• Most Topular Stories

  • The Problematic Rise of Big Neuro news RSS feed
    Hilary Rose
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:41 am
    The first “Big Science” projects came from physics and astronomy – think the atomic bomb, CERN or the Hubble telescope. No longer; now it is the turn of the biomedical sciences. Although the 1990s was supposed to be the decade of the brain and the 2000s that of the mind, brain science has hitherto lacked a big project and certainly a big budget. Now, suddenly, it has two. Last year the EU announced that one of the winners in its €1billion “Grand Challenges” competition was the Human Brain Project (HBP) – which recently received a funding boost thanks to a 40% increase in the…
  • The “Core”

    Go Grue!
    6 Jul 2013 | 7:22 pm
    A metaphor familiar to ethicists and political philosophers is that of the “expanding circle” of justice. Circles, of course, have a centre. At the centre of the justice circle stands, as a matter of historical fact, that ominous presence: the prosperous, white, heterosexual, able-bodied, cisgendered etc. man (incidentally, I am guilty as charged). The idea behind the metaphor, then, is to suggest that, as a matter of historical description as much as normative prescription, our circle of moral concern must expand beyond this narrow centre. It must expand in concentric bursts to…
  • MIT's Agustin Rayo interviewed...

    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog
    Brian Leiter
    18 Apr 2014 | 1:27 pm 3AM.
  • Question about Existence - Charles Taliaferro responds | "All"
    19 Apr 2014 | 5:32 am
    I guess some philosophers discuss whether in some exact location there is only one object, a statue, or two objects, the statue and the stone it is made of. Are there well-known philosophers who argue that this is a false question, a mere matter of choice of words, that there is no criterion to distinguish one object from two objects? Thank you. Response from: Charles Taliaferro The philosopher Peter van Inwagen is rather skeptical about such relations. Although I may be wrong, but I think he is quite reluctant to believe that (strictly speaking) there are gross macroscopic objects like books…
  • John Finnis on rape and conception

    Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog
    Brian Leiter
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:57 am
    This is very curious indeed!
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    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Blame

    Neal Tognazzini and D. Justin Coates
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:32 pm
    [New Entry by Neal Tognazzini and D. Justin Coates on April 15, 2014.] To blame someone is to respond in a particular way to something of negative normative significance about him or his behavior. A paradigm case, perhaps, would be when one person wrongs another, and the latter responds with resentment and a verbal rebuke, but of course, we also blame others for their attitudes and characters (see, e.g., Smith 2005). Thus blaming scenarios typically involve a wide range of inward...
  • Republicanism

    Frank Lovett
    15 Apr 2014 | 2:49 am
    [Revised entry by Frank Lovett on April 15, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] In political theory and philosophy, the term 'republicanism' is generally used in two different, but closely related, senses. In the first sense, republicanism refers to a loose tradition or family of writers in the history of western political thought, including especially: Machiavelli and his fifteenth-century Italian predecessors; the English republicans...
  • George Boole

    Stanley Burris
    14 Apr 2014 | 3:39 pm
    [Revised entry by Stanley Burris on April 14, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] George Boole (1815 - 1864) was an English mathematician and a founder of the algebraic tradition in logic. He worked as a schoolmaster in England and from 1849 until his death as professor of mathematics at Queen's University, Cork, Ireland. He revolutionized logic by applying methods from the then-emerging field of symbolic algebra to logic. Where traditional (Aristotelian) logic relied on...
  • Géraud de Cordemoy

    Fred Ablondi
    13 Apr 2014 | 4:51 pm
    [Revised entry by Fred Ablondi on April 13, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Geraud de Cordemoy (1626 - 1684) was one of the more important Cartesian philosophers during the decades immediately following the death of Descartes. While he is in some respects a very orthodox Cartesian, Cordemoy was the only Cartesian to embrace atomism, and one of the first to argue for occasionalism. Though a lawyer by profession, Cordemoy was a prominent figure in Parisian philosophical circles. His...
  • Justice and Bad Luck

    Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen
    11 Apr 2014 | 5:46 pm
    [Revised entry by Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen on April 11, 2014. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, supplement1.html, supplement2.html] Some people end up worse off than others partly because of their bad luck. For instance, some die young due to a genetic disease, whereas others live long lives. Are such differential luck induced inequalities unjust? Many are inclined to answer this question affirmatively. To understand this inclination, we need a clear account of what luck involves. On some accounts, luck nullifies responsibility. On others, it nullifies desert. It is often said that justice…
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    Talking Philosophy

  • The Cost of Litter

    Mike LaBossiere
    18 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) After running the Palace Saloon 5K, I participated in a cleanup of a nearby park. This event, organized by my running friend Nancy, involved spending about an hour and a half picking up trash in the Florida sun.  We runners created a pile of overstuffed trash bags full of a wide range of discarded debris. On my regular runs, I routinely pick up litter. This ranges from the expected (discarded cans) to the unusual (a blender dropped off in the woods). These adventures in litter caused me to think about the various issues related to litter and most especially the cost…
  • Exotic Pets

    Mike LaBossiere
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In her April 2014 National Geographic article “Wild Obsession, Lauren Slater considers the subject of exotic pets in America. While the article does mention some of the moral issues regarding such pets, I think it is worthwhile to consider the ethics of owning such pets in more depth. While there are various ways to define what it is for a pet to be exotic, I will focus on non-domesticated animals that are kept as pets. Naturally, some of these pets do not involve much moral controversy. For example, keeping a tank of small fish seems to be morally fine—provided…
  • Men, Women, Business & Ethics

    Mike LaBossiere
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Journal of Business Ethics (Photo credit: Wikipedia) On 4/9/2014 NPR did a short report on the question of why there are fewer women in business than men. This difference begins in business school and, not surprisingly, continues forward. The report focused on an interesting hypothesis: in regards to ethics, men and women differ. While people tend to claim that lying is immoral, both men and woman are more likely to lie to a woman when engaged in negotiation. The report also mentioned a test involving an ethical issue. In this scenario, the seller of a house does not want it sold to someone…
  • Utah, Same-Sex Marriage & The Procreation Argument

    Mike LaBossiere
    11 Apr 2014 | 10:50 am
    Gay Couple with child (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As a general rule, I would contend that if something is morally wrong, then it should be possible to present non-fallacious and reasonable arguments to show that it is wrong.  I would also probably add that there should be actual facts involved. I would obviously not claim that the arguments must be decisive—one generally does not see that in ethics. While people continue to argue against same sex marriage, the arguments continue to be the usual mix of fallacies and poor reasoning. There is also the usual employment of “facts” that are…
  • On Lars von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA: A new article of mine offering a ‘therapeutic’ ‘reading’ thereof

    Rupert Read
    10 Apr 2014 | 4:40 am
    My latest film-as-philosophy effort has just been published, with SEQUENCE:
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  • Question about Existence - Stephen Maitzen responds

    19 Apr 2014 | 5:32 am
    I guess some philosophers discuss whether in some exact location there is only one object, a statue, or two objects, the statue and the stone it is made of. Are there well-known philosophers who argue that this is a false question, a mere matter of choice of words, that there is no criterion to distinguish one object from two objects? Thank you. Response from: Stephen Maitzen You might also look into the work of philosopher Eli Hirsch (Brandeis University), who argues that various disagreements in ontology, perhaps including the one you mentioned, are "merely verbal" disagreements.
  • Question about Existence - Charles Taliaferro responds

    19 Apr 2014 | 5:32 am
    I guess some philosophers discuss whether in some exact location there is only one object, a statue, or two objects, the statue and the stone it is made of. Are there well-known philosophers who argue that this is a false question, a mere matter of choice of words, that there is no criterion to distinguish one object from two objects? Thank you. Response from: Charles Taliaferro The philosopher Peter van Inwagen is rather skeptical about such relations. Although I may be wrong, but I think he is quite reluctant to believe that (strictly speaking) there are gross macroscopic objects like books…
  • Question about Biology, Children, Ethics - Oliver Leaman responds

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:44 am
    Does allowing one's child to become obese constitute child abuse? Response from: Oliver Leaman On the other hand, there certainly have been cases where social services have removed children from parents where children have become obese, and the parents have been taken to be at fault.It seems to me to be an issue that needs to be considered on a case by case manner. There may be something in the parents' behavior that encourages obesity in the children, in just the same way that a parent may be in trouble with the authorities for letting their child play by a road. We tend to think that…
  • Question about Philosophers - Oliver Leaman responds

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:36 am
    Hello, i was recently in a discussion regarding Kant's moral duties, and whether Kant would follow society's laws before following the duties derived from ethics. If a law in a society state "that it's a righteous sanction to torture another human being if this has broken the law", would Kant say; follow that law!. Or would he point out that his moral laws is dissimilar to that of human society? My argumentation rested on the relativity of cross-cultural law-systems, and thus, the universality of Kant's Maxims. Response from: Oliver Leaman For Kant the key issue is whether a maxim can be…
  • Question about Knowledge - Oliver Leaman responds

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:30 am
    A question like this was posted in Askphilosophers some months ago but was never answered, so I'll try it again. What kind of knowledge is chess knowledge? Some of it is deductive (e.g., if I move this piece over there it will be checkmate, given the rules of chess), but it is not possible to assess openings and middlegames deductively, since the number of possible positions until checkmate or draw is way too large for them to be computed. Some knowledge of chess players is empirical or has empirical grounds (e.g., if I play this opening my opponent will be worse, since s/he is not used to…
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    Ethics Etc

  • SAP Annual Conference 2014

    S. Matthew Liao
    11 Apr 2014 | 12:13 pm
    St Anne’s College, Oxford, UK 27-29 June, 2014 A provisional copy of the programme is now available on the conference website. Chairing Chair persons are still required for some of the sessions at the event. If you plan to attend and would be willing to chair one or more of the sessions at the event […]
  • CF: Good Done Right

    S. Matthew Liao
    11 Apr 2014 | 12:07 pm
    Call for registration GOOD DONE RIGHT: a conference on effective altruism 7-9 July 2014 All Souls College, Oxford, UK Speakers include: Derek Parfit (Oxford), Thomas Pogge (Yale), Rachel Glennerster (MIT Poverty Action Lab), Nick Bostrom (Oxford), Norman Daniels (Harvard), Jeremy Lauer (WHO-CHOICE), Toby Ord (Oxford), William MacAskill (Cambridge), Larissa MacFarquhar (the New Yorker), Nick Beckstead […]
  • Schedule for Value and Virtue in Ethics and Epistemology at NYU

    Barry Maguire
    9 Apr 2014 | 2:53 pm
    Details (including registration information) here: here:
  • New Appointments in Philosophy

    S. Matthew Liao
    1 Apr 2014 | 9:07 am
    The American Philosophical Association and the PhilPapers Foundation are pleased to announce New Appointments in Philosophy, a new service through PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers. This database of new appointments in philosophy departments worldwide will allow standardized collection of demographic and other data about appointments in philosophy. It will also provide a way to systematically disseminate […]
  • 2nd CFP: Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy

    S. Matthew Liao
    1 Apr 2014 | 8:59 am
    Due to a failure to send out a final reminder, we are extending the deadline for submissions for the Second Annual Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy from April 1 to April 15th. The original call is repeated below. We are pleased to announce that the Second Annual Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political […]
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    European Journal of Philosophy

  • Does the Reversibility Thesis Deliver All That Merleau-Ponty Claims It Can?

    Anya Daly
    25 Mar 2014 | 4:23 am
    Abstract Merleau-Ponty's reversibility thesis argues that self, other and world are inherently relational, interdependent at the level of ontology. What is at stake in the reversibility thesis is whether it overcomes skeptical objections in both assuring real communication and avoiding solipsism in assuring real difference; the Other must be a genuine, irreducible Other. It is objected that across the domains of reversibility, symmetry and reciprocity are not guaranteed. I argue that this is a non-problem; rather the potentialities for asymmetry and non reciprocity in fact guarantee the…
  • The Representationalism versus Relationalism Debate: Explanatory Contextualism about Perception

    Bence Nanay
    25 Mar 2014 | 4:22 am
    Abstract There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. Perceptual states are not…
  • How to Silence Content with Porn, Context and Loaded Questions

    Alex Davies
    19 Mar 2014 | 6:50 pm
    Abstract Catharine MacKinnon claimed that pornography silence's women's speech where this speech is protected by free speech legislation. MacKinnon's claim was attacked as confused because, so it seemed, pornography is not the kind of thing that can silence speech. Using ideas drawn from John Austin's account of speech acts, Rae Langton defended MacKinnon's claim against this attack by showing how speech can, in principle, be silenced by pornography. However, Langton's defence requires us to deviate from a widely held understanding of what kind of speech is protected; namely the expression of…
  • Reading Frege's Grundgesetze, by Richard Heck. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, xvii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-923370-0 £ 35.00

    Gregory Landini
    14 Mar 2014 | 12:53 am
  • Collective Obligations: Their Existence, Their Explanatory Power, and Their Supervenience on the Obligations of Individuals

    Bill Wringe
    5 Mar 2014 | 6:40 pm
    Abstract In this paper I discuss a number of different relationships between two kinds of (moral) obligation: those which have individuals as their subject, and those which have groups of individuals as their subject. I use the name collective obligations to refer to obligations of the second sort. I argue that there are collective obligations, in this sense; that such obligations can give rise to and explain obligations which fall on individuals; that because of these facts collective obligations are not simply reducible to individual obligations; and that collective obligations supervene on…
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    Philosophia Mathematica - Advance Access

  • Finitistic Arithmetic and Classical Logic

    Ganea, M.
    28 Mar 2014 | 12:52 am
    It can be argued that only the equational theories of some sub-elementary function algebras are finitistic or intuitive according to a certain interpretation of Hilbert's conception of intuition. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relation of those restricted forms of equational reasoning to classical quantifier logic in arithmetic. The conclusion reached is that Edward Nelson's ‘predicative arithmetic’ program, which makes essential use of classical quantifier logic, cannot be justified finitistically and thus requires a different philosophical foundation, possibly…
  • How Not to Enhance the Indispensability Argument

    Marcus, R.
    24 Mar 2014 | 11:44 pm
    The new explanatory or enhanced indispensability argument alleges that our mathematical beliefs are justified by their indispensable appearances in scientific explanations. This argument differs from the standard indispensability argument which focuses on the uses of mathematics in scientific theories. I argue that the new argument depends for its plausibility on an equivocation between two senses of explanation. On one sense the new argument is an oblique restatement of the standard argument. On the other sense, it is vulnerable to an instrumentalist response. Either way, the explanatory…
  • Mechanistic Explanation and Explanatory Proofs in Mathematics

    Frans, J., Weber, E.
    9 Mar 2014 | 10:02 pm
    Although there is a consensus among philosophers of mathematics and mathematicians that mathematical explanations exist, only a few authors have proposed accounts of explanation in mathematics. These accounts fit into the unificationist or top-down approach to explanation. We argue that these models can be complemented by a bottom-up approach to explanation in mathematics. We introduce the mechanistic model of explanation in science and discuss the possibility of using this model in mathematics, arguing that using it does not presuppose a Platonist view of mathematics and allows one to gain…
  • Jean-Michel Salanskis. Philosophie des mathematiques. Problemes & Controverses. Paris: Vrin, 2008. ISBN 978-2-7116-1988-7. Pp. 304

    Lebel, A.
    17 Feb 2014 | 12:27 am
  • Frege, Indispensability, and the Compatibilist Heresy

    Sereni, A.
    1 Feb 2014 | 1:41 am
    In Grundgesetze, Vol. II, §91, Frege argues that ‘it is applicability alone which elevates arithmetic from a game to the rank of a science’. Many view this as an in nuce statement of the indispensability argument (ia) later championed by Quine. Garavaso has questioned this attribution. I argue that even though Frege's applicability argument is not a version of ia, it facilitates acceptance of suitable formulations of ia. The prospects for making the empiricist ia compatible with a rationalist Fregean framework appear thus much less dim than expected. Nonetheless, those…
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    Feminist Philosophers

  • A remarkable piece on rape culture

    19 Apr 2014 | 2:43 am
    As Foz Meadows writes: In which the husband of rape and murder victim Jill Meagher reminds us, eloquently and with sharp compassion, that while his wife was killed by the archetypal monster, most women are attacked by men they know, and that privileging the monster myth helps obscure the reality of their abuse. Not only is this one of the best and most necessary articles I’ve ever read in the subject, but that it was written by this man, of all men – someone making a conscious effort to interrogate the reasons why his wife’s death attracted so much public support, and to…
  • More on Central APA!

    18 Apr 2014 | 10:45 pm
    A quest post by Janice Dowell, Chair of Program Committee. A few years back when I was on the Central program committee, I noticed that our deindentified refereeing process resulted in representation of women philosophers on the submitted program proportionate to their application numbers. But, they were still underrepresented on the submitted program: We hadn’t applied in proportion to our numbers. Conclusion: More women need to be submitting. See Anne’s post below for details on submission!
  • Needed: more papers by women philosophers

    18 Apr 2014 | 12:53 pm
    For the Central Division APA Posted at the request of the program chair. ————————– Please also see the general submission guidelines. Paper submission deadline for the 2014 meeting: June 1, 2014 The meeting is usually held in February or March. Selections are announced in September, or before when possible. Central Division submission deadline: June 1. Membership materials (dues payments from members who still owe dues for the current fiscal year and membership applications from new applicants who are joining the APA for the first time)…
  • Boulder: more discussion

    18 Apr 2014 | 9:23 am
    It’s here. The CHE has a similar story, but it is only available to subscribers.
  • Feminism at 1000-Word Philosophy

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:42 am
    Annaleigh Curtis authors a three-part introduction to feminist philosophy.  Read Part I here.
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    In Socrates' Wake

  • 2014 Lenssen Prize winners

    Michael Cholbi
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:42 pm
    Let's extend congratulations to Ann Cahill and Stephen Bloch-Schulman. Their article, "Argumentation step-by-step: Learning critical thinking through deliberative practice," Teaching Philosophy v. 35, no. 1 (2012), pp. 41-62 is the winner of the biennial Lenssen Prize for the best article on the teaching of philosophy. Congratulations to Ann and Stephen!
  • Goldstein on philosophy and the humanites

    Michael Cholbi
    14 Apr 2014 | 10:07 am
    Over in the Chronicle of Higher Ed,Rebecca Newberger Goldstein seems to share some of my reservations about philosophy being classified within the humanities. She offers a compelling diagnosis: Philosophy seems caught between two academic epistemologies. One, modeled on literature, is the investigation of our "inner lives." The other, modeled on science, seeks laws of nature. Goldstein advocates for a Sellarsian alternative: Philosophy makes progress by making our image of ourselves and our world more consistent or coherent. It's definitely a piece worth reading — and I'm glad to see…
  • New articles in Teaching Philosophy

    Michael Cholbi
    8 Apr 2014 | 9:38 am
    New articles, from v. 37, no. 2, of Teaching Philosophy are now online. Abstracts below:Forrest PerryCorrupting the YouthThis paper describes a project I have my students do that is based on parallels between the position Socrates describes himself as being in when addressing the charge that he corrupts the youth of Athens and the position critics of capitalism in the U.S. are in when they try to make the case that capitalism is a deeply flawed system that needs to be transformed into something better. For the project, students are asked to give to three audiences of their own choosing a…
  • Learning by writing the question

    Michael Cholbi
    2 Apr 2014 | 8:08 am
    Following up on Mike's post about essay question formats: I like to experiment with small exercises designed to encourage metacognition. One I'm going to try this term is to have students write their own essay questions.BLOOM'S TAXONOMYStudents in my Moral Philosophy course are given a weekly essay assignment. I plan to put them in groups to brainstorm essay prompts, subject to these guidelines:The prompt should relate to the week's assigned materials or topic(s). Outside research should not be requiredIt should require knowledge or understanding made available via the class (texts, in-class…
  • Essay Question Formats

    Mike Austin
    26 Mar 2014 | 12:36 pm
    I've noticed that students at the introductory level seem to have a greater tendency to fail to address one element of a multi-part essay question (usually the last part of the question). For example, I often ask them to evaluate an argument, or give and briefly defend their own view on a subject. Before the first exam I emphasize that they need to address all aspects of a question, and even if they aren't sure what they think, that they should nevertheless write something down for partial credit. Still, many fail to do so.  I've recently noticed a difference in terms of how much this…
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    Philosophy by the Way

  • Do all things have their seasons?

    13 Apr 2014 | 4:22 pm
    Is there a season for blooming?In his essay “All things have their season” Montaigne writes about the Roman statesman Cato the Elder (234-149 BC): “[T]hat in his extreme old age he put himself upon learning the Greek tongue with so greedy an appetite, as if to quench a long thirst, does not seem to me to make much for his honour; it being properly what we call falling into second childhood.” (Essays, Book II, Ch. xxviii). In the next section Montaigne concurs with Eudemonidas who says about the Greek philosopher Xenocrates (396-314 BC), when seeing him very old, “still very intent…
  • When to write my blog

    7 Apr 2014 | 1:17 am
    Since I started writing these blogs, I am in the habit of writing them on Mondays and using the rest of the week for making corrections and looking for a suitable photo or for making one. Until now I succeeded to write a blog every week, unless I had a good reason not to do it. Nevertheless, I wondered whether it is an effective routine, for sometimes it’s quite an effort to produce a text. Now and then I simply fail to have ideas, even though in the end there is always a result.On the Internet you can find many advices how to improve your creativity. Often they are an “open door” for…
  • A country governed by criminals

    30 Mar 2014 | 4:20 pm
    (for security reasons I blurred the fingerprints)I live in a country governed by criminals. And then I do not mean men like a former president who has been twice in jail because of robbery and assault and who recently left his country behind with an empty treasury and an allegedly full foreign bank account for himself when he was chased away by the people (maybe you recognize Victor Yanukovych from the Ukraine in the description). No, I mean the leaders of a country many people wouldn’t have thought of: the Netherlands. Of course, nobody should expect that we live in a paradise here. Only…
  • Word and image

    23 Mar 2014 | 5:14 pm
    Look at the picture above. Wittgenstein says in his Tractatus logico-philosophicus: “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” (5.6). I say: Even if I have given a complete description of what is in this picture, nevertheless I still do not know what is in it. However, when I look at it, I know how it is and what it looks like. So my world is wider than what I can describe with my language (And can I describe my feelings fully?)Wittgenstein says in his Tractatus: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” (7) I say: What you cannot say, you maybe can…
  • Philosophy and facts

    16 Mar 2014 | 4:57 pm
    Can you TRY to forget that you were there?Wittgenstein wrote on logic which is about thought. Is all philosophy only about thought? I had to think of it, when I read an article by Kevin Lynch recently (see note). Lynch starts his article with the observation that “according to a common assumption in the philosophical literature about how self-deception gets accomplished, subjects deceive themselves into believing something by the control of attention” (p. 63). However, Lynch casts doubt on this assumption, which he particularizes as the idea “whether people have the power to…
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    The Brooks Blog

  • What is the most important topic political scientists are not studying?

    10 Apr 2014 | 4:25 am
    A recent piece in Perspectives on Politics by Professor Debra Javeline (found here) claims the answer is "adapting to climate change"(?). While I'm delighted to be noted as one of the good (or just better?) academics in the field, it is a pity she overlooked my other work in this area which does engage with the adaptation literature. Still, a thought-provoking piece even if I take issue with some of its claims.
  • Many thanks to the Open Univesity

    3 Apr 2014 | 1:11 am
    . . . for the invitation to give a talk yesterday to their Philosophy Department's faculty seminar series (see details here). A great occasion with some terrific discussion I found highly beneficial.
  • Lights, Camera, Parliament!

    31 Mar 2014 | 9:28 am
    I enjoyed taking part in this entry to the Lights, Camera, Parliament! national competition in the UK by the local Macmillan Academy - which won the runner up prize for secondary schools!
  • Studies in Global Justice

    31 Mar 2014 | 8:27 am
    I'm delighted to have accepted a seat on the editorial board for the terrific book series Studies in Global Series led by Deen Chatterjee (Utah) and published by Springer. The series can be found here - with a dozen highly impressive (and important) contributions to the field already in print. Fellow board members include Series Editor Deen K. Chatterjee, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, U.S.A. Editorial BoardElizabeth Ashford, University of St. Andrews, U.K. Gillian Brock, University of Auckland, New Zealand Thom Brooks, Durham University, UK Simon Caney, Oxford University,…
  • Many thanks to Sciences Po-Paris

    31 Mar 2014 | 8:22 am
    . . . for hosting my talk on "Punitive Restoration" as part of their Faculty Seminars. The discussing was absolutely terrific and I enjoyed every minute. One of the most enjoyable seminars I've had and highly impressive political theory taking place...
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    In Living Color

  • Circumcision Ethics

    13 Apr 2014 | 10:46 am
    The simple case against circumcision says the procedure harms children (since the costs exceed the benefits), and parents shouldn't harm their children.  To make this case, you've got to stress the pain of the procedure plus the lost sensitivity. And then compare the benefits: lower risk of various problems, advantages of conformity (if most other boys are circumcised), etc.  This is a tricky
  • Enjoying gender

    2 Apr 2014 | 8:04 am
    Today my class on procreation and parenthood discusses whether parents should foster gender differences in their children--reinforcing girlness in girls and boyness in boys.  There are lots of reasons to say No, but also some reasons to say Yes.  Here's food for thought from Alice Dreger: While on the road a few years back, I met a stridently-feminist soon-to-be mom who pulled me aside to
  • Redo

    31 Mar 2014 | 5:37 pm
    Hope you like the clean, simple look.  I'm planning on getting back to blogging, but in a more casual, quick style.  No treatises, just comments on the passing scene or on what I'm reading/working on.  We'll see how that turns out.
  • The right to an open present

    8 Mar 2014 | 4:00 pm
    That was a long blog break!  I've been thinking of changing what I do at this blog, or starting a different one, or abandoning blogging...but for the moment, I'm going to stay the course (as "W" used to say). Quick thought for the day.  In procreative and parental ethics, philosophers are forever talking about a child's right to an open future.  By appealing to that right all sorts of
  • Creation Ethics

    25 Jan 2014 | 9:10 am
    I love the Frankenstein allusions in Parental Obligations and Bioethics: The Duties of a Creator, by Bernard Prusak.  I also recently read that novel, precisely to think about parental ethics.  The basic idea of Prusak's book is that creators have special obligations to their creatures, like Dr. Frankenstein did to his monster.  Frankenstein was wrong to abandon the poor creature at birth (he
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    Stephen Law

  • I'm on at Cheltenham Science Festival June 7th

    9 Apr 2014 | 5:11 am
    CHELTENHAM SCIENCE FESTIVALEvent Title:S109 DOES SOCIETY NEED RELIGION?Time:16:00Venue:Pillar RoomDate:Saturday 7 June 2014What is the role of religion?Religion has been helping us find our place in the world for millennia. But with the scientific understanding we now have, could we be growing out of a need for religion? Without its guidance and moral teachings would society collapse? Author of The Young Atheist's Handbook Alom Shaha leads a discussion, with philosopher Stephen Law and sociologist Linda Woodhead, about the role of religion in modern society.
  • The argument from minimal facts for extraordinary/miraculous events

    1 Apr 2014 | 3:35 am
    Here is a template for an argument from the minimal facts used for example, to argue for the resurrection (see Gary Habermas here for example). 1)      These facts are agreed on as our starting point.2)      There is a variety of explanations of these facts, including the explanation that [insert preferred extraordinary and/or miraculous event E] happened3)      All of these explanations fail to have the explanatory scope or power for all of the facts, apart from the explanation that [E]…
  • Ontological argument - some Religious Studies A2 notes

    28 Mar 2014 | 5:54 am
    Notes on Ontological Argument from today's A2 Teachers First conference Bloomsbury (from ppt) n  Ontological argumentn  Stephen Lawn  Heythrop College, University of Londonn  The ontological argumentn  An argument that attempts to prove the existence of God a priori, from the definition or concept of God.n  An “armchair” proof!n  Ontological argumentn  Almost everyone thinks there is something wrong with the argument.n  The question is: precisely whatis wrong with it?n  We will look at versions from Descartes and Anselm.n …
  • Notes for Holy Cross School on Religious Language from ppt

    27 Mar 2014 | 3:09 am
    Notes for Holy Cross School on Religious Language from ppt •       Wittgenstein on religious language•       Stephen Law•       Threats to religious belief•       Religions appear to many to make claims, claims that have in many cases been refuted, or that are at least dubious, e.g.•       The universe was created as described in Genesis (6k yrs old)•       The Earth is fixed and immovable (Psalms…
  • Post by Phil and Monica H. re William Lane Craig and Michael Murray on animal pain

    18 Mar 2014 | 8:07 am
    This is a one-off guest posting. It's well worth reading. Apologies for awful unfixable formatting. We are the creators of a series of videos debunking the neuroscience claims made by William Lane Craig (WLC) in his debate with Stephen Law.  WLC claimed animals are not aware of pain and that neuroscience backs his claim.  In Feb 2013 William Lane Craig devoted an entire podcast to addressing our video on the neuroscience of animal suffering; we quickly uploaded a video response, addressing the flaws in his arguments.  You can see all this back and forth…
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    gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life

  • Feminist Political Philosophy in the SEP

    Noelle McAfee
    1 Apr 2014 | 7:04 pm
    My newly revised entry on feminist political philosophy has just been published in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  This version has more on the history of feminism and a new taxonomy that expands on difference feminisms, diversity and postcolonial feminism (though it could still use much more on the latter), and a much expanded section on what I am calling performative feminism. Many thanks to Mary G. Dietz, Ann Garry, Bonnie Honig, Eva Kittay, Carole Pateman, R. Claire Snyder-Hall, Shay Welch, and Ewa Ziarek for their suggestions for this revision.
  • Kristeva Circle 2014

    Noelle McAfee
    1 Apr 2014 | 6:55 pm
    Julia Kristeva skyped in to the Kristeva Circle meeting at Vanderbilt this past Sunday to give a brief talk and take questions for over an hour. For a Skype session, it was amazingly intimate and personal, a great way to end an amazing meeting organized by Kelly Oliver and Rebecca Tuvel. I had the pleasure of being part of a panel on Saturday on Concepts of Women, Visions of Feminism. I talked about Kristeva’s recent article published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
  • Philosophy’s Big Data and why that is good

    Noelle McAfee
    24 Mar 2014 | 4:56 pm
    The American Philosophical Association’s Executive Director Amy Ferrer guest posted today on the newapps blog.  I’m heartened that the APA is committed to collecting and reporting data on the profession in a rigorous and data-driven manner, unlike those blogs and rankings (actually I’m thinking of just one in particular) that are biased from the bottom up. It’s time to take the profession back from those who just use it for their own gain. Here’s a snippet of Ferrer’s post and a link to the whole thing: Perhaps the most powerful tool we have to increase…
  • On the Persistence of Sexism in Philosophy

    Noelle McAfee
    23 Mar 2014 | 9:11 am
    Reflections from Zachary Ernst who “jumped off the ivory tower” on the bad reasoning often invoked to discriminate against women in philosophy. 
  • Charles Mingus — Moanin’

    Noelle McAfee
    16 Mar 2014 | 5:15 pm
    This is exuberance for the weary.
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    Alexander Pruss's Blog

  • Reference magnetism and anti-reductionism

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:04 am
    According to reference magnetism, the meanings of our terms are constituted by requiring the optimization of desiderata that include the naturalness of referents (or, more generally, by making the joints in language correspond to joints in the world, as much as possible) and something like charity (making as many real-world uses as possible be correct). Suppose we measure naturalness by the complexity of expression in fundamental terms—terms that correspond to perfectly natural things. (In particular, we can't talk of what cannot be expressed in fundamental terms, since reference magnetism…
  • Another argument for universal love

    16 Apr 2014 | 6:50 am
    A part of the phenomenology of healthy full-blown love is that one sees that the beloved is such that one would have been remiss not to have recognized her lovability by loving her. The phenomology of healthy full-blown love is not misleading. But it is possible to have a healthy full-blown love for any person. So one should love everyone. For consider some person, say Sam. If one did have the healthy full-blown love for Sam, one would have correctly seen that one would be remiss in not loving Sam. But whether one would be remiss in not loving Sam doesn't depend on whether one in fact loves…
  • An argument for universal love

    16 Apr 2014 | 6:39 am
    If you have full-blown love (not just be slightly fond of, but really love) someone, you should continue to love her. It is a serious moral defect to be open to discontinuing one's full-blown love. This can be discerned from the phenomenology of full-blown love.But a failure to continue loving someone shouldn't get one out of the obligation to love her. It would be "too convenient" if simply by doing the wrong of ceasing to love one were to get out of the obligation to love our beloved.[note 1] So our principle that if you have a full-blown love then you should continue to love can be…
  • Popper functions, uniform distributions and infinite sequences of heads

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:32 am
    Paper forthcoming in the Journal of Philosophical Logic, now posted. I argue that Popper functions don't solve the problems of uniform probabilities in infinite spaces. Yet another in a series of highly technical papers.
  • Regular probability comparisons imply the Banach-Tarski Paradox

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:22 am
    Paper posted here (forthcoming in Synthese). Among goodies in the paper is a proof that the order extension principle (even in a weak form) implies the Banach-Tarski paradox, and a new argument against commensurability in decision theory. This is a very technical paper, so reader beware.
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    The Splintered Mind

  • What Kelp Remembers

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:10 am
    Weird Tales, one of the best and oldest horror and dark fantasy magazines, has just launched a new series of ultra-short flash fiction (under 500 words), Flashes of Weirdness. To inaugurate the series, they've chosen a piece of mine -- which is now my second publication in speculative fiction.My philosophical aim in the story -- What Kelp Remembers -- is to suggest that on a creationist or simulationist cosmology, the world might serve a very different purpose than we're normally inclined to think.At some point, I want to think more about the merit of science fiction as a means of exploring…
  • Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Religion on Crime: The Missing Positive Tail

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    11 Apr 2014 | 3:31 pm
    I think the most recent meta-analysis of the relationship between religosity and crime is still Baier and Wright 2001. I'm reviewing it again in preparation for a talk I'm giving Sunday on what happens when there's a non-effect in psychology but researchers are disposed to think there must be an effect. I was struck by this graph from the Baier and Wright: Note that the x-axis scale is negative, showing the predicted negative relationship between religiosity and crime. (Religiosity is typically measured either by self-reported religious belief or by self-reported religious behavior such as…
  • Philosophy Festival: "How the Light Gets In"

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    10 Apr 2014 | 9:32 am
    Interesting philosophy festival coming up in late May, in western England: Speakers are drawn from a wide range of fields in addition to philosophy, both in the sciences and arts. Among the philosophy speakers are Thomas Pogge, Huw Price, John Heil, Simon Blackburn, Angie Hobbs, Ted Honderich, Margaret Boden, Mark Rowlands, Jennifer Hornsby, Nancy Cartwright, Barry C. Smith, James Ladyman, Daniel Stoljar, Bernard-Henri Levy, Hubert Dreyfus, and Mary Midgley. Lots of other super-cool folks too: Stephen King, Roger Penrose, Cory Doctorow.... Wish I could be there!
  • The Incredible Shrinking Kid

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    7 Apr 2014 | 5:18 pm
    Tania Lombrozo's newest post at NPR reminded me of a phenomenon I've often noticed: After going away on a trip for several days, when I return home it seems to me that my children have grown enormously over those few days! It's not that they've actually grown, of course. My hypothesis is this: During my time away, my memory of my children grows a bit vaguer. Whereas my memory of them when I come home tonight might be an average of their appearance over the last few days, my memory when I come home after a week away might be an average of their appearance over a longer span of time -- maybe a…
  • A Negative, Pluralist Account of Introspection

    Eric Schwitzgebel
    4 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    What is introspection? Nothing! Or rather, almost everything. A long philosophical tradition, going back at least to Locke, has held that there is a distinctive faculty by means of which we know our own minds -- or at least our currently ongoing stream of conscious experience, our sensory experience, our imagery, our emotional experience and inner speech. "Reflection" or "inner sense" or introspection is, in this common view, a single type of process, yielding highly reliable (maybe even infallibly certain) knowledge of our own minds. Critics of this approach to introspection have tended to…
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    In the Space of Reasons

  • Cultural formulation, diagnosis and validity #2

    16 Apr 2014 | 4:17 am
    (The draft second section of a draft chapter.)The two factor model of cultural variationOne way to understand how culture affects mental illness would be to think of the expression of mental illness as the result of two factors: an invariant endogenous factor and a cultural shaping. On this view, mental illnesses either are, or are underpinned by, pathologies of some sort of universal substrate such as an essential human nature. This is the first factor.Perhaps the most obvious candidate for such a substrate is human biological nature. This would fit a common emphasis within mental healthcare…
  • Cultural formulation, diagnosis and validity

    14 Apr 2014 | 10:08 am
    The draft start of a draft chapter.Cultural factors in DSM-5DSM-5 attempts to shed light on the role that culture, and cultural differences, can play in psychiatric diagnosis. This section will outline some of those ways before drawing out their implications.In Section III of DSM-5 there is a discussion of the role of what is called a ‘Cultural Formulation’ including a semi-structured interview to help investigate cultural factors. In the Appendix there is a ‘Glossary of Cultural Concepts of Distress’ which describes nine common conditions (though see below) including: **.In the…
  • Is there any such thing as nursing knowledge?

    8 Apr 2014 | 6:44 am
    Introduction‘What is nursing knowledge?’ is a complex question, the answer to which helps define nurses as a profession? [Hall 2005: 34]Is there such a thing as ‘nursing knowledge’? What do and should we mean by that phrase? And does it help define nursing itself? It may seem that denying that there is such a thing, or unified kind, as nursing knowledge risks undermining the profession of nursing and runs counter to its new graduate status in the UK. But I will argue that on one understanding of the question, at least, it is correct to answer ‘no’ but that this is no threat to a…
  • Social science citations and literature reviews

    2 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    In my role as Research Degree Tutor in the School of Health, I read quite a bit of social science based PhD research and have long been struck by how the use of citations differs from philosophy. I suspect that it is related to something else I have a problem with: the expectation that philosophy-based research should have something like a social science literature review. Perhaps even a systematic review. It is quite difficult to explain why not doing this in philosophy is not merely another example of the laziness of non-empirical research or another example of how such research is merely…
  • At the limits of shared intelligibility: delusions and non-doxasticism

    24 Mar 2014 | 2:56 pm
    At the limits of shared intelligibility: delusions and non-doxasticism. An abstract for a proposed talk (offered to the Philosophers Rally, Nijmegan, Netherlands, April 2014)Delusions present a challenge to the attractive assumption that shared intelligibility is the mark of the mental since, according to Karl Jaspers, primary delusions are un-understandable. This has motivated a philosophical project to ‘solve simultaneously for understanding and utter strangeness’ in Naomi Eilan’s useful metaphor. That is, to provide a degree of understanding rather than mere explanation of…
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    Freemason Information

  • Recognition, History and the Masonic Path Least Traveled with the Man and Freemason – Fred Milliken

    Greg Stewart
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:45 am
    Fred Milliken is a man who needs little introduction, least wise to anyone who has had an ear to hear the heartbeat of Masonry for more than the last 15 years. With a finger, hand, foot and toe in just about every corner of the digital space, Fred either knows what’s going on or someone who does.  Never afraid of tackling the wrongs in the craft, some might say that Brother Fred Milliken is Quixote-esque in his championing of what many see to be the status quo of an immovable force.  But unlike Quixote, Fred see’s the challenges before him as opportunities to inspire and inform…
  • Arkansas Prince Hall Grand Master Cleveland Wilson Takes The High Road

    Fred Milliken
    5 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    We don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note. Only notes that are different can harmonize. The same is true with people. ― Steve GoodierLife’s like the piano and the violin, it’s about how smart you could play the melodies to make a good harmony. ― Lucy ‘AisyGrand Master Cleveland WilsonThe lessons of life often come hard. It takes years and a lot of hurt sometimes to “get it.” And it takes a giant of a human being to “let go.”Such a man is Arkansas Prince Hall Grand Master Cleveland Wilson.I know. I have talked with him face to face many…
  • Greeting a Stranger

    31 Mar 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON SOCIETY- Try it. You might even enjoy the reaction you receive.In my travels around town, I’ve noticed a lot of sour expressions on people’s faces. Maybe it’s just the snowbirds from up north. There just seems to be a lot of unhappy people walking around these days wearing a sourpuss. In a local restaurant I frequent for lunch, people come in with blank looks on their faces, and exit with the same expression. One would think consuming a good meal would change a person’s disposition, but not so from what I have observed.Then again, maybe it was the meat loaf or…
  • Mozart and The Magic Flute

    Greg Stewart
    29 Mar 2014 | 12:19 pm
    The topic of Masonic Music came up recently in a sub reddit forum with the posting of the Grand Leveler video from up and coming artist Apathy. The gist of the discussion came down to what was art, and more particularly, what elevated Masonry in its art.In one of the exchanges, Mozart’s Magic Flute was used as an exemplary example of the ideas of Masonry elevated in an artistic endeavor.The argument aside, it made me wonder “How many of today’s Masons have actively sought out the Masonic connections in Mozart’s Great Work, let alone sat down to watch the three hour…
  • Tim Bryce – Rabble-Rouser?

    28 Mar 2014 | 3:00 am
    BRYCE ON SELF- Or someone who is passionately curious?(Click for AUDIO VERSION) To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.For as long as I can remember in my professional career, I have been accused of being a rabble-rouser by one person or another. When consulting on systems or management, people would be insulted when our company told them the truth. They had trouble accepting it. To illustrate, many years ago in Milwaukee, we were hired to determine the systems problems plaguing an insurance company.After studying the problem carefully we reported to the…
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    Go Grue!

  • When Duties Harm

    Paul Boswell
    9 Apr 2014 | 8:37 am
    Can duties harm us? Can being obligated to do something of itself make a person worse off, at least sometimes? Duties and obligations – or the conditions which trigger preexisting duties and obligations – are often greeted with resignation by those who have them just as if they were bad news, at any rate. Even if Yann quite likes his job teaching philosophy and understands that he may be assigned administrative duties as a condition of employment, he might also be quite disappointed when he remembers all the graduate student applications he must read tomorrow, just when he was hoping to…
  • Defectiveness of Concepts

    28 Jan 2014 | 7:42 am
    There’s a kind of pragmatism, call it Carnapian pragmatism, that concerns the adoption of languages. More specifically, Carnapian pragmatism, as I am using the term, combines two theses: (1) there are no a priori rationally indispensable languages, and (2) the adoption of a language ought to depend on the weight of the various benefits that speaking that language confers on one and one’s community. (1), rules out, for example, the a priori indispensability of a language involving material substances that persist through time and underly change. That is, of course, compatible…
  • Hunger-Striking and Ideal Judges

    31 Aug 2013 | 1:34 pm
    As some of you know, I have been on hunger-strike this week as a small token of solidarity with the detainees held without trial at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. During this week I have taken on only water, non-calorific flavoured water, and small amounts of salt. It’s been quite the experience. There’s plenty to hate about being on hunger-strike. The weakness, the waves of nausea, the occasional vomiting, the broken sleep, the frustrating sense that one’s life is on hold, the coming and going of mental clarity, and, of course, the intense unabating hunger. But there have also been…
  • Philosophy in an Unjust World

    26 Aug 2013 | 11:16 pm
    “Die Philosophen haben die Welt nur verschieden interpretiert; es kommt darauf an, sie zu verändern.” – Karl Marx, These über Feuerbach. A 2009 article in the Miami Herald describes the policy at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp library.[1] The policy is outlined on a slip of paper that was returned to a Pentagon lawyer along with the book he tried to donate to the library—an Arabic translation of Noam Chomsky’s Interventions. The book was refused; the slip of paper offers some explanation why. The document divides potential Guantanamo literature into two classes:…
  • The “Core”

    6 Jul 2013 | 7:22 pm
    A metaphor familiar to ethicists and political philosophers is that of the “expanding circle” of justice. Circles, of course, have a centre. At the centre of the justice circle stands, as a matter of historical fact, that ominous presence: the prosperous, white, heterosexual, able-bodied, cisgendered etc. man (incidentally, I am guilty as charged). The idea behind the metaphor, then, is to suggest that, as a matter of historical description as much as normative prescription, our circle of moral concern must expand beyond this narrow centre. It must expand in concentric bursts to…
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    Philosophy News

  • Question about Existence - Stephen Maitzen responds

    19 Apr 2014 | 5:41 am
    I guess some philosophers discuss whether in some exact location there is only one object, a statue, or two objects, the statue and the stone it is made of. Are there well-known philosophers who argue that this is a false question, a mere matter of choice of words, that there is no criterion to distinguish one object from two objects? Thank you. Response from: Stephen Maitzen You might also look into the work of philosopher Eli Hirsch (Brandeis University), who argues that various disagreements in ontology, perhaps including the one you mentioned, are "merely verbal" disagreements.Continue…
  • On solitary confinement

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:03 pm
    On being and not being. If Husserl and Heidegger are right, there is no difference between solitary confinement and death. A phenomenologist’s prison plight… more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • On Michael Oakeshott

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:03 pm
    Michael Oakeshott, author of dense, intricate works of philosophy: not a guy you’d expect to write pungent aphorisms. And yet.. more»Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Gabriel García Márquez obituaries

    18 Apr 2014 | 3:29 pm
    Gabriel García Márquez, novelist, journalist, friend of left-wing causes, master of magical realism, is dead. He was 87… NY Times … AP … Reuters … BBC … Kakutani … Guardian … Edmund White … Telegraph … Independent … WaPo … LA Times … Boston Globe … New Yorker …Continue reading . . . News source: Arts & Letters Daily
  • Question about Existence - Charles Taliaferro responds

    18 Apr 2014 | 2:28 pm
    I guess some philosophers discuss whether in some exact location there is only one object, a statue, or two objects, the statue and the stone it is made of. Are there well-known philosophers who argue that this is a false question, a mere matter of choice of words, that there is no criterion to distinguish one object from two objects? Thank you. Response from: Charles Taliaferro The philosopher Peter van Inwagen is rather skeptical about such relations. Although I may be wrong, but I think he is quite reluctant to believe that (strictly speaking) there are gross macroscopic objects like books…
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    The Philosophers' Cocoon

  • On the "Core"

    Marcus Arvan
    19 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    There's a really interesting post over at Go Grue! on (1) how our discipline identifies the "core" areas of philosophy (i.e. metaphysics & epistemology), (2) ascribes particular prestige to these areas, and finally (3) how the white-male-domination of these fields results in white males being conceived as working in "core" areas and conferred higher prestige, and people who work in other areas (women and minority philosophers) being conferred less prestige on account of working "outside the core" (viz. ethics, aesthetics, feminism, etc.). The post is…
  • A great paper

    Marcus Arvan
    19 Apr 2014 | 7:53 am
    I've remarked several times on how safe (and a little boring) some of the recent philosophical literature seems to me to have been, how we should encourage more philosophical risk-taking, and on how we should be wary of assuming that a paper is great just because it appeared in Mind or Phil Review (or not great because it didn't).  All that being said, there still are awesome pieces of work being done, and I think I came across one today: Greg Ray's "Meaning and Truth" (forthcoming in Mind). It's a brilliantly clear, original, and well-written piece, and was…
  • On advice for grad students and other conference-goers

    Marcus Arvan
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    Daily Nous has posted a brief excerpt from this post on how to cultivate collegiality as a grad student. The excerpt reads: I do… have something to say about the unwritten rules that accompany your forays into the Greater Academic World. Because when you attend conferences, colloquiums, workshops, or other group activities and events, there are many unwritten rules that apply, ones that I see broken with alarming frequency by students who otherwise seem perfectly fine, even kind and generous…. Because, you see, nobody really explains them to you–you’re just expected to know them…
  • Working Paper Group--Pierre Cloarec's "The Case Against Equality and Priority: a Reply to Huemer"

    Marcus Arvan
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:04 am
    Pierre Cloarec has asked me to post his paper, "The Case Against Equality and Priority: A Reply to Huemer", for discussion in our Working Paper Group. Since we havent' had one of these in a while, here are the group groundrules: The paper is posted over at  In order to access it, you must email me at for the login and password.  Once you have these, just login into dropbox and download the paper. Barring unforseen and unfortunate circumstances, our dropbox login and password will be the same for all future working papers. The login, password,…
  • On assigning numerical values to publications based on venue, or how not to counteract bias

    Marcus Arvan
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
    Over at Helen De Cruz's recent NewAPPS post raising questions about the role that "pedigree" appears to play in the hiring process for academic jobs, Charles Pigden offered the following proposal to counteract bias in hiring (based, he writes, on something written previously on a Leiter thread): May I suggest a ‘first cut’ heuristic for TT positions that would at least diminish the classist (and therefore racist) biases inherent a pedigree based system?  1) Rank the journals on a scale of 1.0 to (say) 0.4, ranking Mind and Analysis at 1.0 and The NoName Journal of…
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    Re-constructing Strategy

  • Quebec’s PQ: Secularists or Xenophobes?

    saqib qureshi
    13 Apr 2014 | 2:19 pm
    The stunning defeat of the Parti Québécois in the recent Quebec elections is good reason to celebrate. Their advocacy of Bill 60, the Charter of Values, carried it with the distinctly foul stench of xenophobia. On the surface, the Bill advocated state secularism and the state’s religious neutrality. In practice, its most prominent impact would have been on a handful of religious minorities. Jews, Sikhs and Muslims would not have been allowed to wear clothes that others perceived as religious when interacting with or working for the state. Putting aside the difficulty in defining a…
  • The Africa Problem

    saqib qureshi
    6 Apr 2014 | 9:11 am
    No continent on the planet is as much of a mess as is Africa. If you thought countries such as North Korea, Pakistan or Iraq had serious issues on their hands, Africa takes the failure of protecting and developing its people not only one step further but does so on a whopping continental-wide level. By practically any measure, Africa is in serious trouble. The World Justice Project’s ‘Rule of Law’ rankings has no African countries in its top ten, whereas four African countries rank in its bottom ten. Transparency International tells a similar tale – none of the world’s ten most…
  • Crimea and the Shadow of …. Dubya

    saqib qureshi
    30 Mar 2014 | 7:14 pm
    On 19th March 2003, ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ became ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ as a US-led coalition invaded Iraq on the legal basis that Saddam Hussein had failed to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1441 which demanded that Iraq relinquish all Weapons of Mass Destruction (‘WMD’). The argument made was that in the post-’9-11′ world, the US considered Iraq’s mere having of WMD as an unacceptable threat (let’s not get into the US having supplied WMD to Saddam in the 1970s and 1980s). We now realize that the war’s legal basis was vacuous – Iraq…
  • Boardroom Diversity: Another Thoughtless Debate

    saqib qureshi
    23 Mar 2014 | 9:47 am
    The debate around boardroom diversity in the business world has quite a bit wrong with it. In the contemporary lexicon, it’s a call for greater female representation in the corporate hierarchy. And that focus carries three mistakes. First, in Anglo-Saxon corporate culture, including the US, Canada and Britain, the company exists for its shareholders… and nobody else. A board of directors exists to protect shareholders by ensuring that top management is delivering shareholder value. Diversification adds practically nothing to the ability of a board to ensure that shareholder value is…
  • Climate Change: Re-Writing our Socio-Political Landscape

    saqib qureshi
    16 Mar 2014 | 11:21 am
    My recent brief vacation in sunny California helped bring focus on just how much the weather impacts everyday living including our sense of optimism, energy levels and wider behavior. The three months or so in Toronto have been hard, living as I have in some miserably freezing conditions. And the three days of pleasant San Diego winter sunshine were nothing short of revitalizing. With that thought fresh in my mind and as we got back to freezing Ontario, I read a newspaper article which analysed the ongoing Syria conflict (it was an American newspaper so hardly the worth the paper it was…
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  • The Problematic Rise of Big Neuro

    Hilary Rose
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:41 am
    The first “Big Science” projects came from physics and astronomy – think the atomic bomb, CERN or the Hubble telescope. No longer; now it is the turn of the biomedical sciences. Although the 1990s was supposed to be the decade of the brain and the 2000s that of the mind, brain science has hitherto lacked a big project and certainly a big budget. Now, suddenly, it has two. Last year the EU announced that one of the winners in its €1billion “Grand Challenges” competition was the Human Brain Project (HBP) – which recently received a funding boost thanks to a 40% increase in the…
  • Europe's Philosophical Rivalry

    Simon Glendinning
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:29 am
    In the continuing debates over the handling of the Eurozone crisis and the quarrels over Britain’s future in the European Union, political commentators have often been drawn into making comparisons via age-old philosophical rivalries. The Telegraph’s Peter Oborne once memorably described the problem as being the difference between the pragmatic empiricism of Britain and the metaphysical idealism of Europe. Such attempts to align contemporary European politics with traditional European philosophy are fascinating. But I don’t think that this distinction between idealists and empiricists…
  • Against Relativism

    Simon Blackburn
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:24 am
    Every philosopher knows of the “freshman relativist”, quick to assert, dogmatically even, that it all depends how you look at it; if they think that then it must be true for them; when in Rome…; and at the end of the line, just “wha’ever”. You do not have to own a signed photograph of Michael Gove to loathe and fear this cynical or sceptical character. Yet for a long time the “postmodernist” climate nurtured the relativist frame of mind. Hidden dark forces mould and skew our beliefs and even our perceptions, let alone our values and tastes. We are each the creation of a…
  • Sew What?

    Shahidha Bari
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:20 am
    A few weeks ago saw the sequin-sprinkled finale of the second series of BBC2’s Great British Sewing Bee, an eight-part stitch-off of amateur home-sewers from the makers of The Great British Bake Off. If this newer show hasn’t amassed quite the same devoted following as Bake Off, its dress-patterns-at-dawn format has nevertheless been cheerful watching. Each week, ten hopefuls earnestly examined eyelets and finished French seams as they competed for the crown of “Britain’s best amateur sewer”. One of the miracles of the show was how perma-tanned presenter Claudia Winkleman’s…
  • Rationalising Suicide

    Michael Irwin
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:17 am
    Michael Irwin is an ex-GP and former Medical Director of the United Nations. He is a humanist and secular activist, who, since 2005, has sponsored the National Secular Society's £5000 Secularist of the Year award, known as the Irwin Prize. He is a prominent campaigner for voluntary euthanasia. We asked him about the relationship between the state and the individual in matters of life, death, and liberty.             The government often takes measures to keep us from self-harm, but is this a violation of liberal principles? Of course not. Four other European countries – Belgium,…
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    Devin Halladay

  • My Website

    Devin Halladay
    23 Mar 2014 | 9:00 pm
    My Website A glimpse into the making of my site, and its continous evolution as my humble home on the web. My website has always been a sacred place — a place where I can experiment, test, succeed, fail, and share. As a writer, it’s important to me that I have an outlet besides pen and paper to share some of my thoughts with the world. As a designer and a human being, that outlet needs to be beautiful and it needs to reflect who I am — this means it has to show my painstaking attention to detail, my love for typography, my unique mind, and my individualism. It needs to feel like home.
  • Logo + Marks

    Devin Halladay
    28 Feb 2014 | 9:00 pm
  • UI Design

    Devin Halladay
    28 Feb 2014 | 9:00 pm
  • Misc. Print Design

    Devin Halladay
    28 Feb 2014 | 9:00 pm
    My personal business cards. The goal here was to futher explore and hone my understanding of typography by using the classic Neue Haas Grotesk and a limited color palette. Article spread for The Guild, a new design magazine that I have been working on in my spare time for the past half a year or so.
  • The Ministry of Print

    Devin Halladay
    28 Feb 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Modern Influence Synesthesia Disruption: A poster I designed to explore the disruption of waves and the uniformity that such seemingly disruptive forces can create in their idenetically intricate curves. Perception: An exploration of the human experience. The way we as a society perceive things has become increasingly skewed along with the advancement of technology and our subsequent avoidal of reality. With this poster I tried to capture our skewed perception. Those Who Wander: This poster began with me experimenting with blackletter typography. I had been reading Tolkien’s The…
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