Lots of philosophical/conceptual objections to Libet's famous research have been made over the years (by Alfred Mele, Gideon Yaffe, and others), but now comes new "empirical" evidence purportedly at odds with Libet's findings. Any thoughts from readers working on these issues?
I'm grateful to Jonny Thakkar for calling my attention to this nicely written essay by a recent Oxford DPhil. It includes some funny remarks about the "effective [sic] altruist" Church, though is perhaps too uncritical in the end about Williams, whose no doubt genuine interest in Nietzsche never translated into very much courage in criticism of morality. But the piece is an enjoyable read!
It's evidence of how little I know about blogs that I didn't realize there wasn't an option for subscribing to a "feed" for this blog. Now there is here. You can also get to it via the link, "Subscribe in a reader" in the left hand column, below all the ads and links.
I have no crystal ball, so I can’t tell you whether there will be...a return to the core values of robust expression and debate which are essential for academic life, as even Herbert Marcuse realized in his famous polemic against “Repressive Tolerance.” There is some portion of the younger generation of professional philosophers (grad students and assistant professors) who consistently have the wrong views on these questions. They may well take over the discipline, that I cannot predict. It’s ironic, because other humanities fields, like English, went through this totalitarian catastrophe in the 1980s while philosophy remained a paragon of wissenschaftlich seriousness. The real threats to philosophy as a profession do not come, of course, primarily from benighted youngsters who are victims of group polarization; they come from institutional and economic forces that are basically indifferent to intellectual merit. That’s the real battle that needs to be fought, though I fear we academics are not well-equipped to fight it.
Over at the latest incarnation of a metablog, there is a quite interesting commentary on this issue from someone with experience in both academic English and academic philosophy:
I am an English PhD with an MA in Philosophy from a top-twenty program, and I am struck and puzzled by what seems to be Philosophy’s repetition of the politicized “theory wars” of the 80s-90s. What is going on here? On the basis of pure anecdote and observation, I suspect in part the following:
1. External economic pressures that first hit English in a big way then also started to hit Philosophy in a big way.
2. Specialization exhaustion set in first in English, and now has also become steadily more pervasive in Philosophy.
3. Points 1 and 2 are not unrelated.
4. The new approaches of “feminist philosophy” and the like respond to points 1 and 2 by inventing a new and uncharted territory in response to specialization exhaustion; this new approach must first be justified politically and morally in order then to make itself intellectually fashionable, hence awarded, hence self-perpetuating.
5. The academic context in which this is now occurring is even more administratively heavy than it was three decades ago. Hence the moral and political necessity of the new approaches will also require more direct appeals to top-down administrative intervention than was necessary in English.
6. In both cases, the proponents of the new approaches are basically of two sorts: those already powerful and those not already powerful. The motivations of each group vary, but there is an observable tendency of the first to appeal to morality and justice (they can afford to do so) and of the second to appeal to intellectual novelty and smartness. The second group want to be admitted into the world of the first; the first group wants to pretend that they are not only more intelligent, but also more humane than their elite opponents, with whom they have their fiercest battles.
7. If one or two major Departments are won over to the new approach, the discipline can change very quickly indeed.
8. Thirty years later you’ll realize that the intrinsic conservatism of your discipline, the false certainty of its historical and conceptual divisions, “areas”, and so on, really did need an overhaul. Unfortunately, by then you might have forgotten some of best and most important insights and practices of your discipline prior to the Revolution. In the way that I am an outlier in my generation of English professors for having a pretty thorough knowledge of the Bible, and a bit of Latin and Greek, perhaps some decades hence some young maverick grad student in Philosophy will stand out for her interest in Frege and Quine, her unaccountable fascination with modal and second-order logic, her bizarre affinity for Chisholm.
(A brief aside about the metablog: like all anonymous fora, the metablogs have been a mixed bag: a mix of the stupid, the defamatory, and the obsessed, along with the insightful, the amusing, and the illuminatingly contrarian. The metablogs thrive because of the culture of fear and hostility cultivated by a small handful of philosophy academics active on social media. But if one can wade through the morass, as I periodically do, there are often genuinely interesting contributions. UPDATE: I've removed the link, since elsewhere on the thread, unrelated to what I had linked to, there is a lot of crap, even by metablog standards of "crap." I do wish the owner of the metablog would do a little moderation, stuff is appearing there that will lead to legal action.)
I find some of this plausible, some implausible, most of it intriguing. I wonder what readers make of this. I'd certainly welcome hearing from academics in English as well as Philosophy, and those in other fields that have gone through similar periods of transformation and controversy. Anonymous comments are fine, but please include a valid e-mail address (which will not appear) and choose a stable pseudonym so other commenters can target their responses accordingly.
My source in Turkey (who, for obvious reasons, does not want to be identified) writes:
We have some more horrible news. One of Boğaziçi's undergraduate philosophy students, Jülide Yazıcı, was arrested, along with 3 other students, and has apparently already been charged with the extremely serious charge of "being a member of a terrorist organisation". She had been posting in support of faculty under attack.
I'm trying to find out more about the other 2 students. One of them is from Bilgi University, the other one is from Bogazici too, named Heja Türk; nephew of Ahmet Türk, one of the most famous Kurdish politicians.
6 were detained in a police operation involving house raids in İstanbul two days ago. Out of the detainees, 4 students were arrested with charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda”. The names and affiliations of those arrested are as follows: -Jülide Yazıcı, Boğaziçi University Philosophy Undergraduate Student. She lately supported a petition in Philosophy Department to support 'Academics for Peace'. -Heja Türk, Boğaziçi University, Western Languages and Literature Graduate -Mehtap Demirci -Çağrı Kurt, Bilgi University, Political Science
I believe all 4 are still in custody.
Comments are open for more information and links.
UPDATE: More information here and commentary here.
Galen Strawson (Texas) calls to my attention that he received the following e-mail from academia.edu:
From: Adnan Akil <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Wednesday, 27 January 2016 at 18:28 To: galen strawson <email@example.com> Subject: Certification Value
Hi Dr. Strawson, My name is Adnan, I'm the Product Director here at Academia. I noticed you had received a few recommendations on your papers. Would you be open to paying a small fee to submit any upcoming papers to our board of editors to be considered for recommendation? You'd only be charged if your paper was recommended. If it does get recommended then you'll see the natural boost in viewership and downloads that recommended papers get. Would love to hear your thoughts. Best, Adnan
He asked me what I thought of this, and I said it sounded a bit corrupt, but Galen reached out to Richard Price, the founder of academia.edu, who shared the following explanation with Galen (and gave me permission to share it as well):
Thanks for getting in touch. Yes - this is a somewhat radical and somewhat crazy idea. It has already caused a ruckus on Twitter. We are probing at how to develop an open access publishing model with a lower fee than the average open access journal. We want to start the conversation around how to fund academic publishing when paywall revenues dry up (which I think they will over the coming years). The sciences are switching to an APC-funded model, but that model doesn't straightforwardly work for non-grant funded people in the humanities. It seems to us that either you figure out a super low cost APC for humanities publishing ($50 or so) or you have the normal APC (around $1,500), and figure out a way for universities to cover the fee. Adnan's question was probing the first idea.
You heard it here first (way back in December!): Ted Cruz, the far right religious conservative from Texas, has won Iowa with about 27% of the vote. Even more notable is Trump's weak 2nd place showing, barely defeating Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (about 24% to 22%--no polls had predicted such a strong showing for Rubio). 75% of Republican caucus goers in Iowa preferred someone other than Trump. I suspect this means Trump is finished, though he may hang on a bit longer, though his ego is going to have a tough time with this humiliating result. We can at least thank Trump for having destroyed Jeb Bush, who may get 2 or 3% of the Iowa vote when it's all over.
Meanwhile, in the actual contest between candidates who do not belong in an asylum, the 1970s Republican Hillary Clinton is neck and neck with the run-of-the-mill social democrat Bernie Sanders: with about 85% of the vote, she is ahead by only a half a percentage point and her lead has been shrinking all evening. I'd be delighted if Bernie pulls out a victory, but for it to be this close is already a victory for Sanders, and will secure his triumph in New Hampshire. The real action will then be South Carolina and Nevada on the Democratic side.
Being an early riser, I'll have to wait until morning to see the final result!
UPDATE 2/2 7:30 AM: So it's still a tie between Clinton and Sanders, with Clinton holding a very small lead of about a quarter of a percentage point. As even The New York Times, the house organ for the prudent wing of the ruling class, acknowledges, this is a victory for Sanders, and the Clintons are nervous. Meanwhile, here's Sanders's "victory" speech; open class war on behalf of the vast majority hasn't been waged like this in the U.S. since FDR. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Trump trailed Cruz by 3.5 percentage points, and only leads Rubio by about a point. Rubio, just to be clear, is as much a deranged reactionary as the other two (maybe even more so than Trump), but unlike Trump and Cruz, he's better at keeping it under wraps. So the longer Cruz and Trump continue in the campaign, the better for the Democrats, even if they nominate Clinton.
AND IN CASE YOU THOUGHT IT WASN'T A CIRCUS this story is amazing.
Philosopher Jack Zupko (Alberta), Editor of the Journal of the History of Philosophy, kindly shares the following news:
The Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy has awarded the prize for the best article to appear in volume 53 (2015) of the JHP to Therese Scarpelli Cory for “Rethinking Abstractionism: Aquinas’s Intellectual Light and Some Arabic Sources” in JHP 53.4: 607–46. Professor Cory is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
What makes the surging presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont so unusual is that he is the first serious contender since Reagan's election in 1980 who really wants to change the fundamental terms of debate and of politics, to repudiate once and for all the Reagan consensus which, through Republican and Democratic Administrations, has now delivered us the America of 2016, one with massive economic inequality, crippled labor unions, and economic stagnation for most Americans.
Sanders embraces the old Roosevelt consensus with a vengeance, and echoes Roosevelt's own campaign against "government by organized money," a power which, as Roosevelt famously said in 1936, was "unanimous in their hatred" of him--to which Roosevelt famously replied: "I welcome their hatred." The Clintons, with their long track record of commitment to the Reagan consensus, could never be as bold as FDR, which explains, of course, why they too are beloved by "organized money" ; nor can Obama, with his only modest deviations from the Reagan consensus and his apparently personal incapacity for genuine conflict with the forces of "organized money" that dominate his own party (let alone the reactionary class warriors on the Republican Right).
UPDATE, 2/1: Thanks to the readers who helped propel this to the "Front Page" of the Huffington Post this morning. And I've asked them to fix the typo (48 years not 38!).
1. Saul Kripke (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. W.V.O. Quine loses to Saul Kripke by 141–74
3. H. Paul Grice loses to Saul Kripke by 161–51, loses to W.V.O. Quine by 114–88
4. J.L. Austin loses to Saul Kripke by 159–62, loses to H. Paul Grice by 104–91
5. Donald Davidson loses to Saul Kripke by 168–50, loses to J.L. Austin by 104–101
6. David K. Lewis loses to Saul Kripke by 160–42, loses to Donald Davidson by 104–90
7. Noam Chomsky loses to Saul Kripke by 154–60, loses to David K. Lewis by 96–92
8. Hilary Putnam loses to Saul Kripke by 174–41, loses to Noam Chomsky by 100–92
9. Rudolf Carnap loses to Saul Kripke by 162–47, loses to Hilary Putnam by 100–86
10. David Kaplan loses to Saul Kripke by 176–23, loses to Rudolf Carnap by 88–83
11. Michael Dummett loses to Saul Kripke by 175–41, loses to David Kaplan by 89–82
12. P.F. (Peter) Strawson loses to Saul Kripke by 179–37, loses to Michael Dummett by 96–77
13. Alfred Tarski loses to Saul Kripke by 180–21, loses to P.F. (Peter) Strawson by 90–71
14. Tied: Gareth Evans loses to Saul Kripke by 189–23, loses to Alfred Tarski by 80–75 Robert Stalnaker loses to Saul Kripke by 183–16, loses to Alfred Tarski by 80–68
16. John Searle loses to Saul Kripke by 193–17, loses to Gareth Evans by 87–76
17. Tyler Burge loses to Saul Kripke by 192–12, loses to John Searle by 81–65
18. Keith Donnellan loses to Saul Kripke by 192–10, loses to Tyler Burge by 68–57
19. Peter Geach loses to Saul Kripke by 192–10, loses to Keith Donnellan by 62–57
20. Robert Brandom loses to Saul Kripke by 178–32, loses to Peter Geach by 76–62
Just outside the top 20 were Ruth Marcus, John Perry, and Wilfrid Sellars.
The "top ten" living philosophers of language were Kripke, Chomsky, Putnam, Kaplan, Stalnaker, Searle, Burge, Brandom, John Perry, and Hans Kamp.
This poll had a somewhat larger number of errors of omission, including Dennis Stampe, Frank Veltman, Jeroen Groenendijk Martin Stokhof, Richard Montague, Max Cresswell, Irene Heim, Terence Parsons, Richard Heck, Jeff King, Robert Harnish, and Howard Wettstein. I imagine one or two of these folks might have been competitive for the "top 20," but I welcome reader thoughts. Wittgenstein was not an error of omission; he was left out on purpose given that he did not write in English; we know from earlier polls that he, in any case, tends to dominate all other philosophers of the past two hundred years.
A band from Wales, the album recorded in Norway. If you hold my view (idiosyncratic and indefensible, but nonetheless true) that the best rock 'n' roll was recorded between 1967 and 1973 and, in particular, if you are a fan of Jethro Tull's early Stand Up album, you will dig this.
MOVING TO FRONT FROM JANUARY 27--THE POLL WILL CLOSE LATER TODAY
Following a suggestion after the last poll, I've changed the question from "most important" to 'best" (in your judgment). Only Anglophone philosophers; among those who are still living, only those age 50 or older in 2016 are included. Have fun!
TWO NOTES: Alas, an omission already flagged for me: Dennis Stampe. In addition, while the description of the poll, above, is accurate, on the poll itself, it sounds as if the poll only includes living philosophers over 50, which it obviously does not!
ANOTHER: Thony Gillies (Rutgers) points out another unfortunate omission, namely the Dutch philosophers/linguists/logicians Frank Veltman, Jeroen Groenendijk, and Martin Stokhof, whose work is in English. Alas.
AND EVEN WORSE I got Hans Kamp on the list but forgot Richard Montague! Well, folks can "discuss" that omission when the results are in. I guess he might have made the "top 20," but I'm not enough of an insider to know.
AND SOME MORE NAMES: Max Cresswell, Irene Heim, Terence Parsons, Richard Heck (I had thought Heck was not over 50, but am told that is wrong).
AND: Jeff King (Rutgers) should have been on the list. Another important philosopher of language betrayed by his youthful looks (turns out he is over 50).
TWO MORE: Philosopher Jeff Helmreich (UC Irvine) mentions Robert Harnish (late of University of Arizona) and Howard Wettstein (UC Riverside). I'm particularly embarrassed about Wettstein, whom I know and like very much--but I'd forgotten he began his career as a major contributor to debates about theories of direct reference.
A philosophy professor will be put on trial. Note that under Turkish law, insulting the President is an actionable offense. It is the law, and not necessarily its application in this instance, that is rotten.
UPDATE: A philosopher in Turkey writes: "I think it might be worth pointing out that Orsan is an important part of Turkish philosophical community - being the person behind 'Philosophy in Assos'": http://www.philosophyinassos.org/assos.htm. These events are an important part of Turkish philosophical calendar. Ironically he was supposed to be giving lecture in Assos on 'Freedom, Justice and Courage' and I think this falls on the day they set for his Trial."
MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--MORE INFO FROM PROF. WHITE IN COMMENTS, PLUS OTHER COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS--MORE DISCUSSION WELCOME
Philosopher Alan White (Wisconsin/Manitowoc) has been involve throughout in the process of revising the Regental rules on tenure after the assault on tenure by Governor Walker and his Republican allies in the legislature. The current proposed polices can be viewed here. Prof. White kindly gave permission to share his letter to colleagues about the current draft:
1. The faculty tenure document.
This document is the Regents' policy replacement for the statement of tenure formerly ensconced in Wisconsin state statute 36.13. You may recall that the Regents immediately adopted the verbatim language of 36.13 as interim policy after the state removed it. Except for the inclusion of the next to last entry "Oversight, Roles and Responsibilities"--needed, I suppose, to authorize administrators to do their jobs in carrying out Regents' policy--this document largely just copies 36.13. So in letter and spirit, I'd say this just codifies what the Regents did last year with the interim action. While that's good news, it's in fact limited by newly adopted state statute 36.21, modified to specify that termination may be for conditions ("certain budget or program changes") that do not qualify as financial emergency--and deletes "financial emergency" from the old statute as the standard for layoff or termination. An entirely new law, 36.22, details procedures for "layoff or termination of [a] faculty member due to certain budget or program changes." So, in fact state statute has abandoned the AAUP gold standard of financial exigency as sufficient reason to terminate tenured faculty.
2. The Procedures Relating to Financial Emergency or Program Discontinuance Requiring Faculty Layoff and Termination
The title of this document has at least some good news: Regents' policy reinstates financial emergency as a standard of terminating tenured faculty, but note--only *a* standard. That's because of 36.21-22 of course. It has a couple of added statements referring to procedural protections for laid-off faculty set out in 36.22 and deleted a couple of definitions from the previous draft, but it looks very much like the one you saw prior to our final meeting. There are some added passages that *appear* to afford extra protection. For example, notice on page 5 F. there is a statement added: "It is recognized that the chancellor should make a recommendation adverse to the faculty recommendation with respect to discontinuance of an academic program only for compelling reasons which should be stated in writing and in detail." But please note this language is not a *requirement* but "recognized" as optimally the case. "Should"s are not "Must"s. At the very least we need to fight for language changes like that.
My suggestion if that if you are going to comment on this document, please read 36.21-22 as well. I provided those in an earlier email.
3. The Periodic Post-Tenure Review document
Despite my own protests--joined by Madison reps--this document is largely unchanged from the draft we had at the final meeting. On page 3 point 12 following, we argued strenuously for including an extra step prior to what is described in 12. b., which essentially allows only an administrative reconsideration in the case of a negative review. We argued for a second faculty review in the case of a negative review, just to ensure that the negative review was justified. It's not included here. I think we need to press for that. In addition, I and other committee members argued that the time frame to asses remediation in the case of a negative review(12. c. ii)--18 months--was too brief to be realistic for some cases, and that it should be expanded. The time frame is unchanged. And of course page 4 16. is unchanged as well. The only option for a faculty member terminated by this process is independent of UW grievance processes--filing a civil suit.
As goes Wisconsin--one of the country's best public university systems--so may the nation go. This deserves everyone's attention, as well as everyone's thanks to Prof. White for his work on this. Comments are open for further information, comments, links, etc.
A sensible statement by the chair of Amherst College's Board of Trustees, in the wake of the decision to rename the school's controversial mascot:
A statement issued by Cullen Murphy, chair of the college's board, said that while the college would prefer that people not use the Lord Jeff nickname or mascot, the college will take no action against those who -- as individuals -- do so. "The college has no business interfering with free expression, whether spoken or written or, for that matter, sung. Period," Murphy said. He added, "To those who argue that stepping back from Lord Jeff as an unofficial mascot takes us down some sort of slippery slope that calls into question the name of the town or the college, the board would respond that you can find slippery slopes anywhere you look, that real life isn’t a philosophy class or court of law, and that people long ago figured out the commonsense way to deal with slippery slopes: just draw the line. Amherst College will always be the name of the school."
Good for him. Undoubtedly this will be challenged in court, since the gun crazies have many lawyers at their disposal. But civil disobedience is the right posture, and Weinberg can afford to do it, literally and symbolically. (He and his wife, who is a law professor at UT Austin, earn over $800,000/year; they are also both senior enough that they could retire in protest. And given that he rather clearly the most famous member of the faculty, with an international reputation, even some of the yahoos in the state legislature may be given pause about the ramifications of driving him off the faculty.)
Paul Audi (metaphysics, philosophy of mind) from the University of Nebraska, Omaha to the University of Rochester.
Bernard Boxill (social & political philosophy, philosophy of race) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has retired.
Matthew Boyle (philosophy of mind, Kant, German Idealism) from Harvard University to the University of Chicago.
Rachael Briggs (metaphysics, epistemology, decision theory) from the Australian National University to Stanford University.
Phil Dowe (metaphysics, philosophy of science) from the University of Queensland to the Australian National University.
Annalisa Coliva (philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, history of analytic philosophy) from the University of Modina to the University of California, Irvine.
Mathias Frisch (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science) from the University of Maryland, College Park to the University of Hannover.
Thomas Johansen (ancient philosophy) from Oxford University to the University of Oslo.
Jonathan Kvanvig (epistemology, philosophy of religion) from Baylor University to Washington University, St. Louis.
Peter Ludlow (philosophy of language and cognitive science) resigned from Northwestern University in November 2015.
Ned Markosian (metaphysics) from Western Washington University to the University of Massachussetts, Amherst.
Tristram McPherson (ethics, metaethics) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University to Ohio State University.
Charles Mills (social & political philosophy, philosophy of race) from Northwestern University to the City University of New York Graduate Center.
Alyssa Ney (metaphysics, philosophy of mind) from the University of Rochester to the University of California, Davis.
Jill North (philosophy of physics) from Cornell University to Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
David Owen (early modern philosophy, esp. Hume) at the University of Arizona will retire at the end of 2015-16.
Adam Pautz (philosophy of mind, metaphysics) from the University of Texas at Austin to Brown University.
Karl Schafer (epistemology, ethics, Kant, history of modern philosophy) from the University of Pittsburgh to the University of California, Irvine.
Timothy Schroeder (philosophy of mind, moral psychology) from Ohio State University to Rice University.
Russ Shafer-Landau (ethics, metaethics) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Ted Sider (metaphysics) from Cornell University to Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Katie Steele (environmental philosophy, philosophy of probability, rational choice theory) from London School of Economics to the Australian National University.
Matthias Steup (epistemology) from Purdue University to the University of Colorado, Boulder (as Chair).
Josef Stern (philosophy of language, medieval Jewish philosophy) at the University of Chicago will retire at the end of 2015-16.
Jason Turner (metaphysics) from St. Louis University to the University of Arizona.
David Wallace (philosophy of physics) from Oxford University to the University of Southern California.
Jennifer Whiting (ancient philosophy) from the University of Toronto to the University of Pittsburgh.
All these moves can be expected to have some effect (sometimes substantial) on the specialty rankings from fall 2014. In terms of the overall rankings of the programs, the effects would be less dramatic. Among the notable likely changes: Rutgers would be solidly #2 by itself, with Princeton at #3; Cornell might slip out of the top 20, though certainly not the top 25; UC Irvine and Wash U/St. Louis would both push towards the top 20; Brown will remain even more solidly top 20 and USC even more solidly top ten; Chicago will return to the top 20.
In addition, a number of offers have been extended (or are in the process of being extended):
Sara Bernstein (metaphysics), currently tenure-track at Duke University, has been voted a tenure-track offer by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame; this would involve an accelerated tenure clock.
Daniel Nolan (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical logic) at the Australian National University has been voted a senior offer by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
ADDENDUM: Correspondence about corrections to this list can go to me, but all correspondence about the PGR, including corrections to the 2014-15 version, should now go to Brit Brogaard. Thanks.
The University of Chicago Law School is now offering a fully funded (including living stipend) one year M.L.S. degree, allowing a student to spend a year here taking courses, seminars and workshop in the law school that will complement and facilitate your dissertation work. The application information is here and more information about the program is here: Download MLS Degree Info Sheet Updated 7 24 15.At the time of application you should be done with or finishing your coursework and embarking on a dissertation proposal for which deeper knowledge of law would be helpful. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you have questions not answered by the preceding documents. Note that if you decide you want to earn a J.D., you will not be able to count any of your MLS coursework towards the JD (this is an American Bar Association rule, not a rule of our law school).
There is no other law school in the United States presently offering such a degree.
News release here. I'm glad to see the APA join the other professional organizations that have spoken out about this, especially since a dozen or more philosophy faculty (including, as I understand it, some APA members) have been targeted in this campaign.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, the statement by APA Board Chair Cheshire Calhoun (Arizona State) is not very good. She is quoted in the press release as follows:
Cheshire Calhoun, chair of the board of officers, said, “It is extremely disturbing that Turkish academics have been subjected to severe governmental and university pressures, including detention and criminal investigations, for doing exactly what one might hope that any academic would do—protest the violation of basic rights protected by one’s country’s constitution and international conventions.”
But the Turkish government denies that anyone's basic rights are being violated, and that it is the rights of Turkish citizens which are under threat from Kurdish rebels. Thus, this objection will be easy to dismiss as partisan ("Armenian lovers" is, I am told, the preferred term of abuse by Turkish nationalists). The correct and relevant objection is to the persecution of academics for ordinary political speech, regardless of one's view of the merits of their position. The message the Turkish government needs to get is that its university system will fall into worldwide disrepute if the government persists in persecuting faculty for their political speech, regardless of the merits of their position.
Joshua Smart writes that another round is starting:
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 or have a different 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 8 countries and 20 different U.S. states, Virtual Dissertation Groups are a great (free!) way to capture some of these benefits.
The setup is simple: Students participate in three-membered groups, with one student each month sending a short-ish piece of writing to the other two for comments.
As the second ad from the top on the right sidebar notes, to celebrate ten years of books in the series, Routledge is offering a 10% discount on all volumes (code RPS15). Steven Fesmire's Dewey was recently named a Choice outstanding academic title for 2015. Other recent volumes have included Kenneth Baynes on Habermas, Albert Atkin on Peirce, Don Garrett on Hume, and the second edition of Jonathan Lear's volume on Freud. (2nd editions of Kant by Paul Guyer, Husserl by David Woodruff Smith, and Aristotle by Christopher Shields have appeared in prior years.)
Plato by Constance Meinwald is forthcoming soon; other volumes in preparation include Maudemarie Clark on Nietzsche, Chike Jeffers on Du Bois, Candace Vogler on Anscombe, Paul Muench on Kierkegaard, and Samantha Matherne on Cassirer, among others. Check it out while the sale lasts (until February 29, 2016)!
It starts here, and continues here, and receives scathing commentary here. For the life of me, I can't even figure out what the purportedly offending passage even means: its English is barely intelligible. Synthese should be embarrassed to have published this on the latter ground alone. What do readers think of all this?
Lots of sensible stuff here, and much of it amusing too. Krugman's anti-Sanders commentary, in particular, is a disgrace; the awfulness of Bush redeemed Krugman, but in the beginning he was a tiresome apologist for the status quo, and he's come back home to his true calling now that the 36th year of Ronald Reagan's Presidency may actually come to an end.
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)