An issue that has arisen in the interesting discussion on the adjunct thread is how much time one typically spends outside of class preparing for a classroom hour covering material one has taught previously. So here's a poll to that effect:
Apparently the wild George Galloway lost his seat in the British elections to a member of the Labour Party. So let us take this moment to remember his brilliant and blistering evisceration of Senator Norm Coleman in his appearance before the U.S. Senate in 2005. What a fabulous performance!
With Obama invading Texas and imposing martial law, I thought that I would check in to make sure that all is well. It won’t be long before everyone who ever lived in Texas will be shackled in rail cars and returned to the once-free Republic so that they can be monitored in Walmart prisons. I assume that ex-Texans in Chicago are particularly vulnerable because of the Stasi that Obama has in place there from his years as a purported “organizer” and because there are so few armed militias in Chicagoland to resist tyranny. I can only pray to Cheney that you avoid the worst that is coming.
Philosopher Jason Brennan (Georgetown) has been generating a lot of discussion (and some ranting and raving) with his posts about adjuncts. They're worth a read. I'm curious what readers think about these issues. Please keep it substantive.
MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--SOME GREAT ONES IN THE COMMENTS TOO!
Where else but the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research?
This article draws attention to the emergent modes of urban sociality and circumscribed mobility that define the lives of traffic-stricken residents in the megacity of Jakarta, Indonesia. I argue that Jakarta traffic has exceeded the scale and discourse of a technopolitical problem of failed infrastructure; rather, the systemic and rhizomic nature of traffic provides the temporal infrastructure that governs the flow of living and leisure, and the patterning of individual desires and struggles in urban Indonesia. I use the term ‘absolute traffic' to convey the limit horizon of gridlock as a set of exhausting physical and psychic states that urban residents survive daily. Despite such overwhelming challenges to mobility, particularly for the city's underprivileged populations, I argue for an agentive perspective of absolute traffic in which forms of play, negotiation and disruption form important moments for the public display of infrastructural aptitude. Strategies for surviving and engaging with absolute traffic emerge in ephemeral sites of finely attuned traffic subjectivity––in the sociality of strangers, the political demonstrations of activists, the growing citizen journalism for traffic reports on radio shows and social media sites, and finally, in the artistic sensibility of artists captivated by the vernacular forms of urban chaos.
Comments are open for other examples of "memorable" abstracts.
Bear that in mind the next time you hear talk of the right-wing "Chicago School." Even David Bernstein (George Mason), right-wing defender of the Jews against everyone (including other Jews), has noted our political diversity (scroll down to the update of his latest rant).
Here. Philosopher Clifford Sosis, the interviewer, writes:
In this interview, he talks about his childhood dealing with the death of his mother, an unsupportive father and the crushing British class system, his struggle with depression as an undergrad and grad student, discovering Philosophy via Descartes, dropping out of Rochester, getting divorced, turning around his career at Guelph, how he got into Philosophy of Biology, fighting creationists in the courts, finding love again, building a family, becoming an American citizen, his frustration with and deep respect for his colleagues (and philosophers generally), the way it appears the administration at Florida State University has handled the investigation of athletes accused of sexual assault, his beef with Thomas Nagel, spending a year in the South of France (and the steep cost), and, of course, his favorite curse word.
I've been reading Matthew Crawford's book with great interest, and I think your head suggesting that it's "against philosophy" is quite misleading. His analysis is explicitly philosophical and very appreciative of the discipline as a whole, although-like many other philosophers-he opposes a certain conception of the mind associated with modern thought. Even the review you link to makes clear that the book is a "philosophical inquiry". It's far from saying "Forget about philosophy and make something real."
I found that less clear from the article, so am grateful for Prof. Gutting's clarification.
MOVING TO FRONT FROM EARLIER TODAY--SEE KNOBE'S COMMENTS; ALSO COMMENTS ARE OPEN
Here, though it seems to have been limited to philosophy papers published only in 20 or so journals. You can guess why I noticed this, since my "Explaining Theoretical Disagreement," a paper in legal philosophy published in 2009, was cited 50 times, "The Demarcation Problem in Jurisprudence," another legal philosophy paper in 2011 cited 15 times, "Legal Realism and Legal Formalism: What is the Issue?" in 2010, another paper in legal philosophy was cited 40 times, and a paper with Michael Weisberg on legal theory and evolutionary biology in 2010, was cited 20 times. All four papers appeared in legal philosophy journals apparently omitted.
Vanity aside, the stunning thing to me on this list is the subject matter of most of the most-cited articles and what it says about the discipline in the Anglophone world.
UPDATE: Joshua Knobe (Yale) kindly writes with an explanation:
The list I put up is generated just by taking all of the papers listed under the category "Philosophy" in Google Scholar Metrics. I certainly don't mean to suggest that this list is perfect (clearly, it isn't); the advantage of this approach is just that it provides an unbiased sample, i.e., a sample that isn't at all influenced by my own beliefs or motivations. This makes it well-suited for studying questions in the sociology of philosophy, and I used it to conduct a quantitative study of recent work in the philosophy of mind.
Not sure if you would find this at all helpful, but I was thinking that it might be interesting to open up comments on your post. I would especially interested in hearing people's thoughts about what these data show about how the kind of philosophy people are doing right now differs from the kind of philosophy people were doing earlier (say, in the late 20th century).
Authors and/or publishers kindly sent me these new books in April:
Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve by Ian Morris (Princeton University Press, 2015) (with replies from Richard Seaford, Jonathan Spence, Christine Korsgaard, Margaret Atwood).
Plotinus: Ennead IV.3-4.29: Problems Concern the Soul translated, introduced and with commentary by John M. Dillon & H.J. Blumenthal (Parmenides Publishing, 2015).
Pagans and Philosophers: The Problem of Paganism from Augustine to Leibniz by John Marenbon (Princeton University Press, 2015).
The Enlightenment: History of an Idea by Vincenzo Ferrone (Princeton University Press, 2015) [original in Italian, 2010]
Rawls's Political Liberalism edited by Thom Brooks and Martha C. Nussbaum (Columbia University Press, 2015).
Nietzsche versus Paul by Abed Azzam (Columbia University Press, 2015).
Human Nature & Jewish Thought: Judaism's Case for Why Persons Matter by Alan L. Mittleman (Princeton University Press, 2015).
Freedom and the Self: Essays on the Philosophy of David Foster Wallace edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert (Columbia University Press, 2015).
...in The Washington Post of all places! It's quite a nice overview, and especially remarkable that it appeared in a mainstream outlet. (They do suggest, less plausibly, that the neglect of some of the early modern figures they mention has something to do with the underrepresentation of women in academic philosophy.) Herewith a question for other scholars and students of the history of philosophy: what do we know about why these figures were neglected? In every period I know something about there were figures of enormous importance in their day who are now largely unknown (e.g., Ludwig Buchner's Kraft und Stoff, a polemic and brief on behalf of materialism, was the best-selling book in Europe in the 19th-century after the Bible, though is almost wholly unknown today--Beiser devotes a chapter to Buchner and the materialist controversy in a recent book, the first extended treatment I had ever seen in English). Sometimes the explanation is changing philosophical fashions, something the explanation is that the work really wasn't very good (that's Buchner, in my view), and sometimes other kinds of bias and prejudice.
As last week's comment threads showed, the best and most interesting discussions took place not on the "open thread" but on those with particular, focused topics. So going forward, that's probably what I'll do, though I'll try to do a couple each week, time (for moderating) permitting. I may, of course, do some future threads on some of the topics that tend to produce the more heated responses (e.g., gender and hiring), but I do fear the open threads tended to become obsessively focused on that to the exclusion of other more important topics.
I will be starting my MA (terminal) programme in Philosophy in the Fall of this year, in Europe. I don't have a background in the subject and want to spend the few months before the session begins, in reading several works in the subject.
Could you please give (or ask on your blog or, perhaps, direct me to any pre-existing link) a list of "25 (or so) Must Read Books before starting Graduate School in Philosophy"?
Since I am only beginning to explore the various fields of the subject, I don't want to limit myself to any particular areas of interest.
This is a tough one, since many important books in philosophy are surely not profitably read on one's own; and what will count as "must read" will not be indifferent as between "fields of the subject." Even allowing for that, what would readers recommend? It might be particularly useful to say something about whether or not the book (or article) can be approached by someone without a background in philosophy.
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)