Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Giving Game 2020 results

This semester, I got my 'Effective Altruism' class to decide how to allocate $5000 in donations between the four EA funds. (Half the funds were provided by UM Ethics Programs, as the result of an internal grant request I submitted for this purpose. The other half were matching funds from my personal charitable budget.)  Our resulting breakdown was as follows:* Global Health & Development: $2500* Animal Welfare: $700* Long-Term Future: $1450* Effective Altruism Meta: $350Judging from the class discussion, several students were influenced towards the long-term future fund as a result of the pandemic (I'm actually surprised there wasn't more of an effect here, though I think many were put off by the fund's apparent degree of focus on AI risk; an option more focused on biological and environmental risks might have won broader support).  Other long-termist advocates drew upon more general theoretical considerations (especially regarding scale and neglectedness) to support their choice.I invited students to write a brief reflection piece on their experience (to be shared with UM Ethics Programs and their funders, with the student's express consent), as an extra credit option.  Probably my favourite answer was from a student who admitted that the experience hadn't changed his ethical beliefs at all, but it had helped him to better understand the reasoning behind them.  That was certainly nice to hear!Perhaps the most surprising result was that roughly [More]

Philosophy Student Superheros

by Allison Mitchell Origins I am fortunate to teach in a district which supports choice in all aspects of its English/Language Arts curriculum. Our students must take English 9 and English 10 but then are given a wide array of Upper-level English Electives to choose from. We offer over sixteen different electives ranging from Modern [More]

Syllabus Showcase: Renée Smith, Philosophical Writing

by Renée Smith Renée Smith (CU Boulder, 2002) is a professor of philosophy at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. She specializes in philosophy of mind, particularly on phenomenal consciousness and introspection, and philosophy pedagogy. PHIL 271 Philosophical Writing at Coastal Carolina University became a requirement for philosophy majors about 7 years ago. We hoped [More]

Syllabus Showcase: Megan Fritts, Philosophy in American Politics

by Megan Fritts Megan Fritts, Philosophy PhD Candidate and Instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, works primarily in the philosophy of action and value theory, as well as normative ethics and 19thcentury European philosophy. She is the author of “Kierkegaard and Binswanger on Faith’s Relation to Love”, and co-editor of The Hurricane Notebook: Three Dialogues [More]

Summer Programs in Philosophy for Graduate Students – 2020

This is a post for the listing of summer programs in philosophy for graduate students. If you are organizing such a program, please add a comment to this post that includes the program name, dates, location, contact information, application deadline, a description of the program, and a link to further information, like so: Central European University Summer Schools in Philosophy 1 – Identity: Logic and Metaphysics July 27 – August 1, 2020 CEU Budapest Campus Application Deadline: February 14, 2020 Description: This 6-day research-oriented course is designed to familiarize participants with the latest advances in the philosophical debates about identity and related matters. The specific topics to be discussed will be the logic of identity and identity and modality; identity and essence; identity and indiscernibility; time, composition and identity; and personal identity. The course will be delivered by five leaders in their fields, and they will not only introduce those topics but also discuss their latest research on them. Participants will not only be able to interact with the course faculty in the classroom, but also during course breaks, and during lunch and dinner. The course will follow a seminar format, and classes will be interactive with active involvement from the participants. There will be readings assigned for each class and the participants will be expected to familiarize themselves with the topics by reading the material. The course is open to [More]

A Template for High School Philosophy Summer Camps at Colleges and Universities

by Adam Waggoner and Charlie Kurth This document has been inspired by our experiences leading the Western Michigan University Lyceum, a weeklong philosophy summer camp for high school students facilitated primarily by graduate students. At the WMU Lyceum, students engage in discussions and participate in fun activities geared toward introducing them to philosophy and helping [More]

Teaching All the Students

by Steven M. Cahn Years ago the department of which I was then a member invited to campus a promising candidate for a faculty position. He had been highly recommended, based in part on his purported pedagogical skills, but after listening to him present a convoluted talk, I had doubts. Later, as he recounted his [More]

Course to Teach University Students to Engage Philosophically with High Schoolers

The University of Pennsylvania is offering a course that will teach undergraduates how to teach philosophy to high school students. The course, “Public Philosophy & Civic Engagement,” is one of the university’s “Academically Based Community Service” courses. According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the course will be taught by Michael Vazquez, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Philosophy who is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Project for Philosophy for the Young. In his course, students will spend a part of each class figuring out how to distill complex philosophical ideas to high school students in an exciting way, and they will then go to teach philosophy in a Philadelphia high school once a week. According to the course syllabus, students will learn and teach topics from moral and political philosophy that relate to living in a democratic society, such as civic duties and obligations, patriotism, propaganda, and civil disobedience.  “We’re going to let the high school students dictate the sort of questions we want them to ask,” Vazquez said, adding that the Penn students will develop lesson plans that are shaped by high school students’ interests. By the end of the semester, Vazquez added, the high school students will write philosophical op-eds based on what they learned from the Penn students, and they will hopefully be able to publish these op-eds and present them at Penn.  In the Daily Pennsylvanian article, [More]

Syllabus Showcase: Jonathan R. Cohen, Constructing Our World, Constructing Ourselves, Nineteenth Century German Philosophy

by Jonathan R Cohen Jonathan R Cohen holds degrees from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Penn. He began teaching at the University of Maine Farmington in 1992 after a year at Swarthmore. His research focuses on Nietzsche, Ancient Philosophy, and Jewish Philosophy. He is the author of a study of Nietzsche’s Human, [More]

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Dr. Robert McKim
  • on Religious Diversity
  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
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  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
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