Professional

PRIVACY

Several of the comments on this blog have made it clear that I really, really rub some people the wrong way.  I must say I am rather reassured by that.  As a young man, I was, shall we say, a trifle provocative at times, and though I know I have mellowed, I am pleased to discover that I still have the ability to drive some people nuts, even as I am smiling and seeming to be just a regular nice guy.Let me say a few words about an issue raised in the minds of several commentators by my naïve enthusiasm for zoom.  Some people have what strikes me as an odd ambivalence about the privacy of their communications.  On the one hand, they think nothing of communicating with one another by the use of their cellphones, which are essentially spiffy modern versions of the shortwave radios used by ham radio enthusiasts a century ago.  On the other hand, they are shocked, shocked [if I may steal a phrase from Casablanca] to learn that the world is listening in.  If you want privacy, or something pretty close to it, try snail mail, for heaven’s sake.   When you communicate with the functional equivalent of a megaphone, it is a bit odd to get upset that folks can hear you.For most of the two hundred thousand years or so of the human race, people had no more privacy than a pride of lions or a gaggle of geese.  For almost all of recorded... -

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Episode 21: Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim

Like everyone else, my life has been upended by the global pandemic.  I have five kids in public schools here in South Carolina (plus one very rambunctious and ornery toddler), so I am now a homeschooling Mom in addition to being a professor, podcaster, and writer.  I am sleep deprived and each day I fall further and further behind were I’d like to be.  My priority right now is my family. ¶ However, I’m still trying to put up content on the podcast, because I believe that now, more than ever, we need time and space for reflection and contemplation.  We need art, friends, and I desperately need the sort of conversation I just had for this episode.  I am not as prepared for... -

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A World is Ending

¶ My article on the pandemic in the journal Identities can be found here. -

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Weird Retail: Stay Crazy by Erica L. Satifka

Yeah, things are weird and scary right now, but I'm still reading books. And I'm still reviewing them. Stay Crazy by Erica L. Satifka was just what I needed right now.I purchased the book from the author at Worldcon in 2016, and I wish I had read it sooner. Maybe in another dimension... -

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Episode 21: Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim Like everyone else, my life has been upended by the global pandemic.  I have five kids in public schools here in South Carolina (plus one very rambunctious and ornery toddler), so I am now a homeschooling Mom in addition to being a professor, podcaster, and writer.  I am sleep deprived and each day I fall further and further behind were I’d like to be.  My priority right now is my family. However, I’m still trying... Virtue Blog -


Michael McKenna Guest Post: Worries about on-line teaching and the new normal?? Hello out there, PEA Soupers. I hope all of you are healthy and taking good care of yourself and your families. I happened to be talking on the phone with David Shoemaker last night while we were sharing a few end-of-the-week cocktails, and he asked if I might post something on PEA Soup. It’s about a couple points that came up when we were discussing a conversion to online teaching. I was sharing with Dave... PEA Soup -


Weird Retail: Stay Crazy by Erica L. Satifka Yeah, things are weird and scary right now, but I'm still reading books. And I'm still reviewing them. Stay Crazy by Erica L. Satifka was just what I needed right now.I purchased the book from the author at Worldcon in 2016, and I wish I had read it sooner. Maybe in another dimension some other version of me did. Or maybe it's good that I waited until I needed a funny, weirdly-compelling book to read in this dimension.The... Examined Worlds -


PRIVACY Several of the comments on this blog have made it clear that I really, really rub some people the wrong way.  I must say I am rather reassured by that.  As a young man, I was, shall we say, a trifle provocative at times, and though I know I have mellowed, I am pleased to discover that I still have the ability to drive some people nuts, even as I am smiling and seeming to... The Philosopher’s Stone -


A World is Ending My article on the pandemic in the journal Identities can be found here. Larval Subjects -


Do New York State’s Ventilator Allocation Guidelines Place Chronic Ventilator Users at Risk? Clarification Needed In  his recent essay, Joseph Fins  argues that I “notably misrepresented” the position of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law  as one of several examples of state allocation criteria that raise disability discrimination concerns. He was referring to my New York Times op-ed. When a scholar with Dr. Fins’s history of productively engaging with disability rights views raises concerns, they deserve a well thought out response. I have a great... Hastings Bioethics -


A. Spanos:  Isaac Newton and his two years in quarantine:  how science could germinate in bewildering ways (Guest post) . Aris Spanos Wilson Schmidt Professor of Economics Department of Economics Virginia Tech Beyond the plenitude of misery and suffering that pandemics bring down on humanity, occasionally they contribute to the betterment of humankind by (inadvertently) boosting creative activity that leads to knowledge, and not just in epidemiology. A case in point is that of Isaac Newton and the pandemic of 1665-6.  Born in 1642 (on Christmas day – old Julian calendar) in the small... Error Statistics -


Wisdom and Chaos I. The Puzzle: Why Aren't Academic Philosophers Wise? Etymologically, philosophy is the study of wisdom. In the popular imagination, philosophers sit cross-legged, uttering cryptic profundities through long white beards. Real philosophy professors spend considerable time reading texts from the "wisdom traditions", and on ethics, the meaning of life, and the fundamental nature of reality. So you might think that the average philosopher would be at least a little bit wiser than the average non-philosopher. Since... Splintered Mind -


The Ultimate Crisis of Civilization: Why Turn to Philosophy?, #6–Speculative Naturalism, the Radical Enlightenment and Ecological Civilization. APP EDITORS’ NOTE: The essay below, Arran Gare’s “The Ultimate Crisis of Civilization: Why Turn to Philosophy?,” appearing here in serial form, originally appeared as ch. 1 of his recent book, The Philosophical Foundations of Ecological Civilization: A Manifesto for the Future (London/New York: Routledge, 2017), and is reproduced by permission. This is the sixth … [continue reading] Against Professional Philosophy -


Nature/Nurture (Forum for Philosophy)     Nature/Nurture (Forum for Philosophy) Scientists agree that nature and nurture are essential ingredients in human development. But if both the blank slate and genetic determinism have been rejected, why do researchers still disagree and what is it that they disagree about? Join us as we’ll explore the issues at stake, taking a wide variety of perspectives, from the philosophy of science to epigenetics, and behavioural science to developmental psychology.   Speakers Tom Dickins... LSE Philosophy -


Peace (Forum for Philosophy)     Peace (Forum for Philosophy) Peace is highly valued, but how is it achieved? Why are some periods in world history relatively peaceful compared to others? What, if anything, can be done to ensure peace now? Are there limits to what we are justified in doing to ensure peace? Is pacifism a justified response to war? We discuss the history, ethics, and politics of peace.   Speakers Louise Arimatsu Distinguished Policy Fellow, LSE Robin... LSE Philosophy -


Moral Luck and Amber Alerts In this video clip, a person playing a video game is interrupted when his phone blares out an amber alert. The person’s unlikely journey can be seen as illustrating the problem of “moral luck,” which is posed to Kantian accounts of agency. At this point in the arc of an intro to philosophy class, students […] Blog of the APA -


Mini-Heap The latest additions to the Heap of Links… “The demand for the sort of work I do seems to be increasing, and newly minted philosophy PhDs would be a good fit for many comparable positions” — Jason Schukraft talks about his work at a think tank Zoomiathan — clever image or trenchant commentary on our willingness to accept Zoom’s privacy-intrusive practices and misleading claims? (see, for example, this summary of issues) Scientists think something called “ideal glass,”... Daily Nous -


Pandemic Effects on Conference & Event Planning for 2021 & Beyond The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many upcoming academic events to be cancelled and many to be moved online. How is it affecting the planning of events scheduled a bit farther out, say, for next year? [calendar design by Otavio Santiago]One reader asks: I’d be interested to know how people are planning conferences for 2021… I’m presuming any conference will have to develop contingency plans of some sort in case another “wave” hits.   Have any 2021... Daily Nous -


THERE IS SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT ZOOM Next Thursday I shall spend an hour visiting a class on the Critique being taught by a professor at the University of Wyoming.  Not bad. The Philosopher’s Stone -


Ann-Sophie Barwich: What is it Like to be a Philosopher? This is an excerpt from an interview with Ann-Sophie Barwich, Assistant Professor at Indiana University Bloomington who talks about being baptized in protest in East Germany, acting, poetry, Faust, Die Toten Hosen, Demian, an early interest in drama and art, dabbling in literary studies in college, and then philosophy and science, dealing with loss, working with […] Blog of the APA -


Review "The Question Concerning Technology" with Dr. Duane Armitage Enowning -


Confronting Disability Discrimination During the Pandemic People with chronic conditions and disabilities, who can be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, face longstanding barriers and inequities in health care. As hospitals and public health authorities devise and share triage protocols allocating scarce critical-care resources, people with disabilities are expressing alarm that these protocols devalue them and exacerbate long-entrenched ableism in health care. Lawsuits alleging disability discrimination in triage protocols have been filed in Washington and Alabama. The U.S. Office for Civil Rights... Hastings Bioethics -


WHO KNEW? I do a little armchair speculating and in comes not a breath but a hurricane of fresh air from the real world.  I received this today from a reader of this blog.  It is self-explanatory.  I feel like an MSNBC commentator on the pandemic who just interviewed Dr. Fauci.  I think the revolution is going to take a bit longer than I had hoped.                       ... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Running Interactive Philosophy Classes Online (guest post by Alex Hyun & Scott Wisor) The following is a guest post* by Alex Hyun and Scott Wisor, both of Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute (one of the Claremont Colleges) in which they provide specific advice on a variety of matters related to teaching philosophy courses effectively online. [Kamila Richter, “To Err Is Machine”] Running Interactive Philosophy Classes Online by Alex Hyun and Scott Wisor 1. Preface These are unprecedented and chaotic times. You are worried about your loved ones,... Daily Nous -