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Underappreciated Philosophical Writing of the Past 50 Years, Part 1: 1970s

Not everything notable gets noticed, and that’s true in philosophy, too. A valuable philosophical work may get overlooked because it was published in a lesser-known venue.  Or perhaps it was published in a part of the world or in a language that those in the mainstream tend to ignore. Perhaps sociological aspects of the profession concerning dominant writing style preferences or attitudes about the prestige of the author’s institutional affiliations led to its dismissal. Maybe it was ahead of its time, speaking to issues or presenting ideas or arguments the significance of which was only recognized much later. Maybe it was appreciated in its time, but somehow got lost in the crowd of publications since. Over the next few weeks, I hope gather lists of underappreciated philosophical writing of the past fifty years. These are articles, books, and book chapters that today’s philosophers are not adequately recognizing as valuable. It’s not an exact science, of course, judging both the significance of the work and the extent to which it is currently appreciated. I encourage people to err in ways that are more inclusive, as it’s better to hear about something you’ve already heard about than to miss out on hearing about something new (to you) and good. To keep things manageable we’ll break this project into decade-long chunks. This week, let’s look at the 1970s. Readers, please share your suggestions of underappreciated works from [More]

Underappreciated Philosophical Writing of the Past 50 Years, Part I: 1970s

Not everything notable gets noticed, and that’s true in philosophy, too. A valuable philosophical work may get overlooked because it was published in a lesser-known venue.  Or perhaps it was published in a part of the world or in a language that those in the mainstream tend to ignore. Perhaps sociological aspects of the profession concerning dominant writing style preferences or attitudes about the prestige of the author’s institutional affiliations led to its dismissal. Maybe it was ahead of its time, speaking to issues or presenting ideas or arguments the significance of which was only recognized much later. Maybe it was appreciated in its time, but somehow got lost in the crowd of publications since. Over the next few weeks, I hope gather lists of underappreciated philosophical writing of the past fifty years. These are articles, books, and book chapters that today’s philosophers are not adequately recognizing as valuable. It’s not an exact science, of course, judging both the significance of the work and the extent to which it is currently appreciated. I encourage people to err in ways that are more inclusive, as it’s better to hear about something you’ve already heard about than to miss out on hearing about something new (to you) and good. To keep things manageable we’ll break this project into decade-long chunks. This week, let’s look at the 1970s. Readers, please share your suggestions of underappreciated works from [More]

A Good Place for Philosophy?

by Martine Mussies At the beginning of the 21st century, the philosophical discourse concerning good and evil seems to be subsumed into three major areas; meta-ethics which describes the nature of good and bad, normative ethics concerning how human beings ought to behave and applied ethics which attends to particular moral issues. All three of [More]

A Threat to the Quality of Academic Research in France (guest post by Philippe Huneman)

The following is a guest post* by Philippe Huneman, Professor and Director of Research at Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences (CNRS / Paris I Sorbonne). A Threat to the Quality of Academic Research in France by Philippe Huneman French academics have been shaken in recent months by the declarations of Antoine Petit, director of the major national research organization, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). His vision of the future of the CNRS poses a threat to the quality of academic research in France, as it would drastically diminish the amount of permanent positions and intensify project-based competition for diminishing resources. Founded in 1939 to encompass all disciplines, to support worldwide collaboration, and to sponsor major scientific projects, the CNRS is a preeminent European research organization, employing 25,000 people including 11,500 permanent researchers. Most CNRS researchers consider that given their funding levels—2.4 million dollars, compared for example to the University of California’s budget of 3.2 million dollars—they are scoring quite well in international competitions and rankings. The CNRS is the number-one recipient of grants from the European Research Commission, for instance, and stands at first or second place in all rankings of research institutions, as well as in the number of publications in Nature. It also counts a substantial number of Nobel Prize laureates as members, as well as [More]

The Mesoamerican Philosophy Renaissance

500 years after the conquistadors began burning books written by the original philosophers of Mexico and Guatemala, America’s classical thinking now rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Nahua and Maya philosophy hand us a mirror for our era. On October 1st, the renowned emeritus professor Miguel León-Portilla (1926–2019) passed away in Tenochtitlan, better known [More]

Academic journal The Philosopher joins with Exact Editions to put their archive online

Recently, the academic journal The Philosopher decided to partner with the company Exact Editions to put their archive online in digital format. Many articles from past decades will be more easily available to researchers because of this move. In order to understand its significance, I talked with Exact Editions co-founder Adam Hodgkin and The Philosopher [More]

Philosophy as a Transitional Genre: On Richard Rorty’s Intellectual Bequest

Recently, the Richard Rorty Society hosted the second international conference at Penn State University, with the title “Rorty’s Ethics.” The conference took place November 22-24th, 2019 at the Nittany Lion Inn, in State College. For this second international conference, Prof. Robert Brandom was the keynote speaker. The responses to his two plenaries were delivered by [More]

“Diversifying Analytic Theology” Prize Winner Announcement

by the editors of the Journal of Analytic Theology We are delighted to announce the winner of our prize “Diversifying analytic theology,” sponsored by the APA’s Diversity and Inclusiveness fund. The aim of this prize competition was to encourage work in analytic theology of underrepresented philosophical or religious traditions. With “underrepresented” we mean works outside of traditional [More]

Is X-Phi P-Hacked? (guest post by Mike Stuart, Edouard Machery and David Colaço)

Has experimental philosophy (“X-Phi”) exhibited signs of “p-hacking”? In this guest post*, Mike Stuart (Geneva), Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh), and David Colaço (Mississippi) report their findings. Is X-Phi P-Hacked? by Mike Stuart, with Edouard Machery and David Colaço Journals in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine pretty much only accept papers with significant p-values, usually setting the significance level at 0.05. Given that scientists are under immense pressure to publish often, and their papers will only be accepted if they report a p-value of 0.05 or lower, they may be tempted to make choices that help them reach this level. Without cooking the data, a significant p-value can be obtained in a number of ways, collectively known as p-hacking: You can perform statistical testing midway through a study to decide whether to collect more data (“optional stopping”); you can simply collect masses of data and then perform statistical tests on your data until something shows up (“data dredging”); you can drop outliers or rearrange treatment groups post hoc, etc. P-hacking is one of the main culprits for the replication crisis in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine. But what about experimental philosophy? Does it also suffer from p-hacking? In a paper just published in Analysis, David Colaço, Edouard Machery, and I examined a corpus of 365 experimental philosophy studies, which includes pretty much all the studies in x-phi from 1997 to 2016. We [More]

Recently Published Book Spotlight: Subjects That Matter

This edition of the Recently Published Book Spotlight is about Dr. Namita Goswami. She is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Indiana State University. Her work combines continental philosophy and postcolonial, critical race, and feminist theory. She is the author of Subjects That Matter: Philosophy, Feminism, and Postcolonial Theory (SUNY 2019). She is also co-editor [More]

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