Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

New Glasgow CSPE MSc degree course in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology

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The Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience in conjunction with the Department of Philosophy and the School of Psychology at the University of Glasgow are delighted to announce their new MSc degree course in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology. We are now accepting applications for entry in September 2019. This Masters in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology is an interdisciplinary programme that is ideal for students interested in studying the mind from both philosophical and psychological perspectives. Students will study specific topics and research methods in both philosophy and psychology courses, and write a thesis on a relevant topic with a supervisor in one of these disciplines. Students will also participate in the ongoing PPN (Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience) speaker series, including in special sessions where guest speakers meet with students in this program to discuss their research projects. Given our research strengths and the affiliated Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, students interested in issues pertaining to perception will be especially attracted to this programme. The Centre also hosts a Virtual Reality Lab. Courses on offer include: Philosophy of MindVisual Perception and CognitionSocial RoboticsPhilosophy Research MethodsResearch Methods in Cognitive Science Further details available here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/philosophyofmindpsychology/

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News source: Philosophy of Mind – The Brains Blog

A Wolf in the City: Tyranny and the Tyrant in Plato's Republic

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2019.03.11 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Cinzia Arruzza, A Wolf in the City: Tyranny and the Tyrant in Plato's Republic, Oxford University Press, 2019, 296pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190678852. Reviewed by Richard Kraut, Northwestern University Plato's reflections in the Republic on democracy and tyranny, and the way the former can engender the latter, now seem, in the age of Trump, more pertinent than ever. Cinzia Aruzza's study is therefore especially welcome and rewarding. She does not herself mention Trump's presidency or the features he shares with our common conception of the tyrannical character type. But she links Plato's time to our own in her concluding chapter, which refers to "the modern phenomenon of Bonapartism" -- the manipulation of the anti-elitist sentiments of the public by charismatic and demagogic leaders. Plato's "psychopathology of the tyrannical leader," she observes, "could serve as the faithful psychological portrait of a number of contemporary tyrants" (253).

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Trends in philosophy jobs by AOS (2013-18)

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In past years, I reported the distribution of academic jobs in philosophy by AOS. This year, the Aero Data Lab has done one better, providing a detailed report of jobs by AOS from 2013-2018. The graph they provide is very striking, and here are some of the main takeaways: The most striking result here is probably the “ethic” category, which consistently sees 50+ opportunities both for tenure track and fixed term positions. “Politic” and “science” are also looking relatively strong, with 20-30 opportunities each year. So for new graduate students in search of a project that is likely to increase their job market desirability, working on the ethical, social, or political implications of science would seem like a safe bet. In terms of trends over time, most of the AOS’s fluctuate between 5-15 jobs/year. There appears to be a slight downward trend for “ancient” and “mind,” and a recent uptick of interest in “race”. However, the lack of big changes over time is also interesting, and worth thinking about for new graduate students as they develop and shape their projects. For example, in the past 6 years, there have only ever been a handful of opportunities in math, medieval, and aesthetics—even for fixed term positions. So if your main area of interest is more niche, it may be prudent to think about building a connection to a higher demand AOS in order to increase your future academic job opportunities.

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

Hobbes’ Philosophy of Science

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[New Entry by Marcus P. Adams on March 8, 2019.] Thomas Hobbes is rightly regarded as a monumental figure in the history of philosophy, especially for his masterpiece Leviathan (1651 in English; 1668 in Latin). The scholarly literature on Leviathan is voluminous and has been especially focused upon issues in political philosophy, such as representation and authorization, sovereignty and absolutism, contracts and covenants, and the relationship of civil authority to religion, among others. Since its printing the portrayal in Leviathan XIII of...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Disability with Dignity: Justice, Human Rights and Equal Status

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2019.03.10 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Linda Barclay, Disability with Dignity: Justice, Human Rights and Equal Status, Routledge, 2019, 142pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138498068. Reviewed by John Vorhaus, University College London This is a splendid book: written in bracing, plain English, it presents a conception of what a just society for people with disabilities might look like. Linda Barclay's aims are to establish 'the core entitlements of people with disabilities which are so flagrantly denied in the real world' and 'to make the best case possible for realising justice for people with disabilities' (4). She also makes out a case for the equal status of disabled people, and one of many distinguishing features of this volume is the attempt to justify and align both the entitlements and equal status that she maintains are possessed by all people, irrespective of any disability and its severity. The book combines impressive scholarship with a... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Friedrich Nietzsche and European Nihilism

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2019.03.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Paul van Tongeren, Friedrich Nietzsche and European Nihilism, Cambridge Scholars, 2018, 198pp., $119.95 (hbk), ISBN 9781527508804. Reviewed by Matthew Meyer, University of Scranton This is a solid piece of scholarship written by a seasoned expert in the field that will be essential reading for anyone grappling with Nietzsche's understanding of nihilism. The quality of the discussion rivals that found in Bernard Reginster's The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism (Harvard University Press, 2006). The book, which emerged from a series of university lectures, is also designed to introduce the problem of nihilism in Nietzsche's writings and European history more generally. In laying out this terrain, it succeeds admirably. However, one might quibble with some of the specifics of Van Tongeren's account, and so although this book is an important contribution to the scholarly conversation around Nietzsche's nihilism, there are also reasons to... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Writing formal philosophy

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This is a guest contribution by Richard Pettigrew, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bristol for our series How Philosophers Write: Stephen Hawking speculated that every formula he included in A Brief History of Time would cut its readership in half. In the end, he included only one, E = mc2, and the book sold half a million copies every year for twenty years. You often hear a similar complaint from those who work in the more formal parts of philosophy--Bayesian epistemology, philosophical logic, formal semantics, decision theory, voting theory, formal approaches in metaphysics and ethics, for instance. They lament that their work is not so often read, not so often discussed as work on nearby topics that do not use a formal framework. Now, I don’t know whether the numbers support this gripe, but whether they do or not, there is certainly a lot of work in formal philosophy that is not easily accessible to people who aren’t fully immersed in the formal framework it uses. And while this is no doubt due in part to the difficulty of the mathematical techniques in play, it is also partly the result of the way in which some formal papers are written. And, indeed, mea culpa, I include a number of my own papers in this--I read them back sometimes and hate myself for not doing more to open them up to a wider readership. So I’m writing this not from the smug position of someone who claims to know all the secrets, but rather from the position of someone who’s trying to get better at making their formal work easier to read and digest. I’m not sure whether I’m succeeding, but here are some of the writing techniques I’ve been trying to use. I’d love to hear alternatives or supplements in the comments. Write like your best teacher We often talk about how our teaching feeds into our research. When we do, we usually mean one of two things: (i) teaching a topic, having to lay it out for your students, makes you understand it better; (ii) having to explain a problem to. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

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