Article on The New Atheism on the Huffington Post

I just published my second article on The Huffington Post. In this article, I take a brief look at whether the New Atheist movement really deserves the adjective “new.” I argue that it does but not for the reasons you might think.

The general consensus on the part of professional philosophers on all sides of the question is that the popular arguments being made by new atheists like Dawkins and Dennett are not all that new. Some argue that neither are they particularly strong versions of their classic cousins. At the very least, many find that the new atheist polemic is not being delivered in a way that is particularly winsome or compelling -- a problem that seems to have plagued atheists for as long as there has been atheism.

See the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-pardi/whats-so-new-about-the-ne_b_824918.html

CFP: Formal Epistemology Meets Experimental Philosophy

First Pittsburgh -Tilburg workshop on  Formal Epistemology Meets Experimental Philosophy

Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science

29-30 September 2011

http://www.uvt.nl/tilps/FEMEP2011/

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Over the years, the methodological toolbox of philosophers of science has widened considerably. Today, formal and experimental methods importantly complement more traditional methods such as conceptual analysis and case studies. So far, however, there has not been much interaction between the corresponding communities. Formal work is all too often conducted in an a priori fashion, drawing on intuitions to substantiate various assumptions and to test their consequences. Experimental work, on the other hand, is often limited to testing various assumptions and intuitions, and often does not identify or create new phenomena that can subsequently be integrated into a formal framework. The working assumption of this workshop is that philosophy of science can gain a lot from combining formal and experimental studies. By doing so, philosophy of science will become increasingly scientific as a crucial aspect of the scientific endeavor lies in the combination of formal theories and experimental insights.

This workshop aims to explore the relation between formal and experimental approaches to the philosophy of science. We invite meta-theoretical papers, but especially papers that fruitfully combine both methods to problems from the philosophy of science. This first Pittsburgh-Tilburg workshop will pay special attention to the philosophy of the social sciences, but a focus on other subfields of philosophy of science is also welcome.

We invite submissions of both a short abstract (max. 100 words) and an extended abstract (1000-1500 words) by 1 May 2011. Decisions will be made by 15 May 2011. Submission details here.

Keynote Speakers

Christina Bicchieri, Philadelphia

Mark Colyvan, Sydney

Ralph Hertwig, Basel

Publication

Selected papers will be published in a special issue of Synthese (subject to the usual refereeing process). The submission deadline is 31 December 2011. The maximal paper length is 7000 words.

More information

Cognition, Conduct & Communication

Cognition, Conduct & Communication CCC2011
06.10.11-08.10.11
University of Lódz, Poland

The Chair of Pragmatics at the University of Lódz, Poland is starting a new conference series: Cognition, Conduct & Communication. CCC2011 is the first international conference devoted to a complex yet integrated and consistent study of cognitive approaches to pragmatics and discourse analysis, language learning and use, and language disorders.

Conference focus

  • interdisciplinary yet synergical research in diversified cognitive and pragmatic phenomena and processes pertaining to communication in native and second/foreign language in normally developing as well as disordered individuals
  • cognitive, pragmatic and discourse analytic concepts at work across the contexts of first, second, foreign language acquisition, learning, processing, comprehension and production
  • pragmatic competence and pragmatic awareness development in naturalistic and educational settings, including the effectiveness of educational interventions undertaken to enhance pragmatic skills
  • individual learner/language user differences and pragmatic disorders

Conference discussions will proceed at the intersection of the following areas: cognitive pragmatics, societal pragmatics, clinical pragmatics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, educational psychology, cognitive linguistics, cognitive psychology, applied linguistics, discourse analysis
Research scope/Conceptual instruments/Submission keywords:

  • deixis
  • semantic/pragmatic presupposition
  • speech acts, activity types, genres
  • implicature/impliciture/implicit meaning
  • context
  • relevance
  • (im)politeness
  • intentionality
  • pragmatics of interaction
  • conceptual metaphor
  • rhetorical figures, in particular: irony, metaphor and metonymy
  • persuasion and manipulation
  • humour
  • gendered language
  • non-verbal communication
  • language and emotions
  • interlanguage pragmatics
  • pragmatic development and pragmatic awareness in first/second/foreign language context
  • pragmatics and language teaching; developing communicative competence
  • developing teaching materials for function-focused/pragmatics-driven L2 instruction
  • disorders of language learning and cognition
  • clinical pragmatics; pragmatic disorders

The list is NOT exhaustive

institution: University of Lódz
Chair of Pragmatics (http://ia.uni.lodz.pl/pragmatics)
participants: Piotr Cap (http://ia.uni.lodz.pl/pragmatics/faculty/pcap)
Joanna Nijakowska (http://ia.uni.lodz.pl/pragmatics/faculty/jnijakowska)
Marta Dynel (http://ia.uni.lodz.pl/pragmatics/faculty/mdynel)
contact person: Joanna Nijakowska
email: ccc2011conference@gmail.com

Click link for more information…
http://ia.uni.lodz.pl/CCC2011/

2011 Thomistic Seminar at Princeton

The 2011 Thomistic Seminar:
Themes in the Philosophy of Peter Geach and Thomas Aquinas
John Haldane, Director
August 7-13, 2011

The 2011 Thomistic Seminar is the Witherspoon Institute's sixth annual, week-long, intensive program for graduate students in philosophy and related disciplines. The seminar is devoted to exploring the intersection between analytic philosophy and the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition.

Faculty:
John Haldane, University of St. Andrews
E. J. Lowe, Durham University
Anthony O'Hear, University of Buckingham
Candace Vogler, University of Chicago

Click here for details

A Puzzle Even Harder Than The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever

Certain Doubts has posted a new version of The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever complete with new gods and new responses. It starts out as follows:

Three gods, A, B, and C are called in some order, True, Random, and Devious. True always speaks truly, and whether Random speaks truly or falsely or whether Random speaks at all is a completely random manner. . .

Get the rest here.

The Online Consciousness Conference

What is it?

The Online Consciousness Conference was founded and is organized by Richard Brown and is dedicated to the rigorous study of consciousness and mind. The goal is to bring philosophers, scientists, and interested lay persons together in an online venue to promote high-level discussion and exchanging of views, ideas and data related to the scientific and philosophical study of consciousness. A subsidiary goal is to promote and facilitate interaction between online venues and traditional print venues.

How does it work?

Presentation materials will be posted on the third Friday in February and will remain open for discussion for two weeks (that being ‘the conference’). During this two weeks discussion takes place in the comments section. It is much like blogging, only during a specific two week period. As such it can be done from anywhere at any time! After the conference the comments section will be closed (unless requested to be left open by author). Presentations, videos, papers, etc and discussion are left for people to view (unless the presenter requests otherwise) but no new comments are approved. The best way to get a feel for what goes on here is to browse previous conferences by going to the program for that year and clicking on the title of the talk you want to “attend”.

When is it?

The 2011 conference runs from February 18th -March 4th 2011.

For more information and to read the papers, visit their website.

Philosophy News on The Huffington Post

logo_religion_hpI recently got an article published to The Huffington Post in which I talk about the change American religion is undergoing. It took some core concepts I developed in an article I wrote in the summer of 2010 and put them into a format digestible for a wider audience. I would appreciate your visit to the article and post a comment or Facebook Like it if you’re inclined!

Paul

Epistemic Norms & Values Symposium

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville

March 25th-26th, 2011

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee (with generous support from the Humanities Initiative within the UTK Office of Research) is pleased to announce the upcoming Epistemic Norms & Values Symposium, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 25th-26th, 2011.  The speakers will be Robert Audi (Notre Dame), EJ Coffman (Tennessee), Thomas Kelly (Princeton), Jonathan Kvanvig (Baylor), and Linda Zagzebski (Oklahoma).

For more information, including the conference schedule, please visit: http://web.utk.edu/~ecoffma1/epistemic_norms_values_symposium.htm

Visitors to the symposium are welcome, and attendance is free.  If you are interested in attending or have any questions about the symposium, please contact EJ Coffman at ecoffma1@utk.edu.

Two Jobs in Edinburgh Philosophy Department

Permanent Lectureship in Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Applications are invited for a permanent lectureship in Philosophy of Cognitive Science, tenable from 1 August 2011. Salary Scale: £36,862 - £44,016. This permanent post has been created to help support a new interdisciplinary masters level initiative in Cognition in Science and Society. The successful candidate will conduct philosophical and interdisciplinary research and teaching (including doctoral supervision) in the areas of Philosophy of Cognitive Science, and Philosophy of Mind and Language. She or he will have a PhD and publications commensurate with their stage in career, and should demonstrate potential for attracting external funding. The successful candidate will have a strong background in Philosophy, and in Cognitive Science, and will show a proven track record of teaching and research that crosses the borders between Philosophy, Psychology, and Linguistics.

For more information, go to: http://www.jobs.ed.ac.uk/ and enter the reference number 3014085.

Teaching Fellowship in Mind and Embodied Cognition

Applications are invited for a full-time 2-year fixed-term Teaching Fellowship in the area of Mind and Embodied Cognition. This post has been created to support teaching and graduate supervision during a period of research leave granted to Professor Andy Clark. The successful candidate will have a PhD and publications commensurate with their stage in career. She or he will deliver philosophical and interdisciplinary teaching (including helping with graduate supervision) in the areas of Embodied Cognition and Philosophy of Mind. The successful candidate will also contribute teaching to the masters level specialization in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition. Teaching skills in the area of consciousness studies and/or philosophy of perception would be considered an advantage.

The position is available from 1 April 2011 for a period of 24 months.

For more information, go to: http://www.jobs.ed.ac.uk/ and enter the reference number 3014036

The 2011 Shapiro Conference in Philosophy

The 2011 Shapiro Conference in Philosophy
The Epistemology of Inference
Brown University, March 12-13, 2011

The Department of Philosophy at Brown University is pleased to announce the 2011 Shapiro Conference in Philosophy, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 12th-13th, 2011. The speakers will be Maria Lasonen Aarnio (Michigan), George Bealer (Yale), Adam Elga (Princeton), Hartry Field (NYU), Carrie Jenkins (Nottingham), and Ralph Wedgwood (Oxford).

For more information, including the conference schedule, please visit:
http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Philosophy/events-shapiro.php