Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Campos Wins Brian Barry Prize

Andre Santos Campos, a research fellow and assistant professor at the Nova Institute of Philosophy at Nova University of Lisbon, has won the 2019 Brian Barry Prize in Political Science. Dr. Campos won the prize for his essay, “Representing the Future: The Interests of Future Persons in Representative Democracy.” The prize is awarded by the British Academy in partnership with Cambridge University Press and the British Journal of Political Science, in which the winning essay will be published. Created in 2014, the prize honors the late Brian Barry, well-known for his work in political and moral philosophy, and who was a founding editor of the journal and a distinguished fellow of the British Academy. As Dr. Campos notes, “Brian Barry was one of the first major political theorists to bring attention to the challenges posed by intergenerational justice to contemporary liberal democracies, especially concerning the future. This is undoubtedly one of the most pressing areas of research in political studies nowadays.” He adds, “To be able to contribute to it with my own research while following Professor Brian Barry’s footsteps is a privilege I accept as carrying great responsibility.” You can read more about this prize, and see a list of previous winners, here.   The post Campos Wins Brian Barry Prize appeared first on Daily [More]

New Open Access Text On Probability & Decision

Jonathan Weisberg, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, has created a new open-access book on probability and decision-making. It has the brilliant title Odds & Ends. The book, which requires neither a background in deductive logic nor familiarity with other formal methods, and makes generous use of visual aids, is intended for introductory philosophy courses on probability and inductive logic. It is free and also open-source, which means instructors can alter it to suit their teaching needs, and is available as a PDF and in HTML. Professor Weisberg says: By the end of the course, students with little formal background have a bevy of tools for thinking about uncertainty. They can understand much more of the statistical and scientific discourse they encounter. And hopefully they have a greater appreciation for the value of formal methods. Students who already have strong formal tools and skills will, I hope, better understand their limitations. I want them to understand why these tools leave big questions open—not just philosophically, but also in very pressing, practical ways. He credits Brian Skyrms’ Choice & Chance, Ian Hacking’s An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic, and Kieran Healy’s book Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction as influences for his book. You can access Odds & Ends here.   The post New Open Access Text On Probability & Decision appeared first on Daily [More]

A “Data-Driven” History of Philosophy of Science

“Philosophy of science is what philosophers of science do. But what is it that philosophers of science do?” A team of researchers has just published their answer, based on computational text-mining of every issue of the journal Philosophy of Science published from 1934-2015. In “What Is This Thing Called Philosophy of Science? A Computational Topic-Modeling Perspective, 1934-2015,” forthcoming in HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, authors Christophe Malaterre, Jean-François Chartier, and Davide Pulizzotto (Université du Québec à Montréal) argue that their method complements other current historical approaches. They say their methods make it possible to “comprehensively analyze the semantic content of large corpuses of full-text documents, thereby providing an empirical basis for content-related studies, be they synchronic or diachronic.” As for what they learned, and how, they write: we apply these methods to the complete full-text corpus of Philosophy of Science from its very start in 1934 up until 2015 to empirically investigate which research questions philosophers of science have been concerned with and how these questions evolved in the last 82 years. By applying topic-modeling algorithms, we identified 126 key topics that were present in the journal articles during this period. We also analyzed how these topics evolved in significance over time. Our findings concur with [More]

Syllabus Sleeper Hits

The fall term is getting underway at many institutions of higher education, and a philosophy professor has written in with a suggested topic for discussion: syllabus sleeper hits. She writes: I thought it might be timely, and useful, to invite people to post their syllabus “sleeper hits”: articles that might not be obvious or canonical choices, or which might have seemed like gambles to teach, but that precipitated unusually good class sessions. We all have them, don’t we? And since many of us have our syllabi on are minds right now…. Readers, what have you found to be your syllabus sleeper hits? The post Syllabus Sleeper Hits appeared first on Daily [More]

Waithe Awarded 2019 Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize

Mary Ellen Waithe, professor emerita of philosophy at Cleveland State University, has been awarded the 2019 Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize.  The Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize is awarded to “an outstanding contemporary philosopher” whose work “preserves the memory of women in philosophy.” It is named for the philosopher Elisabeth, Princess of Bohemia (1618-1680). The prize notice states: Mary Ellen Waithe is the author of the ground-breaking book series “A History of Women Philosophers”, published from 1987 to 1995, from ancient to contemporary women philosophers. With this work, she was the first to publish a book dedicated solely to women philosophers and a pioneer in the field of study on women philosophers. Her dedication motivated many others to join her cause and the project provided a much-needed impulse to further the recognition of women philosophers. The series presents an unparalleled contribution to the research on women in the history of philosophy and is extremely relevant to this day.  The prize of €3000 (approximately $3330) is sponsored by Ulrike Detmers and awarded in cooperation with Ruth Hagengruber, the director of the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists. It was awarded to Professor Waithe during the closing ceremony of the 2019 Libori Summer School. The post Waithe Awarded 2019 Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize appeared first on Daily [More]

Virtual Dissertation Writing Groups

The following is an announcement from Joshua Smart (Ohio State University) regarding virtual dissertation groups (VDG). VDG is a free service that connects graduate students to provide feedback on dissertation work. Members are grouped with two others working in the same general area of philosophy. About once a month, one member sends some work (3-6K words) to the others, who return feedback and comments in a week or so. While advisors and committees are important, it can be incredibly helpful to discuss one’s work with peers in a lower-stakes environment, and it can be particularly enlightening to do so with those who take a different approach, outlook, or focus. Not only that, but there is evidence from psychological research that thinking about problems in relation to persons who are geographically distant can increase creativity. With students in programs from many states, countries, and every continent with a philosophy Ph.D. program, Virtual Dissertation Groups is a great way to capture some of these benefits! You can sign up to participate here. Open signups through Sunday, September 8th. (Afterwards, new dissertators are accepted conditional on available spots.) The post Virtual Dissertation Writing Groups appeared first on Daily [More]

“To Teachers Who Hope to Inspire Their Students” (and other poems by Felicia Nimue Ackerman)

The following is a guest post*  of poems  by Felicia Nimue Ackerman, professor of philosophy at Brown University.  To Teachers Who Hope to Inspire Their Students I never had a teacher more inspiring than Ms. Burr. She led me to resolve that I would never be like her. + + + + + To Those Who Think the Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living Lloyd always acts without thinking. Reflection is hardly for him. Lillian’s mind has been shrinking. Dementia is making her dim. Both find enjoyment in living.  So don’t be so ready to scoff.  Why are you so unforgiving?  How harsh to be writing them off. + + + + + To Cynthia Ozick**  Aesthetics and logic, Injustice and war: Philosophers ponder These topics and more. We needn’t relinquish This varying focus. Our field would be meager With only one locus. **The novelist and essayist Cynthia Ozick says, “Novelists, poets, philosophers and theologians agree: Mortality, that relentless law of universal carnage, is the sole worthy human preoccupation.” + + + + + In Praise of Campus Culture Wars*** A campus that is truly free Has denizens who disagree. There isn’t any culture war In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.   ***A slightly different version of this poem appeared in The Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2018.    The post “To Teachers Who Hope to Inspire Their Students” (and other poems by Felicia Nimue Ackerman) appeared first on Daily [More]

Schechter from WUSTL to Indiana

Elizabeth Schecter, previously in the Department of Philosophy and the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program at Washington University in St. Louis, is now associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Cognitive Science Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. Professor Schechter works on psychological unity and its connection to questions about personal identity, self-knowledge, the unity of consciousness, the nature of belief, and related matters. Her book, Self-Consciousness and ‘Split’ Brains: The Mind’s I, came out last year. You can learn more about her work here. The post Schechter from WUSTL to Indiana appeared first on Daily [More]

Philosophers Among NEH Grant Winners

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced the winners of its latest round of grants.  Among the winners are several philosophy professors. They’re listed below, along with their project titles and descriptions, grant amounts, and grant types: Jose Bermudez (Texas A & M University) and Catherine Conybeare (Bryn Mawr College) Reconsidering the Sources of the Self in the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Periods A conference and preparation of an edited volume of essays on the influential Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity by philosopher Charles Taylor (1931–).  $48,961 (Collaborative Research) Richard Cohen (University at Buffalo) Emmanuel Levinas: Ethics of Democracy A One-week seminar for 16 college and university faculty on Levinas and democracy. $63,789 (Seminars for College Teachers) Angela Coventry (Portland State University) David Hume in the Twenty-first Century: Perpetuating the Enlightenment A four-week institute for 30 college and university faculty on the Scottish thinker David Hume. $185,975 (Institutes for College and University Teachers) Karen Detlefsen (University of Pennsylvania) and Lisa Shapiro (Simon Fraser University) New Narratives in the History of Philosophy: Women and Early Modern European Philosophy A conference on the works of early modern women philosophers (1500 to 1850) in preparation for an edited volume of essays. $50,000 (Collaborative Research) Also funded is an education researcher’s [More]

What You Wish You Knew When You Started Teaching Philosophy

The fall term is almost upon us, so let’s talk teaching. Are there bits of teaching wisdom you’ve picked up over the years that you wish you knew when you were starting out? Please share them in the comments, and spare your colleagues (and their students) some missteps, misconceptions, and misery. Thank you. Relatedly, I thought it might be a good time to share some previous teaching posts: Small Changes to Improve Teaching Improve Your Philosophy Teaching With This One Weird Trick Philosophy Teaching Games Teaching Philosophy as the Search for Complication Teaching and the Philosophical Canon Diversity Reading List Site Updated Teaching As If Our Students Were Not Future Philosophers Why Students Aren’t Reading (Ought Experiment) Grade Anarchy & Student Learning Course Websites Empirical Support for a Method of Teaching Critical Thinking How To Write A Philosophy Paper: Online Guides A New Kind of Critical Thinking Text Remixing the Open Logic Text How to Teach (Philosophy): Readings Sought The post What You Wish You Knew When You Started Teaching Philosophy appeared first on Daily [More]

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