Philosophy

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  • "Socially constructed"

    In Living Color
    16 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am
    http://www.theplasticbrickmuseum.com I've been thinking and reading about the idea that sex and/or gender are "socially constructed."  This is often asserted by feminists who have a debunking and liberatory agenda.  The idea is that sex and gender "binaries" are not written into the nature of things, but results of choices, perceptions, customs, cultural assumptions, etc. You couldn't abandon
  • 'But is it art?' Wittgenstein on family resemblance concepts - explained!

    Stephen Law
    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…
  • Question about Justice - Charles Taliaferro responds

    AskPhilosophers.org | "All"
    20 Sep 2014 | 10:44 am
    Is any society that uses money in some degree a capitalist society, even the ex-Soviet Union? I hear arguments everyday from others and the media that a free society must necessarily be a capitalist one but I think that is just an illusion because the government, business, and other institutions with power set out all the laws and norms for this unofficial ideology of capitalism to exist, not individuals. Most people in capitalist societies have no other choice but to spend their entire lives accumulating capital instead of doing more important things like being self-sufficient and reading…
  • Are journals too selective?

    The Philosophers' Cocoon
    Marcus Arvan
    19 Sep 2014 | 12:09 pm
    In the comments section of her recent post at NewAPPS on data she collected on journal submissions (cross-posted here), Helen De Cruz writes: Jason Stanley...wrote (in a comment published on this blog a while ago): "I'm reviewing Kieran Healy's citation data, and it reminds me again how weird journal acceptance is. My book *Knowledge and Practical Interests* is the fifth most cited work of philosophy since 2000 in Phil Review, Mind, Nous, and the Journal of Philosophy (book or article). Yet the book itself is the result of three revise and resubmits, and finally a rejection…
  • Getting High for Higher Education

    Talking Philosophy
    Mike LaBossiere
    17 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    English: A domestic US propaganda poster circa 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Two major problems faced by the United States are the war on drugs and the problems of higher education. I will make an immodest proposal intended to address both problems. In the case of higher education, one major problem is that the cost of education is exceeding the resources of an ever-growing number of Americans. One reason for this is that the decisions of America’s political and economic elites damaged the economy and contributed to the unrelenting extermination of the middle class. Another reason is a…
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Linear Logic

    Roberto Di Cosmo and Dale Miller
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:07 pm
    [Revised entry by Roberto Di Cosmo and Dale Miller on September 19, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Linear logic is a refinement of classical and intuitionistic logic. Instead of emphasizing truth, as in classical logic, or proof, as in intuitionistic logic, linear logic emphasizes the role of formulas as resources. To achieve this focus, linear...
  • David Lewis

    Brian Weatherson
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:17 pm
    [Revised entry by Brian Weatherson on September 19, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] David Lewis (1941 - 2001) was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century. He made significant contributions to philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of science, decision theory, epistemology, meta-ethics and aesthetics. In most of these...
  • Hermann Lotze

    David Sullivan
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:41 pm
    [Revised entry by David Sullivan on September 18, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Rudolph Hermann Lotze (1817 - 1881) mediated the transition from the exuberance of German idealism, in the first half of the nineteenth century, to the sober, scholarly and scientific ethos that came to prevail in the second half. He adapted the notion...
  • Pierre Duhem

    Roger Ariew
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:39 pm
    [Revised entry by Roger Ariew on September 16, 2014. Changes to: Bibliography] Pierre Duhem (1861 - 1916) was a French physicist and historian and philosopher of science. As a physicist, he championed "energetics," holding generalized thermodynamics as foundational for physical theory, that is, thinking that all of...
  • Meaning Holism

    Henry Jackman
    15 Sep 2014 | 10:35 pm
    [New Entry by Henry Jackman on September 15, 2014.] The term "meaning holism" is generally applied to views that treat the meanings of all of the words in a language as interdependent. Holism draws much of its appeal from the way in which the usage of all our words seems interconnected, and runs into many...
 
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    Talking Philosophy

  • Getting High for Higher Education

    Mike LaBossiere
    17 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    English: A domestic US propaganda poster circa 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Two major problems faced by the United States are the war on drugs and the problems of higher education. I will make an immodest proposal intended to address both problems. In the case of higher education, one major problem is that the cost of education is exceeding the resources of an ever-growing number of Americans. One reason for this is that the decisions of America’s political and economic elites damaged the economy and contributed to the unrelenting extermination of the middle class. Another reason is a…
  • Neutral Good

    Mike LaBossiere
    15 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    My previous essays on alignments have focused on the evil ones (lawful evil, neutral evil and chaotic evil). Patrick Lin requested this essay. He professes to be a devotee of Neutral Evil to such a degree that he regards being lumped in with Ayn Rand as an insult. Presumably because he thinks she was too soft on the good. In the Pathfinder version of the game, neutral good is characterized as follows: A neutral good character is good, but not shackled by order. He sees good where he can, but knows evil can exist even in the most ordered place. A neutral good character does anything he can,…
  • Obligations to Others: Hunger in America

    Mike LaBossiere
    12 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In my previous essay, I considered various stock arguments in favor of the claim that we have obligations to people we do not know. In this essay I will consider a rather concrete matter of obligation, namely that of hunger in the United States of America. The United States is known as the wealthiest nation on the planet and also as a country that is facing an obesity epidemic. As such, it probably seems rather odd to claim that America faces a serious problem with hunger. Sadly, this is the case and the matter was featured in Tracie McMillan’s “The New Face of…
  • Obligations to People We Don’t Know

    Mike LaBossiere
    10 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    English: Statue of Immanuel Kant in Kaliningrad, Russia (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One of the classic moral problems is the issue of whether or not we have moral obligations to people we do not know.  If we do have such obligations, then there are also questions about the foundation, nature and extent of these obligations. If we do not have such obligations, then there is the obvious question about why there are no such obligations. I will start by considering some stock arguments regarding our obligations to others. One approach to the matter of moral obligations to others is to ground them…
  • Monkey Selfies & Animal Artists

    Mike LaBossiere
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    While in Indonesia in 2011, photographer David Slater’s camera was grabbed by a macaque. While monkey shines are nothing new, this monkey took hundreds of shots including some selfies that went viral on the internet. As many things often do, this incident resulted in a legal controversy over the copyright status of the photos. The United States copyright office recently ruled that “Works produced by nature, animals or plants” or “purportedly created by divine or supernatural beings” cannot be copyrighted. While this addresses the legal issue, it does not address the philosophical…
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    AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

  • Question about Justice - Charles Taliaferro responds

    20 Sep 2014 | 10:44 am
    Is any society that uses money in some degree a capitalist society, even the ex-Soviet Union? I hear arguments everyday from others and the media that a free society must necessarily be a capitalist one but I think that is just an illusion because the government, business, and other institutions with power set out all the laws and norms for this unofficial ideology of capitalism to exist, not individuals. Most people in capitalist societies have no other choice but to spend their entire lives accumulating capital instead of doing more important things like being self-sufficient and reading…
  • Question about Ethics - Stephen Maitzen responds

    19 Sep 2014 | 9:45 am
    Is there any way to ultimately resolve, by reason or evidence, the conflict between moral relativism and moral realism? Reading about this issue makes me feel unsure about the real status of morality. Any suggestion would help. Response from: Stephen Maitzen If by "ultimately resolve by reason or evidence" you mean "offer reasons or evidence sufficient to get everyone to accept one side of the debate," then an ultimate resolution of any issue seems very unlikely, just as a matter of social psychology. If, instead, you mean "discover reasons or evidence sufficient to make up my own mind about…
  • Question about Logic - Stephen Maitzen responds

    19 Sep 2014 | 8:15 am
    Is it possible for two tautologies to not be logically equivalent? Response from: Stephen Maitzen I thank William Rapaport for his comment. I'll just point out that the claimtwo sentences (or propositions) are logically equivalent if and only if they have the same truth values (no matter what truth values their atomic constituents, if any, have)seems to imply the following odd consequence. Take two sentences lacking atomic sentential constituents: "Snow is white" and "Obama was born in Hawaii." Both sentences are true (sorry, birthers), but isn't it odd to hold that the two sentences are…
  • Question about Logic - William Rapaport responds

    19 Sep 2014 | 8:15 am
    Is it possible for two tautologies to not be logically equivalent? Response from: William Rapaport Stephen Maitzen raises some interesting philosophical issues, but, of course, his response is not the "textbook" answer to the question (but, then, isn't that what philosophy is all about? : Questioning "textbook" answers? :-)The "textbook" answer would go something like this: By definition, a tautology is a "molecular" sentence (or proposition---textbooks differ on this) that, when evaluated by truth tables, comes out true no matter what truth values are assigned to its "atomic"…
  • Question about Logic - Stephen Maitzen responds

    19 Sep 2014 | 8:15 am
    Is it possible for two tautologies to not be logically equivalent? Response from: Stephen Maitzen I'm inclined to say that no tautologies are ever logically equivalent, but only because no sentences are ever logically equivalent. I take it that any tautology is a sentence in some language, as opposed to the proposition expressed by that sentence. Indeed, the etymology of the term implies that a tautology is a sentence characterized by the repetition of words: Greek tauto ("the same") + logos ("word"). An example is the English sentence "All red things are red." Unlike sentences, propositions…
 
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    Ethics Etc

  • 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 […]
  • CFA: Dominating Speech at UConn

    S. Matthew Liao
    17 Sep 2014 | 9:14 pm
    Dominating Speech 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: hate speech, slurs, propaganda, slut-shaming, bragging, and gossip. Philosophical work from a variety of subfields, including: […]
  • 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/
  • CONF: Moral Sentimentalism and the Foundations of Morality

    S. Matthew Liao
    4 Sep 2014 | 7:58 pm
    Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15, 2014 College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA Speakers (in alphabetical order): Simon Blackburn (UNC Chapel Hill); Justin D’Arms (Ohio State); Remy Debes (Memphis); Sabine Döring (Tübingen); Michael Frazer (Harvard); Daniel Jacobson (UMichigan); Antti Kauppinen (Trinity College, Dublin); Michelle Mason (Minnesota); Diana Tietjen Meyers (UConn); Jesse Prinz (CUNY); […]
  • Human Rights as Fundamental Conditions for a Good Life

    S. Matthew Liao
    20 Aug 2014 | 9:06 pm
    A number of important philosophical books and articles on the topic of human rights have appeared in recent years including James Nickel’s Making Sense of Human Rights, James Griffin’s On Human Rights, Charles R. Beitz’s The Idea of Human Rights, Martha Nussbaum’s Creating Capabilities, Allen Buchanan’s Heart of Human Rights, and John Tasioulas’s various articles […]
 
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    European Journal of Philosophy

  • 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…
  • Darwall on Second-Personal Ethics

    Robert Stern
    16 Jun 2014 | 1:47 am
  • 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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    Philosophical Review current issue

  • Critical Pragmatics

    Pagin, P.
    4 Sep 2014 | 6:54 am
  • Semantic Plasticity and Speech Reports

    Dorr, C., Hawthorne, J.
    4 Sep 2014 | 6:54 am
    Most meanings we express belong to large families of variant meanings, among which it would be implausible to suppose that some are much more apt for being expressed than others. This abundance of candidate meanings creates pressure to think that the proposition attributing any particular meaning to an expression is modally plastic: its truth depends very sensitively on the exact microphysical state of the world. However, such plasticity seems to threaten ordinary counterfactuals whose consequents contain speech reports, since it is hard to see how we could reasonably be confident in a…
  • On Myself, and Other, Less Important Subjects

    Markosian, N.
    4 Sep 2014 | 6:54 am
  • Aristotle on the Apparent Good: Perception, Phantasia, Thought, and Desire

    Tuozzo, T. M.
    4 Sep 2014 | 6:54 am
  • Love and the Value of a Life

    Setiya, K.
    4 Sep 2014 | 6:54 am
    This essay is about love and its place in ethics. It argues that there is no one it is irrational to love, that it is rational to act with partiality to those we love, and that the rationality of doing so is not conditional on love. It follows that Anscombe and Taurek are right: you are not required to save three instead of one, even when those you could save are perfect strangers.
 
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    Feminist Philosophers

  • A Ray Rice Inspired Make-up Tutorial

    philodaria
    21 Sep 2014 | 7:35 pm
    When I saw the title, I thought this was going to be pretty bad–it’s really difficult to put humor and unjust violence together in a productive way. But, I thought this was sharp.
  • These men are NOT saving room for cats!

    annejjacobson
    21 Sep 2014 | 11:37 am
    Irritated by the seemingly inexplicable behavior of men who spread their legs wide whem sitting in public spaces? Feeling forced to collapse in on yourself? Here we’ve enjoyed laughing at the phenomenon and the idea that they are making room for cats. However, what may be going on is a quite serious and quite deep reinforcement of differences valued by patriarchy. We’ve known for some time that one’s facial expressions can affect one’s mood, but according to the NY Times, Amy Cuddy (assoc prof, Harvard Business School), has shown one’s stance and how much space…
  • Illusions of Understanding

    phrynefisher
    20 Sep 2014 | 11:28 am
    This research is fascinating, and could have serious methodological importance for philosophy. (Hat tip: Sarcozona.) Here’s the gist of the result (which was obtained by studying samples of US residents recruited online). People often don’t understand political issues fully, yet have strong convictions about them. When subjects were asked to go into state-and-defend mode on a political issue (i.e., asked to state their view and then give their reasons for holding it), their conviction was entrenched and their misunderstandings went unnoticed. But if asked to explain, or…
  • Taking Aim at Student Evaluations’ ‘Air of Objectivity’

    annejjacobson
    19 Sep 2014 | 8:47 am
    We’re asked fairly often for publications discussing biases in course evaluations.  Now the Chronicle of Higher Ed links to an article which notes biases and other faults in course evaluations.  E.g., Some of what Mr. Stark and Mr. Freishtat write repeats critiques by other researchers: that evaluations often reflect snap judgments or biases about an instructor’s gender, ethnicity, or attractiveness; and that they fail to adequately capture teaching quality. While economists, education researchers, psychologists, and sociologists have weighed in on the use and misuse of these tools,…
  • Calling UK and European philosophers working on. . .

    magicalersatz
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:28 am
    Miranda Fricker, Jennifer Saul, and Holly Lawford-Smith at the University of Sheffield are interested in hearing from anyone with an interest in epistemological, metaphysical and normative issues that touch on, apply to, or might be extended to, Philosophy of Race broadly construed. Their own interests range over issues of social construction, culpable ignorance, implicit bias, political speech and manipulation, historic injustice, racial privilege, and rectificatory justice. But race touches on many other areas of philosophy besides these, and they’re keen to hear from anyone and…
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • 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…
  • Soliciting 'How to Teach' articles

    Michael Cholbi
    8 Sep 2014 | 4:45 pm
    No doubt many of you have been reading the 'How to Teach' series in Teaching Philosophy, articles dedicated to how to teach a particular philosophy course. Thus far, the journal has published articles on how to teach early modern philosophy, critical thinking, and comparative philosophy. There are plans for articles on how to teach business ethics and how to teach information technology ethics.To that end, here are some areas where we'd like to see more articles in this series:philosophy of sciencemedieval philosophyphenomenology and existentialism, the Continental traditionfeminist…
  • Call for Abstracts: Experiential Learning

    Michael Cholbi
    8 Sep 2014 | 7:39 am
    Call for Abstracts: Central APA Panel on Experiential LearningOrganized by the APA Committee on the Teaching of PhilosophyDeadline: September 25, 2014The American Philosophical Association (APA) Committee on the Teaching of Philosophy invites abstracts for a panel on experiential learning in philosophy to take place at the Central Division meeting of the APA, February 18-21, 2015, in St. Louis, MO.Philosophical work has traditionally involved armchair analysis, so the institutional request to think about designing a course with an experiential learning component can serve as a challenge to…
  • Survey on graduate philosophy education

    Michael Cholbi
    4 Sep 2014 | 11:52 am
    A note from David Concepción: Please take this survey if you are eligible. Thanks!Colleagues,We invite you to help us learn more about teacher training for Philosophy graduate students by taking approximately 10 minutes to complete an online survey.The objective of this research is to determine the current state of teacher training for graduate students in the field of Philosophy. The data generated from this research should make it possible to develop recommendations regarding how, if at all, teacher training in the field of Philosophy might evolve.To participate in this research study, you…
 
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    Philosophy by the Way

  • 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…
  • Why policy fails

    7 Sep 2014 | 4:33 pm
    Cattle dealersA few days ago I was browsing through some books in my book cases and my eye was caught by the next quote, which I had underlined, in a already rather old book by Karl Mannheim, a Hungarian-born sociologist (1893-1947):“Every specialist is acting in good faith when he believes that his own method is the right one, for he unconsciously confuses the section of reality on which he is working with reality itself ...” (Karl Mannheim, Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruction, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1949; p. 29).Everyone looks at the world from his or her…
  • Confusing mind and brain

    31 Aug 2014 | 3:42 pm
    The Meuse near Charny, Meuse, FranceA single water molecule doesn’t stream but a river does. Nevertheless a river consists of a countless number of water molecules. Also the countless number of water molecules as such don’t stream. So if we want to study fluvial processes like erosion, the velocity of the flow, the friction between the current and the riverbed and so on, we do not study the movements of the water molecules but we study the river. We don’t say that the molecules erode the landscape but that the river does. Or, a different example, we do not say that the water molecules…
  • Of custom

    24 Aug 2014 | 3:40 pm
    “And freely to speak my thoughts, it argues a strange self-love and great presumption to be so fond of one’s own opinions, that a public peace must be overthrown to establish them, and to introduce so many inevitable mischiefs, and so dreadful a corruption of manners, as a civil war and the mutations of state consequent to it, always bring in their train, and to introduce them, in a thing of so high concern, into the bowels of one's own country.” Montaigne, Essays, Book I, chapter 23.Montaigne lived in a time of civil war. One religious war after another followed in France since the…
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    The Brooks Blog

  • Quoted in today's Sunday Express - on devolution in England

    21 Sep 2014 | 9:31 am
    . . . the piece can be found HERE and a snapshot below:
  • My thoughts on Scotland's No vote

    19 Sep 2014 | 6:17 am
    . . . can be found here and delighted by the result!
  • Many thanks to the Hegel Society of Great Britain

    8 Sep 2014 | 4:24 pm
    . . . for the invitation to speak at its conference on "Hegel's Political Philosophy" held at the University of Cambridge last Thursday and Friday. Stimulating papers, terrific discussion and fabulous scholars made for a highly enjoyable time - and hope my powerpoint presentation (the first at a HSGB conference) is not its last...
  • Interviewed on RT about UK citizenship test

    6 Sep 2014 | 8:18 am
    The news brief notes the test being described as a "bad pub quiz" and "unfit for purpose" - both of which were noted originally in my report about the test and news briefing.
  • Criminal Justice at a Crossroads: Why Victims Should Have a Say

    3 Sep 2014 | 7:11 am
    . . . is my latest piece for Political Insight. Abstract is:"Public satisfaction with the criminal justice system is plummeting. What can policymakers do? Thom Brooks argues that restorative justice could provide an alternative to the traditional courtroom that would restore public confidence, reduce reoffending and even save money."
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    Jon Cogburn's Blog

  • Guest post by An und für sich’s Anthony Paul Smith

    Jon Cogburn
    21 Sep 2014 | 4:53 am
    In reaction to my autopsy for newapps (and who knows what else), An und für sich’s Anthony Paul Smith (who is a good translator, philosopher of religion, and scholar of contemporary French Philosophy), writes: This is so lol. A couple of days later and I still don't get it.Pace Joe Pesci, at left, I don't mind being like a clown, amusing people, being here to make people laugh, etc. but I'm just not seeing it in the autopsy post. Is it just schadenfreude? One doesn't like newapps and/or me (lest we forget, there was this interchange)* and takes joy in witnessing the…
  • Thomas Cogburn | Suckers

    Jon Cogburn
    20 Sep 2014 | 5:18 am
    With this post and this post I started sliding down the slope that ends with my children's art on every square space of my office wall (for the classic very NSFW Maddox take-down, go here). My six year old Thomas has recently completed his first novel, and since I put me and Audrey's collaboration up here, it's only fair for me to post the novel. First, the cover page: The "Suckers" are, as will become clear, a species of sentient lollipops with lives surprisingly similar to humans. The novel begins with the kind of saying that Thomas collects. "Each day there is a…
  • André Avillez' heap Philosophy Digital Humanities' links

    Jon Cogburn
    20 Sep 2014 | 3:37 am
    This is very cool. I had no idea that there was so much neat stuff out there. The page divides into: Open Access Resources, Digitized Manuscripts, Digital Humanities Projects, Resources for Digital Humanists, and Cool Stuff that Might Come in Handy. Avillez is a grad student at Penn. State who works on aesthetics and continental philosophy (focus on German) and his blog is here. He also puts a lot of work into the Public Philosophy Journal aggregator, another interesting resource.
  • Autopsy for Newapps

    Jon Cogburn
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:24 am
    In the ship of Theseus thought experiment all of the original planks on his boat are slowly replaced by new ones. At the point where none of the original planks are remaining, we can wonder whether the ship is in fact the same ship as before it ever entered a dry dock. Some pretty good arguments can be made that it is. But you can't make this argument with respect to newapps, because what you have today is so radically different from what existed during the Schliesser/Matthen (see my earlier post here) heydey. We can characterize the new blog in terms of the good, the bad, and the ugly:…
  • Like this has never happened to you.

    Jon Cogburn
    18 Sep 2014 | 7:36 pm
 
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    Continental Philosophy

  • CALL for PARTICIPATION – 7th International Conference of Critical Geography

    James Luchte
    15 Sep 2014 | 12:17 pm
    CALL for PARTICIPATION – 7th International Conference of Critical Geography 26-30 JULY 2015  |  Ramallah, Palestine   The sense of revolutionary times triggered by recent events such as the Greek revolts, the Indignados and Occupy movements, as well as the Arab uprisings and the Idle No More protests in Canada, has been gradually overshadowed by a wave of virulent and violent responses by both state and global powers. Although these and other struggles have captured our imagination, an anxious feeling of being in a permanent state of crisis seems to have taken over as we observe…
  • No New Wars, No To Nato – Week-Long Protest of Nato Summit 2014 – 30 August – 5 September

    James Luchte
    30 Aug 2014 | 2:40 am
    60 world leaders, including Barack Obama, meet in the UK for the NATO Summit on 4-5 September to plan their war on the world. From 30 August protesters will flock to South Wales for international actions including a national demonstration, counter summit, and week-long peace camp. Stop the War and CND have organised NO TO NATO – NO NEW WARS protests from 30 August to 5 September. See the timetable of action and events below. Transport to the national demonstration 30 August… Saturday 30 August: Mass demonstration March through central Newport. Assembles 1pm at the Civic Centre Car…
  • The Many Dimensions of Herbert Marcuse – October 1-2, 2014 – Brandeis University

    James Luchte
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:20 pm
    The Many Dimensions of Herbert Marcuse Join us for this two-day conference that will explore the critical theory of Herbert Marcuse. The conference coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Marcuse’s most famous book, “One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society,” and our recent discovery of an early draft of this book that was given to Brandeis by Marcuse himself. All conference talks will be held in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Brandeis’ Goldfarb Library. Registration for the conference is free. Lunch will be provided…
  • Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Refrains of Freedom – International Conference, Athens, Greece, 24-26 April 2015

    James Luchte
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Refrains of Freedom International Conference, Athens, Greece, 24-26 April 2015 The Philosophy Department and the Graduate Programme for Theory, Politics and Culture of Trent University in Ontario, Canada, in co-operation with the Sector of Philosophy of the Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology of the University of Athens, the Department of Social Anthropology and the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University in Athens, the Sector of Philosophy of the Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology of the University of…
  • Counter-Multilateralism. How New Coalitions Challenge International Institutions (Video)

    James Luchte
    17 Aug 2014 | 10:15 pm
    Counter-Multilateralism. How New Coalitions Challenge International Institutions (Video) WZB Distinguished Lecture in Social Sciences by Robert Keohane (Princeton University) Videomitschnitt Kontakt: Patricia Löffler mail: patricia.loeffler@wzb.eu “Counter-multilateralism” is an apt phrase to describe a pervasive contemporary phenomenon: the strategic use of multilateral institutions to challenge the rules, practices, or missions of multilateral institutions. States and non-state actors, intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations form coalitions that respond to…
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    In Living Color

  • What Sam Harris Said

    19 Sep 2014 | 9:37 am
    Lately I've been working on the gender chapter of my book about parenthood. Because I've been knee deep in the literature about gender differences, I've been intrigued by the recent Sam Harris dust up in the blogosphere.  Michelle Boorstein, a Washington Post reporter, gives this account of an interview she did with Harris at a Center for Inquiry event in DC: I also asked Harris at the event why
  • Taboo Questions

    27 Aug 2014 | 7:47 am
    I've been working forever on one chapter of my manuscript/book on parenthood--the chapter on gender.  I think I know part of the reason why it's been so hard and time consuming to get this done.  In other chapters I've felt free to philosophically explore, even if the issues are controversial, but there are a lot more constraints here.  Certain views, and even certain questions, are politically
  • Against empathy?

    27 Aug 2014 | 6:59 am
    When I have time to read this I think I'm going to enjoy it!
  • "Socially constructed"

    16 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am
    http://www.theplasticbrickmuseum.com I've been thinking and reading about the idea that sex and/or gender are "socially constructed."  This is often asserted by feminists who have a debunking and liberatory agenda.  The idea is that sex and gender "binaries" are not written into the nature of things, but results of choices, perceptions, customs, cultural assumptions, etc. You couldn't abandon
  • Ethics in Gaza

    6 Aug 2014 | 7:07 am
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/15/world/middleeast/toll-israel-gaza-conflict.html Philosophers have been writing a lot lately about Israel's military campaign in Gaza.  Francis Kamm writes on proportionality in the Boston Review; Peter Singer is critical of Israel in this essay; and Jeff McMahan also discusses proportionality in Prospect magazine.   I find Singer's essay
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    Stephen Law

  • '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…
  • The Mirror Puzzle

    11 Aug 2014 | 5:54 am
    4. The Mirror Puzzle (This is a chapter I wrote for a children's philosophy book called The Outer Limits (now part of The Complete Philosophy Files). This chapter was thought too abstract by the editors, and was not included).Sometimes it is the things that are most familiar to us that turn out to be the most deeply puzzling. Take mirrors, for example. How many times do you see yourself reflected in a mirror each day?1.ILLUSTRATE: BOY LOOKING INTO A MIRRORAt least ten or twenty times, I should think. Most of us never stop to think about what we see. But, as you are about to discover,…
 
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    Alexander Pruss's Blog

  • Evolution and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

    19 Sep 2014 | 11:00 am
    This is an oldish argument, inspired by a student comment, but I kind of like my present formulation of it. Start with this fine inductive argument: All the known explanations of present species are evolutionary. So, all the explanations of present species are evolutionary. But (2) isn't all that the evolutionary biologist claims about present species. She claims more strongly: All the present species have evolutionary explanations. Claim (3) is stronger than claim (2). Let's suppose that half of the present species have evolutionary explanations and the other half have no explanations at…
  • Trying and intending

    18 Sep 2014 | 9:38 am
    Suppose I have a sore knee and a doctor asks me to try to lift my leg to see if I can do so. So I try, and let's say I succeed. Did I intend to lift my leg? It seems not. It seems that I intended to lift my leg if and only if I could, as a means to the doctor's being able to diagnose my knee. But this is very strange. I tried and I succeeded, but I didn't intend my success!Maybe I didn't really try to lift my leg? Maybe I only tried to lift it if and only if I could. But that doesn't seem right. The doctor didn't want to see the effects of my trying to "lift my leg if and only if I could",…
  • Animals and Animalia

    17 Sep 2014 | 12:29 pm
    If tauntauns (i.e., creatures relevantly like this) existed, they would be animals. If tauntauns existed, they wouldn't be members of the kingdom Animalia, because the kingdom Animalia is a clade, and Tauntaun's would presumably be products of alien evolution rather than descendants of earth animals. Since it's possible for tauntauns to exist, it follows that it's possible for there to be animals that aren't members of the kingdom Animalia. Another example. Suppose a species of water plant evolved to have descendants whose behavior and build closely resembles a hippotamus. The resulting…
  • Reproducing for the child's sake?

    16 Sep 2014 | 5:21 am
    Suppose that you are hooked up to a button which, if pressed, will induce in you a desire for a flash of green light followed by a flash of green light. Plausibly, if you will have a desire for something neutral or good, that gives me a reason to fulfill that desire. Assume that you consent to my pressing the button as well as to my not pressing it, but you have no desire either way. I now press the button, on the grounds that: you will have a desire to see a green flash, and by pressing the button I will have fulfilled that desire of yours. But this is fallacious practical arguing. Granted,…
  • Needing a cause

    15 Sep 2014 | 8:47 am
    I've been re-reading Samuel Clarke's cosmological argument. Here's a version of his argument: Anything that has a cause needs a cause. The sum of things that each need a cause needs a cause. Anything that exists and needs a cause has a cause. The cause of a sum of things that each need a cause is outside of the sum. There is a sum of all caused things. So, there is a cause of the sum of all caused things. (1-3,5) So, the sum of all caused things has an uncaused cause. (5,6) I think the trickiest and most interesting thing in this argument is (2). I suppose the intuition here is that you're…
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    The Splintered Mind

  • The MacArthur Drought in Philosophy

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:17 am
    See here.  The last MacArthur "genius" fellowship awarded to someone they classified as philosopher was in 1993.On the whole, scholars outside of philosophy tend, I think, not to see much value in what most professional philosophers do.  The MacArthur drought is one reflection and measure of that.Not that prizes matter.  Sheesh.  We're too busy thinking about important stuff like whether the external world exists (82% of target faculty agree that it does).  The MacArthur folks probably think that climate change is a more important topic.  But if the…
  • Use of "She" and "He" in Philosopher's Index Abstracts

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:09 am
    The Philosopher's Index has long been the standard database of philosophy articles (though that might soon change, with PhilPapers mounting an impressive challenge). As one measure of the greater visibility of men than women in philosophy, I looked at the rates at which "she" and "he" appear in the Philosopher's Index article abstracts from 1940 to the present. One interesting thing about analyzing abstracts is that mentioning someone in an abstract implies a high degree of attention to that person -- much higher than is implied by a passing reference (the usual target of bibliometric…
  • Council of UC Faculty Associations Statement on "Civility" and Academic Freedom

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    12 Sep 2014 | 8:08 am
    Just found this in my inbox: On Friday Sept. 5, Chancellor Dirks of UC Berkeley circulated an open statement to his campus community that sought to define the limits of appropriate debate at Berkeley. Issued as the campus approaches the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, Chancellor Dirks' statement, with its evocation of civility, echoes language recently used by the Chancellor of the University of Illinois, Urbana and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (especially its Chair Christopher Kennedy) concerning the refused appointment of Steven Salaita. It also mirrors…
  • Skill and Disability in Zhuangzi

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    10 Sep 2014 | 2:35 pm
    Shelley Tremain and the NewAPPS "ableism" controversy have me thinking about disability. One of the most interesting philosophers of disability, rarely mentioned in this connection, is the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi. At first blush, Zhuangzi might seem an unlikely critic of ableism (prejudice against people with disabilities). Two of the most visible recent Anglophone interpreters of Chinese philosophy, A.C. Graham and P.J. Ivanhoe both defend "skillfulness" interpretations of Zhuangzi, according to which what Zhuangzi most values is a kind of skillful responsiveness to the world…
  • Philosophy Is Incredibly White -- but This Does Not Make It Unusual Among the Humanities

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    3 Sep 2014 | 2:42 pm
    Tina Fernandes Botts and colleagues have recently posted a fascinating analysis of the shockingly low numbers of black- or African-American- identified philosophers in the United States. According to their data, 1.3% of U.S. philosophers self-identify as black (compared to 13% in the general U.S. population). Now I was all set today to work up some speculations on why philosophy is so different from the other humanities and social sciences in this regard (a favorite hypothesis: a disciplinary addiction to the cult of genius plus a high degree of implicit bias in anointing geniuses). Then I…
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • 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…
  • One in Four Film Festival, Mental Health: It's everybody''s business

    18 Sep 2014 | 2:48 am
    MENTAL HEALTH - IT'S EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS6TH -10TH OCTOBER 2014The One in Four Film Festival 2014 is a week-long free event featuring films which explore the effects of mental ill health upon individuals, communities and families. The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness of and stamp out the stigma associated with mental ill health. The Festival is sponsored by the School of Health.ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONEvery evening a film that explores mental health is shown at 7pm, the film is introduced by the person who has nominated the film for the festival and then a service user speaks…
  • UCLan Philosophy HeRMI

    5 Sep 2014 | 4:47 am
    What’s a HeRMI? The School of Health is setting up a number of ‘Health Research Methodology and Implementation Hubs’ in areas such as Qualitative Research, Health Informatics, Systematic Review, User Engagement. Their focus is thus on particular methods or approaches to research rather than on particular subject areas. Although the nature of the activity undertaken will vary as appropriate between the different hubs, their initial aims are:• To build methodological capability• To act as a link to external methodological resources and networks• To support high quality bids and…
  • Oxford Summer Schools and Conferences: Mind, Value and Mental Health: Philosophy and Psychiatry Summer School and Conference

    1 Sep 2014 | 1:39 pm
    Oxford Summer Schools and Conferences: Mind, Value and Mental Health: Philosophy and Psychiatry Summer School and Conference23–25 July 2015Applications are now open for these two linked events exploring areas in which the philosophy of mind and ethics or the philosophy of value make contact with issues about mental health. Summer School23–24 July 2015Highlights include:Other Minds: Anita Avramides, Joel Kruegar and Vasu ReddyHallucination/Psychosis : Matthew Broome, Matthew Parrott and Owen EarnshawEmbodiment: Katherine MorrisMental Health and Human Flourishing:Edward Harcourt and Jeremy…
  • Quick thoughts on contesting Jaspers and ununderstandability

    1 Sep 2014 | 9:28 am
    Aline M.P., who is working on a PhD on delusion, and I had one of those interesting PhD supervisions today which made me regret the lack of time to go very carefully over some key texts. In this case, Jaspers’ General Psychopathology. And thus my summary of our rather swift conversation may reveal some key ignorance on my part but I found it really helpful to talk through the strategic issues even if they refer as much to a logically possible Jaspers rather than the actual one (so what follows is an alloy of Aline’s and my thinking today although blindspots reflect badly only on me, as…
 
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    Freemason Information

  • The Little Project

    Greg Stewart
    20 Sep 2014 | 8:14 am
    Just recently, I decided to bring to life a little project of mine that began somewhere back in 2007. The “project” evolved as a series of short works, or treatises, on the degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. The project had an purpose, one that I followed through its course. Slowly, the pile of works grew to encompass 12 near complete works, many at written at great pains of research and time. But what was I to do with them? I wanted to do something more with them than to publish them onto the web. I felt like they deserved better than that, they needed something to encapsulate…
  • Counting Our Blessings

    TimBryce
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON LIFE - Do not despair, try writing a list of the positive things in life instead. (Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. I was having a cigar with a good friend recently where we were lamenting about the state of affairs in our government, business, and the country in general. It’s easy to be negative when events do not turn out as you expect them. However, I made the observation people tend to overlook the blessings in their lives, those events, however large or trifle, somehow had a profound effect on our lives. I…
  • Revisiting Masonic Artist Ryan Flynn

    Fred Milliken
    13 Sep 2014 | 4:09 pm
    Once Again we visit Masonic artist Brother Ryan Flynn but this time in person. You might remember my first article on Brother Flynn, The Multi Talented Masonic Graphic ArtistBrother Ryan J. Flynn . Greg Stewart followed that up with an in depth interview, Symbolism, Sacred Numerology and Mythology in Art with Artist and Freemason Ryan Flynn. We are back once again to see what is new with Brother Flynn.  And the point is that there is always something new with this Masonic artist. Here is one Brother who doesn’t rest on his laurels but sets off into new worlds to conquer. The video pretty…
  • More Noble than the Roman Eagle

    Greg Stewart
    7 Sep 2014 | 9:15 am
    Aquila, better known in Masonic parlance as the Roman Eagle, was considered in ancient times to be a symbol of strength, courage, and immortality. The signa militaria[i] of the Roman military under Gaius Marius (104 BC), the war standard was made of silver or bronze and served more as a holy war relic than mere militaristic emblem of the Roman Legions. Wells, in his Masonic short talk of 1915, says of the eagle that as it was adopted by the Romans upon their banners it …signified magnanimity and fortitude, or as in the ancient Sacred Writings, swiftness and courage. In antiquity, the…
  • Retirementland

    TimBryce
    5 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON LIFE - Do we ever truly retire? (Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. I have written about retirement in the past and I still regard it as a mystery. I have had more friends “check out” recently for a variety of reasons. They all claim to be happy to be retired, that they have been planning it for years, and that I am a chump to keep working. I consider this all a bald-faced lie. I’ve seen some become musicians, where they play pickup gigs. I’ve seen others become golfers, playing the same course…
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    Philosophy News

  • On John Brockman

    21 Sep 2014 | 7:20 pm
    John Brockman, literary über agent and intellectual arbiter, wrote a trilogy of experimental, divisive books. Then, at age 32, he retired from writing… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Censors at Work

    21 Sep 2014 | 7:20 pm
    If you think there is only one thing to know about censorship – that it is always bad – you’d be wrong. Censorship can be surprisingly benign… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Famine food

    21 Sep 2014 | 7:19 pm
    Grasses, leaves, bark, clay, and dirt were once staples of a famine diet. Now they’re served at the world’s most exclusive restaurants… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Beyond Versus: The Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture

    21 Sep 2014 | 6:48 pm
    2014.09.27 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews James Tabery, Beyond Versus: The Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture, MIT Press, 2014, 279pp., $40.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780262027373. Reviewed by Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Oregon State University This is an engaging new entry in the voluminous literature that attempts to get beyond "nature-nurture" divides. James Tabery develops two related themes. First, that several key historical debates surrounding "nature versus nurture," or more particularly, the relative importance of interactions between genes and…
  • Question about Justice - Charles Taliaferro responds

    20 Sep 2014 | 10:55 am
    Is any society that uses money in some degree a capitalist society, even the ex-Soviet Union? I hear arguments everyday from others and the media that a free society must necessarily be a capitalist one but I think that is just an illusion because the government, business, and other institutions with power set out all the laws and norms for this unofficial ideology of capitalism to exist, not individuals. Most people in capitalist societies have no other choice but to spend their entire lives accumulating capital instead of doing more important things like being self-sufficient and reading…
 
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    Philosophy Walk

  • A Brief Update and Some News

    rick@rdcoste.com (R.D. Coste)
    17 Sep 2014 | 9:17 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast I'd like to provide you with a brief update and some news about a new podcast! The post A Brief Update and Some News appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Moral Realism

    rick@rdcoste.com (R.D. Coste)
    8 Sep 2014 | 2:53 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast Are there moral facts and objective moral values, that are as real, and as certain, as the fact that 2 + 2 equals 4? The post Moral Realism appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Consequentialism

    rick@rdcoste.com (R.D. Coste)
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:18 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast Philosopher Jeremy Bentham focused on happiness. The maximum amount of happiness for the most people. It is this that drove his version of utilitarianism. Being that we ought to consider only the consequences of an act in order to determine its goodness, Bentham equated that goodness with happiness and a minimization of pain. John Stuart Mill stepped in to carry Bentham's torch 1861 work 'Utilitarianism'. The post Consequentialism appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Virtue Ethics

    rick@rdcoste.com (R.D. Coste)
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:26 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast For a person who follows virtue ethics it is their goal to identify, develop, and achieve desirable virtues. Anything less would translate to a less virtuous life and a loss of potential. The post Virtue Ethics appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
  • Deontology with Hobbes, Locke, and Kant

    rick@rdcoste.com (R.D. Coste)
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:06 am
    Philosophy Walk Philosophy Walk - Official Site of the Podcast In our pursuit of what we ought to do when faced with any particular situation we started off with Normative ethics. Particular the category of Normative ethics knows as Deontology. In the last episode we were introduced to the Divine Command Theory, a flavor of Deontology that looks towards God for the answer. Today we are going to take a slightly different approach and ask Hobbes, Locke, and Kant what they think we should do. The post Deontology with Hobbes, Locke, and Kant appeared first on Philosophy Walk.
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    TheYoungSocrates

  • The Life of a Twenty-something

    Rob
    14 Sep 2014 | 9:23 am
    Most of the people in their early twenties that I have met seem not to know what to do with their professional lives. They seem to be lost in the vast range of opportunities that they can pick from. This paper focuses on ‘the’ reasons why these ‘twenty-somethings’ might feel this way and how they could solve this issue.  See more at The Life of a Twenty-something
  • 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-song 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…
  • 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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    Recent Articles

  • Notes on Wittgenstein’s “On Certainty”, Part 9

    Alistair Robinson
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    251. Doesn’t this mean: I shall proceed according to this belief unconditionally, and not let anything confuse me? 252. But it isn’t just that I believe in this way that I have two hands, but that every reasonable person does. 253. At the foundation of well-founded belief lies belief that is not founded. 254. Any 'reasonable’ person behaves like this. 255. Doubting has certain characteristic manifestations, but they are only characteristic of it in particular circumstances. If someone said that he doubted the existence of his hands, kept looking at them from all sides, tried…
  • Notes on Wittgenstein’s “On Certainty”, Part 8

    Alistair Robinson
    5 Feb 2013 | 4:00 pm
    Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 236. If someone said “The earth has not long been…” what would he be impugning? Do I know? Would it have to be what is called a scientific belief? Might it not be a mystical one? Is there any absolute necessity for him to be contradicting historical facts? or even geographical ones? 237. If I say “an hour ago this table didn’t exist”, I probably mean that it was only made later on. If I say “this mountain didn’t exist then”, I presumably mean that it was only formed later on – perhaps…
  • The Argument For Indirect Realism

    Alistair Robinson
    8 Jan 2013 | 4:00 pm
    It seems also evident, that, when men follow this blind and powerful instinct of nature, they always suppose the very images, presented by the senses, to be the external objects, and never entertain any suspicion, that the one are nothing but representations of the other. This very table, which we see white, and which we feel hard, is believed to exist, independent of our perception, and to be something external to our mind, which perceives it. Our presence bestows not being on it: our absence does not annihilate it. It preserves its existence uniform and entire, independent of the situation…
 
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • Are journals too selective?

    Marcus Arvan
    19 Sep 2014 | 12:09 pm
    In the comments section of her recent post at NewAPPS on data she collected on journal submissions (cross-posted here), Helen De Cruz writes: Jason Stanley...wrote (in a comment published on this blog a while ago): "I'm reviewing Kieran Healy's citation data, and it reminds me again how weird journal acceptance is. My book *Knowledge and Practical Interests* is the fifth most cited work of philosophy since 2000 in Phil Review, Mind, Nous, and the Journal of Philosophy (book or article). Yet the book itself is the result of three revise and resubmits, and finally a rejection…
  • Who submits to top general philosophy journals?

    Helen De Cruz
    18 Sep 2014 | 2:51 pm
    [X-posted at NewApps] In a recent survey, I asked philosophers about their submissions to journals, to get a sense of what journals people submit to and also what factors might influence their decisions on where to submit papers. Specifically, I wanted to know how frequently people submit their work to the top 5 journals in philosophy, which are usually regarded (according to polls) as the best journals in the field: Philosophical Review, Journal of Philosophy, Mind, Noûs and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Increasingly, publications in these journals are regarded as a marker of…
  • Do we have our priorities right?

    Marcus Arvan
    18 Sep 2014 | 11:17 am
    Two posts I read this morning got me thinking about our discipline's priorities: Eric Schwitzgabel's post at NewAPPS on how no philosophers have won MacArthur "genius" fellowships since 1993, and "Professor Manners"'s post on whether we should emulate Socrates over at Feminist Philosophers.  By and large, philosophy seems to be hurting. At many universities, philosophy is more or less an afterthought. Departments tend to be small, and jobs and majors tend to be increasingly scarce. For example, at my university, the Department of Philosophy &…
  • Quick survey on journal submissions

    Helen De Cruz
    16 Sep 2014 | 12:39 pm
    Quick survey on journal submissions I would be very grateful if Cocooners who are philosophers could fill out the following brief, anonymous survey on journal submissions. The aim is to get a picture of what kinds of journals you submit to, especially to the journals that are regarded as the top general philosophy journals. https://surveys.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6lM1JE4Q88BruhD Note: As some NewApps readers who took this survey pointed out, the AOS history of philosophy is listed twice. Unfortunately, I can't change this anymore without invalidating the survey. If this is your AOS,…
  • Would knowledge of God's existence interfere with our ability to make morally significant choices? Insights from the cognitive science of religion

    Helen De Cruz
    16 Sep 2014 | 5:26 am
    [x-posted at NewApps] Although over half the world' population are theists (according to Pew survey results), God's existence isn't an obvious fact, not even to those who sincerely believe he exists. To put it differently, as Keith DeRose recently put it, even if God exists, we don't know that he does. This presents a puzzle for theists: why doesn't God make his existence more unambiguously known? The problem of divine hiddenness has long been recognized by theists (for instance, Psalm 22), but only fairly recently has it become the focus of debate in philosophy of…
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    Re-constructing Strategy

  • 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…
  • 5 Pillars of Muslim Thoughtlessness

    saqib qureshi
    27 Jul 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Say anything enough times, and irrespective of the underlying reality, people will start to believe. The Muslim community is no exception. Over the years, I’ve come across several incorrect assertions by imams and the heterogeneous community, assertions that have become accepted mantra. Here is my top 5 list: “Islam is unlike any other religion because it is a way of life”. Following Manchester United is a way of life…. as is homosexuality…. as are all the great religions. Just ask anybody who lives near Old Trafford and what kind of religion it is that they follow. There’s…
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  • Eggs: To Freeze or Not to Freeze?

    Serena Kutchinsky
    26 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am
    I just celebrated my 35th birthday, which according to my tenuous 20-something life plan was when I would be married and about to embark upon baby making. I won’t go into the various reasons why this hasn’t happened. It’s complicated, but in one sense it’s also perfectly simple – I’ve been progressing in life, ticking some boxes, leaving others expectantly empty because, as we are constantly told, we can’t expect to have it all. And yet, biology hasn’t yet caught up with the requirements of the modern woman lifestyle. As a result, the question of “to freeze or not to…
  • Justice Beyond Privacy

    Steve Fuller
    26 Aug 2014 | 9:08 am
    Justice has been always about modes of interconnectivity. Retributive justice – ‘eye for an eye’ stuff – recalls an age when kinship was how we related to each other. In the modern era, courtesy of the nation-state, bonds have been forged in terms of common laws, common language, common education, common roads, etc. The internet, understood as a global information and communication infrastructure, is both enhancing and replacing these bonds, resulting in new senses of what counts as ‘mine’, ‘yours’, ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’ – the building blocks of a just society. That…
  • The XX Factor

    Alison Wolf
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:59 am
    Following an opinion piece by Labour MP Austin Mitchell in the Daily Mail, the role of women in politics is once again under scrutiny. “More amenable and leadable" is how Mitchell described women MPs. Meanwhile, a new study claims that female bosses earn 35% less than their male counterparts – over forty years after the Equal Pay Act was designed to put an end to such discrepancies. Have things changed since the labour market of the 1920s and ‘30s? Or is there still much to be done? We spoke to labour market expert and Professor of Public Sector Management, Alison Wolf about gender…
  • One Culture for Science

    Lewis Wolpert
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:46 am
    In his now famous 1959 lecture, The Two Cultures, CP Snow said that the gulf between the sciences and humanities had created a significant barrier to solving the world’s problems. This prompted a debate that still rages today. On the one hand, the sciences and the humanities seem as segregated as they have ever been – especially within schools. But recent years have also seen a growing number of projects in which artists and scientists have worked together successfully. While some see this as a positive development in overcoming the barrier identified by CP Snow, others, such as Lewis…
  • The End of Psychology?

    Steven Rose
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:17 am
    The end of psychology? Perhaps not quite yet, but there is a serious message behind The Onion’s fantasy about the American Psychology Association (APA). Over the past decades, psychology has been increasingly overtaken by neuroscience. Two multi-billion euro/dollar initiatives – one European, one American – were launched in 2012 with the avowed objectives of “solving the brain” and, in the EU’s case, incorporating the solution into novel “neuromorphic” computers. Hard-line reductionists speak of “molecular and cellular cognition” and dismiss the mind as an epiphenomenal…
 
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