Philosophy

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  • Statement on CU-Boulder

    Feminist Philosophers
    philodaria
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:45 pm
    H/T Daily Nous, Carol Cleland, Alison Jaggar, Mi-Kyoung Lee, Claudia Mills, from CU Boulder have published a statement in the Daily Camera: We are the tenured women professors, and a professor emerita, in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Over the years, students and faculty in our department, mostly but not only women, have made numerous complaints about unprofessional behavior by certain members of the department. Many of the complaints focused on sexual misconduct, but others included violations of harassment policy, including its anti-retaliation clause,…
  • Torture

    Talking Philosophy
    Mike LaBossiere
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    English: John McCain official photo portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In December of 2014 the US Senate issued its report on torture. While there has been some criticism of the report, the majority of pundits and politicians have not come out in defense of torture. However, there have been attempts to justify the use of torture and this essay will address some of these arguments. One criticism of the report is not a defense of torture as such. The talking point is a question, typically of the form “why bring this up now?” The argument lurking behind this point seems to be that since the…
  • Editorial: 2014's Big Ideas

    iai.tv news RSS feed
    Editor
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:30 pm
    We live in an age of big science. But 2014 was the year that philosophy fought back. The year began on IAI News with Peter Hacker’s agenda-setting Why Study Philosophy? In it, he argued that philosophy is the only discipline able to patrol the borders between sense and nonsense. Philosophy’s great task, he writes, “is to function as a Tribunal of Sense”. Only philosophy can decide what makes sense, not science. Two interviews on IAI News provide exemplary illustrations of Hacker’s argument. First, we spoke to the ever-combative Mary Midgley about the materialist dogma that dominates…
  • Come On People: Let’s Cut the Crap!

    TheYoungSocrates
    Rob
    18 Dec 2014 | 1:09 pm
    This is a plea against humanity and its deeply ingrained narrow-mindedness. For as long as we can remember it has been the same old story: people have different beliefs –> people believe that only their beliefs are true –> people feel endangered by other people’s beliefs –> people find it okay to attack those who have different beliefs. This is the ever repeating cycle of human ignorance: a cycle we – apparently – cannot escape. Just when we think we’ve figured it all out, just when we believe peace is within reach, a new group of people…
  • Why Discrimination Is Reasonable According to Karl Popper

    TheYoungSocrates
    Rob
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:11 am
    A while ago, I had a discussion with a friend of mine: we were talking about how people from different cultures interacted with each other. My friend claimed – and he was quite serious about it – that ‘All Moroccans are aggressive’. ‘How do you know?”‘ I asked him, ‘Have you met all Moroccans?’. ‘No’, he said, ‘but the ones I’ve met, were all aggressive’. And while he said this, an idea popped into my mind: Karl Popper and his falsification theory. And I came to a rather unexpected conclusion… You…
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Imprecise Probabilities

    Seamus Bradley
    20 Dec 2014 | 1:34 pm
    [New Entry by Seamus Bradley on December 20, 2014.] It has been argued that imprecise probabilities are a natural and intuitive way of overcoming some of the issues with orthodox precise probabilities. Models of this type have a long pedigree, and interest in such models has been growing in recent years. This article introduces the theory of imprecise probabilities, discusses the motivations for their use and their possible advantages over the standard precise model. It then discusses some philosophical issues raised by this model....
  • Afterlife

    William Hasker and Charles Taliaferro
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:01 pm
    [Revised entry by William Hasker and Charles Taliaferro on December 18, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] One of the points where there is a significant, long-lasting intersection of the interests of many philosophers with the interests of many people of all kinds and conditions concerns the nature and significance of death. How should we understand the mortality of all living things and, closer to home, how should we understand our own mortality? Is it possible for persons to survive biological death? This is a topic that has occupied both analytic and continental philosophy in the…
  • Zhuangzi

    Chad Hansen
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    [Revised entry by Chad Hansen on December 17, 2014. Changes to: 0] Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu 莊子 "Master Zhuang" late 4th century BC) is the pivotal figure in Classical Philosophical Daoism. The Zhuangzi is a compilation of his and others' writings at the pinnacle of the philosophically subtle Classical period in China (5th - 3rd century BC). The period was marked by humanist and naturalist reflections on normativity shaped by the metaphor of a dao - a social or a natural path. Traditional...
  • Voluntary Euthanasia

    Robert Young
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:37 pm
    [Revised entry by Robert Young on December 16, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The entry sets out five conditions often said to be necessary for anyone to be a candidate for legalized voluntary euthanasia (and, with appropriate qualifications, physician-assisted suicide), outlines the moral case advanced by those in favor of legalizing voluntary euthanasia, and discusses the five most important objections made by those who deny that voluntary euthanasia is morally permissible and who are, in consequence, opposed to its being legalized....
  • Nationalism

    Nenad Miscevic
    15 Dec 2014 | 9:06 pm
    [Revised entry by Nenad Miscevic on December 15, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The term "nationalism" is generally used to describe two phenomena: (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity, and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination. (1) raises questions about the concept of a nation (or national identity), which is often defined in terms of common origin, ethnicity, or cultural ties, and specifically about whether an individual's membership in a nation should…
 
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    Talking Philosophy

  • Beef

    Mike LaBossiere
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, published in 1975, became pivotal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One of the challenges presented by the ever-growing human population is producing enough food to feed everyone. There is also the distribution challenge: being able to get the food to the people and ensuring that they can afford a good diet. The population growth is also accompanied by an increase in prosperity—at least in some parts of the world. As people gain income, they tend to change their diet. One change that people commonly undertake is consuming more status foods, such as beef. As…
  • Torture

    Mike LaBossiere
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    English: John McCain official photo portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In December of 2014 the US Senate issued its report on torture. While there has been some criticism of the report, the majority of pundits and politicians have not come out in defense of torture. However, there have been attempts to justify the use of torture and this essay will address some of these arguments. One criticism of the report is not a defense of torture as such. The talking point is a question, typically of the form “why bring this up now?” The argument lurking behind this point seems to be that since the…
  • The Slogan-Industrial Complex

    Mike LaBossiere
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    University of South Florida Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Higher education in the United States has been pushed steadily towards the business model. One obvious example of this is the brand merchandizing of schools. In 2011, schools licensed their names and logos for a total of $4.6 billion. Inspired by this sort of brand-based profits, schools started trademarking their slogans. Impressively, there are over 10,000 trademarked slogans. These slogans include “project safety” (University of Texas), “ready to be heard” (Chatham University), “power” (University of North Dakota),…
  • Avoiding the AI Apocalypse #1: Don’t Enslave the Robots

    Mike LaBossiere
    15 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/145061820 The elimination of humanity by artificial intelligence(s) is a rather old theme in science fiction. In some cases, we create killer machines that exterminate our species. Two examples of fiction in this are Terminator and “Second Variety.” In other cases, humans are simply out-evolved and replaced by machines—an evolutionary replacement rather than a revolutionary extermination. Given the influence of such fiction, is not surprising that both Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have warned the world of the dangers of artificial intelligence.
  • Review of Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy

    Mike LaBossiere
    13 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy Christopher Robichaud (Editor) $17.95 August, 2014 As a professional philosopher, I am often wary of “pop philosophy”, mainly because it is rather like soda pop: it is intended for light consumption. But, like soda, some of it is quite good and some of it is just sugary junk that will do little but rot your teeth (or mind). As a professional author in the gaming field, I am generally wary of attempts by philosophers to write philosophically about a game. While a philosopher might be adept at philosophy and might even know how to read a d4, works…
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    AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

  • Question about Ethics - Oliver Leaman responds

    18 Dec 2014 | 11:43 am
    What would a consequentialist say about acts that have seemingly moral dimensions but no apparent consequences? For instance, it seems wrong to wish for something really bad to happen to someone (e.g. to be hit by a car), but if this wish has no impact on what actually happens, it seems it cannot be wrong due to its consequences. Response from: Oliver Leaman Well, having bad feelings about other people may not directly impact on them, but it impacts on us, and this has consequences. For example, the more we contemplate their undoing the more we accustom ourselves to think approvingly of…
  • Question about Language - Stephen Maitzen responds

    18 Dec 2014 | 10:59 am
    My reductionist friend argues that rice noodles are not noodles since the very first noodles ever made and the noodles most commonly eaten around the world are made from wheat by definition. That is to say, the term "rice noodles" is an oxymoron, much like "vodka martini" so just how valid is it to argue about features of rice noodles such as length, taste, and texture in order to conclude that noodles made from a different ingredient really are noodles? Response from: Stephen Maitzen I would question your friend's claim that "the very first noodles ever made and the noodles most commonly…
  • Question about Ethics - Allen Stairs responds

    11 Dec 2014 | 10:21 am
    I'm a first year philosophy student and I really don't understand what it means when philosophers present the three usual normative ethics of Aristotelian, utilitarianism, and deontology. If all three are equally valid, then that would seem to imply that there are no moral truths and utilitarianism wins out. If there are moral truths, then it would seem deontology takes precedent. But if all three are not equally valid and there are not moral truths, does Aristotelian ethics win out by virtue of elimination? If so why bother teaching the other two? Response from: Allen Stairs Philosophical…
  • Question about Rationality - Allen Stairs responds

    9 Dec 2014 | 8:25 am
    Is there any way to prove that you are telling the truth when it seems false to others? Response from: Allen Stairs My answer is bound to disappoint, but here goes anyway.The obvious options for proving that I'm telling the truth are 1) to give reasons for thinking what I say is actually true, 2) to give reasons for thinking that I'm honest and 3) to give people a basis for doubting their own reasons for doubting me.1) The best way to prove that you're telling the truth is to give people good reasons to believe that what you're saying is actually true. Unfortunately, in some cases this is…
  • Question about Logic, Religion - Charles Taliaferro responds

    7 Dec 2014 | 1:56 pm
    I'm developing a rebuttal to Biblical literalists and I'd like to know whether the following is a recognized/named type of syllogism or other type of argument (and if so, what it's called): Verse X prophesied that would happen happened in verse Y Therefore, the prophecy was fulfilled (If this is not a recognized/named type of syllogism or other type of argument, could it be made so by adding one or two lines?) Response from: Charles Taliaferro This is still a little confusing to me, but I take it that you may be looking for the term:Vaticinium ex eventuThis occurs when a writer (whether…
 
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    Ethics Etc

  • Interview with Newsweek about Geoengineering and Human Engineering

    S. Matthew Liao
    17 Dec 2014 | 10:16 am
    Readers of Ethics Etc might be interested in Newsweek’s cover story in December entitled “Planet Reboot: Fighting Climate Change With Geoengineering,” in which they interviewed me about whether human engineering may be less risky than geoengineering as a means of mitigating the effects of climate change. The online version can be found here: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/12/12/can-geoengineering-save-earth-28912 4.html
  • CFP: Marc Sanders Prize in Metaethics

    S. Matthew Liao
    17 Dec 2014 | 9:56 am
    In keeping with its mission of encouraging and recognizing excellence in philosophy, The Marc Sanders Foundation seeks to highlight the importance of ongoing support for the work of younger scholars. As part of this commitment, the Foundation has dedicated resources to an ongoing essay competition, designed to promote excellent research and writing in metaethics on […]
  • CFP: Giving for Global Poverty Relief: Ethical and Empirical Dimensions

    S. Matthew Liao
    17 Dec 2014 | 9:47 am
    Stanford University April 8th-9th, 2015 Sponsored by: The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society The McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University Keynote Speaker: Peter Singer (Princeton University and University of Melbourne) It is widely acknowledged that global poverty is a matter of great moral concern, and that efforts to alleviate it […]
  • CFP: 3rd Annual Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy

    S. Matthew Liao
    28 Nov 2014 | 11:28 am
    Date: September 18th-20th, 2015 Location: Syracuse University A selection of the papers presented at the workshop will be published by Oxford University Press in a new series Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, which will be edited by David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne and Steven Wall. There will be nine speakers including: • Elizabeth Anderson (Keynote), University […]
  • CFP: Virtue and Emotions

    S. Matthew Liao
    28 Nov 2014 | 11:20 am
    Guest Editor: Kevin Timpe (Northwest Nazarene University) Deadline for Submission: February 1, 2015 Prize: $3,000 Call for Papers Res Philosophica invites papers on the topic of virtue and the emotions for the 2015 Res Philosophica Essay Prize. The author of the winning paper will receive a prize of $3,000 and publication in the associated special […]
 
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    Philosophical Review current issue

  • Nonclassical Minds and Indeterminate Survival

    Williams, J. R. G.
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:47 am
    Revisionary theories of logic or truth require revisionary theories of mind. This essay outlines nonclassically based theories of rational belief, desire, and decision making, singling out the supervaluational family for special attention. To see these nonclassical theories of mind in action, this essay examines a debate between David Lewis and Derek Parfit over what matters in survival. Lewis argued that indeterminacy in personal identity allows caring about psychological connectedness and caring about personal identity to amount to the same thing. The essay argues that Lewis's treatment of…
  • Berkeley's Idealism: A Critical Examination

    Winkler, K. P.
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:47 am
  • On the Very Idea of Direction of Fit

    Frost, K.
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:47 am
    Direction of fit theories usually claim that beliefs are such that they "aim at truth" or "ought to fit" the world and desires (or intentions) are such that they "aim at realization" or the world "ought to fit" them. This essay argues that no theory of direction of fit is correct. The two directions of fit are supposed to be determinations of one and the same determinable two-place relation, differing only in the ordering of favored terms. But there is no such determinable because of ineliminable asymmetries between the way that beliefs "aim at truth" and the way that desires (or intentions)…
  • The Development of Ethics: A Historical and Critical Study

    Garrett, A.
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:47 am
  • Aspects of Mathematical Explanation: Symmetry, Unity, and Salience

    Lange, M.
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:47 am
    Unlike explanation in science, explanation in mathematics has received relatively scant attention from philosophers. Whereas there are canonical examples of scientific explanations (as well as canonical examples of nonexplanations, such as "the flagpole," "the eclipse," and "the barometer"), there are few (if any) examples that have become widely accepted as exhibiting the distinction between mathematical proofs that explain why some mathematical theorem holds and proofs that merely prove that the theorem holds without revealing the reason why it holds. This essay offers some examples of…
 
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    Feminist Philosophers

  • Statement on CU-Boulder

    philodaria
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:45 pm
    H/T Daily Nous, Carol Cleland, Alison Jaggar, Mi-Kyoung Lee, Claudia Mills, from CU Boulder have published a statement in the Daily Camera: We are the tenured women professors, and a professor emerita, in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Over the years, students and faculty in our department, mostly but not only women, have made numerous complaints about unprofessional behavior by certain members of the department. Many of the complaints focused on sexual misconduct, but others included violations of harassment policy, including its anti-retaliation clause,…
  • Gender Bias in Technology

    Stacey Goguen
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:01 pm
    The Atlantic published an article this week about issues of gender bias in technology. Check it out here. “[…] Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi bragged that the app [Apple Health] would let users “monitor all of your metrics that you’re most interested in. As promised, Health is a powerful app. It allows users to track everything from calories to electrodermal activity to heart rate to blood alcohol content to respiratory rate to daily intake of chromium. But there’s a notable exception. Apple Health doesn’t track menstruation, an…
  • CFP: Intersectionality, Work and Gender (Journal)

    Stacey Goguen
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:38 pm
    Volume 9 No 2 of Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation will be a special themed issue on Intersectionality, Work and Globalisation. The paradigm of intersectionality developed by race relations activists and feminist theorists has been popularised beyond institutional frontiers and these important developments have produced significant insights alongside single equality strands such as gender, age, race, class, sexuality (Tomlinson, 2013). McCall has claimed that intersectionality is ‘the most important theoretical contribution that Women’s Studies in conjunction with related…
  • The REF and temporary staff

    Monkey
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:26 pm
    Folks might be interested in signing this petition… More and more university lecturers and researchers are now employed on short-term contracts that force them to spend huge amounts of time looking for their next job and to move constantly from one place to another. Among the many ways these people are exploited is that universities hire them on short-term contracts just before the REF; now, when we are reacting to the REF results, it is easy to forget that some of the people responsible for certain universities’ success have already lost their jobs at those universities. The next REF…
  • Philosophers from low-income and working class backgrounds

    magicalersatz
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:15 am
    There’s a fantastic discussion going on at Daily Nous about the largely overlooked topic of philosophers from low-income and working class backgrounds. It’s something that hasn’t been talked about much in recent discussions of under-representation in philosophy, but it no doubt is something that can contribute to experiences of alienation and impostor syndrome in academia.
 
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    Gender, Race and Philosophy: The Blog

  • WiPhi lectures on race

    Sally
    12 Dec 2014 | 7:37 am
    CFP: Philosophy of Race and WiPhi   Wireless Philosophy (WiPhi) is an online project that introduces people to the practice of philosophy by making videos that are freely available in a form that is entertaining, interesting, and accessible to people with no background in the subject. This Spring WiPhi hopes to release a series of about 8-10 videos on topics in Philosophy of Race. For this series, we are looking for introductory-level videos like "Introduction to Philosophy of Race," "What is Race?" and "Race and Identity." We hope to bring our audience into…
  • Call for Papers: Perspectives on Gender

    Sally
    14 May 2014 | 12:53 pm
    Perspectives on Gender October 24th-25th, 2014University of California, Irvinewww.perspectivesongender.comIn light of recent national attention given to the status of women in thefield of philosophy, this conference aims to promote open andmulti-disciplinary discussion of issues related to gender. We plan toexchange views on a variety of topics organized under our conferencethemes of gender and knowledge, gender and social justice, gender andscience, and gender and discrimination.  Central goals of the conferenceare to encourage discussion in the face of disagreement and a commitmentto…
  • Hypatia Special Issue: Interstices: Inheriting Women of Color Feminist Philosophy

    Ron Sundstrom
    18 Mar 2014 | 10:16 am
    Hypatia's special issue, edited by Kristie Dotson, on Interstices: Inheriting Women of Color Feminist Philosophy has been released and the articles can be accessed for free for a short time.
  • DuBois Review Issue on Intersectionality

    Sally
    24 Feb 2014 | 9:16 am
    DU BOIS REVIEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH ON RACE, VOLUME 10 - ISSUE 02 INTERSECTIONALITY: MAPPING THE MOVEMENTS OF A THEORY Table of Contents INTERSECTIONALITY, Devon W. Carbado and Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw and Vickie M. Mays and Barbara Tomlinson MOVEMENT INTERSECTIONALITY, Dorothy Roberts and Sujatha Jesudason UNTANGLING THE RACIALIZATION OF DISABILITIES,  Alfredo J. Artiles INTERSECTIONALITY AND SOCIAL EXPLANATION IN SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH, Averil Y. Clarke and Leslie McCall HOW PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE IMPEDES INTERSECTIONAL THINKING, Phillip Atiba Goff and Kimberly Barsamian Kahn…
  • PIKSI 2014 Call for Graduate Assistants

    Sally
    20 Jan 2014 | 7:33 am
    2014 Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) Graduate Assistants Call for Applications Deadline: March 1, 2014 The seventh annual meeting of Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) will take place from June 14—June 21, on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA. At least two graduate students will assist Ellen Feder, who will direct the Institute this year. In addition, one graduate assistant will come from the Penn State philosophy department. We expect that, as was the case in previous summers, the home institution of the…
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • The undergraduate seminar paper

    Michael Cholbi
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:48 am
    For the first time in a long time, I have the opportunity to teach a bona fide seminar. The "seminar paper" is a pretty ubiquitous feature of that experience. But to my surprise, I've never thought very explicitly about what an undergraduate seminar paper is supposed to be. So I'm interested in how all of you have explained this to your students: What's its main rhetorical function? What's the proposed length? What are the main components?Thanks!
  • Announcing new Wilson Prize for essay on philosophy teaching

    Michael Cholbi
    30 Nov 2014 | 11:55 am
    Teaching Philosophy is pleased to announce a new essay prize, the Arnold Wilson Prize. Details here and below the fold. Teaching Philosophy is pleased to announced the establishment of the Arnold Wilson Prize. The prize will be awarded within one year of a topic being announced for the best essay concerning an issue related to the significance, goals, or nature of philosophy teaching. The winning essay will receive a $1,000 prize, along with publication in Teaching Philosophy. Entries besides the essay selected for the prize may also be published in the journal. The…
  • Diagnosing and treating students at risk of doing badly in logic: a request.

    Harry Brighouse
    21 Nov 2014 | 1:28 pm
    My friend Tony Laden, who is chair at University of Illinois, Chicago, requested that I pass on the request below. It's something that I imagine most Philosophy departments have to deal with, and I hope some have useful resources: if so, this would be a good place to provide them. Here's the request:Our department is looking for ways to help the large number of our students who struggle every term in introductory logic (failing to receive a C or better, and thus failing to satisfy the College’s quantitative reasoning requirement).  We have secured funding for an extra TA line to run…
  • Specs grading?

    Michael Cholbi
    19 Nov 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Curious to know if anyone out there has experimented with what Linda Nilson is calling "specs grading"? It seems to be a combination of mastery grading, a pass-fail only system, and grading that reflects accumulated knowledge. I'm intrigued and would be interested to hear directly about instructor experiences with this.
  • Why undergrad teaching is not a "necessary evil"

    Michael Cholbi
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:19 am
    Over at Philosophers' Cocoon, Marcus Arvan expounds on how we should see undergraduate teaching as something more than a "necessary evil" we tolerate in order to engage in philosophical research. (How come no one ever says we tolerate undergrad teaching in order to do university service?!)Marcus observes that teaching demands that we set aside jargon and get back to intellectual basics. This forces us to grasp, in a non-technical and intuitive way, what's appealing and unappealing about a philosophical position or claim: when teaching Kant's moral/practical philosophy, it's really easy…
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    Philosophy by the Way

  • My main website temporarily off line

    14 Dec 2014 | 4:18 pm
    By a serious mistake of my Internet provider KPN my main website is temporarily inaccessible. My website went off line on November 25 and it is incomprehensible for me why KPN hasn't yet restored it. When trying to get it back, I am sent from pillar to post and back. It's Kafka in due form. Anyway, my other websites and webpages are on line as usual. See the right colomn on this page. Enjoy them!As a consequence, also my Montaigne bibliography (1600 entries!) is off line. If you want to use it, please send me a message (post a comment; by Twitter; etc.)
  • When prophecy fails (2)

    14 Dec 2014 | 4:15 pm
    If you are a bit interested in psychology and especially in social psychology, I think that the first thing you will think of when hearing the name of Leon Festinger is “cognitive dissonance”. It is the central concept in a theory that he developed with his team. In a nutshell, the theory says that we try to adapt our interpretation of the facts to our beliefs if the facts don’t fit the beliefs, while to an outsider the other way round would seem more rational. Of course, adapting your beliefs (and the actions that follow from them) to the facts is also a kind of dissonance reduction,…
  • Reality behind words

    7 Dec 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Tranchée de la Soif (Trench of Thirst) near St. Mihiel, FranceWhen we read about what happened, reality is often screened off by a factual description and by figures. What has happened looks often so simple as if there is not much emotion and misery behind it or, otherwise, as if not much joy is involved. In history books war is usually reduced to political conflicts and negotiations, to military movements, strategy and tactics, and to dates. As if not many soldiers were involved with their daily pains and sorrows, not to speak of the inhabitants of the invaded countries and their destroyed…
  • Passages (4)

    30 Nov 2014 | 4:02 pm
    Passages, as I can summarize the past three blogs, are a kind of non-places where you have to spend some time when being between a past destination (the place you left) and a future destination (the place of your planned arrival); that are ahistoric; and that make you into an isolated no-one (someone with no identity without any relations with the others around unless they are your “co-passengers”, i.e. the people you are travelling with or what else you are doing there in the passage-space). Moreover, passages are constructed non-places: they have been made as passages as ways for…
  • Passages (3)

    23 Nov 2014 | 4:32 pm
    Self-made passagePassages in the sense of non-places as I have discussed them in my last blogs are a modern phenomenon. In pre-modern times they hardly existed, if they existed at all. The reason is that they do not come into being in a natural way as a consequence of the daily contacts of men with each other but they are planned. Passages are consciously made in order to deal with the growing number of people that want to do the same thing and in order to steer people gently where the planners want to have them and in the way the planners have determined. That’s why passages are a typical…
 
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    Jon Cogburn's Blog

  • Shalom Lappin on RAE/REF (hat-tip Helen De Cruz)

    Jon Cogburn
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:42 am
    Shalom Lappin is one of the linguists who should be required reading in advanced philosophy of language courses. Among other things, he helped put several dozen of the last nails in Chomsky's last (the sixth, seventh, or eighth, depending on how you count) syntactic framework, edited a semantics anthology that remains canonical over fifteen years after publication (which showed philosophers how Montague actually played the role we often attribute to Davidson), with Fiona Cowie (seperate book) helped demolish arguments for linguistic nativism, and does all sorts of interesting work on his…
  • Pallas on facebook

    Jon Cogburn
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:23 pm
    A thought-provoking comment by Pallas to my earlier post about what's happened to philosophymetametablog. Hi, Jon et al. On this 'moving to Facebook' thing: I can see some of the motivation, but I think we have reason to be uncomfortable with the suggestion. One of the great things the blogs opened up, for all their defects, is an end to some of the elitist insularity that came with being not only a professional philosopher but the sort of philosopher other philosophers ever listened to. Yes, I know there have been bad aspects to the blogs as well, but they did at least offer a…
  • FWIW

    Jon Cogburn
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:48 am
    During the recent Leiter imbroglio it was clear to me that a lot of the stuff that used to happen on blogs is happening on facebook. So after a relevant comment by Mark Silcox in reaction to this post, I'm giving it another go. I'm going to keep this place going and not going to do any stand-alone posts at facebook, but it will be nice to follow what other people are doing in facebook-world. I'd be really happy to get friend requests from any of the people who post comments here or who used to post comments at newapps.
  • Hate group to lead huge prayer rally at LSU to burnish Bobby Jindal's non-existent chance of becoming the next US President

    Jon Cogburn
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:04 am
    Our local newspaper has been doing a pretty decent job covering the controversy surrounding next months Bobby Jindal/American Family Association's "prayer rally" at LSU. The comments under this story are heartening. LSU's Faculty Senate is putting together a bill denouncing the American Family Association. I should make it clear that we are not trying to put a political litmus test on who gets to rent LSU facilities, but rather make it clear to the world that the LSU faculty and students reject hate and do all we can to maintain a supporting environment where all of our…
  • How philosophy meta-meta-blog became a toxic mess, and a hypothesis about why things are moving to facebook

    Jon Cogburn
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:27 am
    The most salient difference between the old philosophy meta-blog (PMB) and the new philosophy meta-meta-blog (PMMB) is that named philosophers were willing to comment on PMB and they aren't on the new one. I think this is for a few reasons. At the PMB Glaucon would start the threads by reacting to something else going on in the philosophical blogosphere, and his lead would generate conversations about things other than the supposed perfidy of academic feminism. Enough people found those topics interesting that there was a plurality of people not obsessed with feminism who would correct…
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    Continental Philosophy

  • What is the Creative Act? – Gilles Deleuze (1987)

    James Luchte
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:42 pm
    What is the Creative Act? – Gilles Deleuze (1987) Description (You Tube): This 45 minute talk at a conference in 1987 on the “act of creation” in cinema is perhaps the most intimate capture of Gilles Deleuze on film besides the Abécédaire interview. Gilles Deleuze speaks continuously and fluidly in a raspy but gentle and sincere voice that betrays much reverence for the work of figures such as Bresson and Kurosawa, particularly as concerns what Deleuze claims to be an absolute need of theirs to adapt the works of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky for film. Other figures discussed…
  • A CALL FOR PAPERS: The Public and the Private

    James Luchte
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:35 pm
    A CALL FOR PAPERS: The Public & the Private Accepting papers for the Graduate Student Conference at the Catholic University of America, School of Philosophy. Listed below is information about the conference and a call for papers. Luke Russell Co-Chair Graduate Student Conference Catholic University of America A CALL FOR PAPERS The Public and The Private A Graduate Student Conference in Philosophy Catholic University of America March 20 & 21, 2015 The distinction between the public and the private has interested philosophers from Plato to Augustine, and from early modern political…
  • Luce Irigaray Circle Conference: Topologies of Sexual Difference – Melbourne – 10-12 Dec 2014

    James Luchte
    9 Dec 2014 | 9:24 am
    Luce Irigaray Circle Conference, Melbourne, Australia. Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 December 2014     The Communication, Politics and Culture Research Centre at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, with the support of the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, will host an interdisciplinary conference inspired by Luce Irigaray and her thinking of sexual difference. This will be the seventh meeting of the Luce Irigaray Circle. The overall theme for the conference will be “Topologies of Sexual Difference.”  In order to think and to experience sexual difference,…
  • 2014 – ACU Melbourne – ASCP Conference 4-6 December 2014

    James Luchte
    2 Dec 2014 | 2:39 pm
    The ASCP Conference is held annually by the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy. Held over three days, the conference brings together academics and postgraduate students working in philosophy and cognate disciplines across a diverse range of traditions within Continental philosophy (broadly conceived). The 2014 ASCP Conference will be hosted by Australian Catholic University on its Melbourne (Fitzroy) campus over 4-6 December, 2014.   Visit Conference Website @ ACU Keynote Speakers: Lee Braver (University of South Florida) Kevin Hart (University of Virginia, and Australian…
  • Foucault, Subjectivity and Truth – A Lecture by Stuart Elden

    James Luchte
    17 Nov 2014 | 1:03 pm
    Foucault, Subjectivity and Truth – A Lecture by Stuart Elden
 
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    In Living Color

  • Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses

    1 Dec 2014 | 11:43 am
    Every week there's another appalling story about the way college campuses deal with sexual misconduct.  A Rolling Stone investigation of UVA shows that on some campuses there's not much of a response even if  a student complains of being gang raped by seven men at a frat party. Among many astonishing details in the story: there were 38 allegations of sexual assault in a recent one year period at
  • "I should but I'm not going to"

    1 Dec 2014 | 9:17 am
    This phrase intrigues me, every time I think about the fact that I'm not a vegan. Here are some interesting and relevant reflections from someone who's neither a vegan nor a vegetarian.
  • Bedtime Stories

    12 Nov 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift ask an interesting question about conferring advantage on children in their new book Family Values.  We do all sorts of things that confer advantage, from reading kids bedtime stories to sending them to private schools.  All these things get in the way of fair equality of opportunity, they say, giving children a leg up just because they happen to be born into
  • Well-Being

    3 Nov 2014 | 9:44 am
    My review of Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life, by Neera K. Badhwar, is at Notre Dame Philosophy Reviews. 
  • Prague Restaurants and the Duties of Adult Children

    3 Nov 2014 | 9:42 am
    So we were in Prague last summer and discovered this thing called a "table charge."  I'm not really sure exactly what it is, but here's one possibility--the table charge is for stuff that's standardly put on the table--bread, water, a spot of liqueur after the meal.  I thought it was pretty annoying, because I wasn't given a choice whether to order that stuff or not. The prices on the menu
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    Stephen Law

  • My response to THEOS essay claiming humanism needs Christianity

    8 Dec 2014 | 6:07 am
    Here is my response to the new THEOS essay on why Humanists should be Christians. Posted at CFI blogs.
  • "But it Fits!' Douglas Adams' puddle and Ken Ham's creationism. How it all 'fits'! My latest blog post at CFI here.

    25 Oct 2014 | 7:02 am
    "But it Fits!' Douglas Adams' puddle and Ken Ham's creationism. How it all 'fits'! My latest blog post at CFI here.
  • 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.
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    gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life

  • Philwikis to the rescue (updated)

    Noelle McAfee
    13 Dec 2014 | 6:25 pm
    In the age of big data, crowdsourcing, and the philosophy hive mind, why not let the entire philosophical community contribute to showcasing all the great work going on in philosophy graduate programs around the world — and by extension how well trained are the people teaching undergraduates at liberal arts and other colleges and universities?  Thanks to Shawn A. Miller, this alternative is rolling and I am delighted to be a part of it. http://philwiki.net/index.php/PhilWiki.net UPDATE: I think the philwiki that I am overseeing, on twentieth century continental philosophy, will be live in…
  • the life of clarice or philosophy?

    Noelle McAfee
    12 Dec 2014 | 8:49 pm
    In meeting with a graduating senior this afternoon, I learned that her only exposure to a woman philosopher, in a syllabus for a class, was in my freshman seminar on the masters of suspicion with some readings on Arendt and in a 400-level class now in her senior year. In my seriously progressive department, how the hell did that happem? She is super smart and planning on doing a joint MD-JD program. I asked her if she thought about philosophy and pointed her to look, right behind her, at my philosoHERs poster of women in philosophy, and she noted that she did in fact see a few women of color…
  • On Miscreants

    Noelle McAfee
    11 Dec 2014 | 8:25 pm
    I don’t want to give too much attention to the news of the day in the philosophy blogosphere (I’m not going to link to that place so forgive the obscurity of this post) when, alas, i am the headline, accused of being a “miscreant”  — a word that sounds much more sinister than its definition, “a person who behaves badly or misbehaves the law.” I do admit to having acted badly in the past and occasionally running a stop sign. Mostly, I am haunted by a memory of standing by — when a kid in school was bullied — instead of standing up.  That…
  • More on how the PGR is toast

    Noelle McAfee
    2 Nov 2014 | 7:10 pm
    I would genuinely like to know how the Philosophical Gourmet Report evaluators were selected, how many were asked, what percentage they are of the entire philosophy faculty, how representative they are of the faculty overall, and how many have declined to participate this time given all the negative publicity. But I don’t expect much information.  And many others are seeing this too. Another reason to think that the PGR is toast. Lots more info here.
  • 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…
 
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    Alexander Pruss's Blog

  • Being is grounded in fundamental being, and presentism

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:10 am
    Assume a bloated ontology, on which there are events, chairs, holes, waves, etc. In defending such a bloated ontology, we should sensibly say that these beings are grounded in what the fundamental beings are and how they are, and so the bloat does not infect fundamental reality. So far so good. But what if we add presentism into the mix? Imagine two worlds, A and B, that are exactly alike at time t, but in one of them a race is beginning at t and in the other it is ending at t. We may here suppose massive mental dysfunction in B, so that everybody thinks the race is beginning, whereas in fact…
  • A perdurantism without temporal parts

    17 Dec 2014 | 5:06 am
    Standard perdurantism holds that we are four-dimensional worms made up of three-dimensional temporal parts. Many of the changing properties that we think of ourselves as having directly, we actually have derivatively from the temporal parts. Thus, I am typing a post in virtue of having a temporal part typing it up, and I am conscious of the screen in front of me in virtue of a temporal part of me being conscious of it. Standard perdurantism has many problems, for instance: Perdurantism commits one to proper parts, and implausibly thin and hyperplanar ones. Surely I am that entity which is…
  • Existence, eternalism, continuous creation and concurrence

    16 Dec 2014 | 5:06 am
    The doctrine of continuous creation is something like this: For all x and t, if x is a creature and x exists at t, then x is created or preserved by God at t. On the other hand, the doctrine of concurrence is something like this: God causally concurs in every instance of creaturely causation, where the exact details of concurrence need to be spelled out, but it is some sort of causal cooperation in or causal responsibility for the instance of creaturely causation. Given the auxiliary hypothesis that: For all x and t, if x is a creature and x exists at t, then either x is created or preserved…
  • Predictions and presuppositions

    15 Dec 2014 | 7:23 am
    It is a prediction of Newtonian physics that two isolated massive bodies will move relative to each other in a conic section. It is a presupposition of Newtonian physics that there is space. It is a prediction of perfect being theology that persons (or at least, good persons) live forever. It is a presupposition of perfect being theology that there are objective values.The distinction matters epistemologically. Suppose you have significant but non-overwhelming evidence for Newtonian theory but don't notice that the theory presupposes that there is space. And then you learn that there is this…
  • Impanation

    10 Dec 2014 | 11:43 pm
    The doctrine of transubstantiation has two primary components: The real presence of Christ's body and blood The real absence of bread and wine. Some objections center on the Real Absence. After all, it looks like bread and wine are present—why would God make our senses deceitful? And why would God destroy the bread and wine? Doesn't nature build on grace? (Quick answers: Senses give prima facie reasons to believe, but in the context of the liturgy as a whole there is no deceit as it is explicitly stated that this is Christ's body and blood. And we are built out of our food, even though our…
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    The Splintered Mind

  • Moral Order and Immanent Justice

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    16 Dec 2014 | 3:49 pm
    Let's say the world is morally ordered if good things come to those who act morally well and bad things come to those who act morally badly. Moral order admits of degrees. We might say that the world is perfectly morally ordered if everyone gets exactly what they morally deserve, perfectly immorally ordered if everyone gets the opposite of what they morally deserve, and has no moral order if there's no relationship between what one deserves and what one gets. Moral order might vary by subgroup of individuals considered. Perhaps the world is better morally ordered in 21st century Sweden than…
  • Knowing Something That You Think Is Probably False

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    9 Dec 2014 | 11:48 am
    I know where my car is parked. It's in the student lot on the other side of the freeway, Lot 30. How confident am I that my car is parked there? Well, bracketing radically skeptical doubts, I'd say about 99.9% confident. I seem to have a specific memory of parking this morning, but maybe that specific memory is wrong; or maybe the car has been stolen or towed or borrowed by my wife due to some weird emergency. Maybe about once in every three years of parking, something like that will happen. Let's assume (from a god's-eye perspective) that no such thing has happened. I know, but I'm not 100%…
  • "I Think There's About a 99.8% Chance That You Exist" Said the Skeptic

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    2 Dec 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Alone in my office, it can seem reasonable to me to have only about a 99% to 99.9% credence that the world is more or less how I think it is, while reserving the remaining 0.1% to 1% credence for the possibility that some radically skeptical scenario obtains (such as that this is a dream or that I'm in a short term sim). But in public... hm. It seems an odd thing to say aloud to someone else! The question rises acutely as I prepare to give a talk on 1% Skepticism at University of Miami this Friday. Can I face an audience and say, "Well, I think there's a small chance that I'm dreaming right…
  • More Philosophical SF Recommendations

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    24 Nov 2014 | 4:28 pm
    Regular readers of The Splintered Mind will remember the recent series of posts offering 36 professional philosophers' recommendations of works of science fiction or speculative fiction (SF) -- compiled here. Since then, I've accumulated a few more lists and recommendations. Here's a list of movies from the Philo-Teach discussion list started in 1996, which Bruce Janz has kindly reposted -- movies that philosophers have found useful to show students for teaching purposes. Some good SF on there (but also lots of non-SF). And here's a list of science fiction about death compiled for John M.
  • Schindler's Truck

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:15 pm
    Today I'm thinking about Schindler's truck and what it suggests about the moral psychology of one of the great heroes of the Holocaust. Here's a portrayal of the truck, in the background of a famous scene from Schindler's List: [image source] Oskar Schindler, as you probably know, saved over a thousand Jews from death under the Nazis by spending vast sums of money to hire them in his factories, where they were protected. Near the end of Spielberg's movie about him, the script suggests that Schindler is broke -- that he has spent the last of his wartime slave-labor profits to save his Jewish…
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • Informal end of term report on my IAS fellowship / research leave

    16 Dec 2014 | 10:00 am
    Coming to the end of my time as an Emergence Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Durham, I have to write an end of fellowship report. But that prompts me to think more broadly about what it has been about. (A friend of mine once told his daughter that he had had a good day. The daughter apparently replied: ‘What was it about?’ I think I share her instinct.)Naturally in academia, a first thought is output. In 12 weeks, I have written four draft articles totalling perhaps 25,000 words. One is owed to the IAS, Durham for their in-house electronic journal but will form…
  • Emergence, meaning and rationality

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:02 am
    A fourth draft paper written whilst a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, University of DurhamOn ‘emergence’ in philosophyIn philosophy, ‘emergence’ is a semi-technical term whose meaning calls for stipulation as much as description since, unlike every day words with lives outside philosophy though subject to philosophical investigation, for example ‘knowledge’, it lacks a settled use. I take it, however, to be related, but to stand in contrast, to reduction. Consider the length of a standard 4 x 2 stud Lego brick (that is 4 studs in length and 2 wide). These are 31.8…
  • Some notes on David Papineau’s Durham Emergence talk: Emergent Causation and the Philosophy of Mind

    8 Dec 2014 | 1:49 pm
    I went off to hear my old Masters degree supervisor David Papineau talking on an aspect of the emergence theme. The abstract ran:AbstractIntuitively, causal relations might seem to depend on impacts between microscopic physical objects. However I shall show that this is a superficial illusion, and that causation is an essentially macroscopic phenomenon. On this basis, I shall draw various conclusions about the causal autonomy of the mental realm.My notes run as follows:“How does the mind affect the physical world. Interactionist dualism is an intuitive default view. The mind is separate but…
  • Pro-social behaviour

    20 Nov 2014 | 1:17 pm
    One of the presentations I heard at a graduate psychology conference at Durham this week (to which I had been generously invited to give the closing lecture) concerned an investigation of the factors that encourage pro-social (the antonym of anti-social) behaviour in some example universities. The potential impact of the research was that it might indicate how to make universities better but in particular more harmonious places especially important in the light of the rise of tuition fees in the UK and the need for high student satisfaction scores.One stage of the research concerned self…
  • Call for papers: moral and legal responsibility in the age of neuroscience

    20 Nov 2014 | 2:37 am
    CALL FOR PAPERS THIRD UK CONFERENCE IN PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHIATRY ROYAL COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS21 PRESCOT STREET LONDON E1 8BB23-25 SEPTEMBER 2015MORAL AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE AGE OF NEUROSCIENCE The focus of this conference will be moral and legal responsibility in people who have been diagnosed with mental disorders. This is an exciting area in which recent developments in policy and research are casting a new light on old problems.The conference is not confined to psychiatrists and is open to anyone with an academic, professional or personal interest in this area. We hope to…
 
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    Freemason Information

  • The Going Rate of Losing a Landmark

    Greg Stewart
    13 Dec 2014 | 10:54 am
    Six Million dollars appears to be the answer, or best offer. It was sad to see this story in my inbox – St. Louis City Masonic Temple being sold. Image from PRlog.org Press Release Here we have yet another Masonic lodge being sold off to make way for luxury condos or a shopping mall. Only this time, it happens to be the New Masonic Temple in Saint Louis, Missouri. Built in a Classical revival style in 1926, the temple on Lindell Boulevard has played  host to, then, Grand Master Harry Truman, and initiated the Spirit of St. Louis pilot, Charles Lindbergh. For the Gen-Xer’s who…
  • Time Capsule From Paul Revere, Sam Adams Uncovered

    Fred Milliken
    12 Dec 2014 | 3:47 pm
      A crew is at work in Boston unearthing a time capsule believed buried by patriots Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. CNN affiliate WBZ reports, the 18th-century capsule was left in a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House. The capsule is believed to date from 1795, when construction started on the building. The cornerstone has been removed because of repair work to the historic building, and a worker from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was chipping away at it Thursday to get at the capsule. Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who also heads the state’s historical…
  • Mutual Intervisitation Between The Grand Lodge Of Texas And The Prince Hall Grand Lodge Of Texas Approved

    Fred Milliken
    6 Dec 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM Grand Session 2005 Intervisitation with The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas has just been approved by the Grand Lodge of Texas on Saturday December 6, 2014 at 12 Noon. The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas approved the same in its mid-winter Grand Session in November. The two Grand Lodges have been under mutual recognition without visitation for a number of years. Now that cross visitation has been approved by both parties it is a reality. Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Of Texas Grand Lodge Building The two Texas Grand…
  • The Portale Panel by Brother Ryan J. Flynn

    Fred Milliken
    17 Nov 2014 | 6:59 am
    Masonic artist Brother Ryan J. Flynn has his latest work completed, THE PORTALE PANEL – an Entered Apprentice Tracing Board. He describes this beautiful piece of art as follows: Brethren, Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to present to you my very first Tracing Board.  The Portale Panel Egg Tempera on Wood; Gold Leaf and Wood Stained Wooden Frame 24in x 36in Center panel. entire work 40 in 52in;       You can catch Brother Flynn and all his works on his artist Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RyanJFlynnArtist Or on his website…
  • All Hallows’ Eve as a Hermetic Holiday

    Greg Stewart
    26 Oct 2014 | 9:22 am
    Little ground exists between Halloween and Freemasonry. Here and there a costume ball or an orange crepe paper centerpiece marks the passing of the season, but that is probably the extent of any connectivity. For me, the holiday has always been an important one even as my own little goblins have forsaken the quest for candy for more adult like pursuits. This is the first year of a house devoid of pint sized celebrants leaving me to reorient myself to the signs of the season. Few could argue that the air itself reminds us that it is autumn – it comes from the harvest; the slow…
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    Philosophy News

  • Imprecise Probabilities

    20 Dec 2014 | 6:04 am
    [New Entry by Seamus Bradley on December 20, 2014.] It has been argued that imprecise probabilities are a natural and intuitive way of overcoming some of the issues with orthodox precise probabilities. Models of this type have a long pedigree, and interest in such models has been growing in recent years. This article introduces the theory of imprecise probabilities, discusses the motivations for their use and their possible advantages over the standard precise model. It then discusses some philosophical issues raised by this model....Continue reading . . . News source: Stanford Encyclopedia…
  • New Left history

    20 Dec 2014 | 5:03 am
    The writing of history has its own history, which was indelibly shaped by the ambitious and flawed New Left historians… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Art of rewriting

    20 Dec 2014 | 5:02 am
    “I can’t teach someone to write,” says John Casey, “but I can sometimes teach someone to rewrite.” What he can teach them is craft… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Putin and political fantasy

    20 Dec 2014 | 5:01 am
    Russia is a cultivator of theories and doctrines, with an overwhelming temptation to find the secret forces – imagined or not – intent on destroying the nation… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Beef

    19 Dec 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, published in 1975, became pivotal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One of the challenges presented by the ever-growing human population is producing enough food to feed everyone. There is also the distribution challenge: being able to get the food to the people and ensuring that they can afford a good diet. The population growth is also accompanied by an increase in prosperity—at least in some parts of the world. As people gain income, they tend to change their diet. One change that people commonly undertake is consuming more status foods, such as beef. As…
 
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    TheYoungSocrates

  • Why Discrimination Is Reasonable According to Karl Popper

    Rob
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:11 am
    A while ago, I had a discussion with a friend of mine: we were talking about how people from different cultures interacted with each other. My friend claimed – and he was quite serious about it – that ‘All Moroccans are aggressive’. ‘How do you know?”‘ I asked him, ‘Have you met all Moroccans?’. ‘No’, he said, ‘but the ones I’ve met, were all aggressive’. And while he said this, an idea popped into my mind: Karl Popper and his falsification theory. And I came to a rather unexpected conclusion… You…
  • Come On People: Let’s Cut the Crap!

    Rob
    18 Dec 2014 | 1:09 pm
    This is a plea against humanity and its deeply ingrained narrow-mindedness. For as long as we can remember it has been the same old story: people have different beliefs –> people believe that only their beliefs are true –> people feel endangered by other people’s beliefs –> people find it okay to attack those who have different beliefs. This is the ever repeating cycle of human ignorance: a cycle we – apparently – cannot escape. Just when we think we’ve figured it all out, just when we believe peace is within reach, a new group of people…
  • Economics Should Return to its Roots

    Rob
    8 Dec 2014 | 1:33 pm
    Economics explains how people interact within markets to accomplish certain goals. People; not robots. And people are creatures with desires, animalistic urges that guide them into making conscious – but also unconscious – decisions. That sets them apart from robots, which act solely upon formal rules (If A, then B, etc.). But this difference between humans and robots shouldn’t have to be a problem, right? Not if economics takes into account the fact that humans are biological creatures who (might) have got a free will, an observation which makes their actions undetermined…
  • Commercials: Not All Publicity is Good Publicity

    Rob
    8 Dec 2014 | 11:13 am
    Commercials: you’re likely to absorb hundreds of them per day via media such as the TV, radio and internet. As I have written about in a previous article, the average person spends 1/24 of his life watching commercials on television. That’s a quite a lot, isn’t it? But I don’t want to focus on the act of wasting our lives by consuming useless material such as commercials. I want to take a look at the effect of commercials, and of marketing in general, on the perception of a company’s brand. Most companies seem to believe that any publicity is good publicity.
  • Milton Friedman’s Voucher Plan

    Rob
    4 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    More than 30 years ago – in 1979 – Milton Friedman and his wise Rose Friedman published the book Free to Choose, in which they made a (compelling) claim in favor of handing over authority to the free market, and taking it away from the government. The arguments they come up are profoundly grounded in empirical evidence, pointing at the inefficient and unequal spending of tax payers’ money on the ‘big issues’ of society (healthcare, Social Security, public assistance etc.). I want to focus at the expenditures on public education, about which the Friedmans say a…
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • Are philosophers researchers?

    Anthony Carreras
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Last year at the APA Eastern, I was talking with a good friend of mine who is a very well established philosopher - a senior member of the profession who has published a plethora of articles in all the elite journals, and books with all the elite presses. We were talking about the nature of philosophical work, and he said something I found very striking. He said that "research" is not the right word to describe what philosophers do. Rather, he said that philosophical work is a type of art, and that the medium for this type of art is ideas. As you know if you have been on the job…
  • How to maintain sanity on the job market?

    Marcus Arvan
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:47 am
    Those of you who have been on the academic job market know that it can be a very trying experience. Interviews are scarce and stressful, and one's career in the discipline literally lies in the balance. As Spiros explains here, it is really a lot to deal with, placing stress not only on candidates but on their loved ones. All of which raises (not begs!;) the question: what sorts of things can one do to mitigate the pressure, or "maintain sanity"? I don't pretend to know what will work for everyone. However, having been on the market several times, I can say in no…
  • "You had better be good at it and have something truly important to say"

    Marcus Arvan
    15 Dec 2014 | 12:01 pm
    Readers of the Cocoon may have come across this post over at Daily Nous discussing Bharath Vallabha's post over at Rough Ground on his attempt to write a dissertation prospectus in a manner stylistically similar to Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. In brief, Vallabha recounts how philosophically liberating he found that mode of exploration. Like others, I can't say how fruitful it was. However, I am interested in one kind of response his piece stimulated. Although some of the comments over at Daily Nous were sympathetic to Vallabha's piece and manner of…
  • Results of my survey on religious disagreement

    Helen De Cruz
    10 Dec 2014 | 8:35 am
    Religious disagreements are conspicuous in everyday life.  Most societies, except perhaps for theocracies or theocracy-like regimes, show a diversity of religious beliefs, a diversity that young children already are aware of. One emerging topic of interest in the social epistemology of religion is how we should respond to religious disagreement. How should you react if you are confronted with someone who seems equally intelligent and thoughtful, who has access to the same evidence as you do, but who nevertheless ends up with very different religious beliefs? Should you become less…
  • The Sociology of Philosophy?

    Marcus Arvan
    6 Dec 2014 | 9:11 am
    I was browsing through this year's Proceedings & Addresses of the APA this morning,and reading some of the addresses--particularly the ones by Sally Haslanger, Elizabeth Anderson, and Amelie Rorty--got me thinking about the sociology of philosophy: specifically, about whether people should start doing some kind of serious research on it. Let me explain why. It sometimes feels (to me, at any rate) as though our discipline is blindly hurtling forward in space-time--hurtling from problem to problem, from fad to fad, etc.--without a great deal of reflection of how exactly we "got…
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    iai.tv news RSS feed

  • Editorial: 2014's Big Ideas

    Editor
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:30 pm
    We live in an age of big science. But 2014 was the year that philosophy fought back. The year began on IAI News with Peter Hacker’s agenda-setting Why Study Philosophy? In it, he argued that philosophy is the only discipline able to patrol the borders between sense and nonsense. Philosophy’s great task, he writes, “is to function as a Tribunal of Sense”. Only philosophy can decide what makes sense, not science. Two interviews on IAI News provide exemplary illustrations of Hacker’s argument. First, we spoke to the ever-combative Mary Midgley about the materialist dogma that dominates…
  • The Burning Flame of Hope

    Owen Jones
    29 Nov 2014 | 8:08 am
    The outcome of next year’s General Election is anybody’s guess. After decades of two-party politics, could coalition governments be here to stay? As the last election showed us, the “democratic majority” is becoming an increasingly nebulous entity. This time round, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are all embroiled in their own distinct battles. Meanwhile, UKIP and the Green Party provide growing threats, and a comedian is taking up the mantle of the revolutionary. But is anyone paying attention?    Voter turnout at the last election was just 65%. It’s part of a long-term…
  • The Real Problem with Liberalism

    Phillip Blond
    22 Nov 2014 | 8:45 am
    The only political question that matters is the one asked by Plato: “What is the good?” That is how we should judge every decision and event in time. The good should be what predominates, and the good changes what exists into what ought to be. It is a revolution in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and it is exactly the kind of revolution we need today, to move conclusively beyond the failures of neoliberalism. There has never been a successful form of neoliberal economics. The legacy of neoliberal economics is the crash, the legacy is the new serfdom that we’re currently witnessing, in…
  • Morality Matters

    Colin Tudge
    22 Nov 2014 | 6:07 am
    The whole world needs re-thinking from first principles – and the point of my latest book, Why Genes are Not Selfish and People are Nice, is to set the ball rolling. Alas, it’s all too easy to list the things that have gone wrong. A billion people are chronically undernourished out of the total population of 7 billion. A billion more suffer from diseases of excess – including a world population of diabetics that is twice the size of Russia’s population. A billion live in urban slums – almost one in three of all who now live in cities. Half our fellow species are in imminent danger…
  • Values Beyond Value

    Natalie Bennett
    22 Nov 2014 | 5:29 am
    We are currently facing four concurrent crises – the economic, the social, the environmental, and the political. They are all interlinked and they all have to be tackled together, and urgently. We have a deeply dysfunctional system that cannot continue as it is now. What we have to do is change everything, and change it in ways that deal with the economic, the environmental, the political and the social. This is the kind of real change the Green Party is calling for. At stake is the survival of life as we know it. The status quo is not an option. Let’s take one example: the community…
 
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  • Change Your Life With Mini Habits – 30-Day Challenge

    YourMotivationGuru
    15 Dec 2014 | 9:18 pm
    Change Your Life With Mini Habits – 30-Day Challenge Everyone is afraid of change……..we have our own way of living and we don’t want to change. Getting on a new routine or changing our lifestyle sounds too much of a work. Most of us often take up new habits like I always try to take up the habit of drinking more water but after few days of following this ritual I would again slip into my old habit of neglecting my water intake. Now this is just one example people often try to take up resolutions or form new habits but after just few days of practising they tend to fall back on…
  • 2-Step Approach to Find your Life Purpose

    YourMotivationGuru
    12 Dec 2014 | 8:52 am
    2-Step Approach to Find your Life Purpose Are you stuck in the monotony of life like most of us? Do you feel unfulfilled? Do you hate your job? Do you yearn for fulfilment, happiness and excitement, do you often think about your purpose……..your life’s purpose to be precise, do you wish to find out the very reason for your existence?   We remain under an illusion that we will discover our purpose once we finish school or college or may be when we get a job, however the truth is even after we have passed all the above stages we still don’t have a clue about what we want to do with…
  • 5 things every mother should start doing for HERSELF

    YourMotivationGuru
    1 Dec 2014 | 11:43 pm
    5 things every mother should start doing for HERSELF You may not realize this, but our dear mothers get barely 17 minutes of ‘free time’ for themselves every day, yet with such a tight schedule they still take up 78% of the household chores and responsibilities. From cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids’ activities to giving your 100% at work moms do it ALL. Don’t be surprised when I tell you that 51% of working mom’s keep working at house and in office for weeksssss……..without taking even a minute of leisure time.   Self-care is not about…
  • 10 Good Habits you Should Adopt Right Now

    kanz_85@yahoo.co.in
    25 Nov 2014 | 3:53 am
    10 Good Habits you Should Adopt Right Now   Habits are in fact mere models of behavior that impregnate over a period of time. Most of you may have heard about the 21-day or the 30-day rule in which if you repeat certain behavior, for example- drinking water, for the particular number of days, you’ll have made it a habit. No one knows the precise significance of these rules; however research suggests that if you do something rather often, it’ll become second nature. Starting today, we must adopt these 10 new habits for personal growth and improvement. HABIT NO. 1# LIVE IN THE PRESENT…
  • Few Indicators You Should Quit Your Job Right Now

    kanz_85@yahoo.co.in
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Few Indicators You Should Quit Your Job Right Now We all use an enormous part of our lives working. No one should stay in a job they despise. It’s one thing to seldom nag about your job. That’s common. But if you come across yourself irritable all the time, stressed out and short-tempered, then it’s time to get out. RIGHT NOW.!!! Indicator No.1# YOU WHINE ABOUT YOUR JOB ALL THE TIME It’s normal to complain about work once in a while. But if all you do is complain about your job to your family and friends, they’ll start tuning you out. If you’re doing it at…
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