Philosophy

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  • Faculty deal with sexist abuse on Yik Yak

    Feminist Philosophers
    noetika
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:14 am
    From the Chronicle: The three Eastern Michigan University professors had no idea that they were under attack by the Honors College students seated before them. The three women knew that many of the nearly 230 freshmen in the auditorium resented having to show up at 9 a.m. every Friday for a mandatory interdisciplinary-studies class. But whatever unhappy students previously had said directly to them seemed mild in comparison to the verbal abuse being hurled at them silently as they taught one Friday morning last fall. Students typed the words into their smartphones, and the messages appeared…
  • What is Truth?

    Philosophy News
    28 Jan 2015 | 10:47 pm
    Truth, like knowledge, is surprisingly difficult to define. We seem to rely on it almost every moment of every day and it's very "close" to us. Yet it's difficult to define because as soon as you think you have it pinned down, some case or counterexample immediately shows deficiencies. Ironically, every definition of truth that philosophers have developed falls prey to the question, "Is it true?" Simply, we can define truth as: a statement about the way the world actually is. We'll look at various theories below that philosophers have considered but that's an adequate rough-and-ready…
  • The Impossible, the Improbable, the Flash & the Hobbit

    Talking Philosophy
    Mike LaBossiere
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:34 pm
    Captain Cold (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As a fan of the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and superheroes I have no difficulty in suspending my disbelief when it comes to such seemingly impossible things as wizards, warp drives and Wonder Woman. But, when watching movies and TV shows, I find myself being rather critical of things that are merely very unlikely. As a philosopher, I find this rather interesting and find that it wants an explanation. To focus the discussion, I will use examples from movies and TV shows I have recently watched. The movies are the first two in the Hobbit…
  • Vicious philosophical reasoning?

    The Philosophers' Cocoon
    Marcus Arvan
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:31 am
    Kevin Timpe's post entitled, "Moral Outrage", over at his and Thomas Nadelhoffer's new blog, Discrimination and Disadvantage, as well as this moving New York Times Magazine article by disability-rights advocate Harriet McBryde Johnson recounting her experiences meeting and debating Peter Singer, have both gotten me thinking about a more general issue that has bothered me for some time: namely, whether some philosophical questions, ideas, and arguments are simply wrong (and even vicious) to investigate. On philosophy blogs, one often hears the refrain that we…
  • Gender bias in assessment of abstracts

    Feminist Philosophers
    Jender
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:25 am
    This study is clearly modeled on the famous studies showing how differently a single CV is assessed depending on the name at the top of it.  People sometimes respond to those, in my experience, by suggesting that CV review is much more problematic than assessment of actual work.  This study, however, shows the same kind of result for judgments of abstracts.  Really important stuff! Young scholars rated publications supposedly written by male scientists as higher quality than identical work identified with female authors. The research found that graduate students in communication —…
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • The Algebra of Logic Tradition

    Stanley Burris and Javier Legris
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:34 pm
    [Revised entry by Stanley Burris and Javier Legris on January 30, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The algebra of logic, as an explicit algebraic system showing the underlying mathematical structure of logic, was introduced by George Boole (1815 - 1864) in his book The Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847). The methodology initiated by Boole was successfully continued in the 19th century in the work of William Stanley Jevons (1835 - 1882), Charles Sanders Peirce (1839 - 1914), Ernst Schroder (1841 - 1902), among many others, thereby establishing a tradition in (mathematical) logic.
  • Natural Kinds

    Alexander Bird and Emma Tobin
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:17 pm
    [Revised entry by Alexander Bird and Emma Tobin on January 27, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Scientific disciplines frequently divide the particulars they study into kinds and theorize about those kinds. To say that a kind is natural is to say that it corresponds to a grouping that reflects the structure of the natural world rather than the interests and actions of human beings. We tend to assume that science is often successful in revealing these kinds; it is a corollary of scientific realism that when all goes well the classifications and taxonomies...
  • Spinoza's Psychological Theory

    Michael LeBuffe
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:30 pm
    [Revised entry by Michael LeBuffe on January 27, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] In Part III of his Ethics, "On the Origin and Nature of the Affects," which is the subject of this article, Spinoza addresses two of the most serious challenges facing his thoroughgoing naturalism. First, he attempts to show that human beings follow the order of nature. Human beings, on Spinoza's view, have causal natures similar in kind to other ordinary objects, other "finite modes" in the technical language of the Ethics, so they...
  • Alfred Tarski

    Mario Gómez-Torrente
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:11 pm
    [Revised entry by Mario Gómez-Torrente on January 27, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Alfred Tarski (1901 - 1983) described himself as "a mathematician (as well as a logician, and perhaps a philosopher of a sort)" (1944, p. 369). He is widely considered as one of the greatest logicians of the twentieth century (often regarded as second only to Godel), and thus as one of the greatest logicians of all time. Among philosophers he is especially known for his mathematical characterizations of the concepts of truth and logical consequence for...
  • Environmental Aesthetics

    Allen Carlson
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:59 pm
    [Revised entry by Allen Carlson on January 26, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Environmental aesthetics is a relatively new sub-field of philosophical aesthetics. It arose within analytic aesthetics in the last third of the twentieth century. Prior to its emergence, aesthetics within the analytic tradition was largely concerned with philosophy of art. Environmental aesthetics originated as a reaction to this emphasis, pursuing instead the investigation of the aesthetic appreciation of natural environments. Since its early stages, the scope...
 
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    Talking Philosophy

  • The Impossible, the Improbable, the Flash & the Hobbit

    Mike LaBossiere
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:34 pm
    Captain Cold (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As a fan of the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and superheroes I have no difficulty in suspending my disbelief when it comes to such seemingly impossible things as wizards, warp drives and Wonder Woman. But, when watching movies and TV shows, I find myself being rather critical of things that are merely very unlikely. As a philosopher, I find this rather interesting and find that it wants an explanation. To focus the discussion, I will use examples from movies and TV shows I have recently watched. The movies are the first two in the Hobbit…
  • What is the Worst Thing You Should (Be Allowed to) Say?

    Mike LaBossiere
    26 Jan 2015 | 4:16 pm
    Members of Westboro Baptist Church have been specifically banned from entering Canada for hate speech. Church members enter Canada, aiming to picket bus victim’s funeral (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The murders at Charlie Hedbo and their aftermath raised the issue of freedom of expression in a dramatic and terrible manner. In response to these deaths, there was an outpouring of support for this basic freedom and, somewhat ironically, a crackdown on some people expressing their views. This situation raises two rather important issues. The first is the matter of determining the worst thing…
  • Should Two Year Colleges Be Free?

    Mike LaBossiere
    23 Jan 2015 | 1:05 pm
    Tallahassee County Community College Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia) While Germany has embraced free four year college education for its citizens, President Obama has made a more modest proposal to make community college free for Americans. He is modeling his plan on that of Republican Governor Bill Haslam. Haslam has made community college free for citizen of Tennessee, regardless of need or merit. Not surprisingly, Obama’s proposal has been attacked by both Democrats and Republicans. Having some experience in education, I will endeavor to assess this proposal in a rational way. First,…
  • Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?

    Mike LaBossiere
    19 Jan 2015 | 9:21 am
    One in a series of posters attacking Radical Republicans on the issue of black suffrage, issued during the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1866. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It has been argued that everyone is a little bit racist. Various studies have shown that black America are treated rather differently than white Americans. Examples of this include black students being more likely to be suspended than white students, blacks being arrested at a higher rate than whites, and job applications with “black sounding” names being less likely to get callbacks than those with “white…
  • Group Responsibility

    Mike LaBossiere
    16 Jan 2015 | 3:34 pm
    View image | gettyimages.com After the murders in France, people were once again discussing the matter of group responsibility. In the case of these murders, some contend that all Muslims are responsible for the actions of the few who committed murder. In most cases people do not claim that all Muslims support the killings, but there is a tendency to still put a special burden of responsibility upon Muslims as a group. Some people do take the killings and other terrible events as evidence that Islam itself is radical and violent. This sort of “reasoning” is, obviously enough, the same…
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    AskPhilosophers.org | "All"

  • Question about Feminism - Louise Antony responds

    31 Jan 2015 | 6:21 pm
    Are feminists (who subscribe to the view) right to claim that all men are necessarily sexist? Perhaps it makes sense to limit the scope of the claim to a particular country, say within the UK. Presumably the sexism of men in few examples of matriarchal societies, if indeed they are sexist, would be different from the sexism we're familiar with. As a man, I would not care to insist that I am not sexist in various ways. My morality is egalitarian but it is no doubt at odds with my attitudes and behaviour. That applies to gender just as it applies to other ways we distinguish sets of people (or…
  • Question about Ethics - Charles Taliaferro responds

    29 Jan 2015 | 4:24 pm
    People from the distant past are forgiven for believing that the earth is flat or that the sun orbits around it, because they lived in an era when science was less advanced; and it would have been pretty difficult for a lay person back then to figure this stuff out on her own. Is morality like science in this way? Is it understandable that 18th-century whites believed blacks were subhuman, and are they less culpable for the crimes of slavery as a result? Response from: Charles Taliaferro Interesting analogies and interesting questions! Two very modest initial observations:The idea that most…
  • Question about Philosophers - Nickolas Pappas responds

    29 Jan 2015 | 2:02 pm
    Would Plato have supported fascism in its twentieth century incarnations? Isn't his fascism implied in his strong support of the idea of the nation state and the rule of philosopher kings? Response from: Nickolas Pappas This is an old question about Plato’s Republic, and it’s something of an evergreen, because every serious contemporary reader who goes through the Republic’s proposal for a better state will notice the similarity between some features of that proposal and features of modern totalitarian states. The guardians are subjected to a life without property or privacy that calls…
  • Question about Freedom - Jonathan Westphal responds

    29 Jan 2015 | 11:32 am
    What is the difference between determinism and the principle of sufficient reason? Thanks, Mark Response from: Jonathan Westphal Hi Mark,The principle of sufficient reason, due to Leibniz, states that there is always a reason why some particular thing happens, rather than some other thing. This does not immediately or obviously pose a threat to freedom. Note that "reason" does not mean the same as "cause", although a cause might be a reason.Determinism states something much stronger, more complicated, and more sinister. It tells us that the laws of nature and the initial state of the universe…
  • Question about Philosophy - Stephen Maitzen responds

    29 Jan 2015 | 11:29 am
    Is "doing" philosophy a series of back and forth arguments? If so, then just who is the jury that decides? If a group of experienced analytic professors debates one Ayn Rand follower with no academic training, and repeated population samples find the Randian more convincing, then just who is right? Response from: Stephen Maitzen If so, then just who is the jury that decides? ...then just who is right?As I see it, those two questions don't go hand-in-hand. Which side in a debate has the better reasons isn't something that a jury (in any sense of 'jury') can decide. It's not like legal guilt,…
 
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    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog

  • New books in January

    Brian Leiter
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:59 pm
    Authors and/or publishers kindly sent me these new books this month: Government Paternalism: Nanny State or Helpful Friend? by Julian Le Grand & Bill New (Princeton University Press, 2015). Happiness & the Law by John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco & Jonathan...
  • "Monsters and Mysteries in America" to feature some research on people hit by lightning...

    Brian Leiter
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:18 am
    ...from Berit Brogaard's lab at the University of Miami. The show's homepage is here, it airs on the Discovery Channel at 9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central tonight.
  • UC Irvine's Penelope Maddy interviewed...

    Brian Leiter
    31 Jan 2015 | 4:58 am
    ...at 3AM.
  • Scott Austin memorial service

    Brian Leiter
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:13 am
    Lynn Manning, the sister of Professor Austin, who passed away in December, asked me to share the information that a memorial service will take place on Friday, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center Ballroom of Texas...
  • Philosophy of physics wiki

    Brian Leiter
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:20 am
    Here. One peculiarity is that retired faculty are listed, as are faculty who have announced their departure to other schools (but are still listed with the school they are leaving). In terms of the actual quality and reputation of these...
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    Ethics Etc

  • CFP: Race and Aesthetics

    S. Matthew Liao
    13 Jan 2015 | 8:32 pm
    A British Society of Aesthetics Connections Conference Conference website: raceandaesthetics.weebly.com May 19th and 20th, 2015 Leeds, UK CONFIRMED SPEAKERS Alia Al-Saji (McGill University) Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman (University College London) Kristie Dotson (Michigan State University) A.W. Eaton (University of Illinois – Chicago) Sherri Irvin (University of Oklahoma) Ron Mallon (Washington University in St Louis) Charles […]
  • Interview with Princeton Alumni Weekly

    S. Matthew Liao
    12 Jan 2015 | 9:21 pm
    Readers of Ethics Ethic might be interested in Princeton Alumni Weekly’s special issue this month on the brain, which includes a Q&A with me about the ethics of neuroscience. Here is the link to the issue: http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2015/01/07/ And here’s the link to my Q&A: http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2015/01/07/pages/6307/index.xml Do check them out!
  • CFP: 2015 Association for Political Theory Annual Conference

    S. Matthew Liao
    12 Jan 2015 | 9:10 pm
    University of Colorado Boulder, October 22-24, 2015 Proposal deadline: Friday, February 13, 2015 Program Co-Chairs: Lilly Goren (Carroll University) and Peter Josephson (St. Anselm College) The Association for Political Theory (APT) invites proposals for its thirteenth annual conference, to be held October 22-24, 2015, at the University of Colorado Boulder. Proposals from faculty members, independent […]
  • Interview with Newsweek about Geoengineering and Human Engineering

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

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

  • The Sound of Bedrock: Lines of Grammar between Kant, Wittgenstein, and Cavell

    Avner Baz
    23 Jan 2015 | 9:51 pm
    Abstract In ‘Aesthetics Problems of Modern Philosophy’ Stanley Cavell proposes, first, that Kant's characterization of judgments of beauty may be read as a Wittgensteinian grammatical characterization, and, second, that the philosophical appeal to ‘what we say and mean’ partakes of the grammar of judgment of beauty. I argue first that the expression of the dawning of an aspect partakes of the grammar of judgments of beauty as characterized by Kant, and may also be seen—on a prevailing way of thinking about concepts and how they relate to their instances—to have the same kind of…
  • Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism, by Joel Smith and Peter Sullivan (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 212 pp. ISBN 978-0199608553

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

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

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

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

  • Lasting change in view from 20 minute conversation with gay person

    jennysaul
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:01 pm
    For the study, Michael LaCour of UCLA and Donald Green of Columbia surveyed a bunch of registered voters in Southern California to get their views on gay marriage (and a bunch of other issues, to hide the true purpose of the study), and offered them financial incentives to get friends and family members to participate as well. Then, trained canvassers were dispatched to the homes of the people who had taken the survey, where they delivered a script about either gay marriage or recycling (to create a placebo group) and asked the voters to express their opinions on the subject. Halfway through…
  • Faculty deal with sexist abuse on Yik Yak

    noetika
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:14 am
    From the Chronicle: The three Eastern Michigan University professors had no idea that they were under attack by the Honors College students seated before them. The three women knew that many of the nearly 230 freshmen in the auditorium resented having to show up at 9 a.m. every Friday for a mandatory interdisciplinary-studies class. But whatever unhappy students previously had said directly to them seemed mild in comparison to the verbal abuse being hurled at them silently as they taught one Friday morning last fall. Students typed the words into their smartphones, and the messages appeared…
  • Annotated Bibliography on Gender Bias in Academia

    jennysaul
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:21 am
    What a fantastically useful thing to have! Here.   (Thanks, T!)
  • Why we all need to be feminists

    Sam B
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:35 am
    Michael Rowe shared this on Facebook with the following comment: “I can’t help but wonder what it would look like if a male author who had sold 30 million copies of one book (in this case, THE THORN BIRDS, which was made into the second-highest rated miniseries of all time) was eulogized as being “plain of feature and certainly overweight,” especially in the first paragraph of his obituary. I’m still wondering, because I just can’t picture it happening. (Photo by @vanbadham, via Twitter.)” Thanks Peter K for sharing.
  • Gender bias in assessment of abstracts

    Jender
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:25 am
    This study is clearly modeled on the famous studies showing how differently a single CV is assessed depending on the name at the top of it.  People sometimes respond to those, in my experience, by suggesting that CV review is much more problematic than assessment of actual work.  This study, however, shows the same kind of result for judgments of abstracts.  Really important stuff! Young scholars rated publications supposedly written by male scientists as higher quality than identical work identified with female authors. The research found that graduate students in communication —…
 
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • Why do some students become Philosophy majors? Survey questions sought.

    Harry Brighouse
    20 Jan 2015 | 3:25 pm
    My department is  working on a project for the department to try to get more systematic information about why undergrads become philosophy majors (and why students who might, don't).  As one component of that project, we're planning to conduct two online surveys—one of current philosophy majors and another of students who recently took introductory-level philosophy classes.  Obviously we're particularly interested in why women and members of certain racial minorities become majors at lower rates than men, and members of other racial groups. Thing is --being a philosophy…
  • CFP: APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy

    Jennifer M Morton
    15 Jan 2015 | 12:44 pm
    The Fall 2015 issue of the APA Newsletter on Teaching Philosophywill be devoted to the special topic of teaching philosophy in non-traditional settings, and we encourage readers to submit papers on this topic. We are interested in papers on pedagogical information and insights, on the particular intellectual challenges these settings present, and especially, on what you have learned about teaching philosophy, and about philosophy, from your experiences. The following guidelines for submissions should be followed: The deadline is March 2, 2015. Papers should be between 10-24 double spaced…
  • Seeking Participants for Problem Based Learning in Philosophy Project

    Nathan Nobis
    31 Dec 2014 | 1:29 pm
    Available in PDF here. RE: Doing Philosophy in Teams. Invitation to participate in an NEH Digital Humanities Implementation Dr. Michael HoffmannAssociate ProfessorDirector of the Philosophy ProgramSchool of Public Policyhttp://works.bepress.com/michael_hoffmann/Email: m.hoffmann@gatech.eduDecember 31, 2014Grant proposalDear colleague,I would like to invite you to participate in the writing of a grant proposal whose goal is to get funding for a three-year, $325,000 project that focuses on using web-based argument mapping software to support problem-based learning (PBL) in philosophy. PBL is…
  • The undergraduate seminar paper

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

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

  • Old quotes

    25 Jan 2015 | 4:02 pm
    Sometimes it is good to read my old blogs again. Actually, I do it quite often. Or rather I do not really read them but I browse my blogs in order to avoid that I write two blogs with the same contents, for my memory is like a sieve and soon I have forgotten what I have written. Then I see often interesting old ideas of mine or I stumble upon interesting quotes that I have used, like this one from Hannah Arendt’s The origins of totalitarianism(Harvest Book, Harcourt, San Diego etc. 1976; p. 447):“The first essential step on the road to total domination is to kill the juridical person in…
  • Dangerous ideas (5)

    18 Jan 2015 | 4:04 pm
    Freely expressing ideas with the pen can be very dangerous. Recently yet we have seen it in France. This danger is not something new. However, nowadays the freedom to express ideas is bigger than ever before. This now almost absolute freedom is a very recent phenomenon and it is limited to only a few countries. Terror against those who use the right of freedom of the word is not only performed by individuals and private groups. Its most important oppressor has always been the state, while individuals had to fight for this right. Nowadays it is often the other way round: It is the state that…
  • Getting started

    11 Jan 2015 | 4:27 pm
    Maybe it would have been more appropriate to write my last blog about making a new start than about age. For isn’t it just the symbolic value of the New Year that mentally we start anew? Many people feel that this is the moment to change life, to throw away bad habits, to begin new projects, and so on, which is expressed in the custom of making New Year’s resolutions.Everything has a beginning but most things do not begin from nothing. What we consider a new beginning is in many respects a continuation of what already existed. This is also true for philosophy. Nevertheless, most writers…
  • Of age

    4 Jan 2015 | 4:12 pm
    Once I read a book with essays, in which the authors had been asked to write pieces with the same titles as the chapters in Montaigne’s famous Essays. However, they were free to develop the themes as they liked. I could do the same here in my blogs and it would solve my weekly problem what to write about. I would have stuff for more than two years. I’ll not do that systematically but now in my first blog of a new year I think it will not be inappropriate to write about age, which is the theme of Montaigne’s last essay in his first book, titled “Of age”. For isn’t it so that in…
  • How to celebrate Christmas

    28 Dec 2014 | 4:01 pm
    German and British soldiers meeting each other, Christmas 1914For most who read this blog Christmas will already be past, in case they celebrate it; for some others it has yet to come. How did or do you celebrate it?Wittgenstein didn’t like to celebrate Christmas with his family in Vienna. It made him depressive and often it wasn’t a really enjoyable affair. But as it happens in such cases, it was difficult not to go to the yearly family reunion. In order to make the meeting more pleasant, he wrote in November 1929 to his brothers and sisters:“It is impossible not to see that we are…
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    The Brooks Blog

  • New column on 2015 General Election in the UK

    30 Jan 2015 | 1:03 am
    My new monthly column for The Journal newspaper is out today - link: http://www.thejournal.co.uk/opinion/thom-brooks-waiting-credible-message-8544384The subject-matter is the 2015 General Election in the UK. I expect most, if not all, columns will focus on Westminster politics and North East issues. An honour to join a fantastic team and great paper.
  • Visiting Yale Center for Law and Philosophy in 2015-16

    15 Jan 2015 | 4:13 pm
    I'll be on research leave for the 2015-16 academic year and organizing my schedule, including a visit to the United States to see family and friends while working on several research projects. I'm delighted to say that part of my time will be spent as a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for Law and Philosophy at Yale Law School with dates to be confirmed shortly. Yale is a beautiful university where I have several good friends and it's always special to be back in my native New Haven. Looking forward to much catching up and great discussions.
  • Birmingham (UK) on Fox News

    12 Jan 2015 | 5:06 am
    Fox News terrorism expert Steven Emerson said on live television that Birmingham in the UK is a 'totally Muslim city' where non-Muslims do not go. Emerson soon apologised for these remarks, but not before criticism of his outrageously false remarks became rightly lampooned on social media as #FoxNewsFacts. It is shocking that any major "news" channel would have "experts" making such outrageously false pronouncements without challenge from the news anchor. One of many problems is that such comments will be accepted as fact by viewers…
  • Brooks (ed.), Juvenile Offending (2014) - reviewed

    12 Jan 2015 | 4:55 am
    . . . in The Prison Journal in a wonderful piece that can be found HERE. I'm especially pleased to see it is so positive as well.
  • The Brooks Blog best of 2014

    7 Jan 2015 | 2:57 pm
    January 2014Getting clear about Punishment: a response to Michael DavisFebruary 2014Why Political Theory MattersApril 2014On Punitive RestorationMay 2014  Cornwall and the 'Life in the UK' Citizenship TestJune 2014If Holyrood gets more powers, English views on regional assemblies may changeJuly 2014Labour to support devolved hubsPolitical theory & public policyAugust 2014The Brooks Blog reaches 500,000 page viewsSeptember 2014One Nation Labour can deliver the Britain we deserveOctober 2014In Defence of Punishment and the Unified Theory of PunishmentNovember 2014Testing Citizens: Why…
 
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    Jon Cogburn's Blog

  • We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

    Jon Cogburn
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:55 am
    A fairly common trope in some of the darker corners of philosophical blogosophere is that people with unpopular views are being systematically censored by moderators of popular blogs. The biggest targets of criticism (in part because they are two of the most popular blogs) have been feminist philosophers and daily nous. And after leaving newapps the same thing happened to me. I would try to comment on a thread at these blogs and nothing would show up. I tried not to bother about it too much and just do interesting posts over here. But the consensus (metablog) view started to make less and…
  • "Feminist" and "Nerd" are not antonyms

    Jon Cogburn
    23 Jan 2015 | 3:35 pm
    Very weird how some male nerds victimized by the patriarchy in high-school turn all of their anger towards women. Maybe not so weird though. Apartheid only manages to sustain itself by giving one class of oppressed people the psychic wage of feeling superior to an even more oppressed group. In this article Connor Friedersdorf, describes an unusually productive blog comment conversation where MIT professor Scott Aaronson (who had earlier expressed some pretty rebarbative views) comes clear about his own trauma as a high school nerd and Laurie Penny gives a response that a lot of people took to…
  • how to ask Akismet to take you off of their master spam list

    Jon Cogburn
    16 Jan 2015 | 11:52 am
    Fantasy author/philosopher R.S. Bakker coined the following neoligism at the beginning of this post. Spamify: V. To have one's name placed on some company's master spam list, resulting in the inability to leave comments on blogs protected by that company. This has happened to Bakker multiple times and each time he's been able to fix the problem by contacting the company Akismet. The problem is, it can happen just because one of your comments was rejected at some blog, after which all of your comments are rejected at lots of blogs. I'm pretty sure it's happened to me and…
  • Reason philosophy posting is so light

    Jon Cogburn
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:44 am
    In bright counterpoint to generic holiday/travel agonies that at least for a neurotic like me make work impossible (just how did Woody Allen make all those films?), I've begun working on an interview with Graham Harman, to come out on the occasion of the publication the new edition of his Quentin Meillassoux: Philosophy in the Making, which I'm also reading proofs of. I'll be done with it by early next week and be back to regular public conceptual eructations/bloviations at that point. The interview should be out in early February and I think that Harman's answers will be…
  • BP Morton's cool new Life Beyond Bivalence Blog

    Jon Cogburn
    14 Jan 2015 | 6:06 pm
    I first met BP Morton when ze was an instructor at Auburn University. I was visiting Mark Silcox who was also an instructor there at the time and we gave a paper on computability theory that (if I remember right) wasn't particularly well received (it happens; everyone was nice). But Morton, Silcox, and I ended up having these multi-hour long conversations about all sorts of things, including the connections between various religious traditions and various alternate logics. I think that Morton's take during those conversations on some Indian logicians was my first serious immersion in…
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    Continental Philosophy

  • PHILOMOBILE – Travel and Philosophy – Nietzsche, May 16-25, 2015

    James Luchte
    23 Jan 2015 | 9:13 pm
    PHILOMOBILE – Travel & Philosophy   Lecturer:  Yunus Tuncel, Ph.D.   May 16-25, 2015   Locations: Germany and Switzerland   Single Occupancy: $2,900 Double Occupancy: $2,500   The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche   Visit villages, towns, where Friedrich Nietzsche lived, while studying and discussing his works and ideas.   Some places: Leipzig, Röcken, Naumburg, Schulpforta, Weimar, Jena, Bayreuth, Basel, and SilsMaria.   For more information, please visit www.philomobile.com, write to us at info@philomobile.com,or, call us at 917-740-9565.
  • What is the Creative Act? – Gilles Deleuze (1987)

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

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

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

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

  • Biologically Modified Justice (now forthcoming...)

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:46 am
    For the past 15 years I have been working on my book titled Biologically Modified Justice, which is an examination of some of the ethical and social implications of the genetic revolution. I was thrilled to learn this week that Cambridge University Press has agreed to publish this book. This project has been a true (and lengthy!) labour of love. Now that I am in the final stretch of completing it I thought I would share some reflections on the challenges and joys of writing an interdisciplinary book over so many years.The book develops a series of ideas, insights and arguments I have…
  • "Back in My Day!" [er, well, when I was a kid anyways! :) ]

    21 Jan 2015 | 6:06 pm
    This morning I happened to be reading an article from a 1970s issue of Ethics when I was struck by the difference in length and reliance on citation/notes typical of articles in the journal from 40 years ago. So I decided to compare the Jan 2015, 2005, 1995, 1985 and 1975 issues of the journal to get a sense of how philosophical articles in the journal have transformed over that time. Here is what it looks like [I'm assuming one page length then = one page now]:1975: average size of article is 13 pages with 17 references/notes.1985: 14 pages and 25 notes1995: 22 pages and 47 notes2005: 33…
  • New Paper on Virtue Epistemology and Democracy (Work in Progress #1)

    15 Jan 2015 | 9:52 am
    I am currently writing a commissioned article (for OUP's Oxford Handbook on Virtue) on virtue epistemology and democracy. In this first blog post I want to briefly outline the basic framing of the exercise, at least as I have it worked out so far.Very General Frame: virtue ethics has a PR problem when it comes to democracy. It is typically associated with anti-democratic ideals, and its main historical proponents (namely Plato and Aristotle) criticized democracy. This article aspires to show how the virtue ethicist’s focus on what kind of person we should be can yield valuable insights for…
  • Framing One's Worldview

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

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

  • William Lane Craig and ruling out an evil creator on the basis of observation

    18 Jan 2015 | 9:16 am
    Here is a post for the philosophers of religion amongst you. Can we rule out an evil god on the grounds that the world is not nearly evil enough? Of course we can. But then why can’t we similarly rule out a good god on the grounds that the world isn’t nearly good enough?   Back in 2011 I debated philosopher and Christian apologist William Lane Craig on the existence of God (link). I presented the evidential problem of evil as my main argument against the existence of God. In particular, I pointed out that, for almost the entire two hundred thousand year sweep of human history, one…
  • CFI UK events at Oxford Literary Festival 2015

    17 Jan 2015 | 1:56 pm
    CFI UK events at Oxford Literary Festival 2015 (March)Saturday 21 MarchChristopher FrenchAnomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience2pm / Oxford Martin School: Lecture Theatre / £12Psychology professor Christopher French explains why some people think they have been abducted by aliens or that they have seen a ghost. He looks at the reasons why belief in the paranormal has been reported in every known society since the dawn of time, and wonders whether there is any room for superstition in modern science. Reports of ghosts and alien encounters grab the headlines, but…
  • 'Does Humanism Need God?' - on Unbelievable? podcast now up.

    17 Jan 2015 | 12:59 am
    My discussion with Angus Ritchie about 'Does Humanism Need God?' is now up on the Unbelievable? podcast on itunes (Premier Christian Radio, Justin Brierley presents). Also broadcast 2pm.
  • What's the point of lampooning religion? To upset the religious?

    8 Jan 2015 | 8:30 am
    Here is my latest blog post over at CFI: link. In the wake of the horrific massacre at Charlie Hebdo, debate has focused on the issue of causing of offence to religious people. Is that the point of lampooning religion? Is causing offence to Muslims the aimof someone who draws a cartoon of Mohammad? No, usually it's not (though this point is usually lost on the offended).
  • Animation I just made with my 9 year old

    30 Dec 2014 | 7:23 am
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    gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life

  • Richard Rorty 1997 on Democracy and Philosophy

    Noelle McAfee
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:53 pm
    When I was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1990s, I was an occasional guest host on a public affairs program of the local PBS station. In 1997 I interviewed the philosopher Richard Rorty. This afternoon, with the help of Emory graduate student Karen McCarthy, I finally got around to digitizing it. Then we uploaded it to YouTube.  It’s kind of eery watching it again.  So many of the issues Rorty and I discussed are still with us today in the clash of cultures between religion and secularism, attempts at democratization in the Middle East versus the…
  • Neoliberalism and the Mail

    Noelle McAfee
    5 Jan 2015 | 6:46 pm
    The conservative / neoliberal attack on public sector enterprises, namely the United States Postal Service, has worked so well that now I, a leftie, am hating the US Postal Service.  They are clearly understaffed and so I see mail carriers trying to deliver the goods as late as 8 p.m.  God bless them. But when I want a package delivered on time — or delivered at all  (first world problem) — they are no where to be found  And if during a lull time I get through to customer service in under 20 minutes, I get a non-answer.  And so, personally, I’ll go with a privatized…
  • On Nothing

    Noelle McAfee
    3 Jan 2015 | 6:10 pm
    Purging all the detritus in my home office, I wonder whether it’s time to get rid of my 4-volume Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Surely with the new online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy this is just taking up shelf space.  But I do love this one entry, even though I completely disagree with it, because it is quite funny: (from The Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Nothing is an awe-inspiring yet essentially undigested concept, highly esteemed by writers of an existentialist tendency, but by most others regarded with axiety, nausea, or panic. Nobody seems to know how to deal with it (he…
  • 20th century philwiki rocks a sinking boat

    Noelle McAfee
    1 Jan 2015 | 6:19 pm
    Even as I try to ignore those mean spirits, today I went to a certain blog and found this delightful bit: More PhD program wikis! Now we have 20th-century Continental philosophy, started by (brace yourselves) Noelle McAfee.  Fortunately, since a wiki is just as good as its contributors it does not matter who started it.  As with Philosophical Logic, it’s purely informational (who works on what, links to pages etc.), and devoid of crucial qualitative information.  Again, students can start with the PGR results on the latter front. [please avoid clicking here but here’s the…
  • New Year’s Resolutions

    Noelle McAfee
    30 Dec 2014 | 8:24 pm
    I am trying to resolve what would be a good new year’s resolution after this hellacious year for my profession.  I’m thinking: rise above and leave the crap behind, give it zero attention. When confronted with a threat to sue, laugh out loud — but push back loudly if need be — and then move on. The trick is finding a balance between finding a way to lend no power to ignorance and mean-spiritdness and finding ways to overcome them.  This is tough. The more one tries to overcome them, the more power one gives them.  This has been my quandary this whole past year:…
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    Alexander Pruss's Blog

  • "Ręka" and "hand"

    30 Jan 2015 | 11:09 am
    I've been thinking about a curious issue in translation, which is not that uncommon. In most ordinary contexts, the Polish "ręka" and the English "hand" would be interchangeable in the sense that where a speaker of one language would use the one, the speaker of the other would use the other. Where the English-speaker talks of having something in his hand, the Polish-speaker talks of having it in his ręka, and so on. But the two terms are not synonymous. In non-medical Polish, "ręka" refers to the whole of the upper limb (though in medical Polish, it refers just to the hand), while the…
  • Wanting to be even more sure

    29 Jan 2015 | 5:06 am
    We like being sure. No matter how high our confidence, we have a desire to be more sure, which taken to an extreme becomes a Cartesian desire for absolute certainty. It's tempting to dismiss the desire for greater and greater confidence, when one already has a very high confidence, as irrational. But the desire is not irrational. Apart from certain moral considerations (e.g., respecting confidentiality) a rational person does not refuse costless information (pace Lara Buchak's account of faith). No matter how high my confidence, as long as it is less than 100%, I may be wrong, and by closing…
  • Individual and group interest, and infinity

    28 Jan 2015 | 8:13 am
    There are infinitely many people. A random process causes each one to independent develop a cancer, either of type A or of type B. The chance that a given individual develops a type A cancer is 9/10 and the chance that she develops a type B cancer is 1/10. It is not possible to diagnose whether an individual has type A or type B cancer. There are two drugs available, either of which—but not both, because they are toxic when combined—could be distributed by you en masse to all of the infinitely people. There is no possibility of distributing different drugs to different people—the…
  • Pursuit of perfect virtue

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:09 am
    The pursuit of perfect virtue should be central to my life. Necessarily, a virtue that does not completely guarantee acting rightly is not perfect. If an afterlife is unavailable, virtue that completely guarantees acting rightly is also unavailable. The pursuit of something unavailable should not be central to my life. So, an afterlife is available.
  • Act and rule utilitarianism

    26 Jan 2015 | 9:45 am
    Rule utilitarianism holds that one should act according to those rules, or those usable rules, that if adopted universally would produce the highest utility. Act utilitarianism holds that one should do that act which produces the highest utility. There is an obvious worry that rule utilitarianism collapses into act utilitarianism. After all, wouldn't utility be maximized if everyone adopted the rule of performing that act which produces the highest utility? If so, then the rule utilitarian will have one rule, that of maximizing the utility in each act, and the two theories will be the same.A…
 
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    The Splintered Mind

  • 30 Jan 2015 | 2:14 pm

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:14 pm
    Not quite up to doing a blog post this week, after the death of my father on the 18th. Instead, I post this picture of a highly energy efficient device in outer space: Related post: Memories of my father.
  • Memories of My Father

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    23 Jan 2015 | 9:37 am
    My father, Kirkland R. Gable (born Ralph Schwitzgebel) died Sunday. Here are some things I want you to know about him. Of teaching, he said that authentic education is less about textbooks, exams, and technical skills than about moving students "toward a bolder comprehension of what the world and themselves might become." He was a beloved psychology professor at California Lutheran University. I have never known anyone, I think, who brought as much creative fun to teaching as he did. He gave out goofy prizes to students who scored well on his exams (e.g., a wind-up robot nun who breathed…
  • Two Arguments for AI (or Robot) Rights: The No-Relevant-Difference Argument and the Simulation Argument

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    16 Jan 2015 | 9:07 am
    Wednesday, I argued that artificial intelligences created by us might deserve more moral consideration from us than do arbitrarily-chosen human strangers (assuming that the AIs are conscious and have human-like general intelligence and emotional range), since we will be partly responsible for their existence and character. In that post, I assumed that such artificial intelligences would deserve at least some moral consideration (maybe more, maybe less, but at least some). Eric Steinhart has pressed me to defend that assumption. Why think that such AIs would have any rights? First, two…
  • Our Moral Duties to Artificial Intelligences

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    14 Jan 2015 | 2:48 pm
    Suppose that we someday create artificial beings similar to us in their conscious experience, in their intelligence, in their range of emotions. What moral duties would we have to them? You might think: Our moral duties to them would be similar to our moral duties to natural humans beings. A reasonable default view, perhaps. If morality is about maximizing happiness (a common consequentialist view), these beings ought to deserve consideration as loci of happiness. If morality is about respecting the autonomy of rational agents (a common deontological view), these beings ought to deserve…
  • The 10 Worst Things About Listicles

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    12 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    10. Listicles destroy the narrative imagination and subtract the sublimity from your gaze. 9. The numerosities of nature never equal the numerosity of human fingers. 8. The spherical universe becomes pretzel sticks upon a brief conveyor. 7. In every listicle, opinion subverts fact, riding upon it as upon a sad pony. (Since you momentarily accept everything you hear, you already know this.) 6. The human mind naturally aspires to unifying harmonies that the listicle instead squirts into yogurt cups. 5. Those ten yogurt pretzels spoiled your dinner. That is the precisely the relation between a…
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • On returning to earlier work

    27 Jan 2015 | 1:19 pm
    I have been invited by Routledge to submit a proposal for a second edition of my book on John McDowell, originally published by Acumen. (There is an irony about this that it would be indiscreet to report here.) It prompts a couple of thoughts but perhaps I should say something about McDowell for anyone who has stumbled on this blog because of shared interest in the philosophy of mental healthcare and of psychiatry. (Others can skip the next two paragraphs.)John McDowell’s writing is one of the reasons that I am an antireductionist across a range of issues: why I do not think that…
  • Health Research with Real Impact Conference, June 24 & 25

    23 Jan 2015 | 3:27 am
    School of Health, University of Central LancashireHealth Research with Real Impact Conference, June 24 & 25The University of Central Lancashire is hosting the 2nd Health Research with Real Impact Conference which will take place on 24th and 25th June 2015 at the Westleigh Conference Centre in Preston.• The focus of the first day will be around evidence synthesis.• The second day will focus on implementation science.• Choose to attend one or both days.Attending the conference will be a range of staff from health and social services, methodologists, academics and health care…
  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science Annual Conference: 2–3 July 2015

    23 Jan 2015 | 3:11 am
    British Society for the Philosophy of Science Annual Conference2–3 July 2015, University of ManchesterPlenary Speakers:Katherine Brading (Notre Dame)Émilie du Châtelet and the foundations of physical scienceHavi Carel (Bristol)Illness, pathology and disease: a phenomenological analysisKim Sterelny (ANU)Cumulative Cultural Evolution and The Origins of LanguageMauricio Suárez (Madrid)Propensities and Statistical ModelingLocal organiser: Michael RushCall for PapersSubmissions are invited from anyone with a scholarly interest in the philosophy of science. Graduate students are particularly…
  • Comedy and instinctive cognitivism

    22 Jan 2015 | 5:05 am
    I caught a production of One Man Two Guvnors at the Lowry Centre, Salford last Saturday. James Corden has long since been replaced in the lead role but the reviews were good and the performance pretty much sold out. There is a spoiler ahead.Sadly I could not see why it had merited the praise it had (this isn’t the spoiler!) Perhaps I am being blind to the transformative powers of a popular actor but I don’t really see how Corden could have redeemed it as the play itself is so thin. It is as though someone were to aim at Fawlty Towers but end up with the kind of lame drama that closed…
  • Why do we need more than one research method?

    21 Jan 2015 | 5:26 am
    The following is the gist of a talk I will give on Monday at an internal student conference.Why do we need more than one research method? In acting as a Research Degree Tutor, I am often struck by the pick and mix attitude to research methods taken by some PhD students. This stems in part from the breadth and variety of research carried out in the School: itself an admirable thing. Many different approaches are taken, ranging from large scale quantitative research to small scale hermeneutic or narrative or descriptive studies. But the attitude that surprises me is a stance to that range for…
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    Freemason Information

  • The Masonic Role in American History

    TimBryce
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON HISTORY How Masonry affected America. (Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request. I have been a Freemason for many years and I am still surprised by those people who believe the Masons have a secret agenda in terms of manipulating the country or stockpiling incredible amounts of wealth. Heck, we have trouble organizing a picnic. However, there is reasonable evidence to show Masons were involved with the founding of the country. For example, of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, 9 were Masons (16%), and of the…
  • The All-Seeing Eye

    Greg Stewart
    24 Jan 2015 | 3:57 am
    From Albert G. Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, this installment of Symbols & Symbolism presents his exploration of the All-Seeing Eye. Note, some links have been added as reference to the original quoted sources. Look for future installments on Symbols & Symbolism here, and on YouTube. An important symbol of the Supreme Being, borrowed by the Freemasons from the nations of antiquity. Both the Hebrews and the Egyptians appear to have derived its use from that natural inclination of figurative minds to select an organ as the symbol of the function which it is intended peculiarly…
  • The Broken Column

    Greg Stewart
    20 Jan 2015 | 7:55 pm
    From Albert G. Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, this installment of Symbols & Symbolism presents his exploration of the Broken Column. Note, some links have been added as reference to the original quoted sources. Look for future installments on Symbols & Symbolism here, and on YouTube. The Broken Column Among the Hebrews, columns, or pillars, were used metaphorically to signify princes or nobles, as if they were the pillars of a state . Thus, in Psalm 11:3, the passage, reading in our translation: If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? is, in the original,…
  • Illustrious Brother Ben Franklin and Freemasonry

    Greg Stewart
    17 Jan 2015 | 10:55 am
    Ben Franklin has long stood as one of the patriarchs of American Freemasonry. As one of the most prominent Founding Fathers, today Franklin is known for little more than the face on the $100 dollar bill. Yet, the history of the man behind such an honor is rich with industriousness, inventiveness and political genius such that he is perhaps one of a few who could be considered a modern day Renaissance man, both in and out of the fraternity. Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, MA (as calculated by the new style – Gregorian calendar dating). His intelligence and wisdom helped…
  • Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research

    Greg Stewart
    15 Jan 2015 | 3:57 am
    January 12th marks the Anniversary of the consecration of Quatuor Coronati Lodge in London. Quatuor Coronati is a Masonic Lodge in London dedicated to Masonic Research. The name, Quatuor Coronati, derives from the Regius Poem (lines 497-534) which is considered to be one of the oldest Masonic documents; dating back to approximately 1390. Its name, the Four Crowned Ones, is from its Latin translation of Quatuor Coronatorum. From the Regius Poem: The art of the four crowned ones (Ars quatuor coronatorum) Pray we now to God almighty, And to his mother Mary bright, That we may keep these…
 
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    Philosophy News

  • Terrible Libertarian Worlds

    30 Jan 2015 | 6:16 pm
    Consider a morally perfect world, w, that includes only libertarian free agents. Everyone in w, a0, a1, a2, a3, a4, . . .,an, is acting morally, no one is acting immorally. Let S be the set of all agents in w, where S = {a0, a1, a2, a3, a4, . . .,an}. Let A be [...]Continue reading . . . News source: The Prosblogion
  • The Impossible, the Improbable, the Flash & the Hobbit

    30 Jan 2015 | 1:45 pm
    Captain Cold (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As a fan of the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and superheroes I have no difficulty in suspending my disbelief when it comes to such seemingly impossible things as wizards, warp drives and Wonder Woman. But, when watching movies and TV shows, I find myself being rather critical of things that are merely very unlikely. As a philosopher, I find this rather interesting and find that it wants an explanation. To focus the discussion, I will use examples from movies and TV shows I have recently watched. The movies are the first two in the Hobbit…
  • The Algebra of Logic Tradition

    30 Jan 2015 | 11:14 am
    [Revised entry by Stanley Burris and Javier Legris on January 30, 2015. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The algebra of logic, as an explicit algebraic system showing the underlying mathematical structure of logic, was introduced by George Boole (1815 - 1864) in his book The Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847). The methodology initiated by Boole was successfully continued in the 19th century in the work of William Stanley Jevons (1835 - 1882), Charles Sanders Peirce (1839 - 1914), Ernst Schroder (1841 - 1902), among many others, thereby establishing a tradition in (mathematical) logic.
  • What is Truth?

    28 Jan 2015 | 10:47 pm
    Truth, like knowledge, is surprisingly difficult to define. We seem to rely on it almost every moment of every day and it's very "close" to us. Yet it's difficult to define because as soon as you think you have it pinned down, some case or counterexample immediately shows deficiencies. Ironically, every definition of truth that philosophers have developed falls prey to the question, "Is it true?" Simply, we can define truth as: a statement about the way the world actually is. We'll look at various theories below that philosophers have considered but that's an adequate rough-and-ready…
  • Call for Abstracts on Knowledge and Agency

    28 Jan 2015 | 4:02 am
    Fourth Annual Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) Conference September 4-5, 2015 // The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Theme: Knowledge and Agency Keynote Speakers: Candace Vogler (David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago) John Schwenkler (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University) Abstracts (of 2-3 double-spaced pages, prepared for blind review) due by May 15, 2015 by e-mail to EJ Coffman (ecoffma1@utk.edu) Much important and influential recent work in analytic philosophy lies at the intersection of epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of…
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • On philosophers of religion focusing on their own religion only…

    Elisa Freschi
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    A few days back, I discussed (here) why one should test one's logical hypotheses against something alien, be it a Medieval paradox, a Sanskrit text or the perspective of a thinker being outside the mainstream (e.g., a disabled at a time in which disabled were not allowed to be part of the mainstream society). Today, I came back to the same thought while reading Adriano Mannino's post about the diffusion of theism among philosophers of religion. Adriano discusses the worries of some philosophers who think that "philosophy of religion" is in fact a disguised Christian apologetic and is,…
  • The P2P Hypothesis at Scientia Salon

    Marcus Arvan
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:25 am
    Just a note that my essay, "The Peer-to-Peer Hypothesis and a New Theory of Free Will", is now up and open for discussion at Massimo Pigliucci's online philosophy magazine, Scientia Salon. Tough crowd over there, but fun to engage some non-philosophers with my work! 
  • Vicious philosophical reasoning?

    Marcus Arvan
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:31 am
    Kevin Timpe's post entitled, "Moral Outrage", over at his and Thomas Nadelhoffer's new blog, Discrimination and Disadvantage, as well as this moving New York Times Magazine article by disability-rights advocate Harriet McBryde Johnson recounting her experiences meeting and debating Peter Singer, have both gotten me thinking about a more general issue that has bothered me for some time: namely, whether some philosophical questions, ideas, and arguments are simply wrong (and even vicious) to investigate. On philosophy blogs, one often hears the refrain that we…
  • Schwenkler on an informal peer-review website

    Marcus Arvan
    28 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    John Schwenkler wrote the following on facebook today and encouraged me to share it: Idea: A website where philosophers can upload work in progress and receive feedback from other philosophers, in exchange for offering feedback of their own on others' work. (Think of it as an alternative to submitting unpolished work to journals in the hope of learning from referee reports.) It could be arranged so that you have to complete at least one report on another's paper for each report you receive on one of your own. And authors could rate the quality of these reports (insufficiently…
  • The art of writing brief philosophy papers

    Helen De Cruz
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:11 am
    (this is cross-posted on NewApps)  I have always wanted to have a paper in Analysis or Thought. A really neat, short, paper, that is self-contained and makes an substantive philosophical point. Unfortunately, I tend to write articles of about 8000-9000 words, and first drafts are typically even longer. I've written some pre-read papers for conferences of 3000 words, but to get all the nuances in, they typically expand to 8000 words or more once they reach the article stage. What does it take to write brief philosophy papers? More generally, what does it take to write concisely?
 
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    iai.tv news RSS feed

  • Editorial: Fantasy and Reality

    Editor
    17 Jan 2015 | 5:50 am
    ‘Fantasy and Reality’ is the 2015 theme of HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest philosophy and music festival. In our topsy-turvy, postmodern, and often virtual world, has the real become a mirage created from our fantasies? And which current fantasies will become tomorrow's reality? There's an array of new stages and surprises, as our site expands again for 2015 with many more events running throughout the day and evening. Earlybird tickets are now on sale.In this issue of IAI News, we look at some of the traditional views on the relationship between fantasy and reality. In a society…
  • Tweet Truth to Power

    Steve Richards
    17 Jan 2015 | 2:11 am
    Green Party membership is rising fast. The recent “Green Surge” has seen the party’s membership overtake both UKIP and the Lib Dems in recent weeks. But will this translate into votes come the next General Election? Voter turnout at the last election was just 65%. It’s part of a long-term downward trend. At the same time, politics is becoming increasingly engulfed by short-lived social media storms – such as the 2014 resignation of Labour MP Emily Thornberry or the hashtag #cameronmustgo which trended on Twitter for nearly a week and garnered some 800,000 interactions within days.
  • When the Money Runs Out

    Stephen D. King
    17 Jan 2015 | 12:50 am
    Sluggish growth, a loss of trust, a culture of blame, an unequal burden of austerity, growing deflationary pressures: it’s hardly the most tempting of cocktails. We are threatened with a dystopian world of economic and financial failure, leading to political instability on the grandest of scales. We may no longer be engaged in twentieth-century debates about the relative benefits of the free market versus central planning. Marxist- Leninist dogma has, thankfully, disappeared from view. But we are in danger of letting a culture of blame and mistrust develop. We cannot understand why we have…
  • Child's Play

    Meg Rosoff
    17 Jan 2015 | 12:41 am
    There is an important difference between fantasy and reality. This is something that children have to learn gradually. While it is important to encourage imagination in our children, there is single factor that makes for a really imaginative childhood: imagination is the default position of human beings, even before we know what’s “real” and what isn’t “real”. Children understand that Top Cat, for example, is a cat, but they also know it’s not a real cat. They understand that Tellytubbies don’t exist in real life. So I don’t think it’s damaging to tell children about Santa…
  • AI: Artificial Imagination?

    Margaret Boden
    17 Jan 2015 | 12:33 am
    Most of us are fascinated by creativity. New ideas in science and art are often hugely exciting – and, paradoxically, sometimes seemingly “obvious” once they’ve arrived. But how can that be? Many people, perhaps most of us, think there’s no hope of an answer. Creativity is deeply mysterious, indeed almost magical. Any suggestion that there might be a scientific theory of creativity strikes such people as absurd. And as for computer models of creativity, those are felt to be utterly impossible. But they aren’t. Scientific psychology has identified three different ways in which new,…
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    Your Motivation Guru

  • 2 Simple Steps to Reprogram Your Brain to Positive Thinking

    YourMotivationGuru
    16 Jan 2015 | 6:14 am
    2 Simple Steps to Reprogram Your Brain to Positive Thinking  How can we reprogram our mind??? In general, all of us have automatic thoughts and more often than not these are negative thoughts in order to change our thought process we need to get a hold of our thoughts. Like I said earlier we tend to have recurring negative thoughts, every so often we get obsessed by something bad that has happened and on other occasions we find it difficult to control our attention, what we are really struggling to do is to master our mind in a more capable way. We have conscious and unconscious…
  • Simple Ideas to Control Negative Thinking

    YourMotivationGuru
    13 Jan 2015 | 12:57 am
    Simple Ideas to Control Negative Thinking   If anger, tension, irritation and worrying are your usual responses to any situation or changes in your life then you are undoubtedly suffering from the problem of negative thinking.  To lead a better life filled with tranquillity, contentment and love we need to change our way of thinking. The key to positive thinking is to discover yourself – Make serenity, bliss and love a reality. Positive thinking sounds clichéd, we have heard about it and read about it yet we still don’t practice it. We all have busy lives and it seems almost…
  • 5 Tips to Start Business Networking Everyday

    YourMotivationGuru
    12 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    5 Tips to Start Business Networking Everyday If you wish to succeed, you have to incorporate networking into your life, you ought to view each encounter as a prospect to connect and perhaps construct consequential business associations. If you make a connection today, even if it is brief, you’ll see that in future it’ll bloom into something more substantial giving you new opportunities for growth. Networking helps you in developing new relationships and opportunities. Networking is 24*7; it is in essence an attitude. It is a stratagem for life, a way to create long-term connections and…
  • 6 Easy Ways to Motivate Your Employees

    YourMotivationGuru
    9 Jan 2015 | 12:49 am
    6 Easy Ways to Motivate Your Employees Often Business owners worry about ways to amplify employee motivation. Motivating your employees is imperative to any business. A motivated staff means an extremely prolific and productive staff which in turn helps in achieving your business goals. A few of you might wonder, however, why simply providing a paycheck is not good enough.   The answer is – In today’s economy, it’s more significant than ever to have motivated employees. That’s because motivated employees are productive employees and productive employees are more…
  • Change Your Life With Mini Habits – 30-Day Challenge

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

  • How To Earn What You’re Worth

    The Wiseist
    23 Jan 2015 | 3:45 pm
    If you really think about it, wages just aren’t a fair reflection of the value you provide in the workplace, unless you’re the boss. If you’re working for someone else, the only way for them to make a profit is by paying you less than you’re worth. In order to make any serious money, companies have to pay staff a lesser share of proceeds than they truly deserve – even though frontline staff are usually the ones doing all the hard graft. Traditionally, people have tended to think in this way: company founders are taking most of the risk when they start a business, and…
  • Why You Should Write A Personal Manifesto

    The Wiseist
    23 Jan 2015 | 11:09 am
    There is a certain danger to drifting through life without much focus. If you don’t know where you’re going, or why, you never know exactly where you might end up. As someone who was previously a semi-homeless addict, I can tell you now, not keeping tabs on where you are in life can get you into a lot of trouble. A personal manifesto can help you to live as you really want to, rather than getting accidentally side-tracked, waylaid by difficult times and circumstances and ending up somewhere you don’t want to be. Having a personal manifesto essentially makes a clear statement…
  • Have You Ever Asked Yourself “Where Do I Belong?”

    The Wiseist
    6 Jan 2015 | 6:01 am
    We all know what an ideal fit feels like. It’s like when we discover a shoe that is the perfect size and shape, a band who’ve never released a track we don’t like, or a place that just feels like home. As we travel through life, many of us get a sense of ‘not fitting’ where we are or ‘not belonging’ with the people we associate with. It might feel like we’re a little outside of life, peering in at an existence that just doesn’t tally with who we are. If you’ve ever experienced a sense of not fitting in or not belonging, you may have…
  • Make This The Year of Being Wiser

    The Wiseist
    1 Jan 2015 | 3:18 am
    On New Years Eve we often promise ourselves all sorts of things for the coming year. Sometimes it’s to lose weight, break a bad habit, stop doing something or start doing something. New Years resolutions could be massively improved simply by adding a little wisdom. Many New Years resolutions revolve around our health, for example. And it’s great to make an effort to get physically fit, but people rarely succeed with this goal. It’s not because they’re lazy or don’t want it enough – it’s because they go about trying to achieve that goal in the wrong way.
  • Want To Live ‘Longer’? Read ‘Making Time’ by Steve Taylor

    The Wiseist
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Have you ever wondered where all the years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes seem to go? There never seems to be enough time to do anything and life appears to rush by even faster the older we get. Yet when you think back to your childhood, I bet you remember those never-ending summers and the wait for Christmas that seemed to last for several years. Or perhaps you recall interminable car journeys where you just had to know “Are we nearly there yet?” And of course, you never were. Making Time by Steve Taylor is a book that not only tells us where all the time goes, but it…
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