Jonathan Strassfeld, an intellectual historian completing a PhD at the University of Rochester on the history of American philosophy, is seeking help with research for his dissertation that involves using text mining to examine the development of analytic philosophy in the mid-twentieth century. Part of the work calls for using a classification algorithm to identify analytic and non-analytic texts. To do this, one must 'train' the computer what analytic philosophy looks like by giving it a sample of of representative texts. Jonathan would like to put the question to the readers: what works should be included in a list of texts meant to exemplify philosophical analysis? He requests you restrict suggestions to journal articles published between 1930-1980.
Via IHE. I'm very pleased to see that he will have gainful academic employment, I hope it will turn into something more permanent, assuming that the University of Illinois is not required legally to rehire him.
Signatories include, besides Sarkar, John Dupre (Exeter), Paul Griffiths (Sydney), Samir Okasha (Bristol), Alex Rosenberg (Duke), and Rob Wilson (Alberta), among others. The letter offers a variety of considerations, some political, some practical/logistical. I am opening this for (substantive) discussion.
UPDATE: The jury found against the instructor, presumably meaning they did not find there was enough evidence that she was denied the job because of her political viewpoint. She certainly had enough evidence in her favor to warrant a trial, but unlike the Salaita case, the evidence was decidedly more mixed. (Thanks to Thomas Gallanis for the pointer.)
UPDATE: The composition of the current Committee on the Status of Women is different than what is reported below: see here.
Michael Tooley (Colorado) writes (regarding the data below the fold):
I was looking over the membership of the Board of the APA, and of their "Current Initiatives and Task Forces" committees. These committees look to me to be very unbalanced.
Are men less able to discuss "best practices", or to formulate a code of conduct?!
Is anyone speaking out about this?
I've opened comments, in any case anyone does want to comment. One possibility, of course, is that men are less interested in volunteering for these committees. More worrisome, to my mind, is not the gender imbalance, but that some of the people on these committees have, through their past actions and words, demonstrated poor judgment and contempt for other important professional values. (Not being an APA member, I do not, however, get too exercised about these things, but APA members may feel differently.)
Here is the breakdown and analysis Professor Tooley sent along:
Because I'm doing less blogging this summer (through traffic is still averaging between 8,000-9,000 hits per day), rates are reduced for July and August: $300 for a top spot, $250 for a 2nd, and $200 for a 3rd. There's a second spot still open in July, as well as one 3rd spot. There's one top, second and third spot still open in August.
Things go back to normal come September. There is still one top spot available in September and one in October, as well as one second spot in September, and both third spots in both September and October. There are multiple openings from November onwards, though typically these get booked about 6-8 weeks in advance.
A.P. Simester, a leading philosopher of criminal law on the law faculty at the National University of Singapore, will also take up a half-time Professorial position on the law faculty at King's College, London. It's fair to say that, outside Oxford, KCL now clearly has the strongest law & philosophy group in the U.K. and one of the best in the world.
The full majority and dissenting opinions are here. A few quick observations:
1. In finding an unenumerated right of same-sex couples to marry under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Constitution, the Supreme Court really for the first time since 1973 has found such a new right. (Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 case rendering homosexual sodomy statutes unconstitutional, was decided on the basis of a "liberty interest" protected by the Due Process clause. If one treats that as part of the pantheon of "unenumerated rights" cases, it still gives a vivid sense of how rare such "discovery" of unenumerated rights has become.)
2. The dissents, especially by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, complain that the majority has, in effect, exercised a quasi-legislative power, rather than a judicial one. I believe that is correct, but it is rich with irony coming from the conservative wing of the super-legislature, which has often exercised the same power for venal, rather than laudatory, ends.
3. This part of Justice Scalia's dissent is especially entertaining:
Judges are selected precisely for their skill as lawyers; whether they reflect the policy views of a particular constituency is not (or should not be) relevant. Not surprisingly then, the Federal Judiciary is hardly a cross-section Take, for example, this Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single South- westerner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination. The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if they were functioning as judges, answering the legal question whether the American people had ever ratified a constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe the traditional definition of marriage. But of course the Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis; they say they are not. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.
It's good to see that mindless identity politics has arrived at the Supreme Court in the hands of a conservative Catholic from Brooklyn! But the most amusing aspect of this is the first sentence, and its parenthetical "or should not be": that parenthetical is there because even Justice Scalia knows that judges are not chosen for their legal skill but for their moral and political views. Everyone doing the selecting knows this.
A couple of readers pointed out, regarding the prior poll, that this is the only philosophy-related blog they read. Michael B., for example, wrote, "Would you consider adding an option for 'no other blogs'? Yours is the only one I read and it'd be interesting to see for what proportion of readers this is also true." And journalist Robert McGarvey wrote: "You also forgot to put in NONE. I know I don't, and I know a number of very senior philosophers (tenured at top 25 schools) who also read only Leiter Report. Yes, if something especially insane is coming down I'll look at DailyNous, Feminist Philo, etc but not on a regular basis." Since I can't add entries after a poll starts, here's a separate one addressing this issue. (I'd have to answer this one "yes," so don't be shy!)
I'm flattered and pleasantly surprised that fully a third of readers here do not frequent any other philosophy-related blogs regularly; I would not have expected that. I'll try to continue to deserve your loyalty!
This is a good takedown of the latest nonsense with numbers; there's also a post on June 24 at the same blog by my colleague David Strauss adding further commentary (the "linik" to that post isn't working, alas).
UPDATE: Whoops, I forgot to include Philosophers' Cocoon. Sorry!
ANOTHER UPDATE: So there were nearly 2300 votes cast, though since this poll allowed multiple votes, I'm guessing this represents the reading habits of the 600+ readers who read this blog and others. Unsurprisingly, given its similarity (New Infantilism excepted!), Daily Nous is also read by 32% of respondents. After that, the most popular other philosophy-related blogs among readers here are Feminist Philosophers (12%), the Philosophy Metablog (or MetaMeta, or whatever it is now) and Philosophy Smoker (both 7%), and then Crooked Timber (6%). I was a bit surprised by the result for Philosophy Smoker, given that it seems fairly moribund.
What other philosophy-related blogs do you read regularly (e.g., two or three times per week)? Check as many as apply.
A longtime member of the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State University, which he helped develop into one of the leading MA programs in the country, he was perhaps best-known for his work on Wittgenstein. There is an obituary here.
A couple of readers have inquired about the Sitemeter stats, which now report this blog as having over 100,000 hits per day (compared to about 9,000 hits per day before it went mad, which is still above average for summer). The recent Sitemeter reports are inaccurate, and we still can't figure out what happened. For those interested, Statcounter appears to be giving accurate reports--click on "Public Stats" in the lower left column.
Alexander Dietz, a PhD student at the University of Southern California, kindly calls to my attention this initiative. As I told Mr. Dietz, I am a bit skeptical of undertakings like this, for the simple reason that most human misery has systemic causes, which charity never addresses, but which political change can address; ergo, all money and effort should go towards systemic and political reform. Mr. Dietz tells me that this project does not rule out donations in support of political change.
BL COMMENT: It's a bit amusing that the only books Brandom recommends that he didn't write are by the one important philosopher who adopts an anti-representationalist view like his (Huw Price at Cambridge), plus one colleague and two former students. Oh philosophy!
Behind a paywall, alas, but very detailed, with extensive quotes from Ludlow and the student.
UPDATE: A philosopher elsewhere writes: "Why don’t you open comments? Much of what has been posted has been shown to be wrong. People should face up to that. FP hasn’t linked to it and Justin W is trying to bury it." I haven't really followed coverage on other blogs (though it would not be surprising if my correspondent's allegation were accurate), but I will open comments. No naming names of students and I will edit for relevance.
In addition to the moral philosopher David Owens, King's College, London has also made part-time appointments at the Professorial level of Peter Adamson (late ancient and Islamic philosophy) from Munich (he was previously full-time at KCL) and Michael Beaney (history of analytic philosophy) from York.
KCL has come a long way from the crisis of five years ago, and, happily, it's clear they are investing in their outstanding philosophy department.
(Thanks to Clayton Littlejohn for the information.)
...since, after all, if your views are offensive, you are not entitled to be employed, right? Peter Singer is, by my lights, a pernicious presence in philosophy, but my lights or the lights of disability activists are irrelevant to whether he should be employed. This is what academic freedom means: academics can hold views that you think are appalling, stupid, worthless. Maybe you are right, and maybe you are not. But the lifeblood of the academy is insulation from such outbursts of indignation.
This latest outburst doesn't really matter, of course--Singer has weathered worse. But it is symptomatic of something dangerous.
An important decision, striking a small blow for making cyberspace less of a cesspool than it presently is. See esp. page 44 of the opinion. As is so often the case, American law is an outlier here, providing the maximum protection for defamation and hate speech, including especially in cyberspace.
Paul Audi (metaphysics, philosophy of mind), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska, Omaha has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rochester.
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, the major, publicly funded research agency in Germany) has just given a major grant to a group of nine philosophers from Hannover and Bielefeld chaired by myself (and co-chaired by Martin Carrier from Bielefeld University) for the purpose of creating a graduate research group ("Graduiertenkolleg") on the topic of "Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research". The project is initially authorized for 4,5 years and can be extended if successful. For these initial 4,5 years, we are being granted a total of €3.17 million. Durig this period, we are going to be able to accept and give salaried positions to 15 PhD students altogether, plus two PostDocs.
Funded PhD programs in philosophy are a rarity in Germany, so we are very excited to be able to create one, and also to combine the strengths of the Universities of Hannover and Bielefeld in philosophy of science by creating a joint program (the two cities are a mere 50 minutes train ride apart).
The program will be directed at overcoming the divide between theoretical philosophy (epistemology and metaphysics) and practical philosophy (ethics and political philosophy) of science. It will primarily focus on research questions that require serious attention to both areas. The status of policy advice on the basis of computer simulations in climate science, the balancing of research goals and ethical aspects of medical treatment in clinical trials, the appropriate role of intellectual property in science, or the prospects of social scientific research on the basis of social network data are just a few examples of topics that ought in our view be treated by drawing on the resources of theoretical and practical philosophy and taking both equally seriously.
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)