Philosophy

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Sydney's Dalia Nassar interviewed...

    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog
    Brian Leiter
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:21 am
    ...at 3AM.
  • On cyber-defamation

    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog
    Brian Leiter
    21 Nov 2014 | 4:30 am
    I'm not a fan of Sam Harris, to put it mildly, but this is typical of the crap that happens in cyberspace, to which even philosophy professors (e.g., Sheffield's Jennifer Saul) have been party.
  • Editorial: Collision Courses

    iai.tv news RSS feed
    Editor
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:36 am
    With violence erupting in Syria, Gaza, and the Ukraine, the world, it seems, is sliding into the greatest of dangers. The talk is already of a new Cold War, and the world's governments are in need of urgent solutions to prevent the rapid-fire spread of open hostility. Against this backdrop of violence and uncertainty, we present a two-part interrogation into the shifting sands of world politics. In Part I, Rana Mitter argues that Russia is still flexing its muscles and China lacks a global agenda. America remains the dominant player on the global stage, he believes, for now at least. Not so,…
  • A moral argument

    Alexander Pruss's Blog
    21 Nov 2014 | 6:32 am
    I've never found the moral argument for morality—except in its epistemic variety—particularly compelling. But now I find myself pulled to find plausible premises (1) and (2) of the following pretty standard argument: Only things that are infinitely more important than me can ultimately ground absolutely overriding rules on me. Rules without ultimate grounding are impossible or not absolutely overriding. I am a finite person. The only things that could be infinitely more important than a finite person are or have among them (a) infinitely many finite persons or (b) an infinite person.
  • Bionic Ethics

    Talking Philosophy
    Mike LaBossiere
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/51256116 Although bionics have been part of science fiction for quite some time (a well-known example is the Six Million Dollar Man), the reality of prosthetics has long been rather disappointing. But, thanks to America’s endless wars and recent advances in technology, bionic prosthetics are now a reality. There are now replacement legs that replicate the functionality of the original organics amazingly well. There have also been advances in prosthetic arms and hands as well as progress in artificial sight.  As with all technology, these bionic devices…
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Ancient Political Philosophy

    Melissa Lane
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:38 pm
    [Revised entry by Melissa Lane on November 21, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Ancient political philosophy is understood here to mean ancient Greek and Roman thought from the classical period of Greek thought in the fifth century BCE to the end of the Roman empire in the West in the fifth century CE, excluding the rise of Christian ideas about...
  • Privacy and Information Technology

    Jeroen van den Hoven, Martijn Blaauw, Wolter Pieters, and Martijn Warnier
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:19 pm
    [New Entry by Jeroen van den Hoven, Martijn Blaauw, Wolter Pieters, and Martijn Warnier on November 20, 2014.] Human beings value their privacy and the protection of their personal sphere of life. They value some control over who knows what about them. They certainly do not want their personal information to be accessible to just anyone at any time. But recent advances in information technology threaten privacy and have reduced the amount of control over personal data and open up the possibility of a range of...
  • Automated Reasoning

    Frederic Portoraro
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:01 pm
    [Revised entry by Frederic Portoraro on November 20, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Reasoning is the ability to make inferences, and automated reasoning is concerned with the building of computing systems that automate this process. Although the overall goal is to mechanize different forms of reasoning, the term has largely been identified with valid deductive...
  • Tiantai Buddhism

    Brook Ziporyn
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:24 pm
    [New Entry by Brook Ziporyn on November 19, 2014.] Tiantai is the name of a mountain and surrounding geographical location in China, literally meaning "platform of the sky", but the term is traditionally used to denote a particular school of Mahāyāna Buddhism with historical connections to that locale. In this article, the term "Tiantai" will be used to refer to the philosophical ideas developed from the sixth to...
  • Medieval Theories of Obligationes

    Paul Vincent Spade and Mikko Yrjönsuuri
    18 Nov 2014 | 7:02 pm
    [Revised entry by Paul Vincent Spade and Mikko Yrjönsuuri on November 18, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Obligationes (literally, "obligations") or disputations de obligationibus were a medieval disputation format that became very widespread in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Although their name might suggest they had something especially to do...
 
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    Talking Philosophy

  • Bionic Ethics

    Mike LaBossiere
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/51256116 Although bionics have been part of science fiction for quite some time (a well-known example is the Six Million Dollar Man), the reality of prosthetics has long been rather disappointing. But, thanks to America’s endless wars and recent advances in technology, bionic prosthetics are now a reality. There are now replacement legs that replicate the functionality of the original organics amazingly well. There have also been advances in prosthetic arms and hands as well as progress in artificial sight.  As with all technology, these bionic devices…
  • Evidence: a love-story

    Rupert Read
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:55 am
    Philosophers! I have a proposition to put to you. Nowadays, we would-be rational members of the public, the intellectually-minded, many citizens, are too in love with the concept of evidence. Perhaps this surprises you. Maybe you’re thinking: if only! If only enough attention were paid to the massive evidence that dangerous climate change is happening, and that it’s human-triggered. Or: if only the epidemiological evidence marshalled by Wilkinson and Pickett — that more inequality makes society worse in almost every conceivable way — were acted upon. But actually, even in…
  • Why You Should (Probably) Not Be A Professor

    Mike LaBossiere
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/463246869 While I like being a professor, I am obligated to give a warning to those considering this career path. To be specific, I would warn you to reconsider. This is not because I fear the competition (I am a tenured full professor, so I won’t be competing with anyone for a job). It is not because I have turned against my profession to embrace anti-intellectualism or some delusional ideology about the awfulness of professors. It is not even due to disillusionment. I still believe in education and the value of educators. My real reason is altruism and…
  • Catcalling

    Mike LaBossiere
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/455658932 For those not familiar with the term, to catcall is to whistle, shout or make a comment of a sexual nature to a person passing by. In general, the term is used when the person being harassed is a women, but men can also be subject to such harassment. Thanks to a video documenting a woman’s 10 hours of being catcalled as she walked New York City, catcalling has garnered considerable attention. While it is well known that men catcall, it is less obvious why men engage in this behavior. Some men seem to hold to the view that they have a right to…
  • The Teenage Mind & Decision Making

    Mike LaBossiere
    14 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/163207027 One of the stereotypes regarding teenagers is that they are poor decision makers and engage in risky behavior. This stereotype is usually explained in terms of the teenage brain (or mind) being immature and lacking the reasoning abilities of adults. Of course, adults often engage in poor decision-making and risky behavior. Interestingly enough, there is research that shows teenagers use basically the same sort of reasoning as adults and that they even overestimate risks (that is, regard something as more risky than it is). So, if kids use the same…
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    AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

  • Question about Freedom, Law - Stephen Maitzen responds

    21 Nov 2014 | 8:05 am
    If we have no free will, then is the entire legal system redundant since no one can be held accountable for anything since no one has control over their own actions? Response from: Stephen Maitzen Those like me who are compatibilists take the view that the truth of determinism would have no consequences for law and morals.Like Jonathan, I too am a compatibilist, and I agree with what he says in the italicized statement above. However, the questioner asked about the effect on the legal system of (1) the total absence of free will, not (2) the truth of determinism. I agree with Jonathan that…
  • Question about Freedom, Law - Jonathan Westphal responds

    21 Nov 2014 | 8:05 am
    If we have no free will, then is the entire legal system redundant since no one can be held accountable for anything since no one has control over their own actions? Response from: Jonathan Westphal Your question is a very important one and has been very important historically. It has driven quite a lot of discussion about freewill. Alas, I do not agree with Stephen's answer. If hard determinism is true, which is to say that we have no free will, then, Stephen says, the legal system would be corrupt. So also would be the moral systems, including the one that allows him to use the concept…
  • Question about Freedom, Law - Stephen Maitzen responds

    21 Nov 2014 | 8:05 am
    If we have no free will, then is the entire legal system redundant since no one can be held accountable for anything since no one has control over their own actions? Response from: Stephen Maitzen If no one can legitimately be held accountable for anything, then I think the Anglo-American legal system (the only legal system I know at all well) is worse than redundant (and strictly speaking not even redundant): it's fundamentally corrupt. Indeed, it's hard for me to imagine any legal system that doesn't presume that we have control over at least some of our actions. Even a system that punishes…
  • Question about Value - Allen Stairs responds

    20 Nov 2014 | 10:24 am
    Is there any point to attempting to better society, or is it better to live in self interest? Response from: Allen Stairs There is a point in trying to make society better: if you succeed, society will be better. Is it better to live purely self-interestedly? It might be better for you. But that doesn't mean it would be better.However, I assume that the point behind your question is why anyone should ever bother doing things that aren't just for their own benefit. If you're looking for an answer that appeals only to your self-interest, then the books are pretty well cooked. It could be that…
  • Question about Philosophy - Stephen Maitzen responds

    20 Nov 2014 | 9:07 am
    As practicing philosophers, how do you react to known academics and intellectuals who are dismissive of philosophy, like Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss? Are there some truths to what they are saying about the nature and value of philosophy? Response from: Stephen Maitzen Speaking just for myself, I react much as I did in answering Question 4636 and Question 4759. For reasons that I hope those answers make obvious, I don't regard the dismissive remarks of Hawking, Krauss, Dawkins, Tyson, and their ilk as worth taking seriously. As far as I can tell, their remarks stem from simple…
 
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    Ethics Etc

  • JOB: Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in Environmental Studies and Bioethics at NYU

    S. Matthew Liao
    18 Nov 2014 | 11:03 am
    The NYU Department of Environmental Studies and the NYU Center for Bioethics invite applications for the position of Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow. The initial appointment will be for one year beginning September 1, 2015, renewable annually for a maximum of three years, pending administrative and budgetary approval. We especially welcome candidates who have worked in environmental […]
  • CFP: 18th Annual CUNY Graduate Student Conference

    S. Matthew Liao
    2 Nov 2014 | 12:32 pm
    ** I’m very honored to be invited to speak at this event. ** “Normativity and the Human Sciences” April 24th and 25th, 2015 Department of Philosophy, The Graduate Center, CUNY (New York, NY) Keynote Speakers: Tyler Burge (UCLA) and S. Matthew Liao (NYU) Deadline for Submissions: January 15th, 2015 Responses to submissions will be sent […]
  • CFP: Northwestern University Society for the Theory of Ethics and Politics 2015

    S. Matthew Liao
    2 Nov 2014 | 12:02 pm
    May 21-23, 2015 Keynote Addresses: Frances Kamm (Harvard University) Joseph Raz (Columbia University Law School) Submission Guidelines: Submissions from faculty and graduate students are welcomed, as some sessions will be reserved for student presentations. Please submit an essay of approximately 4000 words. Essay topics in all areas of ethical theory and political philosophy will be […]
  • Experimental Philosophy of the Self at NYU

    S. Matthew Liao
    26 Oct 2014 | 10:23 pm
    Date: Saturday December 13, 2014 Time: 9:30am to 5pm Location: Tisch Hall (40 W 4th Street), Room LC-11, New York University Over the past several years there have been exciting empirical discoveries about the self. At the same time, there have been important developments in the philosophy of the self and personal identity. To foster […]
  • Program for NYU Conference on Measuring Borderline States of Consciousness

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

  • Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2014-11-20

    KateNorlock
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:12 pm
    For Kee, for Tara, and for lost friends near and far, I draw the attention of readers to the International Transgender Day of Remembrance. Thanks to Jenny Saul for reminding bloggers of this day.  
  • Ladybird drops gendered book branding

    cornsay
    20 Nov 2014 | 8:03 am
    Since we frequently point out the occasions when toy manufacturers and the like make depressingly gender-normative gestures with their products, it’s a pleasure to also point out the occasions when they get things right. So: three cheers for Ladybird, the popular publisher of childrens’ books, who have undertaken to remove any gendered labelling from their collections of stories, since “we certainly don’t want to be seen to be limiting children“. In the interests of editorial impartiality, it should be noted that other publishers have made the same pledge: Dorling…
  • FP: Early Modern Women on Metaphysics, Religion and Science Conference 21-23 March 2016, University of Groningen

    axiothea
    19 Nov 2014 | 10:29 pm
    Originally posted on Feminist History of Philosophy: This looks like a fantastic conference: During the early modern period (c. 1600-1800) women were involved in many debates that tangled together metaphysics, religion and science. The women included figures such as Margaret Cavendish, Emilie Du Châtelet, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, and Damaris Cudworth Masham. The debates surrounded issues such as atomism, determinism, motion, mind-body causation, mechanism, space, and natural laws. The conference will be held on 21-23 March 2016, at University of Groningen. The program will be comprised…
  • The Pope on the complementarity of man and woman – or how times aren’t really a’ changing,

    axiothea
    19 Nov 2014 | 10:13 pm
    From a status update by Mary Anne Case: Mere weeks after its Synod on the Family, the Vatican is sponsoring, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a much less publicized International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman, whose speakers include an international cast of culture warriors from Rick Warren to Nazir Ali, as well as high level Mormon, Sikh, Islamic and rabbinical representatives and a Daoist proponent of Yin and Yang. On the good news front, Pope Francis opened the meeting by acknowledging that “You must admit that…
  • Reflections of a black female engineer

    magicalersatz
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:20 pm
    Dr. Carlotta Berry – an engineering professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology – has written an op-ed in the New York Times about her experiences as a woman of color in a male-dominated field. Much of it should sound fairly familiar to philosophers: Having worked with thousands of students, I know for a fact that for many — though by no means all, or even most — there is already a presumption that I, as a female and African-American, am less qualified than my white male colleagues, or at the very least that I was hired in order to meet a double minority quota. And I get…
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • 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…
  • UPDATE: Graphic on history of philosophy

    Michael Cholbi
    4 Nov 2014 | 2:30 pm
    UPDATE, Nov 4: Cook has created a second graphic depicting the history of Eastern philosophy.Merrill Cook has created this very attractive graphic charting the history of philosophy. Do feel free to display and disseminate.
  • New issue of Teaching Philosophy

    Michael Cholbi
    30 Oct 2014 | 3:45 pm
    The latest issue of Teaching Philosophy (volume 37, no. 4) is out. Detailed contents below the fold. Patricia CaltonTeaching Business Ethics as Innovative Problem SolvingTeaching business ethics offers an opportunity to encourage students to use ethical theory to develop critical thinking skills and to use these skills to practice creative, ethical problem solving that will serve them well in the course of their professional lives. In the first part of this article, I detail how the disciplined use of ethical theory not only develops students’ moral perceptions but also gives them the…
  • EngagedPhilosophy.com: Using Civic Engagement in Philosophy Classes

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

  • Passages (2)

    16 Nov 2014 | 3:38 pm
    In my last blog I talked about passages. Marc Augé, who has written an analysis of such places, calls them “non-lieux” – non-places, which expresses even better what they are: places that are nothing for you. You are just there because you cannot avoid them. You simply have to pass through them for one reason or another. And if you could avoid them, like the shops on an airfield, you are there because you have to fill your time anyway, be it by shopping or be it by waiting in the room near the gate till your airplane departs.According to Augé, non-places have three characteristics.
  • Passages

    9 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    It’s a kind of places that every traveller knows. Also when you are not travelling, you’ll certainly often have gone through them: passages. You cannot avoid them, although you would rather stay there as short as possible for passages are usually annoying and boring and sometimes even lugubrious. It does not need to be so, however, and some are even pleasant in a way. Passages connect places that are meaningful for you. You leave home and go to your work. Then you have to travel before you are there, so you spend some time in the bus or tram or train and at a bus stop or tram stop or in a…
  • “Do like the others and become yourself”

    2 Nov 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Everybody is unique or so he or she thinks. In view of this it is a bit strange that we want to be like the others who are in our reference groups, or at least that we don’t want to be too different from them. A recent study has shown again that just the marginal members of a group stress that they belong to it while the more central group members – who are known as such –  don’t feel the need to do so. This is especially the case if the group one wants to belong to has a higher status or cultural value, for then it enhances your self-esteem and your prestige. The case just…
  • “All things have their season” (2)

    25 Oct 2014 | 6:33 pm
    Once I decided to grow apples. So I read about how to cultivate them, about what is important when choosing apple varieties and a few things more. When I knew everything about growing apples and had chosen the varieties I wanted to have, I went to a fruit tree nursery and bought three young trees and planted them in my garden. It was a feast for the eye to see them growing and I liked it very much to look after them and to prune them. Since my garden is small, I trained the trees as espaliers. So I was very happy that after a few years I could eat fruit from my own garden. I had chosen the…
  • Joint commitment

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

  • Testing Citizens: Why the UK Citizenship Test Requires Urgent Reforms

    17 Nov 2014 | 3:34 pm
    . . . is my new piece for Bright Blue and FOUND HERE.
  • Next talk: the Ethics, Politics, and Health Symposium, part of the President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative

    13 Nov 2014 | 2:00 pm
    . . . and taking place at the University of Limerick. Details here for looks like a great event!
  • Ancient Republics: A Workshop (Part I)

    12 Nov 2014 | 12:24 pm
    In collaboration with the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East (CAMNE), the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University is hosting a workshop on Ancient Republics (14-15 November 2014), with the project of investigating the 'Republic' in its many manifestations in the ancient world, and its significance for later theories of Republican thought.  This project represents a collaboration between the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University, the Department of Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the…
  • The facts about immigration & Labour's policies

    10 Nov 2014 | 3:53 am
    The FACTS about immigration and Labour's policies to deal with this... View this email in your browser SHADOW HOME SECRETARY IMMIGRATION In a week in which the Shadow Home Secretary will visit Basildon to discuss immigration with local residents, I think it is important that we set the record straight over UKIP's misleading statistics and inform people of Labour's policies for government. UKIP claim they are 'straight talking'. They plaster the phrase all over their leaflets. They think if they talk louder than everyone else and do it with a pint in one hand and a fag in the other, the public…
  • Dudley Knowles (1947-2014)

    9 Nov 2014 | 3:01 pm
    Dudley Knowles was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow.The Daily Nous has links to announcements here.
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    Jon Cogburn's Blog

  • Rolling Stone takes on UVrApe

    Jon Cogburn
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:16 am
    Horrific article about a fraternity gang rape and the victim's treatment by University of Virginia here. More recent article about UVA's maybe doing something in reaction to the article here.
  • A couple of thoughts on reading Kaufmann on Nietzsche twenty-five years later

    Jon Cogburn
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:12 pm
    I'm reading Nietzsche for the first time since I was ninteen in preparation for a philosophy of religion class I'm teaching next semester (we'll be doing Freud and Marx too), and a few things really leap off of the page of Kaufmann's introductory essays. First, Nietzsche is one of those writers (like Heidegger and Derrida) whose style has its own kind of awful viral power. It's the "lofty" affectation of the weary soul gazing down from the mountain because he sees through all of piddling humanity's unimportant illusions. You find this species of pretension…
  • Florida State University shooting

    Jon Cogburn
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:46 am
    Story here. My seven and four year old have to go through "shelter in place" training in schoolwhere the class hides in various places and the doors are locked. My god we're depraved.
  • some thoughts about Kotkin's new Stalin book

    Jon Cogburn
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:52 am
    I"ve been reading part I of Stephen Kotkin's mammoth new Stalin trilogy (atlanticmonthly review here, guardian review here, nybooks review here) and I'm struck by how powerful certain cultural tropes are at self-replicating. In particular, why does Russia keep producing autocrats with power is unchecked by elites? This goes back hundreds of years. One wants to appeal to quasi-evolutionary theory in the same manner as people who believe in memes (mental states such as beliefs that get selected for in a manner analogous to the way physical traits are in the course of evolution). Is…
  • Anecdotal evidence that one shouldn't overgeneralize Kripke

    Jon Cogburn
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:37 pm
    It's been fascinating to see how my four year old daughter responds semantically to realizing that the Disney universe is fictional. She's convinced that princesses aren't real. When I tell her that actual princesses are just women whose parents are kings and queens, or who marry men whose parents are kings and queens, and that such creatures exist in the actual world, she just doesn't buy it. For her it is a necessary property of being a princess that they exist in a world with talking sidekick animals. As soon as she figured out that animals don't really talk, she…
 
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    Continental Philosophy

  • 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
  • Foucault’s Risks – by Anna Shechtman, Peter Raccuglia & Susan Morrow – Review – Los Angeles Review of Books

    James Luchte
    17 Nov 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Editor’s note: On October 17–18, 2014, Yale University hosted a conference exploring the intellectual and political legacy of Michel Foucault. The Los Angeles Review of Books asked three Yale graduate students to respond to this conference by focusing on what Foucault means for them, as scholars and theorists beginning their careers. WHEN JUDITH BUTLER came to Yale this month to speak at a conference on “Michel Foucault: After 1984,” she brought the police with her. Students and faculty packed the auditorium to see her, lining the walls and even the stage on which she spoke. If the…
  • Conference Session on Autonomy and Bolivia

    James Luchte
    17 Nov 2014 | 11:12 am
    Society for Latin American Studies conference, Aberdeen, UK – Call for papers (Deadline: 28 November 2014) Session title: Autonomies as radical decentralisation? Lessons from Bolivia Organisers: Philipp Horn (University of Manchester), Jessica Hope (University of Manchester), Rachel Godfrey Wood (IDS, Sussex), Pedro Pachaguaya (ADA La Paz, Bolivia)   This panel explores the limits and contours of autonomy, using Bolivia as a case-study. It seeks to engender cross disciplinary debate on entanglements between autonomy, identity, rights, nature and radical counter-hegemonic politics.
  • On Fantasy Island: British Politics, English Judges and the European Convention on Human Rights

    James Luchte
    9 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    On Fantasy Island: British politics, English judges and the European Convention on Human Rights   On Fantasy Island: British Politics, English Judges and the European Convention on Human Rights Page Contents > Podcasts Twitter and Facebook CPD Accessibility WIFI Access LSE Law and The Wyndham Trust Corbishley Lecture Date: Thursday 6 November 2014 Time: 6.30-8pm Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building Speaker: Professor Conor Gearty Chair: Keith Best Conor Gearty unpicks the myths, illusions and downright lies that infect political engagement with human rights in Britain – and…
  • A Rupture in Colonial Reason: Spivak, Fanon, and The Question of Subalternity

    James Luchte
    5 Nov 2014 | 6:30 pm
    This is an account of the ACLA conference in NYC in the Spring of 2014     I. Memories of a Spivakian Given her revisions in A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, Spivak delineates three main point regarding the subaltern. First, the subaltern refers to the space of “sheer heterogeneity of” decolonization. Second, “when a line of communication is established between a member of a subaltern groups and the circuits of citizenships…this is absolutely desired.” This is to say, we should not valorize the condition of the subaltern unless, as Spivak writes, “we want to be…
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    In Living Color

  • 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
  • Sending affluence, receiving pestilence

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

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

  • "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.
  • 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:…
 
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    gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life

  • 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…
  • Infograph on the History of Philosophy

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

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

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

  • A moral argument

    21 Nov 2014 | 6:32 am
    I've never found the moral argument for morality—except in its epistemic variety—particularly compelling. But now I find myself pulled to find plausible premises (1) and (2) of the following pretty standard argument: Only things that are infinitely more important than me can ultimately ground absolutely overriding rules on me. Rules without ultimate grounding are impossible or not absolutely overriding. I am a finite person. The only things that could be infinitely more important than a finite person are or have among them (a) infinitely many finite persons or (b) an infinite person.
  • Possibility, Aristotelian propositions and an open future

    14 Nov 2014 | 8:50 am
    Aristotelians think that tensed sentences like "It is sunny" expressed "tensed propositions" capable of changing in truth value between true and false as the facts alter. The proposition that it is sunny is false today but was true two days ago. Anti-Aristotelians, on the other hand, roughly say that the sentence "It is sunny" expresses the proposition that it is sunny at t0, where t0 is the time of utterance, a proposition whose truth value does not vary between true and false as the facts alter. Most presentists are Aristotelians about propositions, and most open futurists these days seem…
  • Freedom and theodicy

    13 Nov 2014 | 6:48 am
    Invoking free will has always been a major part of theodicy. If God has good reason to give us the possibility to act badly, that provides us with at least a defense against the problem of evil. But to make this defense into something more like a theodicy is hard. After all, God can give us such pure characters that even though we can act badly, we are unlikely to do so. I want to propose that we go beyond the mere alternate-possibilities part of free will in giving theodicies. The main advantage of this is that the theodicy may be capable of accomplishing more. But there is also a very nice…
  • A Metaphysicality Index

    12 Nov 2014 | 7:43 am
    A grad student was thinking that Platonism isn't dominant in philosophy, so I looked at the PhilPapers survey and indeed a plurality of the target faculty (39%) accepts or leans towards Platonism. Then I got to looking at how this works across various specializations: General Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind, Normative Ethics, Metaethics, Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Logic / Philosophy of Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics. And I looked at some other views: libertarianism (about free will), theism, non-physicalism about mind, and the A-theory of time. Loosely,…
  • Ex nihilo nihil fit, and presentism

    11 Nov 2014 | 10:02 am
    According to presentism, events come out of nothing (the future), have a flash of reality as they are briefly present, and then pass back into nothing (the past). But nothing comes out of nothing. So, it seems, presentism is false.I wonder if the above argument equivocates on "comes out of nothing".
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    The Splintered Mind

  • 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…
  • My Reaction to David Chalmers's The Conscious Mind, 18 Years Later

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    10 Nov 2014 | 8:35 pm
    The Chronicle of Higher Education asked me what book written in the last 30 years changed my mind. Instead of trying to be clever, I went with my somewhat boring best guess at the truth: David Chalmers's The Conscious Mind. It changed my mind not because I came to accept its conclusions, but rather because Chalmers so nicely shows that if you want to avoid the bizarreness of panpsychism, epiphenomenalism, and property dualism, you have to say something else that seems at least equally bizarre. I differ from Chalmers in lacking confidence that I have good basis for choosing among the various…
  • Two Views of the Relationship Between Philosophy and Science Fiction

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    10 Nov 2014 | 9:38 am
    Consider two possible views of the relationship between philosophy and science fiction. On the first view, science fiction simply illustrates, or makes more accessible, what could be said as well or better in a discursive philosophical essay. Those who can’t stomach purely abstract discussions on the nature of time, for example, might be drawn into an exciting story; but seasoned philosophers can ignore such entertainments and proceed directly to the abstract arguments that are the meat of the philosophical enterprise. On the second view, science-fictional storytelling has philosophical…
  • Philosophical SF: Thirty-Six Philosophers' Recommendations

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    3 Nov 2014 | 2:24 pm
    ... here!This mega-list of about 360 recommendations is compiled from the lists I've been rolling out over the past several weeks. Thirty-four professional philosophers and two prominent science fiction / speculative fiction (SF) authors with graduate training in philosophy each contributed a list of ten personal favorite "philosophically interesting" SF works, with brief "pitches" for each recommended work.I have compiled two mega-lists, organized differently. One mega-list is organized by contributor, so that you can see all of Scott Bakker's recommendations, then all of Sara Bernstein's…
  • Why I Will Be Contributing Rankings to the Gourmet Report

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:18 am
    I have been asked to be an evaluator for the 2014-2015 edition of the Philosophical Gourmet Report. Contrary to what seems to be a widespread sentiment in the philosophical blogosphere, I support the rankings and will participate. The PGR rankings have at least three related downsides:1. They perpetuate privilege, including the privilege of people with social power in the discipline, the privilege of people in PhD-granting institutions over other types of institutions, and the general privilege of Anglophone philosophy and philosophers.2. They reinforce mainstream ("Gourmet ecology")…
 
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • Pro-social behaviour

    20 Nov 2014 | 1:17 pm
    One of the presentations I heard at a graduate psychology conference at Durham this week 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 assessments of instances of pro-social behaviour undertaken by…
  • 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…
  • Psychiatric diagnosis, tacit knowledge and criteria

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:28 am
    A third draft paper written whilst a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, University of DurhamIntroductionFor the last 50 years, both of the major psychiatric diagnostic systems – DSM and ICD – have aimed at reliability at the potential, at least, cost of validity. They have done this by codifying diagnosis in the form of criteria, influenced by operationalism from the philosophy of physics and down playing potentially false aetiological theory. It is an empirical question whether, overall, DSM-III, -IV and now -5 and the parallel ICD classifications have achieved this aim…
  • On the therapeutic status of McDowell's representationalism

    14 Nov 2014 | 12:51 am
    I gave a talk in the Durham Philosophy Deportment which could, I realise in retrospect, have been significantly simplified. The key point, really, was that the move from the representationalism (by which I mean a view of experience as itself a content-laden state) of Mind and World to that of 'Avoiding the myth of the given' and after involved key changes which, rather than merely a matter of degree, change the point and nature of the account.In the earlier picture, both a partial respect for the coherentism in Davidson's slogan that nothing can count as a reason for a belief except another…
  • Why 'In the Space of Reasons'?

    6 Nov 2014 | 5:02 am
    In response to a question from someone reading philosophy but not a philosopher (better: a poet).The phrase comes from a paper (now published as a short book) called ‘Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind’ by Wilfrid Sellars, the mid C20 American philosopher. One question he addresses is whether knowledge has a foundation. His answer is that it does, it can be grounded in perceptual reports, but that these do not have a property sometimes expected of epistemic foundations: that they can be made independently of holistic considerations. They are not brute data in that sense. That, he…
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    Freemason Information

  • 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…
  • WORKING FOR GOONS

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

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

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

  • Ancient Political Philosophy

    21 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    [Revised entry by Melissa Lane on November 21, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Ancient political philosophy is understood here to mean ancient Greek and Roman thought from the classical period of Greek thought in the fifth century BCE to the end of the Roman empire in the West in the fifth century CE, excluding the rise of Christian ideas about...Continue reading . . . News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Bionic Ethics

    21 Nov 2014 | 5:27 am
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/51256116 Although bionics have been part of science fiction for quite some time (a well-known example is the Six Million Dollar Man), the reality of prosthetics has long been rather disappointing. But, thanks to America’s endless wars and recent advances in technology, bionic prosthetics are now a reality. There are now replacement legs that replicate the functionality of the original organics amazingly well. There have also been advances in prosthetic arms and hands as well as progress in artificial sight.  As with all technology, these bionic devices…
  • Question about Freedom, Law - Jonathan Westphal responds

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:52 pm
    If we have no free will, then is the entire legal system redundant since no one can be held accountable for anything since no one has control over their own actions? Response from: Jonathan Westphal Your question is a very important one and has been very important historically. It has driven quite a lot of discussion about freewill. Alas, I do not agree with Stephen's answer. If hard determinism is true, which is to say that we have no free will, then, Stephen says, the legal system would be corrupt. So also would be the moral systems, including the one that allows him to use the concept…
  • Foundations of the Everyday: Shock, Deferral, Repetition

    20 Nov 2014 | 6:20 pm
    2014.11.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Eran Dorfman, Foundations of the Everyday: Shock, Deferral, Repetition, Rowman and Littlefield, 2014, 216pp., $37.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781783480500. Reviewed by Dylan Trigg, University of Memphis/University College Dublin Eran Dorfman seeks to critically revive the concept of the everyday as a central term in philosophical vocabulary. His reference to "foundation" in his titles reinforces this aim. For Dorfman, the term "foundation" marks the dynamic "background against which any significant activity occurs" (1-2). Such a conception…
  • Jesus’s wife

    20 Nov 2014 | 5:18 pm
    The fragment is the size of a credit card, with eight lines of text. It will change the way we understand Christianity. Or it’s a hoax… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
 
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    TheYoungSocrates

  • How to Justify Consequentialism Without Pointing at the Consequences?

    Rob
    20 Nov 2014 | 1:21 am
    What makes an action good or bad? People adhering to deontological ethics judge the morality of their actions based on whether their actions follow certain rules. ‘You should not kill’, ‘You should not steal’ and ‘You should not lie’ are examples of such rules. On the other end there are people who say that ‘ the ends justify the means’, and that the rightness or wrongness of an action is ultimately based on the outcomes of the action. ‘You may lie if the damage caused to the person you lie to is negligible in comparison to the utility you…
  • Why Economics is No Less Scientific than Physics

    Rob
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:02 am
    ‘Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting.’ Spoken by Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. This is a rather extreme view, but it is not uncommon among (primarily) natural scientists. It grabs on to an intuition many have, even in the academic philosophy of science community, that physics is the science, and that other disciplines – especially social sciences – are not. But let’s ask ourselves: is this true? Does physics have a special access to the truth that – let’s say – economics does not have? Let’s try to answer these…
  • Should the Media Stop Sharing Jihadi Video-messages?

    Rob
    12 Nov 2014 | 2:18 am
    On the 23th of September 2014, the NOS – the Dutch state television – broadcasted a video-message of a Dutch jihadist in Syria. In this message he calls for his ‘Dutch brothers’ to support him in the war Islamic State is fighting against, amongst others, the United States. ‘If you cannot support us by coming to Syria,’ he says, ‘then at least do a severe deed in the Netherlands or Belgium’. The full message takes 2 minutes and 43 seconds. The NOS news – with more than 2 million viewers the most watched TV-programme in the Netherlands – showed approximately 20 seconds of…
  • Just like Sexual Assault, Bullying should be Illegal

    Rob
    2 Nov 2014 | 6:11 am
    Research shows that the majority of the Dutch want bullying to be punishable; that is, they want bullying to be illegal, so that bullies risk prosecution. And that seems reasonable – to a certain extent at least. Bullying is after all terrible. Besides the fact that those who are bullied experience a terrible time, the consequences of bullying can continue until many years after the bullying took place. Amanda Todd‘s case shows what bullying might cause people to do. But also the documentary ‘Bully‘, which follows a boy who – while causing harm to absolutely…
  • Interest cannot be created. It can only be discovered

    Rob
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:13 am
    ‘Are you interested in the stock market?’ I asked a colleague of mine, who works as a economics editor at a newspaper, and hence has to write about stocks, markets etc. ‘I have to’, he said, ‘It is part of my job’. ‘You cannot have to be interested in something. You either are or you are not interested. Period.’ I replied. ‘You can get used to something, but you cannot become interested in something.’ He smiled at me, and walked away; I think he agreed. Intrinsic There is a huge difference between interests and skills: while you can develop the latter, you cannot develop…
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • Participation for a survey on religious disagreement

    Helen De Cruz
    21 Nov 2014 | 9:32 am
    What do philosophers think about religious disagreement? This is a brief survey (takes about 5-10 minutes) to find this out. The survey is aimed at academic philosophers, by which I mean people who hold a PhD in philosophy or are graduate students in philosophy. If you fit these criteria, please consider participating. Participation is fully anonymous. The format of the study is a multiple choice questionnaire. I will ask some personal questions, amongst others about your religious views, but your name will not be asked. To further take care that your anonymity is preserved, I will not report…
  • Some notes on the Extended Narrativity Hypothesis

    David Killoren
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:29 pm
    Intuitively, we have certain important moral obligations toward our animal companions, a.k.a. pets. To begin with, we ought to keep them safe from harm. We also ought to provide them with certain goods: food, recreation, social life, comfort, freedom to move around, and so on. And we don't kill them except in certain unusual cases (e.g., we might kill them in self-defense, or for their own good when they are very sick). Many of us believe that our moral relationship with our animal companions is similar to our moral relationship to our family members; indeed, many of us believe that our…
  • The Eyeball Test and the Seductiveness of "Talent"

    Marcus Arvan
    20 Nov 2014 | 8:05 am
    I'd like to share and comment on a case that recently came up in another department. The case is this. The department was doing a hire, and they had two main finalists. One of the finalists was a woman a few years out of a very good program, with a ton of first-authored publications (well upwards of ten), several in top-ranked journals in the field, despite having a full-teaching load. At the flyout, this rather dimunitive woman (standing 5 feet tall) did not "impress." Her research was judged to be very good, but many on the hiring committee were not impressed by her…
  • 3QD Blogging Prize: The Voting Begins!

    Marcus Arvan
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:29 am
    I'd like to encourage our readers to vote here on this year's 3 Quarks Daily Philosophy Blogging Prize. Several of the Cocoon's contributors are in the running. Here are our contributors' posts listed by the number assigned at the voting site: #8: Justin Caouette's, "Moral Responsibility and Volunteer Soldiers", at A Philosopher's Take. #11: My "The Case for Libertarian Compatibilism: A Brief Overview", at Flickers of Freedom. #21: Helen De Cruz's, "Does taking pictures sully our memories?", at NewAPPS. #42: Clayton…
  • On Graber's, "Creating Truth By Winning Arguments..."

    Marcus Arvan
    19 Nov 2014 | 1:18 pm
    I read a really interesting paper today by Abraham Graber entitled, "Creating Truths By Winning Arguments: The Problem of Methodological Artifacts in Philosophy" (forthcoming in Synthese). The paper sort of crystalizes a worry that I've had about philosophical practice dating back at least to graduate school, and which I explored previously here and here: namely, that a whole lot of philosophy--just about anything having to do with conceptual analysis (including analytic metaphysics and meta-ethics)--is little more than philosophers (1) taking themselves to discovering…
 
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    iai.tv news RSS feed

  • Editorial: Collision Courses

    Editor
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:36 am
    With violence erupting in Syria, Gaza, and the Ukraine, the world, it seems, is sliding into the greatest of dangers. The talk is already of a new Cold War, and the world's governments are in need of urgent solutions to prevent the rapid-fire spread of open hostility. Against this backdrop of violence and uncertainty, we present a two-part interrogation into the shifting sands of world politics. In Part I, Rana Mitter argues that Russia is still flexing its muscles and China lacks a global agenda. America remains the dominant player on the global stage, he believes, for now at least. Not so,…
  • Ending the Oil Age

    Jess Worth
    30 Oct 2014 | 3:43 am
    In September 2014 the $860-million Rockefeller Foundation made an historic announcement. Timed to coincide with massive marches for climate action all over the world, the fund revealed it was going to divest from fossil fuels. Following in the footsteps of the World Council of Churches, the British Medical Association and Stanford University, the latest major institution to make such an announcement is also the most symbolic. Because the Rockefeller fortune owes its very existence to oil. The Rockefeller story is also the story of the rise and fall of the first ‘oil major’. Standard Oil,…
  • The Gathering Storm - Part II

    Martin Jacques
    25 Oct 2014 | 12:17 am
    In Part II of our interrogation into the shifting sands of global politics, Martin Jacques warns that we are witnessing the inevitable decline of Europe and the US, with China rising to become the next global economic powerhouse. In Part I, Rana Mitter argued that this is sill very much a story of US dominance, but here, however, Jacques speaks to the IAI about the future of global politics and why we mustn’t use a Western template to think about what China is going to be like. Jacques is a journalist and academic who founded the influential think-tank Demos. His 2009 book, When China Ruled…
  • The Triumph of Art over Science

    Stephen Bayley
    24 Oct 2014 | 2:58 am
    The idea of a schism between art and science is a relic of an old myopic culture. The lazy assumption that science is founded in peer-evaluated, culturally neutral exactitudes while art is an indulgence of frivolous luvvies was not recognised in Leonardo's day and is barely credible in ours. In his book, The Innovators, Walter Isaacson explains that today's digital visionaries have irreverent behavior patterns, despising authority and resisting tradition. Just like artists. These silicon-bohemians don't borrow, they steal: as Picasso said all creative types do. And, significantly, they value…
  • Science: The Purity Myth

    Philip Ball
    24 Oct 2014 | 2:47 am
    The relationship between science and politics has never been simple. For some, the two should never be mixed; for others, the two can never be separated. When the role of science in formulating public policy was discussed by two high-profile science communicators recently – physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince – there was a lively response. It’s very heartening to see how much engagement and argument this issue can provoke. But who’s got it right? At face value, the recommendations for “good practice for the provision of scientific advice for public policy” offered by the…
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