Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

City spaces, pace bias, and the production of disability

How does our body shape our experience of living in a city? In this OUPblog, Quill R Kukla focuses on one fascinating dimension along which bodies are included in or excluded from spaces, namely pace.        Related StoriesHomi K. Bhabha on V.S. Naipaul: in conversation with William GhoshHow research abstracts succeed and failThe society of Holocaust victims: what was life inside a Nazi camp [More]

The Distinction Between Innate and Acquired Characteristics

[Revised entry by Paul Griffiths and Stefan Linquist on November 29, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The idea that some characteristics of an organism are explained by its intrinsic nature, whilst others reflect the influence of the environment is an ancient one. It has even been argued that this distinction is itself part of the evolved psychology of the human species. The distinction played an important role in the history of philosophy as the locus of the dispute between Rationalism and Empiricism discussed in another [More]

The Academic Parent's Dilemma: Should I spend less time doing research?

I recently became a parent for the second time. As a result, I now have two children under the age of 2 (well, technically, the first just turned 2 at the time of writing and will probably be 2 and a bit by the time you read this). As all parents know, being a parent is both rewarding and challenging. One of the obvious challenges, and one that I have been struggling with a lot, is that of figuring out the appropriate work-life balance. Given my academic predilections, it is no surprise that I tend to think of this issue in moral and philosophical terms. The question arises: What are my duties, as a parent, with respect to the amount of time I spend caring for my children and the amount of time I spend doing research-related work? Should I spend more time doing the former and less doing the latter? To sharpen the question: most of the time I spend on research is optional. There is no one cracking a whip and forcing me to read books and write articles. I do it largely because I enjoy doing it. It is true that research is, officially, part of my contract of employment; but it is also true to say that this part of my contract is weakly (if ever) enforced. This creates something of a moral dilemma every time I sit down to write an article or do some other research-related task. I have to ask myself: should I be doing this or should I be spending the time with my children? The following article is my attempt to answer that question. Not to bury the lede: my conclusion is that, [More]