrayal of its female antagonist, who is manipulative and psychotic. Some argue that this portrayal is problematic, since it plays into misogynistic stereotypes about women. In response, others argue that while such pernicious stereotypes do exist, it must surely be permissible to create a character who is both female and psychotic--indeed, to insist that this character type just can't exist would be sexist itself. Both arguments seem plausible to me, but I'm not sure how to reconcile them. Yes, it's bad to…
 
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    Ethics Etc

  • Program for NYU Conference on Measuring Borderline States of Consciousness

    S. Matthew Liao
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:13 pm
    The final program is now available for this week’s conference on “Measuring Borderline States of Consciousness”, co-sponsored by the NYU Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness and the NYU Center for Bioethics. The conference will be held on Friday October 24 and Saturday October 25 at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, 53 […]
  • CFA: Dominating Speech at UConn

    S. Matthew Liao
    14 Oct 2014 | 9:14 pm
    Update: Registration is now open for this workshop. Please register at http://injustice.philosophy.uconn.edu. Registration will close on November 14th. Conference at UConn November 21-23, 2014 Keynotes: Ishani Maitra (Michigan) Jason Stanley (Yale) The Injustice League in the Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut seeks abstracts on topics related to the conference theme. Suggested topics include: […]
  • UChicago Conference: Is Health Care A Human Right?

    S. Matthew Liao
    2 Oct 2014 | 3:34 pm
    Friday, October 10 – Saturday, October 11, 2014 The Quadrangle Club, Library 1155 E 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 RSVP using the form at the bottom of this webpage. This two-day symposium, presented by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, will bring interdisciplinary scholars together to […]
  • NYU Conference on Measuring Borderline States of Consciousness

    S. Matthew Liao
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:09 pm
    Friday, October 24th – Saturday, October 25th 53 Washington Square South, 1st Floor Auditorium, New York On October 24-25, the NYU Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness and the NYU Center for Bioethics will host a conference on Measuring Borderline States of Consciousness. There are famous difficulties in measuring subjective states of consciousness. Nevertheless, a […]
  • Op-ed in Scientific American on Brain Implants and Supersoldiers

    S. Matthew Liao
    4 Sep 2014 | 8:11 pm
    Readers of Ethics Etc might be interested in an op-ed of mine in Scientific American, which explores the ethics of using brain implants to create supersoldiers. The online version can be found here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/2014/09/04/could-d eep-brain-stimulation-fortify-soldiers-minds/
 
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    European Journal of Philosophy

  • Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism, by Joel Smith and Peter Sullivan (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 212 pp. ISBN 978-0199608553

    Sebastian Rödl
    28 Sep 2014 | 8:05 pm
  • Narrative and the Stability of Intention

    Edward S. Hinchman
    14 Sep 2014 | 5:22 pm
    Abstract This paper addresses a problem concerning the rational stability of intention. When you form an intention to φ at some future time t, you thereby make it subjectively rational for you to follow through and φ at t, even if—hypothetically—you would abandon the intention were you to redeliberate at t. It is hard to understand how this is possible. Shouldn't the perspective of your acting self be what determines what is then subjectively rational for you? I aim to solve this problem by highlighting a role for narrative in intention. I'll argue that committing yourself to a course…
  • The Limits of Learning: Habermas' Social Theory and Religion

    Maeve Cooke
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:17 pm
    Abstract Habermas' view that contemporary philosophy and social theory can learn from religious traditions calls for closer consideration. He is correct to hold that religious traditions constitute a reservoir of potentially important meanings that can be critically appropriated without emptying them of their motivating and inspirational power. However, contrary to what he implies, his theory allows for learning from religion only to a very limited degree. This is due to two core elements of his conceptual framework, both of which are key features of his account of postmetaphysical thinking.
  • Kierkegaard's Phenomenology of Spirit

    Ulrika Carlsson
    7 Jul 2014 | 7:27 pm
    Abstract Kierkegaard's preoccupation with a separation between the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’ runs through his work and is widely thought to belong to his rejection of Hegel's idealist monism. Focusing on The Concept of Irony and Either/Or, I argue that although Kierkegaard believes in various metaphysical distinctions between inside and outside (the inwardness of faith and the outwardness of ethics and language; the inwardness of emotion and the outwardness of behavior), he nonetheless understands the task of the philosopher as that of making outside and inside converge in a…
  • Heidegger the Metaphysician: Modes-of-Being and Grundbegriffe

    Howard D. Kelly
    13 Jun 2014 | 9:55 pm
    Abstract Modes-of-being (Seinsarten) figure centrally in Heidegger's masterwork Being and Time. Testimony to this is Heidegger's characterisation of two of his most celebrated enquiries—the Existential analytic and the Zeug analysis—as investigations into the respective modes-of-being of the entities concerned. Yet despite the importance of this concept, commentators disagree widely about what a mode-of-being is. In this paper, I systematically outline and defend a novel and exegetically grounded interpretation of this concept. Strongly opposed to Kantian readings, such as those advocated…
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    Feminist Philosophers

  • Open thread: supporting victims of sexual harassment

    magicalersatz
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:17 am
    Some high profile cases of sexual harassment in philosophy have been in the news again recently. But as unfortunate and upsetting as those cases are, part of grappling with philosophy’s sexual harassment problem is realizing that it isn’t isolated to one or two bad cases or one or two bad actors. There are a lot of bad cases. And there are a lot of victims. Some of these victims have asked for an open thread here where we can publicly express support for victims and where we can talk about ways – both public and private – to help people in our profession who have been…
  • White philosophers and racism

    magicalersatz
    23 Oct 2014 | 3:27 pm
    Bharath Vallabha has written another really interesting post – ‘It’s Not Just Implicit Bias’ – about philosophy, inclusiveness, and philosophy’s race problem. In the post, he focuses on the narrowness of the philosophy’s ‘cannon’ as it’s traditionally presented in English-speaking contexts: In most philosophy classes the religious traditions of the Middle East and Asia are in the periphery as the other to philosophy – the impulses to conformism and irrationality which are to overcome by the self-reflection and rationality of…
  • Under-representation of non-native English speakers in philosophy

    jennysaul
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:07 am
    Gabriele Contessa has written a series of thought-provoking posts on this important, yet underdiscussed topic. Most recently, he has proposed a Languaged Philosophers’ Campaign. Okay, I know—‘Languaged’ is not a word in English, but so what? :-) I think we should start a campaign to highlight the underrepresentation of non-native English speakers in the line-ups of many (supposedly international) conferences and edited volumes. The campaign is, of course, modelled on the (very effective and much needed!) Gendered Conference Campaign promoted by the Feminist…
  • Mike Rea on Christianity and norms in philosophy

    magicalersatz
    23 Oct 2014 | 8:04 am
    There’s a really interesting post by Helen de Cruz up at Philosophers’ Cocoon in which she quotes from a forthcoming paper by Mike Rea. In the paper, Rea remarks that: One of the most important job skills of an analytic philosopher is strongly correlated with whatever skill is involved in successfully rationalizing bad behavior, deceiving oneself, putting a positive spin on bad circumstances, and so on. Also, there are certain modes of behavior—ways of being ambitious, or arrogant, or disrespectful to others, for example—that seem much easier to fall into in professions (like…
  • How to Support a Survivor

    Heidi Howkins Lockwood
    22 Oct 2014 | 11:43 am
    May this set an example of how to support a survivor for graduate students — and faculty — in other departments. And may the courage and moral compass of these students be a source of inspiration for the discipline at large: http://dailynous.com/2014/10/22/open-letter-from-the-northwestern-philosophy-graduate-students-guest-post/ (Comments closed here so that the conversation occurs in one location — with h/t and gratitude to Justin Weinberg of Daily Nous for doing the hard work of moderating.)
 
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • EngagedPhilosophy.com: Using Civic Engagement in Philosophy Classes

    Nathan Nobis
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:24 am
    EngagedPhilosophy.com: Resources for Using Civic Engagement in Philosophy ClassesEngagedPhilosophy.com, launched with a grant from the American Philosophical Association, provides tools for faculty and students to implement activist or service projects in philosophy classes. It includes assignment guidelines, many sample projects, student testimonials, and data supporting use of civic engagement in philosophy classes. Founders Ramona Ilea, Susan Hawthorne, and Monica Janzen, of Pacific University Oregon, St. Catherine University, and Hennepin Technical College, respectively, support…
  • New in Teaching Philosophy: 'Team teaching the theism-atheism debate'

    Michael Cholbi
    6 Oct 2014 | 9:04 am
    Here:Wesley D. Cray, Steven G. BrownTeam-Teaching the Atheism-Theism DebateIn this paper, we discuss a team-taught, debate-style Philosophy of Religion course we designed and taught at The Ohio State University. Rather than tackling the breadth of topics traditionally subsumed under the umbrella of Philosophy of Religion, this course focused exclusively on the nuances of the atheism-theism debate, with the instructors openly identifying as atheist or theist, respectively. After discussing the motivations for designing and teaching such a course, we go on to detail its content and structure.
  • Graphic on history of philosophy

    Michael Cholbi
    6 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Merrill Cook has created this very attractive graphic charting the history of philosophy. Do feel free to display and disseminate.
  • Teaching Philosophy seeks trustee

    Michael Cholbi
    12 Sep 2014 | 7:44 am
    The Board of Trustees of the Teaching Philosophy Association, Inc. would like you to know about an opportunity to have an impact on the journal.  Teaching Philosophy Association, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that oversees the business of the journal Teaching Philosophy.  The Board is responsible for:         evaluation of and strategic planning for the journal;         authorizing and carrying out special projects;         appointing and providing guidance to…
  • Request: Do you have good resources for teaching students how to read philosophy in an intro class?

    Harry Brighouse
    10 Sep 2014 | 11:36 am
    A friend just asked me if I have any good resources for teaching intro students how to read philosophy? I thought readers of ISW might know of or be able to link to good resources. I have to confess I have never taught a true intro course -- the courses I teach for students who are not already majors are not designed to attract students to the major, so I tend to think this as the only encounter with philosophy most of them will have; and most of them are juniors and seniors who, certainly at my institution, have quite different  needs from first years. However, this is timely for me…
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    Philosophy by the Way

  • Joint commitment

    12 Oct 2014 | 4:24 pm
    A central concept in the philosophy of Margaret Gilbert is “joint commitment”. It refers to the obligations people have towards others when they agree to do something together. Then each is bound to do what s/he said to do, unless the other or others relieve this person of the obligations agreed on. Gilbert uses the concept of joint commitment for understanding group action. Studying group action is about what small groups do and about what the individual members of small groups do as group members. Group action has to be distinguished from the behaviour (or actions, if you like) of…
  • Free will and the two levels of reality

    5 Oct 2014 | 4:11 pm
    In my last blog I showed that Prinz distinguishes two levels of representing reality. The direct representation of the world is done on a non-conscious level and the indirect representation or the perceiving of the direct representation is done on a conscious level. Prinz uses this “dual representation model” for explaining what free will is. However, for making this clear, I prefer not to follow Prinz, but to turn to the view of Shaun Gallagher. Both views are basically the same, albeit not in detail.Gallagher distinguishes also two levels, but he doesn’t talk of levels of…
  • Two levels of reality

    28 Sep 2014 | 4:05 pm
    In his article “Free will as a social institution”, Wolfgang Prinz defends the thesis of dual representation of reality. On the one hand, the thesis says, we have a direct representation of what is going on and what is present around us in the world (we can say that we have an “image” of it, if we take this notion not too literally). This representation exists on an unconscious level, which I want to call “level 1”. This level-1-representation is the basis of our doings. On a conscious level we can experience this level-1-representation and have a conscious representation of it.
  • How to write my blogs (2)

    21 Sep 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Creative walkWhen I write these weekly blogs, I am always sitting in the armchair in my study and I write them with my laptop. I told you that several times before, if I remember well. Is it the right method? I always thought so, until I discovered that it would be better to write my blogs by hand, at least the draft. Not so long ago I explained to you why (see my blog dated June 16, 2014). But like most human beings here on earth, I stick to my habits and I still write my blogs with a computer. In view of the positive comments I sometimes receive, they are not that bad, although – you…
  • The uneven development of technology and man

    15 Sep 2014 | 7:35 am
    Driverless carIn a short interview a Dutch technology professor, Marieke Martens, said that within ten years we’ll have automatic driving cars on our roads, so cars that do not have a driver behind the wheel. This will not happen all at once, she says, but it will happen in five steps. In the interview prof. Martens didn’t say what steps these are, but the last step would be taken within ten years. Will it? Prof. Martens admitted that there are not only technical challenges for completing the project but also juridical ones, like questions of liability in case of accidents and how other…
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    The Brooks Blog

  • In Defence of Punishment and the Unified Theory of Punishment: A Reply

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:19 am
    . . . can be found here at SSRN to download. The abstract:Punishment is a major contribution to contemporary debates concerning the philosophy of punishment. The book advances three overlapping aims. The first is to provide the most comprehensive coverage of this fast moving field. While there are several excellent introductions available, they have become dated without substantive coverage of recent work on communicative theories of punishment or restorative justice, for example. A second aim of the book is to advance a new theory—the ‘unified theory’ of punishment—as a distinctive…
  • University & College Union members vote to strike

    20 Oct 2014 | 2:41 pm
    The University & College Union (UCU) are in a trade dispute with employers concerning changes to the USS pension plan. The results of a ballot of UCU members:Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of strike action?    Number of ballot papers counted: 17,212    Number voting YES: 13,395 (77.8%)    Number voting NO: 3,817 (22.2%)Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of action short of a strike?    Number of ballot papers counted: 17,154    Number voting YES: 14,879…
  • Announcement: Cultural Heritage Ethics

    17 Oct 2014 | 1:02 am
    An announcement I received and wanted to share: Cultural Heritage Ethics is an intra-disciplinary book that bridges the gap between theory and practice by bringing together a stellar cast of academics, activists, consultants, journalists, lawyers, and museum practitioners, each contributing their own expertise to the wider debate of what cultural heritage means in the twenty-first century. The volume feels the pulse of the debate on heritage ethics by discussing timely issues such as access, acquisition, archaeological practice, curatorship, education, ethnology, historiography,…
  • Talking about asylum seekers, Middlesbrough and why the government should bring back the Migrant Impact Fund it scrapped

    15 Oct 2014 | 1:19 am
    ... can be heard here on BBC Radio Tees (from 2.07).FACT: The current government has declined each and every opportunity to discuss immigration policy with me.
  • October 14 is a great day

    14 Oct 2014 | 4:14 am
    ...because it is my birthday! On this date: *1066 - William the Conqueror wins the Battle of Hastings *1322 - Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England, forcing recognition of Scotland's independence * 1582 - This day did not exist this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal, or Spain because of implementation of the Gregorian calendar * 1789 - George Washington proclaims the first Thanksgiving Day* 1806 - The Battle of Jena: France defeats Prussia --- and an important event for young Hegel *1843 - The British arrest Daniel O'Connell for conspiracy *1912 - Teddy Roosevelt…
 
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    Jon Cogburn's Blog

  • I hope Mr. Young will remember

    Jon Cogburn
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Ten charts here on why the South is the worst place to live. It reminds me of the old joke about Texas. God created Texas last. He didn't initially know what he was going to do, because he'd already used up everything nice making all the other places in the world. He was really stumped for quite a few centuries. But then he finally came up with the novel solultion of creating Texans, who are people who actually like it there.
  • Ian Bogost to keynote LSU graduate conference

    Jon Cogburn
    23 Oct 2014 | 8:30 am
    Cool stuff! Here's the CFP. TRANS-AM :: Losing/Becoming Self (February 12-13, 2015) full name / name of organization:  Louisiana State University English Graduate Student Association contact email:  mardisgrasconference2015@gmail.com TRANS-AM :: Losing/Becoming Self Individuals from around the globe travel to Louisiana early in the year to participate in Mardi Gras celebrations. Masks, costumes and reverie encourage participants to shed certain prefigured aspects of identity in order to become something new. Much of the excitement these traditions allow is rooted in the idea…
  • Every continental philosopher I have ever met dresses much nicer than me.

    Jon Cogburn
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:12 pm
    Nice explanation of why this is the case here.
  • For everyone attending SPEP this week

    Jon Cogburn
    21 Oct 2014 | 5:53 pm
    It's always weird when the APA holds the Central in New Orleans and the paper you're giving is scheduled at night. Chances are, you'll end up presenting to an empty room because anyone who might have gone to your paper has the good sense to be doing something else. I twill be interesting to see if SPEP is similar. For people who don't know New Orleans much, I should say that the musical center post-Katrina is on Frenchman Street in the Marigny, just on the other side of the Quarter. Start with DBA and the Spotted Cat. If it's a fortuitous night you'll luck into some…
  • Emily's Pretty Cool Blog - What do you do?

    Jon Cogburn
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:39 pm
    Superfun Tuesday post, containing a photo of our little mancave, here.
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    Continental Philosophy

  • 2014 SPEP Conference Program – New Orleans, LA, October 23-25, 2014

    James Luchte
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:32 pm
    2014 SPEP Conference Program Society for Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy Society for Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy We are very happy to announce the details of the 53nd Annual SPEP Conference to be held in New Orleans, LA, October 23-25, 2014. The 2014 SPEP Program is now available. We invite you to visit the Philosophy Documentation Center’s SPEP Conference Registration webpage to register for the 2014 conference in New Orleans and pay your annual dues for the 2014-2015 membership year. Register online to avoid additional on-site charges. For information on the…
  • Nature and Freedom – 12th International Kant Congress – University of Vienna 2015

    James Luchte
    17 Oct 2014 | 1:11 pm
    Nature and Freedom – 12th International Kant Congress September 21, 2015 – September 25, 2015 Department of Philosophy, University of ViennaUniversitätsring 1 Vienna 1010 Austria   View the Call For Papers Sponsor(s): International Kant Society Main speakers: Guido Almeida Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Frederick Beiser Syracuse University Steven Crowell Rice University Massimo Ferrari Università degli Studi di Torino Michael Friedman Stanford University Hannah Ginsborg University of California, Berkeley Patricia Kitcher Columbia University Pauline Kleingeld…
  • Sexist Chants and the Climate for Female Lecturers

    James Luchte
    17 Oct 2014 | 1:02 pm
    Feminist Philosophers – News Feminist Philosophers Can Use   “Universities have set in place a system which allows female lecturers’ careers to be influenced by their ability to “satisfy”, among others, young men who view women in the terms expressed in this and similar chants. This should give pause for thought about the implications of this marketised system for equal opportunities.”   See Sexist student chant raises wider concern about appraisals of female lecturers in The Conversation.   Missed the chanting story? See here for background.  
  • Foucault Studies – Number 18: October 2014: Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities

    James Luchte
    17 Oct 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Table of Contents Editorial Editorial PDF Sverre Raffnsøe, Alain Beaulieu, Sam Binkley, Barbara Cruikshank, Knut Ove Eliassen, Marius Gudmand-Høyer, Johanna Oksala, Sven Opitz, Jyoti Puri, Jens Erik Kristensen, Alan Rosenberg, Mathias Adam Munch 1-4 Special Issue on Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities Introduction PDF Michelle Brady 5-10 Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities: from the neoliberal apparatus to neoliberalism and governmental assemblages PDF Michelle Brady 11-33 Fixing Non-market Subjects: Governing Land and Population in the Global South PDF Tania Murray Li…
  • CALL FOR PAPERS – The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Foucault Circle (2015)

    James Luchte
    1 Oct 2014 | 1:17 pm
    CALL FOR PAPERS The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Foucault Circle University of Richmond Richmond, Virginia March 20-22, 2015 We seek submissions for papers on any aspect of Foucault’s work, as well as studies, critiques, and applications of Foucauldian thinking. Paper submissions require an abstract of no more than 750 words. All submissions should be formatted as “.doc” attachments and sent via email to program committee chair Zachary Fouchard (zfouchard@gmail.com) on or before Monday, January 5th, 2015Indicate “Foucault Circle submission” in the subject heading Program…
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    In Search of Enlightenment

  • Framing One's Worldview

    14 Oct 2014 | 5:09 am
    I posted this on my FB and any academics currently not FB friends that wish to send along their answers can email me. thanksNon-scientific poll for philosophers and theorists who teach on topics like global justice, equality, democracy, freedom, etc.Question #1.When you reflect upon the way you frame with subject matter you teach, is there an apparent "Negative Worldview" (humanity is heading towards the dumps) or "Positive Worldview" (humanity's prospects are improving and will likely continue to do so) perspective that you have?Question #2.If you answered "yes" to number 1, please briefly…
  • The Problem

    10 Oct 2014 | 6:39 am
    Humanity faces a major problem (what I refer to here simply as the Problem) this century. And given the nature of the Problem it will most likely be a significant problem for all future generations as well, unless we seriously tackle this problem. The Problem is one of the most significant problems we have ever faced. Sadly not very many people realize how big of a problem the Problem is, and few believe there is anything we can do to remedy the Problem. Thus people do not pressure their governments to take action to address the Problem. There is an extremely strong scientific consensus…
  • Canadian Attitudes Towards Radical Life Extension

    9 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    In my "Science and Justice" seminar this afternoon we will be discussing this paper which found some interesting things about Canadian attitudes towards radical life extension. For example, Science Negativity (“Science and technology make our way of life change too fast”) and a Declinist Worldview (“Modern civilization has reached its peak and is in decline.”) were associated with less support for life extension. Whereas higher levels of Bio-Literacy (knowledge of biological science), General Health and being male were associated with being more pro-life extension.Cheers, Colin
  • End of Sabbatical

    22 Sep 2014 | 10:41 am
    This blog has been very quiet for the past 12 months or so as I was away on sabbatical (and I joined FB, where I post almost daily). As such I thought I should post a few remarks here.While I am sad that the extra research time afforded by the sabbatical has come to an end, I am happy to have full-time teaching return as a regular part of my responsibilities. I find teaching helps stimulate thought and balances what can be an otherwise hermit-like existence (my research tends to be very solitary).What did I accomplish on the sabbatical? I spent the Fall term teaching in the School of Public…
  • Ideas for New Paper

    19 Mar 2014 | 6:18 am
    This blog post is posted on my FB page with comments open. If you are a political philosopher who wishes to comment please send me a FB friend request. In the coming weeks I hope to develop some ideas that I have been mulling over for a few years now on methodological issues in normative political philosophy into a coherent paper tentatively titled “Justice by Earthlings” or "Psychology Constrains Political Philosophy". I thought I would try something new for me and invite FB friends interested in ideal/non-ideal theory to offer comments, suggestions, etc. as I work through these ideas…
 
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    In Living Color

  • Sending affluence, receiving pestilence

    20 Oct 2014 | 8:31 am
    Peter Singer makes a very persuasive case that we ought to spend money to alleviate extreme poverty rather than buying the latest luxuries   But what if what is needed is not sending away our affluence but letting in disease?  Allowing travel to and from west Africa might increase the number of cases of Ebola in the US and slow the epidemic there;  closing borders could both protect us here and
  • Harvard's Sexual Misconduct Policy

    17 Oct 2014 | 8:29 am
    Harvard has a new and more victim-friendly sexual misconduct policy as of this fall, and 28 professors in the law school have complained about it (out of a total of 110).  It sounds to me as if they have some legitimate worries but I'm puzzled by one of the complaints. The faculty members, including emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz, said the policy should be retracted because it denies the
  • The Accidental Mixed Race Baby

    6 Oct 2014 | 10:08 am
    It's all over the news:  a lesbian couple used a sperm bank to create their baby girl and now they're suing, because the bank used sperm vial 330 (from a black man) when they had selected sperm vial 380 (from a white man).  They love their daughter, but they're claiming they've somehow been damaged by the mix up.  One thing's for sure, this legal wrangle should have been conducted
  • Moral Mediocrity

    3 Oct 2014 | 7:12 am
    Interesting post here by Eric Schwitzgebel, with a lot of relevance to the fact that very few people succeed at being perfect or even near-perfect vegans.
  • Self Preservation

    2 Oct 2014 | 7:32 am
    I wonder about some choices made by Thomas Duncan, the Ebola patient who's being treated at a hospital in Dallas, and may have infected other people here.  The New York Times reports that on Sept. 15 Duncan helped carry a pregnant, 19 year old Ebola victim from a taxi to her home, where she died hours later (the hospital wouldn't admit her).  Four days later he few from Liberia to Brussels, from
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    Stephen Law

  • Open Letter to Karen Armstrong on 'The Myth of Religious Violence'

    29 Sep 2014 | 6:49 am
    An open letter to Karen Armstrong on her Guardian article ‘The Myth of Religious Violence’. I invite Karen to either come out as a Secularist with a capital 'S', or come up with a better argument. Go here to CFI logs for my post.
  • 'But is it art?' Wittgenstein on family resemblance concepts - explained!

    21 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    But is it Art? From my The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking. This introduces Wittgenstein on 'family resemblance' and the idea of 'necessary and sufficient conditions'.Philosophy Gym category: Warm upMediumMore challengingI mean they’d gone and fucking installed the work without me even being here. That’s just not on. This is my bed. If someone else installs it, it’s just dirty linen. If I do it, it’s art. Tracey Emin (artist), Evening Standard, 12/9/00.Today it seems almost anything can be classified as a work of art: Damien Hirst’s pickled shark or Tracey Emin’s…
  • Follow my CFI blog: The Outer Limits

    10 Sep 2014 | 1:01 am
    Just posted my first blog post for CFI here as part of their Free Thinking site. I will be posting exclusive Humanist/Skepticism related article there regularly - at least once a month. Do please follow!My CFI blog is called The Outer Limits. They made me a nice banner - have a look.This blog will of course continue. In particular I'll put more academic posts here (e.g. drafts of papers for discussion, etc.), plus news of events (CFI UK especially, which I organize) and other interests. Skeptical/humanism related posts here will usually also appear over at The Secular Outpost.
  • Werewolves, Vampires and Witches sceptically investigated by CFI UK, 18 October

    9 Sep 2014 | 2:55 am
    Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society present: Deborah Hyde, Jessica Monteith, and Owen Davies speaking on vampires, werewolves, and witches. Register here.   Deborah Hyde, Jessica Monteith, and Owen Davies introduce us to the myth and the reality regarding some of the most horrific creatures imaginable. A skeptical inquiry into some of the most terrifying creatures imaginable. Come and be terrified and informed.Note that even if you have heard e.g. Hyde on vampires before, she is talking about werewolves at this event. Organised and chaired by Stephen Law Date:…
  • Secular Humanism: DON'T define it as requiring naturalism

    9 Sep 2014 | 2:15 am
    What does secular humanism (or, as we say in the UK, humanism) involve? In Humanism: A Very Short Introduction (OUP 2011) I suggest that most of those who sign up to secular humanism sign up to following:1. Secular humanists place particular emphasis on the role of science and reason. 2. Humanists are atheists. They do not sign up to belief in a god or gods. 3. Humanists suppose that this is very probably the only life we have. 4. Humanists usually believe in the existence and importance of moral value.5. Humanists emphasize our individual moral autonomy and responsibility. 6. Humanists are…
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    gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life

  • So just how much do you want to study philosophy?

    Noelle McAfee
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:29 pm
    Hannah Arendt to Mary McCarthy, August 20, 1954 At the moment, translating the old book [The Origins of Totalitarianism] into German, I am unhappy and impatient to get back to what I really want to do [likely her reflections on labor, work, and action]—if I can do it. But that is minor, I mean whether or not I am capable of doing what I want to do. Heinrich [Blücher] has a wonderful advice to give to his students when they talk about studying philosophy: he tells them you can do it only if you know that the most important thing in your life would be to succeed in this and the second most…
  • Infograph on the History of Philosophy

    Noelle McAfee
    2 Oct 2014 | 11:20 am
    This cool infographic was created by Merrill Cook and posted on superscholar.org. But, umm, couldn’t we get some of the women in the picture? Check out Kate Lindemann’s page for a good helping of that. Source: SuperScholar.org/
  • Documenting the meltdown on Leiter and bad tactics in rankings

    Noelle McAfee
    30 Sep 2014 | 8:12 pm
    If you are a philosopher in the English speaking world, you no doubt know that the old self-appointed emperor has lost his clothes. As of this writing, more than 520 philosophers (including the original signatories at the top) have signed a statement that they will decline to support his Philosophical Gourmet Report so long as he’s running it.  Twenty-four members of his board have asked him to relinquish management. Since I’ve been one of the characters in this tale, I’ve been keeping up with all the talk in the philosophy blogosphere.  For those interested in…
  • Sign on to the September Statement

    Noelle McAfee
    26 Sep 2014 | 6:04 pm
    The list of philosophers unwilling to take part in the Philosophical Gourmet Report so long as Brian Leiter is editing it keeps growing: https://sites.google.com/site/septemberstatement/ .  Any philosophy professor with an academic appointment is invited to join the list.  You need not be someone who would have been likely to be an evaluator. If you wish to add your name to those declining for these reasons to volunteer their services to the PGR while under the control of Brian Leiter, please email septemberstatement@gmail.com with your name and affiliation. Please use your verifiable…
  • A Search Engine for Philosophy

    Noelle McAfee
    26 Sep 2014 | 1:54 pm
    I made this proposal the other day over at Daily Nous (which just got a nod from the Daily Nous editor Justin Weinberg here) for an alternative to the PGR and other rankings: a 21st century tool that students could use to get information on graduate programs. The APA has been collecting data from philosophy PhD programs for a few years now for its Guide to Programs on placement rates, etc. What if more information were collected, such as numbers of books published with university presses, faculty citation and Google Scholar analytics, peer-reviewed conference papers, faculty areas of…
 
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    Alexander Pruss's Blog

  • Yet yet another probability paradox

    24 Oct 2014 | 6:53 am
    Start with a set M of countably infinitely many people, and a set D of countably infinitely many fair dice. Suppose that there are no natural orderings on the set D, and that each person in M has exactly one of the dice in D assigned to her. (Or if you prefer, these are sets of unique names of people and coins respectively.) You are a person in M, and you know what all the members of D are but have no information whatsoever on which member of D is yours. Now all the dice are simultaneously and independently tossed. Obviously, your probability that your die showed sixes is 1/6.Then the set of…
  • Yet another probability paradox

    23 Oct 2014 | 5:36 am
    You know for sure that infinitely many people, including yourself, each are independently tossing fair coins. You don't see your coin's result. But then you learn for sure something amazing: only finitely many of the coins came up heads. This is extremely unlikely—indeed, by the Law of Large Numbers it has zero probability—but it seems nonetheless possible. What probability should you now assign to your coin being heads? Intuition: Very small, maybe zero, maybe infinitesimal. Here's an argument, however, that you should stick to your guns and continue to assign 1/2. Let F be the…
  • Scoring rules and epistemic rationality

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:21 am
    Scoring rules measures the inaccuracy of one's credences. Roughly, when p is true, and one assigns credence r to p, then a scoring rule measures the distance between r and 1, while when p is false, the scoring rule measures the distance between r and 0. The smaller the score, the better.Some scoring rules are better than others. Let's suppose some scoring rules are right. Then this thesis seems to be implicit in some applications of scoring rules (e.g., here): If S is the right scoring rule, then a credence-assignment policy is epistemically rational only if following the policy minimizes…
  • Hair

    21 Oct 2014 | 5:21 am
    For a while, I've thought that: Hair is not alive. Every part of me is alive. So, hair is not a part of me. This goes against the wisdom embodied in court precedent which has, I understand, held that cutting someone's hair without consent is battery rather than, say, theft.Interestingly, in L'usage de la Raison, Mersenne talks of the human as a microcosm and mentions that humans, like the universe, have non-living parts, and gives hair as an example. So Mersenne denies (2). And on further reflection, I don't think I really had much reason to accept (2). Indeed, there seem to be other clear…
  • Limiting frequencies and probabilities

    20 Oct 2014 | 9:03 am
    You are one of infinitely many blindfolded people arranged in a line with a beginning and no end. Some people have a red hat and others have a white hat. The process by which hat colors were assigned took no account of the order of people. You don't know where you were in the line. Suppose you learn the exact sequence of hat colors, say, RWRRRRWRWRWWWWRWWWR.... But you still don't know your position. What should your probability be that your hat is red?A natural way to answer this is to compute the limiting frequency of reds. Let R(n) be the number of red hats among the first n people, and…
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    The Splintered Mind

  • Philosophical SF: Eighth Batch of Lists (Sullivan, Clarke, Oppenheimer, Bernstein)

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:03 am
    Here is the eighth set of science fiction / speculative fiction recommendations from professional philosophers, out of a projected nine sets. If all goes according to plan, I should have the final list up next Monday, and then I'll start merging them into a mega-list and doing some analysis. A general description of the project, plus the first four lists, from Dever, Powell, Kind, and Horst. Second set: Mandik, E. Kaplan, Evnine, De Cruz. Third set: De Smedt, Bakker, J. Kaplan, Weinberg. Fourth set: Frankish, Blumson, Cash, Keeley. Fifth set: Jollimore, Chalmers, Palma, Schneider. Sixth set:…
  • Why Is It So Fun to Condemn People on Facebook?

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:06 pm
    I'm not hatin' on hatin'. I want to be clear about that up front. Condemning rotten behavior is a crucial moral activity, and Facebook is a powerful means of doing so. My friends' Facebook condemnations of sexism and racism and ableism, for example, have increased my awareness of those issues. And yet... condemning people's bad behavior on Facebook is almost too fun, in a way that niggles at me somehow. Why is it so fun, and what do its pleasures reveal about it? Clearly part of the fun is that you're on a team. You and your friends get to be on the team of the righteous, aligned together…
  • Sci Phi Journal Call for Papers

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Jason Rennie at Sci Phi Journal writes: I'm looking for articles and short fiction for upcoming issues of Sci Phi Journal. The papers need to be at a relativly popular level and need to connect with or explore philosophy through the lens of science fiction or fantasy. I pay 5c a word for submissions that are published and there is a bonus 5c a word if the issue gets to 5000 sales. The articles or stories should be in the 2 – 4k word range but that isn't a strict limit. I do buy reprints but at a lower rate. There is no deadline for submissions, but for any particular issue the deadline is…
  • Philosophical SF: Seventh Batch of Lists (Roy-Faderman, Clark, Schwitzgebel, and Killoren & Murphy)

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:53 pm
    More philosophical SF lists! A general description of the project, plus the first four lists, from Dever, Powell, Kind, and Horst. Second set: Mandik, E. Kaplan, Evnine, De Cruz. Third set: De Smedt, Bakker, J. Kaplan, Weinberg. Fourth set: Frankish, Blumson, Cash, Keeley. Fifth set: Jollimore, Chalmers, Palma, Schneider. Sixth set: Campbell, Cameron, Easwaran, Briggs. As always, readers should feel free to contribute their own recommendations to the comments section of this post or the earlier posts. ---------------------------------------------- List from Ina Roy-Faderman (Instructor of…
  • Philosophical SF: Sixth Batch of Lists (Campbell, Cameron, Easwaran, Briggs)

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    17 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Here’s still another set of four lists of recommended philosophical science fiction / speculative fiction, contributed by professional philosophers. One striking thing to me is that although there are definitely some overlapping works among the lists, there’s quite a bit that doesn’t overlap, and some works that seem to me eminently worthy of inclusion but have not yet appeared among any of the 240 listings, nor in the comments section. There's really an amazing amount out there, when you think about it! A general description of the project, plus the first four lists, from Dever,…
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • Abstract on transcultural psychiatry

    20 Oct 2014 | 1:50 pm
    For personal reasons, my mind is fogged at the moment and whole draft papers, approaching completion, seem to be stuttering towards their ends. And hence I think I need to write a series of fresh abstracts to help me tighten and commit to them. So here is the first for a chapter on transcultural psychiatry.DSM-5 introduces an emphasis on non-Western cultural idioms of mental distress but without making explicit the relation between these and the psychiatric scientific aspirations, such as for their reliability and validity, of the rest of the taxonomy. This paper outlines three possible views…
  • Causality, Teleology and Explanation in Social Sciences

    16 Oct 2014 | 4:13 am
    I came across a seminar given by Prof Ricardo Crespo (IAE Universidad Austral) in the IAS building last night organised by the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) on Causality, Teleology and Explanation in Social Sciences.The abstract ran:This paper argues that four analytical levels may be found in social sciences, including economics –namely, a) a statistical descriptive level, b) a causal explanatory level, c) a teleological explicative level and d) a prescriptive teleological level. Typically, social sciences only consider levels a) and b). The exclusion of level…
  • The Shock of the Real: which welfare interventions work for whom?

    14 Oct 2014 | 4:04 am
    At the end of last week, I took part in a seminar organized in Durham by Jeremy Clarke and Nancy Cartwright concerning the connection between unemployment and mental illness and the contrast between two governmental approaches. The Department for Work and Pensions sees the cause as a moral problem of worklessness and approaches it punitively. The Department for Health sees the underlying cause as a form of illness and thus approaches it medically. This was set out less crudely in one of the briefing papers thus:“In recent years the UK has embarked on two policies simultaneously: welfare…
  • Two short thoughts after the death of my father

    5 Oct 2014 | 10:17 am
    My brother called me an hour ago to tell me that my father, Grahame, had died quite suddenly, albeit in hospital, in front of him. He had complained of feeling ill and then suddenly stopped being alive. (I want to pause in this parenthesis to stress, and to wonder at, the inadequacy of saying, as we tend to, that he has shuffled off this mortal coil, that he is an angler on the lake of darkness. No, the not being rules out all this nonsense. And I recoil from the very thought so just expressed. I write it but cannot - dare to - think it.) Despite worrying fairly constantly about, and thus…
  • Two draft abstracts for presentations in Durham

    18 Sep 2014 | 6:50 am
    6th October:On the role of the Constitutive Ideal of Rationality. Does inter-personal understanding emerge from shared rationality?According to an influential, although contested, thought experiment in the philosophy of language, facts about linguistic meaning and belief contents derive from facts about interpersonal understanding which, in turn, presupposes comparison to an ideal of rationality. Thus, belief and meaning must be essentially rationally structured. This provides a rationale for holding that such understanding emerges from shared rationality. There are, however, two distinct…
 
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    Freemason Information

  • WORKING FOR GOONS

    TimBryce
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON SOCIETY - Making the work environment unbearable. (Click for AUDIO VERSION)To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. One of the reasons Scott Adams’ cartoon, “Dilbert,” is so successful is because it hits close to home in depicting office life. Corporate management is one of Adams’ favorite targets in which they are shown as bumbling idiots. They are very determined in controlling all activities of the business. Their approach is predictably wrong, and they embrace every management fad that comes along. Because of their strong…
  • Who is the better Mason?

    TimBryce
    2 Oct 2014 | 7:54 am
    BRYCE ON FREEMASONRY - The individual or a Lodge officer? I have been wrestling with a conundrum lately regarding Freemasonry: Who is the better Mason, the person who is properly initiated, passed and raised a Master Mason and disappears shortly thereafter, or the Mason who becomes an officer of the Lodge? Let me give you my spin on it. There may be many reasons why a Mason drops out of sight; first, his occupation may require him to work difficult hours or to cause him to move to another locale. As Americans, it is not uncommon for workers to move throughout the country. In my case, I have…
  • WHO HAS GOT YOUR BACK?

    TimBryce
    29 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON BUSINESS - A lesson of loyalty in the workplace, and in life. (Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. In the office, we like to believe our fellow co-workers will back us up when push comes to shove. Actually, we’re being quite naive when this occurs. To illustrate, there was a systems manager in Chicago who had grown weary of the petty politics practiced by his boss, the I.T. Director. Projects were late, none of the systems were integrated, end-users were unhappy, and they found themselves in a constant fire-fighting…
  • NONSENSE SONGS

    TimBryce
    26 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON MUSIC - It is interesting what we remember. (Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. Ever drive along in a car and suddenly an old tune comes to your lips, perhaps something from your childhood? Recently, I found myself blurting out, “Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!” Frankly, I couldn’t remember the name of the song, which I found rather irritating. This caused me to look it up through an Internet search engine. Remarkably, it was: “Three Little Fishes” (click for Lyrics) This was…
  • THERE IS MEANING IN YOUR HANDSHAKE

    TimBryce
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON LIFE - It is not a frivolous gesture, but represents something significant; your word. (Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. If you haven’t noticed, the handshake has been slowly going the way of the Dodo bird. If you watch sporting events, particularly at the youth level, you are more likely to see fist “bumps” or the slapping of hands as opposed to a genuine handshake. These variations of the handshake likely came from pop culture. The handshake originated from Medieval times when combatants would greet…
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    Philosophy News

  • Theses on the Feminist Novel

    24 Oct 2014 | 6:49 pm
    Here’s the thing about feminist novels: If the feminist ambition overrides the narrative ambition, it isn’t a novel. Roxane Gay explains… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Cornel West’s Disappointing Decline

    24 Oct 2014 | 6:49 pm
    From public intellectual to public personality. Cornel West seems more interested in name-dropping and ego-stroking than original thought… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Blinded by Nostalgia

    24 Oct 2014 | 6:48 pm
    In America, left and right alike suffer from a surfeit of nostalgia. Both sides want to salvage an old vision of the future. The result: pessimism and uneasiness… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Lessons from Ebola

    24 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    English: Biosafety level 4 hazmat suit: researcher is working with the Ebola virus (Photo credit: Wikipedia) While Ebola outbreaks are not new, the latest outbreak has provided some important lessons. These lessons are actually nothing new, but the outbreak does provide a focus for discussing them. The first lesson is that most people are very bad at risk assessment. In the Ebola hot spots it is reasonable to be worried about catching Ebola. It is also reasonable to be concerned about the situation in general. However, many politicians, pundits and citizens in the United States are greatly…
  • Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology

    23 Oct 2014 | 6:19 pm
    2014.10.24 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Hagop Sarkissian and Jennifer Cole Wright (eds.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology, Bloomsbury, 2014, 256pp., $112.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781472509383. Reviewed by Jesse S. Summers, Duke University The distinction between moral psychology and moral philosophy has never been a clear one. Observations about what humans are like plays an indispensable role in understanding our moral obligations and virtues, and great swaths of moral philosophy until the 19th century are psychology avant la lettre, empirical speculations about how…
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    The Mindful Word

  • ACTING FOR SELF-REFLECTION: Q&A with actor and mindfulness practitioner Binh Doan

    UB Hawthorn
    24 Oct 2014 | 12:38 pm
    There’s a lot more going on in acting than you might think. Just ask French actor and Plum Village mindfulness practitioner Binh Doan. Though he’s rather new to […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • OWN YOUR ANIMAL: Find your power animal to guide yourself to greater expression

    editor
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:19 pm
    We believe that we are separate from our animal guides. Our perceived separation from power animals is a reflection of how we think we’ve taken ourselves out […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • THE GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: What are you thankful for today?

    Max Reif
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:17 am
    On my Facebook news feed a couple of months ago, I started seeing posts in which people I knew were expressing their gratitude in lists […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • CREATING RITUAL: 7 easy steps to make 2015 your best year yet

    editor
    14 Oct 2014 | 9:13 am
    The following article is excerpted from Your Hidden Riches – Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning. Do you know that there’s […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
  • WHATEVER: How capitalism stops us from learning

    Cindy McMann
    13 Oct 2014 | 1:02 pm
    The classic dilemma of mainstream liberal educational systems today is “how do you get students to care?” There are libraries of books and journals devoted […] Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
 
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    TheYoungSocrates

  • The Life of a Twenty-something

    Rob
    18 Oct 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Most of the people in their early twenties that I have met seem not to know what to do with their lives. They seem to be lost in the vast range of opportunities that they have to pick from. This post focuses at ‘the’ reasons why these ‘twenty-somethings’ feel this way and how they can solve this issue. From Stability to Instability back to Stability Do what the teacher says Let’s start by taking a general perspective on the life of a twenty-something. The issue of what occupation to choose is by no means the only issue a twenty-something has to deal with. In…
  • Sex ever more present in Pop Music: problematic or not?

    Rob
    14 Sep 2014 | 8:32 am
    The prevalence of ‘sex’ in pop music Look at the video clip of Miley Cyrus’s song Wrecking Ball. Now tell me: what do you think? Probably something along the lines of: why is she naked pretty much all time? But while Cyrus’s clip is ‘shocking’, it seems like we have hit a new peak in the prevalence of sex in pop-music. This peak is called Anaconda and its singer Nicki Minaj. The facts It is not only old people who say that today’s music is all about sex. There are data to back up this claim. Psychology professor Dawn R. Hobbs shows in Evolutionary…
  • Top Universities, Reputation and Employers

    Rob
    25 Jun 2014 | 10:18 am
    The University of Cambridge: one of the top universities It is a fact that some universities are more popular among employers than others. See this link for a ranking of the top 10 universities in the world — according to employers in 2013/2014. There are hardly any surprises in this top 10. As always, the University of Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard are included. The question I ask in this post is: based on what criteria does an employer prefer one university to an other? And how reasonable is it for a company to base its preference on these criteria? Admission standards It seems fair…
  • Tobacco Taxation and Autonomy: How do They Add Up?

    Rob
    1 May 2014 | 7:41 pm
    According to a survey held by the British “Action on Smoking and Health” society (the “ASH”) 20% of the British adults smoke. Is this a good thing? I don’t know. I believe that the act of smoking isn’t intrinsically good or bad; it is something that each person should decide for him- or herself. However, what I believe is intrinsically valuable is human autonomy. By autonomy I mean the right each person has to decide form him- or herself how to live his or her life without unjustified intervention from third parties. And it is this latter point I want to draw attention to.
  • Exams In the Summer Term: The Optimal Option?

    Rob
    1 May 2014 | 7:34 pm
    Most universities in the United Kingdom apply what is called the “trimester-structure”: the division of the academic year into a Michaelmas, Lent and Summer Term. In general, although this differs per program and per university, it is the case that by far most of the examinations are due in the Summer Term. The question is: is this the optimal educational structure? There are, I think, at least two main problems with the structure as it is currently being applied: one regarding its didactic implications, and one regarding its (in)efficiency. Let’s start with the didactics. As numerous…
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • Another Small Milestone

    Marcus Arvan
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:53 am
    I'm happy to report that the Philosophers' Cocoon surpassed 500,000 visitors today, and would like to thank everyone--contributors and readers alike--for helping to make the Cocoon such a great community. We are now averaging between 800-1,500 visits per day, and, with an ever-expanding list of contributors and our new Featured Author series, I for one am very encouraged by the way the Cocoon is developing! 
  • Michael Rea on the philosophy profession and personal integrity

    Helen De Cruz
    23 Oct 2014 | 7:19 am
    I can't remember when it was, this Lent or last Lent, when philosopher of religion that I am facebook friends with (whose identity I will not reveal, as the post wasn't public) wrote (paraphrasing): "I'd like us to pray for our profession during this period, especially with all the ugly things that have come to light." I found this striking (and a beautiful intention too) and it sheds some light how, for this person, philosophy and personal beliefs interrelate. I am currently in the process of writing up a paper on a qualitative survey I conducted with philosophers of…
  • A non-funded project on deontic logic ---And some general notes on peer-reviewing projects

    Elisa Freschi
    22 Oct 2014 | 4:10 am
    I have already written about the importance of writing project applications for European scholars. For people who do not have a tenure (i.e., the very vast majority of scholars and the almost-totality of scholars under 40), projects are the only way to get their research financed, since it is very difficult or almost impossible to survive out of teaching alone. Recently, a personal experience made me reflect on the ethics of peer-reviewing research projects. At least in part, my reflections harmonise with the ones Marcus, Moti and others have spelt out, on this and other platforms, concerning…
  • Job market questions?

    Marcus Arvan
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:31 am
    Now that the job market is upon us, and deadlines rapidly approaching, I thought it might be good to have a post soliciting job-market questions from readers. Questions may be about anything: dossier materials, which jobs to apply for, etc.  Here are a few questions I have right offhand: What is one to make of jobs that only allow three reference-letters to be uploaded? It seems a bit strange to me to limit the evidence that a candidate might submit on their own behalf in favor of their candidacy. Anyway, if you're a candidate who has multiple letters, and you can't read your own…
  • Some things never change: an amusing Frege/Wittgenstein anecdote

    Marcus Arvan
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:18 am
    I was re-reading Ray Monk's Wittgenstein this weekend, and couldn't help but find the following chain of events amusing: After rejecting [an] offer to publish [the Tractatus] if he would pay for the printing, [Wittgenstein] asked Frege to investigate the possibility of having it published in the same journal that had published Frege's article. Frege's reply was not greatly encouraging. He could, he told Wittgenstein, write to the editor of the journal and tell him: 'that I have learnt to know you as a thinker to be taken thoroughly seriously'. But: 'Of…
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    Re-constructing Strategy

  • Democracy … Advancing Into Stagnation

    saqib qureshi
    28 Sep 2014 | 3:57 pm
    Out here in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), we are in the midst of our political elections. They are quite similar to political elections in any major Western democracy, and as such they unfortunately suffer from the same stagnation and disenchantment which we are witnessing worldwide in advanced democracies. Up for grabs in the GTA in October are the posts of Mayor, Town Councillors and Regional Councillors. Elected every four years, these chaps have a big say on what services are provided and how public funds are deployed. In my town of Markham, a dozen or so officials are hoping to be…
  • Why Does The US Irk At ISIS?

    saqib qureshi
    21 Sep 2014 | 6:56 pm
    It’s an odd question to ask but one that I threw out at a friend who’s quite involved in US foreign policy. His answer was predictable and frankly shallow: ISIS was guilty of mass human rights atrocities and no civilized country could allow for it continue, it had to be stopped. In fact, it had to be destroyed. I couldn’t disagree with what he said. ISIS is a nasty piece of work. Every armed forces has its lunatic fringe, the guys who like killing for its own sake. This is the first armed forces I’ve come across which is proud to advertise its killing of innocent people. Given that…
  • The Great Canadian Retail Scam

    saqib qureshi
    14 Sep 2014 | 6:27 pm
    Living in Toronto now for more than three years, I’ve not yet got my head around two aspects of its retail world. First, that almost everything here is sold at a higher price than in the nearest American city, Buffalo, which according to Google Maps is a mere 99 mile road journey away. Second, that most Torontonians are quite content in paying the difference. There’s actually a third enigma, being how the Toronto Maple Leafs generate so much retail revenue despite having won nothing in almost five decades… but let’s not go there for now. Let’s explore the first conundrum.
  • The Race Card

    saqib qureshi
    7 Sep 2014 | 1:39 pm
    My summer blogging retreat was a valuable opportunity to reflect and reassess, and the conflict between Hamas and Israel provided ample fuel for just that. While the war transformed from the murder of three innocent teenagers to the murder of hundreds of innocent teenagers, and men, women and children, I was increasingly struck by something that should have been very obvious. Almost every Jewish person I knew, from the cluttered idiot to the ivory tower academic, supported, defended or excused Israeli policy. Yes there were exceptions, but the vast majority of Jews supported Israel’s…
  • Gaza: It’s Our Bias

    saqib qureshi
    11 Aug 2014 | 12:57 am
    Against the backdrop of the awful crisis in Gaza, I have been on a bit of an introspective journey. In fact, I’ve found myself dealing with issues of racism and religious bias more profoundly than I can ever recall. I’ve had to arrest myself more than a few times while nearly 2,000 people have died in Gaza. And given that I have quite a bit of living experience in the Middle East, one of the world’s most racially stratified regions, and completed my formal academic training at LSE’s International Relations department that says something. It’s more than a coincidence that almost all…
 
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