I'm delighted to announce that this volume (edited by myself and Michael Rosen) has now been published. It's an outstanding group of contributors from the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, and Continental Europe, including many of the leading senior and junior scholars in the field. Here is a pertinent bit from the "Introduction":
Since the 1970s, we have entered a “Golden Age” for English-speaking scholarship on the so-called “Continental” traditions of philosophy, meaning (primarily) philosophy after Kant in Germany and France in the 19th and 20th centuries. Much of this work has been concerned to introduce and interpret the writings of major individual thinkers and to locate them within a conceptual framework that is familiar to those with a background in the mainstream of philosophy as conventionally taught in Anglophone departments. At the same time, a hallmark of recent scholarly developments is the renewed appreciation for the sometimes distinctive historical and philosophical contexts in which Continental philosophy has been produced, allowing us to appreciate both where the Continental traditions depart from those familiar in the Anglophone world and to assess the philosophical merits of the distinctive philosophical positions developed.
This volume aims to give a representative sample of these important developments in philosophical scholarship, and, more importantly, to give a broad and inclusive thematic treatment of Continental philosophy, treating its subject-matter philosophically and not simply as a series of museum pieces from the history of ideas. Each of the essays takes up a topic from within the field in such a way as to bring key ideas into focus and capture their distinctiveness as well as providing a critical assessment of their value.
...as Gordon Finlayson (Sussex) is here through Friday as a guest of the Law and Philosophy Program, giving workshops on the Habermas/Rawls debate and the normative foundations of the Frankfurt School (the Adorno/Habermas debate, as it were), among other topics. Those interested in the Frankfurt School should be reading Finlayson, if they aren't doing so already.
An update on the book.
Cambridge has, happily, released a paperback version of this collection of essays I edited back in 2001. Since I periodically get inquiries about the book, I thought I'd post the information about the new paperback edition here.
...has now been published in the U.S. It is available in paperback, so hopefully someone will read it!
This is turning into a busy year for books. At the end of last week, my collection of papers in legal philosophy, Naturalizing Jurisprudence: Essays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy, was published in Britain in both cloth and paper by Oxford University Press (it should be "officially" out in the U.S. in the next month or two). The previously published essays have been lightly revised for this volume, and there are three new pieces totalling about fifty pages: an introductory essay, and two postscripts replying to a variety of critics.
Oxford University Press also recently published Nietzsche and Morality, a collection of new essays--both interpretive and philosophical--on Nietzsche's moral philosophy that I edited with one of our outstanding doctoral students here at UT Austin, Neil Sinhababu.
In the fall, finally, OUP will publish The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy, which I co-edited with Michael Rosen.
Readers and feedback would both be welcome!
When I started the blog back in August 2003, the main idea was to make it a supplement to the PGR, both for updates and more general discussion of the philosophy profession, of philosophy, and cognate topics. As longtime readers know, I gradually migrated into more political topics, which seems to have been warmly welcomed by many readers based on earlier "surveys" of readers. The time drain required to keep up with, and write commentary on, political and cultural topics unrelated to philosophy has grown too great, however, and so I've already had to cut back substantially in order to have the time for my main scholarly activities. The fact that the war criminals in Washington, DC are in retreat (happily) has also lessened my enthusiasm for dissecting them. My impression, largely from correspondence, is also that the readership has gravitated somewhat more towards those interested in philosophy and the philosophy profession, rather than those seeking cultural and political commentary. Finally, though this was a more minor consideration, I've not been entirely happy with the fact that many of my students now know what my political views are. While I don't always live up to the Nietzschean ideal of the teacher as the one who "takes all things seriously only in relation to his students--even himself," I do not want preconceptions about my politics to affect teacher-student interactions--especially since my political views are otherwise almost entirely invisible in my teaching and my scholarly work. I must say I rather liked (and was pleasantly amused) that a significant number of students over the years seemed to think that I was a conservative! That is as it should be in the pedagogical context, or so it seems to me.
In any case, for the foreseeable future my own blogging, and that of the others on this site, will be related to philosophy, academia (including academic freedom), and the broader intellectual culture, in one way or another--sometimes professional news, sometimes reflections on the profession, sometimes substantive philosophy, and sometimes intellectual polemics. Perhaps we'll revisit this decision at some point in the future. But there are now enough fine politically-minded blogs (some linked to the left) that I don't think this will be a great loss to humanity.
Thanks, as always, to the many loyal readers, for their interest and good words.
...but the last couple of weeks we've had: a one day Nietzsche conference, a day-long visit from Simon Keller (BU), and tomorrow Gideon Rosen (Princeton) as guests of the Law & Philosophy Program; PhD admissions (200+ applications this year); as well as the usual teaching and research. In the following weeks I'm on the road to a number of different schools for talks. I will try to keep up with appointments news during this time, but there will be fewer substantive cultural and political items.
A revised version of this paper I wrote with the philosopher of biology Michael Weisberg at Penn is now on-line at SSRN. This is pretty much the penultimate version, and comments would still be timely and welcome for a few more weeks.
I've posted a draft of a short paper (slated for the University of Chicago Law Review) on Richard Rorty's Dewey Lecture at the University of Chicago Law School last year, on the subject of Dewey, Posner, and moral skepticism. There is more detail here. Although this isn't a rigorous philosophical piece, it might interest some readers.
MOVING TO THE FRONT FROM DECEMBER 20: There is a slightly revised version on-line now (changes primarily in the Marx and Foucault sections). I'd still gratefully receive comments, since I can still make changes at the copy-editing stage.
What could be wrong with morality? Popular, including religious, thinking has long proceeded on the assumption that “morality” as a system of norms deserves our allegiance and that “moral conduct” should earn our praise and admiration. Modern philosophy has, on this (as other matters) not been far away from the popular consensus. Hume “discovered,” happily, that “by nature” human beings were disposed to have the sentiments and dispositions constitutive of sound morality; Kant sought to vindicate the deontological moral intuitions of the ordinary German peasant; while Sidgwick found that the “unconscious” morality of the English “peasants” was utilitarian, not deontological (and locked in hopeless conflict, alas, with egoistic considerations). Most of moral philosophy of the past one hundred years—from Habermas and the adherents of “discourse ethics” (descendants of the Kantian project), to the proliferating Anglophone Kantians, to the earnest utilitarianisms of J.J.C. Smart, R.B. Brandt, Peter Singer, and others--has proceeded on the assumption that morality and a moral life are worth understanding because they are worth having and leading.
One striking feature of post-Kantian philosophy in Europe has been the emergence of morality critics, philosophers who, contra the popular consensus, dispute the value of morality and the moral life. Their views find a faint echo in the work of some Anglophone moral philosophers (Philippa Foot and Bernard Williams are the main exemplars), but, as we will see, the “Continental” criticisms of morality generally cut far deeper and more radically. Whereas the Anglophone skeptics take issue with, for example, the “demandingness” of utilitarian moral theory, or the purported “overridingness” of moral obligations as Kantians understand them, the Continental critics pitch their concerns less at the level of academic theory than at the level of social, political, and cultural life. These Continental morality critics object that morality in practice is an obstacle to human flourishing itself.
So understood, this attack on morality raises two immediate questions. First, the Continental morality critics are plainly not without ethical views of their own—namely, views, broadly, about the good life for (some or all) human beings—since it is on the basis of these views that they criticize “morality.” Therefore, we need to understand the contours of the “morality” to which these critics object—for ease of reference, we will call it “morality in the pejorative sense” (MPS)—since it must be distinguished from the normative considerations that inform their critiques. We will refer to this as the “Scope Problem” about morality criticism. Second, we can usefully divide Continental critics of morality into two camps: those who see morality as a direct threat to human flourishing; and those who see morality as an indirect threat. In the first camp are those thinkers who see the individual’s acceptance of morality as such as an obstacle to the individual’s flourishing; in different ways, Nietzsche and Freud are these kinds of morality critics. In the second camp are those philosophers who see morality as among the “ideological” instruments that sustain socio-economic relations that are obstacles to individual flourishing. On this second account—most obviously represented by Marx and perhaps some of his descendants associated with the Frankfurt School—it is not allegiance to morality per se that thwarts individual flourishing, but rather the role such allegiance plays in sustaining certain socio-economic relations, the latter of which constitute the immediate obstacle to flourishing. We will call the former “Direct Morality Critics” and the latter “Indirect Morality Critics.” (Foucault straddles both approaches, and so we will discuss him in a transitional section.)
Just in time for the holidays, there are two new volumes in the Routledge Philosophers series I edit: Kant by Paul Guyer of the University of Pennsylvania and Darwin by Tim Lewens of Cambridge University. Like all titles in the series, they are available in paperback.
As of early September, volumes in the series had already sold over 17,000 copies, which makes it a smashing success by the standards of academic publishing. And 2007 promises another batch of outstanding volumes, including Aristotle by Christopher Shields of Oxford University, Husserl by David Woodruff Smith of the University of California at Irvine, Spinoza by Michaell Della Rocca of Yale University, Rawls by Samuel Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania, Merleau-Ponty by Taylor Carman of Barnard College and Columbia University, Hume by Don Garrett of New York University, and Heidegger by John Richardson also of New York University.
For 2008 and after, look for volumes on Aquinas by Christopher Hughes, Einstein by Arthur Fine and Thomas Ryckman, Kierkegaard by Andrew Cross, Fichte and Schelling by Sebastian Gardner, Descartes by Edwin Curley, Socrates by Paul Woodruff, Plato by Constance Meinwald, Adorno by Brian O'Connor, Marx by Alan Gilbert, Nietzsche by Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick, Berkeley by Lisa Downing, Carnap by Michael Friedman, Frege by Warren Goldfarb and Thomas Ricketts, Quine by Dagfinn Follesdal, and Habermas by Keneneth Baynes, among others.
This ad will appear in the November JFP, but we are happy to begin receiving applications now:
(Pending budgetary approval) The University of Texas at Austin seeks to make a tenured appointment (full or associate professor level) of a scholar of outstanding achievement in the areas of political, legal, or moral philosophy who can contribute to the University's interdisciplinary Program in Law & Philosophy. (More information on that program is here: http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/curriculum/philosophy/). Ph.D. required. Appointment to begin September 1, 2007. We have particular needs right now in political philosophy, though welcome applications from excellent candidates in any of the fields noted. Undergraduate and graduate teaching, typically two courses/semester, thesis supervision, usual advising and administrative responsibilities. Limited summer teaching available. EO/AAE. Appointment would be in the Department of Philosophy and possibly also the School of Law, depending on qualifications. Salary highly competitive. Candidates should send a CV and the names of three referees to Professor Brian Leiter, Director of the Law & Philosophy Program, University of Texas, 727 East Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705. Applications must be postmarked by December 15, 2006. Candidates invited to campus for interviews will be contacted directly not later than January 26, 2007.
You may e-mail me if you have questions.
On the off-chance that some of you are readers, there is more information about my Jurisprudence seminar here.
I don't usually post these kinds of notices, but since I'm speaking on this occasion, here is the call for papers: Download callforpaperstovtgradphi_confsp061.rtf for anyone who is interested.
My sincere thanks to Professors Thomas Nadelhoffer of Dickinson College and Jonathan Wolff of University College London who did much to keep the blog lively and interesting during August and, in Tom's case, all summer long! Remember, too, that Nadelhoffer will continue blogging at his new site, which I heartily commend to all readers.
Because I'm teaching at the University of Chicago this term, where it appears I may not have Internet access from my temporary home, I won't resume a robust schedule of blogging, though I'll be more frequent than I was in the summer. Bill Edmundson and Jason Stanley will also continue to post as their schedules permit, and I expect Professors Hellie and Wilson back in the fray before too long.
Since Typepad, my blogging service, made it easy to add "Sitemeter" (which is free) to this page, I'm going to let my subscription to WebStat counter lapse when it expires in two weeks. Below the fold, a final report, then, from the wealth of detail supplied by WebStat:
As many readers know, I'm going to be at the University of Chicago in the fall. Driving from Austin is more hassle than it's worth, so I am wondering whether any readers in the Chicago area who might be on leave themselves in the fall, or who have an extra car, would be willing to "rent" me a vehicle for local use. If so, please e-mail me. Many thanks.
Sorry for all the postings today, I had some backlogged items, and decided to get them out. I have a tenure review to complete in the next couple of weeks (among other things), so I will be posting less the remainder of the month.
So I finally added, on the left side-bar, a list of "recommended" blogs, i.e., blogs I read more-or-less irregularly, but which are informative or at least fun. I want to call your attention, in particular, to the fact that Thomas Nadelhoffer, who has done a spectacular job keeping this site interesting and educational all summer, has decided to start his own blog. Professor Nadelhoffer will be here till the end of August, and I am hoping he will come back for a week or a month in the future, as his schedule permits. But do check him out at his own blog site.
I started this blog on August 3, 2003 largely by happenstance: the university had created a weblog technology, and having created a virtual "public square" they needed people in it. The computing folks in the law school asked if I wanted to play with the new toy, and after first saying no, I agreed thinking it would be a useful supplement to my law and philosophy sites. As America became progressively crazier, I found myself increasingly writing about other things. And so it goes....
My reflections on blogging from early on (here and here) are not much changed. The benefits remain as they were before: the blog is an easy way to get my own scholarly ideas into circulation, to share useful news about the profession and helpful political commentary and information (as well as moral indignation), and increasingly (thanks especially to my fine co-bloggers) to engage in intelligent discussion about philosophical topics and the profession, thanks to the high caliber of the readers. The primary downside of the blog is the one I've remarked on before: because there are no barriers to entry in the blogosphere, it is an especially attractive forum for those lacking in social and cognitive skills that would be necessary to succeed in real life. Coming into "virtual" contact with noxious mediocrities, the unabashedly ignorant, the intellectually incompetent, the mentally unstable, etc. who populate the blogosphere (especially the political parts of the blogosphere) has been alternately creepy and amusing,, but "virtual" contact is far to be preferred to the real thing! Early on, I found it somewhat entertaining (or at least useful) to engage these sorry folks, but now I save the effort for the worthy or at least instructive targets. That helped with the other downside of the blog: the time drain. Although I was pretty good at confining blogging to the early morning and the late evening, adding co-bloggers was one of the smarter things I did on the blog: it has insured continuing interesting material for the readers (myself included), while at the same time permitting me to recapture time needed for other matters. (For obvious reasons, my law school blog is less time-consuming.)
I'm posting this little item a day early because I am going to be mostly absent from Cyberspace starting tomorrow for the next two weeks or so, but I hope to resume some more regular posting as August wears on. Until then, Thomas Nadelhoffer and Jonathan Wolff (and perhaps Jason, and maybe even Benj, Jessica, and Bill before too long) will help keep things lively. Thanks, as always, for reading.
Just a reminder that the political philosopher Jonathan Wolff from University College London will be guest-blogging in July and August, joining Professor Nadelhoffer who has kindly kept this blog very stimulating and lively during June. Professors Edmundson, Hellie, Stanley, and Wilson will also put in appearances as their schedules permit, and I should be back in August (though I may post news items in July). In the meantime, for some amusement, try the "Friday open thread" here; these folks really know how to have fun.
There are many lovely things about living in Austin...but the relentless summer heat is not one of them! In consequence, we like to flee for a bit during the summer to the place that is both easy to get to and has a perfect climate: San Diego. If anyone has advice about a nice hotel/resort that is children-friendly, I'd be grateful; so far, we haven't found such a place. Please e-mail me. Many thanks!
I am going to be leaving the blogosphere for the next couple of months, though this "group blog" will keep operating--not only with Bill Edmundson, Benj Hellie, Jason Stanley, and Jessica Wilson (as their schedules permit)--but also some wonderful new guests who have agreed to participate, starting with Thomas Nadelhoffer (who will be posting through the summer), and continuing with the political philosopher Jonathan Wolff from University College London in July and August. I may return, on occasion, to post important news items for the philosophical community that come up during the summer (or to post, e.g., a link to a new Philosophers' Carnival), but otherwise there will be no regular political, cultural, or philosophical commentary from me until August. (Posting will be the same at the law school blog as well, i.e., news items, that's about it.)
My "excuses" are pretty simple. By the end of the summer, I need to (1) put together my collection of essays for Oxford University Press on Naturalizing Jurisprudence: Essays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy, which needs both an introductory essay and, more importantly, a concluding essay replying to critics; (2) finish editing (with Michael Rosen) The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy, which includes finishing my own essay for the volume, as well as our introduction; (3) finish the essay on "Legal Realisms" for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, as well as revise and update my 2002 essay for them on "Naturalism in Legal Philosophy"; (4) finish some shorter projects--one for Walter Sinnott-Armstrong's three-volume collection for MIT Press on moral psychology, another for an OUP volume on the political theory of international relations; and (5) in an ideal world, work on revisions to some essays (on Nietzsche, on naturalized jurisprudence, on evolutionary biology and law) I've been working on for ages. (For those who have inquired, I can also report that the Nietzsche and Morality collection--with contributions by S. Blackburn, M. Clark & D. Dudrick, T. Hurka, N. Hussain, C. Janaway, J. Knobe & B. Leiter, P. Poellner, B. Reginster, M. Risse, N. Sinhababu, and R.J. Wallace--was sent to OUP last week, so should be out next Spring!)
All this, I'm sure, is more than most of you want to know, but I do not shirk my blogging "duties" lightly (!), and I am grateful, as always, for your interest. I am sure my co-bloggers and our new guests will have much good fare, and I hope to be back in August with suitably engaging material.
I leave you, then, with some fun summer blog reading:
The latest addition to my rather limited blogroll.
Another good young philosopher whose blog deserves your patronage.
And another (to whom we owe the Philosophers' Carnival).
And another (a "local").
For fun, Molly Ivins on the Republicans who know what really matters.
And, for another laugh, try one of the the proliferating parody sites, which skewer the venal, the banal, and the mentally unstable. (ADDENDUM: A reader fairly points out that Dadahead deserves credit for correctly pegging the last one starting well over a year ago here and here and here.)
Happy summer to all Northern Hemisphere readers! And warm thanks to all, as always, for reading.
Over 135,000 visitor sessions last month, off slightly from April, and down 20,000 from the all-time high of March...but school is out in the U.S. and summer travels and jobs and research projects are here. Happily, 135,000 visitor sessions for May is about the same number of visitors the site got in May 2005, when the law school updates were still here. And it is more than double the number of visitors in May 2004. Much of that increase is due to the wonderful, on-going guest bloggers who have joined the site. And for June, remember, we have another: Thomas Nadelhoffer.
Thomas Nadelhoffer, already a leading figure in the experimental philosophy movement, has kindly agreed to visit as a guest-blogger starting June 1, to write about matters philosophical and political. Professor Nadelhoffer is concluding a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, where he earned his PhD, and will be an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Dickinson College in the fall. Denizens of the blogosphere will no doubt know his work on the Experimental Philosophy blog and in connection with the first On-Line Philosophy Conference. I am sure readers will enjoy his contributions, and I am grateful to him for agreeing to blog here.
It's been a pleasure and privilege to have had the opportunity to work with many of you during your time in the Law School. I'm sure I speak for all my colleagues in wishing you much professional success and personal happiness in the years ahead. I look forward to seeing many of you at tomorrow's graduation ceremony.
I'll be teaching at the University of Chicago Law School in the fall, and one of the places I may live is at East 55th and S. Dorchester in Hyde Park. I'm wondering whether one can get by without a car there in terms of grocery shopping, restaurants, and the like. Please e-mail me or post comments below. Any other tips about that area would be welcome. Many thanks.
More information here. This is obviously mainly of local interest--and very good news for our Law & Philosophy Program, which also enjoyed extraordinary support from former UT Law Dean, now UT President, Bill Powers--though some philosophers may know Sager's paper (with Kornhauser) on "The Many as One: Integrity and Group Choice in Paradoxical Cases" from Philosophy & Public Affairs in 2004 (which has already generated a large secondary literature), and philosophers of law interested in constitutional theory will also probably know his other work in that arena. One reason for my reduced blogging the past few months was that President Powers put me on the Dean Search Committee. I am very glad that the effort paid off so handsomely!
...here. This is quite a bit revised from last fall's version, on which many readers kindly commented. The paper, we hope, will be of as much, perhaps more, interest to moral philosophers and those interested in the intersection of moral psychology and empirical psychology, as it will be to Nietzsche scholars.
I have good reason to believe that even for American students choosing a philosophy department to apply to used to be much harder before the Philosophical Gourmet Report was established. It is scarcely necessary to say how much more difficult that would have been for foreign students coming from contries, such as my native Brazil, with no tradition at all in analytic philosophy.Late last year, I was fortunate enough to finish a PhD in philosophy of language at a top 30 philosophy department, where I had the pleasure of working with an extremely friendly and supportive faculty.None of this would have been possible if the PGR was not in existence. I wouldn´t even know where to start looking....
...was awarded to UT Austin historian David Oshinsky, who was recruited from Rutgers University at New Brunswick a couple of years ago. Readers interested in American politics may know of him for his splendid book A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, which gives great insight into the last period when America veered towards fascism.
Eric Pianka, discussed here by Benj Hellie, is an internationally distinguished biologist (his unit [formerly Zoology, now Integrative Biology] has been for some time one of the top ten in the country) and also an iconoclast. Anyone in doubt about that might want to peruse his obituary which he has posted on his homepage. Now that's planning ahead!
UPDATE: UT has issued a nice press release, which both gets the focus right (Pianka was being honored for the excellence of his scientific work) and corrects the distortions about his views circulating via the right-wing misinformation highway of blogs and web sites.
I had hoped to be a bit more active on the blog in April and May, but, alas, things haven't shaped up in a way that will make that possible. For my sins, the UT Austin President asked me to serve on the Dean Search Committee for the Law School, and we are now going into "high gear" in that process over the next few weeks. This week, Timothy Macklem, Professor of Jurisprudence at King's College, London, is here as a guest of the Law & Philosophy Program, and in two weeks, the legal philosopher Scott Shapiro from Michigan will be here. (And then, of course, there are taxes looming...) With May comes exams, papers, and grading. Various publication deadlines (including, now, deadlines I've missed once already!) are also on the immediate horizon. I have no doubt that Professors Edmundson, Hellie, Stanley, and Wilson will continue to offer up excellent fare, and I will certainly stay on top of the philosophy updates, since this is the season when prospectives are making decisions. I may continue to repost some earlier items that might be of interest to readers as well. And hopefully I'll come up with one or two merciless rhetorical spankings of fanatics, villains, and ignoramuses.
I also want to apologize to e-mail correspondents. I used to make it my practice to respond to all e-mails (except, of course, those from nuts, but I get almost none of those anymore), but increasingly I find that impossible. I still try to respond to some of the e-mails from folks writing for advice etc., but I apologize, retrospectively and prospectively, to those slighted. There are only so many hours in the day, as the saying goes.
157,645 visitor sessions last month, an all-time record. (Bill, Benj, Jessica, and Jason: this means you're stuck here for good!) And 58% of visits were from folks (i.e., computers) who had been here before. The top 20 ways of accessing the site--accounting for some 90% of all visits--were not much changed from prior months:
|utexas.edu 347 0.2|
A substantial majority of the google searches are by folks actually looking for this blog (or at least for me).
Excluding faculty move updates and the like, and counting only substantive political and philosophical posts, I posted 21 items in March; Bill Edmundson posted 22; Benj Hellie posted 24; Jessica Wilson posted 12; and Jason Stanley (who was travelling much of the last couple of weeks) posted 3. Feedback from readers on the group blog format continues to be positive. Both Benj and Jessica are also beginning to rival my special talent for attracting the ire of "wingnuts" (as I've learned right-wing neanderthals are dubbed by blogospheric insiders). Bill's carefully crafted postings, while boasting political content as hard-hitting to those living in wingnut land, apparently uses too many big words and complicated sentences to enable the cognitively and morally deficient to figure out that they are supposed to be upset.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
...a PhD student here at UT Austin who has just won a prestigious Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship to support finishing his doctoral dissertation on "A Treatise of Humean Nature" (which David Sosa and I are supervising). Neil will be known to denizens of the blogosphere for his "Ethical Werewolf" blog and to those who follow my Nietzsche postings as my co-editor of the Nietzsche and Morality volume forthcoming with OUP (should be out in early 2007, we hope). I believe our last Newcombe winner from the PhD program at Texas was Matt Evans, who wrote a splendid thesis on Plato's moral psychology.
Congratulations to Neil and to all other winners of Newcombe Fellowships this year! I invite winners or their advisors to post that information below in the format: Neil Sinhababu (Texas): "A Treatise of Humean Nature" (Supervisors: Leiter & Sosa).
No anonymous postings, and please post only once (posts may take awhile to appear, as I've only just returned to town and am wading through tons of e-mails!).
On Wednesday, I'm off to Toronto for this event, and since I'm still putting finishing touches on the lecture, there's unlikely to be much new from me for a few days. I trust my co-bloggers will keep the site lively, entertaining, and informative in my absence!
The web site has finally been updated, for those who might be interested.
Haven't done these in a couple of months, but since this was the first full month of the "group blog," I thought it might be worth noting. A bit more than 141,000 visitor sessions last month, up from around 110,000 most months lately, and the highest total since last Spring, when the law school updates were still at this site (and this is even true if one subtracts the nearly 8,000 visits generated by the one link from Atrios not quite two weeks ago). 54% of the visits were by folks (or, I should say, computers) who had been here previously, though that number was depressed a bit by the Atrios link--most weekdays, the percentage of repeat visitors is in the 58-60% range.
The top referring sites are not much changed since the last time I noted them:
and then there is a drop-off, with a handful of other sites sending 300+, such as Chalmers's list of philosophy blogs and Arts & Letters Daily.
The large number of visitors this past month--particularly notable considering that February has only 28 days--suggests (as do the e-mails I have received) that the group blog is being well-received.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
A typical Monday (at least in recent weeks) will have about 5,000 visits to the blog, but yesterday it topped 12,000 (an all-time high for a single day), as dozens of blogs linked to the item from Sunday about Wieseltier's embarrassingly ignorant review of Dennett, including several highly trafficked sites--DeLong, Yglesisas, Pharyngula, and, most importantly in terms of traffic, Atrios, which single-handedly sent over 5,000 visitors yesterday, and looks to send several thousand more today. Will any of these folks come back again? We'll see...
I hope readers have been enjoying the group blog format as much as I have been--and not only because it has given me essential time to do other work. I quite enjoy being surprised at "what's new" at my own site, and I appreciate the distinctive voices and perspectives of the four other contributors (so far, Marcus has been missing in action, alas). I'd be interested to hear from readers what they think of the experiment so far. Maybe it should be extended, assuming I can cajole my busy colleagues into hanging around?
A reader just pointed out that my paper on "American Legal Realism" is the most downloaded jurisprudence paper in the history of SSRN--and certainly the most downloaded one that is actually on a jurisprudential topic! (The SSRN categories are, shall we say, a bit loose.) That's one of the best things about blogs (one can get one's scholarly work into wider circulation)--and, of course, about SSRN.
T-shirts here. A couple of folks have pointed this out to me recently, so I should note, publically, that I know about it, and I even get some modest payment per shirt sold. That being said, I don't own one myself, and can't vouch for their quality or long-term value. It's the product of a former Princeton grad student. Apparently at Princeton, they all read the PGR, but no one wants to admit it!
...and continuing through the end of May. More details here. I've added links to the homepages of the contributors on the left. Unfortunately, Typepad can only list who posted an item as a footer; to make it easier for readers, each of us will put our last name (or in the case of the Stanley brothers, first initial and last name) in parentheses after the post title.
I hope readers enjoy this experiment, and I'm grateful to Bill Edmundson, Benj Hellie, Jason Stanley, Marcus Stanley, and Jessica Wilson for agreeing to join me in sharing perspectives, ideas and arguments on matters philosophical, cultural, political, and economic.
As I noted last week, a very busy few months are ahead for me, which means I will not be able to sustain prior levels of posting. Happily, five previous guest-bloggers have all agreed to join me in an experiment for the Spring term (through May), namely, to operate this site as a group blog. The participants, besides me, will be:
William Edmundson, who is Professor of Law and Philosophy at Georgia State University.
Benj Hellie, who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.
Jason Stanley, who is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Marcus Stanley, who is Assistant Professor of Economics at Case Western Reserve University.
Jessica Wilson, who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.
Professors Hellie and Wilson are a couple, as most readers probably know; and, as you may also know, the Professors Stanley are brothers. All five have blogged here before (see the guest-blogger categories to the left), and as longtime readers know, I have occasional philosophical and political disagreements with these distinguished scholars, but I have found them consistently stimulating and illuminating, and I have learned from each of them. I am very grateful for their willingness to join this blog for a few months.
The "group blog" experiment will start on Monday, January 23...in the interim, I'm trying to sort out a few technical bugs. I'll continue to post a bit, mostly on Mondays and Fridays, with a faculty news item thrown in here or there on other days of the week. I've asked the new members of the group blog to try to contribute roughly one item a week. Among the six of us, I hope we'll offer up enough material to satisfy the expectations and high standards of the readership I've been fortunate to attract here.