Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Expanding Philosophy By “Re-Appropriating the Slur that it Is to Be Called ‘Analytic'”

Anthony Booth, reader in philosophy at the University of Sussex, called his 2017 book Analytic Islamic Philosophy, yet he doesn’t think there is much to the division between analytic and Continental philosophy. In an interview with Richard Marshall at 3:16am, he says: Given the various historical ‘turns’ that ‘analytic’ philosophy has been through (such that it is now completely kosher and apparently not contradictory to talk about ‘analytic metaphysics’)I don’t think there’s anything left to the term ‘analytic’ than denoting adherence to the following very board norm: make your work understandable to others, via the use of accepted conventions for writing, such that its results can be assessed. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who is seriously working on a topic or a figure that is paradigmatically considered to be ‘continental’ (e.g. Sartre or Heidegger) who would reject that norm. They may abide by slightly different conventions for writing—they may put greater emphasis on historical scholarship, or to close reading—but they follow the conventions in order to be understood by peers and such that their work may fairly be assessed as scholarship.  He notes that this minimalist understanding of analytic philosophy “may leave some fearing that analytic philosophy is colonising other traditions in a domineering way. Hence why being an ‘analytic Nietzschean’ is often used as a slur.” (For one version of this view, see this post.) Why, then, give [More]

Slavoj Žižek on what really makes him mad

What really makes me mad when I read critical (and even some favorable) reactions to my work is the recurring characterization of me as a postmodern cultural critic – the one thing I don’t want to be. I consider myself a philosopher dealing with fundamental ontological questions, and, furthermore, a philosopher in the traditional vein […] The post Slavoj Žižek on what really makes him mad appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesJohn Duns Scotus – The ‘Subtle Doctor’ – Philosopher of the MonthContinuing Jane Austen’s unfinished novel SanditonOriginality in Arabic [More]

Retrenchment at St. Cloud State Targets Philosophy Faculty

Three members of the Department of Philosophy at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) in Minnesota may lose their jobs if the school’s administration decides to proceed with plans for “retrenchment.” The SCSU administration has led the school into a position of projected budget shortfalls and declining enrollment over the next couple of years, according to the University Chronicle. In a scramble to avoid these problems, it has recommended dismissing eight faculty, including three philosophy professors. These professors will find out today whether they are being dismissed. Readers are encouraged to contact SCSU Provost Gregory (ddgregory@stcloudstate.edu) or President Wacker (robbyn.wacker@stcloudstate.edu) with messages of support for the philosophy faculty. In its decision to target the Department of Philosophy, the administration notes lower enrollments in philosophy courses, and identifies as causes of this curricular changes at the university that have led to fewer students being subject to requirements that philosophy courses fulfill, the development of more courses at the university outside of philosophy that students can take to fulfill these requirements, and an increase in the number of students coming to the school already having satisfied these requirements. In a response to the administration, the Department of Philosophy states that the administration’s plan “fails to consider the impact that retrenchment would have on St. Cloud State [More]

John Duns Scotus – The ‘Subtle Doctor’ – Philosopher of the Month

John Duns Scotus (b. c. 1265/1266–d. 1308) was one of the most significant Christian philosophers and theologians of the medieval period. Scotus made important and influential contributions in metaphysics, ethics, and natural theology. Little was known of his life but he was born in Scotland, became a Franciscan monk, spent his learning and professional life […] The post John Duns Scotus – The ‘Subtle Doctor’ – Philosopher of the Month appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesHow Rabindranath Tagore reshaped Indian philosophy and literatureG.E. Moore – his life and work – Philosopher of the MonthContinuing Jane Austen’s unfinished novel [More]

Philosopher’s Annual Selections

Philosopher’s Annual is “an attempt to pick the ten best articles of the year” in academic philosophy. Volume 38, covering articles from 2018, is about to be released. The ten articles in that volume are: Mark Alfano, J. Adam Carter & Marc Cheong, “Technological Seduction and Self-Radicalization,” from the Journal of the American Philosophical Association Jc Beall, “The Simple Argument for Subclassical Logic,” from Philosophical Issues Selim Berker, “The Unity of Grounding,” from Mind Guillermo Del Pinal, “Meaning, Modulation, and Context: A Multidimensional Semantics for Truth-Conditional Pragmatics,” from Linguistics and Philosophy Louise Hanson, “Moral Realism, Aesthetic Realism, and the Asymmetry Claim,” from Ethics Remco Heesen, “When Journal Editors Play Favorites,” from Philosophical Studies Matthias Jenny, “Counterpossibles in Science: The Case of Relative Computability,” from Noûs Dilip Ninan, “Quantification and Epistemic Modality,” from the Philosophical Review Amia Srinivasan, “The Aptness of Anger,” from the Journal of Political Philosophy  Kenneth Walden, “Practical Reason Not As Such,” from the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy An attempt to compile a list of the best articles in philosophy is, the editors admit, “as simple to state as it is admittedly impossible to fulfill,” given the massive volume of publications in philosophy each year and the diversity of criteria that may be employed. The results are the work of [More]

Two Philosophers Make British Academy Book Award Shortlist

The British Academy, the UK’s national organization for the humanities and social sciences has released the shortlist of candidates for its 2019 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding. The £25,000 ($30,900) annual prize, established seven years ago, “rewards and celebrates the best works of non-fiction that have contributed to global cultural understanding and illuminate the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide,” according to an announcement from the British Academy. Six books made the shortlist, including two by philosophers: The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity (Profile Books) by Kwame Anthony Appiah  How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy (Granta Books) by Julian Baggini The other books on the list are: A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (Allen Lane) by Toby Green Maoism: A Global History (Bodley Head) by Julia Lovell Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided (Hurst) by Aanchal Malhotra Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture (Verso) by Ed Morales There were originally 80 books under consideration for the prize. The president of the British Academy, Sir David Cannadine, says of the shortlisted books: Such rigorous, timely and original non-fiction writing provides the rich context the global community needs to discuss and debate present-day challenges. Each of the writers nominated for this year’s [More]

Study on Philosophy Job Market Underway

A team of researchers is conducting a study of the job market in academic philosophy and is currently seeking participants. Charles Lassiter (philosophy, Gonzaga University), Shane Wilkins (philosophy, USDA), and Sarah Arpin (psychology, Gonzaga University) write in with the following description and request: If you are planning to apply for academic jobs this year, we hope you’ll consider participating in our study “The Philosophy Job Market: Applicant Profiles and CV Review.”  Our aim in this first phase is to get a picture of job market applicants: what journals are they publishing in (if at all)? for how many classes are they the instructor of record (if at all)? There has been, as far as we know, no systematic attempt to collect information about people going into the job market. In the second phase of this study, we will the collected information to randomly generate CVs and investigate the behavior of potential search committee members in reviewing them. In consultation with the Gonzaga University IRB, it was determined that IRB approval was not needed for this phase project. IRB approval will be obtained for the second phase. Nonetheless, all responses will be kept private and information secured on the hard drives of the investigators. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Participants will be entered into a drawing for two $25 Amazon gift cards. If you are willing to participate, you can find the survey here. Please email Charles [More]

The Impossibility of Immigrants Refusing to Integrate into British Society (guest post by Hasko Von Kriegstein)

The following is a guest post* by Hasko Von Kriegstein, an assistant professor in the Department of Law & Business at Ryerson University, regarding matters related to Brexit. The Impossibility of Immigrants Refusing to Integrate into British Society by Hasko Von Kriegstein Brexit continues to make international headlines. The desire to leave the EU appears to be, in large part, driven by a desire to limit immigration. This brings many questions about immigration to the forefront, among them the question whether immigrants have a duty to integrate into the receiving society. Many in Britain seem to think that there is. In 2016, for example, then communities secretary Sajid Javid stated: “for too long, too many people in this country have been living parallel lives, refusing to integrate failing to embrace the shared values that make Britain great.” 2.5 years later, former prime minister Tony Blair concurred: “ [Government] has to be a passionate advocate and, where necessary, an enforcer of the duty to integrate while protecting the proper space for diversity. Integration is not a choice; it is a necessity.” I do not hold strong views, one way or the other, on the question whether there is a duty to integrate. What I argue here is that, in the case of Britain, the question is moot. That is because it is impossible to refuse to integrate into British society. Consider the following argument. (1)   Any immigrant into British society either does, or does not, make an effort [More]

Sexual Harassment in Philosophy, Part 2 (guest post by Janice Dowell and David Sobel)

The following is a guest post* by Janice Dowell and David Sobel, professors of philosophy at Syracuse University, with help from several other philosophers. It is the second in a two-part series on sexual harassment in philosophy. Part 1 is here. Like the first installment, this one was also published at PEA Soup. Professors Dowell and Sobel have included some prefatory remarks for this post: Below is the second installment in our two-part series on sexual harassment in academia. In this installment, we discuss proposals for what individual philosophers and departments can do to prevent harassment and support victims. Some of these proposals will likely be controversial. The ongoing discussion of this topic is important; we hope people will carefully consider our proposals and the rationale offered for them. And while proposals for change frequently come with the risk of creating new problems, we hope people keep in mind that the status quo has very serious costs. Before those who disagree publicly express their dissent, I very much hope they will keep two considerations in mind:  (i) Whether the proposals advocated by the signatories to the statement below are warranted depends very much on what’s known about the rates of harassment and retaliation in academia and their impact on victims. Anyone who is unfamiliar with these facts will find it difficult to reasonably assess these proposals. So, we hope that anyone not yet familiar with the empirical data will first [More]

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