Traditions

The Geography of Philosophy

As many of you may have seen on Daily Nous, Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh) and Stephen Stich (Rutgers), along with anthropologist H. Clark Barrett (UCLA) have just been awarded a US$2.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation. It will fund a project titled, “The Geography of Philosophy: An Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Exploration of Universality and Diversity in Fundamental Philosophical Concepts.” We have posted about conferences related to this topic before, and both Anand Vaidya and I have been involved in some of them (most recently, for me, at least, the International Conference on Ethno-Epistemology, Kanazawa, Japan in 2016). ¶ It will be interesting to see the methodology they pursue and to what extent they make use of experts in (Indian, Chinese, African) philosophy, as contrasted to what analytic philosophers often call “folk intuitions” about concepts like knowledge and truth. A description of their project: ¶ Throughout the history of philosophy, many thinkers have urged that some fundamental philosophical concepts are universal–used by all rational people. Historians and anthropologists have often been skeptical of these claims. Recently, cultural psychologists and experimental philosophers have begun to explore empirically whether fundamental philosophical concepts are shared across cultures. The results of these studies have been fascinating, provocative and equivocal. The goals of this project are (i) to move this exciting endeavor forward by dramatically expanding the methodologies, the range of cultures considered, and the cultural and disciplinary diversity of the investigators engaged in the inquiry; (ii) to motivate and enable researchers around the world to... -

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Michel Foucault in Death Valley: A Boom interview with Simeon Wade

Simeon Wade and Heather Dundas in Boom California: Boom: How did you end up in Death Valley with Michel Foucault? Simeon Wade: I was performing an experiment. I wanted to see [how] one of the greatest minds in history would be affected by an experience he had never had before: imbibing a suitable dose of clinical LSD in a desert setting of great magnificence, and then adding to that various kinds of entertainment. We were in Death Valley for two days and one night. And this is one of the spots we visited during this trip. Boom: What can you say about this photograph? Were Foucault and Stoneman already tripping when it was taken? And wasn’t it incredibly hot, Death Valley in June? Wade: Yes. We rose to... -

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How Do We Separate Truth From Rhetoric?

We assume that the truth of what we say is independent of the way we say it. Yet how we express something plays a big role in determining whether others adopt our point of view. Is rhetoric a mere flourish to language that we would do better to eradicate,... -

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Mini-Heap

Once again, here’s the latest Mini-Heap: 10 recent items from the frequently updated Heap of Links, collected and numbered for your convenience. Feel free to discuss. ¶ The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the... -

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The Geography of Philosophy As many of you may have seen on Daily Nous, Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh) and Stephen Stich (Rutgers), along with anthropologist H. Clark Barrett (UCLA) have just been awarded a US$2.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation. It will fund a project titled, “The Geography of Philosophy: An Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Exploration of Universality and Diversity in Fundamental Philosophical Concepts.” We have posted about conferences related to this topic before, and both Anand Vaidya and I... The Indian Philosophy Blog -


Practical and Impractical Advice for Philosophers Writing Fiction Hugh D. Reynolds has written up a fun, vivid summary of my talk at Oxford Brookes last spring, on fiction writing for philosophers! ----------------------------------- Eric Schwitzgebel has a pleasingly liberal view of what constitutes philosophy. A philosopher is anyone wrestling with the “biggest picture framing issues” of... well, anything. In a keynote session at the Fiction Writing for Philosophers Workshop that was held at Oxford Brookes University in June 2017, Schwitzgebel, Professor of Philosophy at... Splintered Mind -


Defence Mechanisms When conservatives hear the suggestion that they should do something good, they hear it as an accusation and a threat. Instinctively, they turn it around on the accuser, exhorting them sarcastically to do this supposedly good thing and predicting that disaster will fall on their heads as a result — and rightly so. When liberals hear the suggestion that the law should directly pursue just ends, they hear it as an accusation and a threat.... An und für sich -


How Do We Separate Truth From Rhetoric? We assume that the truth of what we say is independent of the way we say it. Yet how we express something plays a big role in determining whether others adopt our point of view. Is rhetoric a mere flourish to language that we would do better to eradicate, or could it be essential to meaning and truth? The Panel Literary theorist Stanley Fish, entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan and philosopher Stephen Neale explore the deeper properties... Blog of the APA -


Mini-Heap Once again, here’s the latest Mini-Heap: 10 recent items from the frequently updated Heap of Links, collected and numbered for your convenience. Feel free to discuss. The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the philosophical community, please send it in for consideration for the Heap. “The very numbness that can be so adaptive to survival, can also erect walls that stand in the... Daily Nous -


Michel Foucault in Death Valley: A Boom interview with Simeon Wade Simeon Wade and Heather Dundas in Boom California: Boom: How did you end up in Death Valley with Michel Foucault? Simeon Wade: I was performing an experiment. I wanted to see [how] one of the greatest minds in history would be affected by an experience he had never had before: imbibing a suitable dose of clinical LSD in a desert setting of great magnificence, and then adding to that various kinds of entertainment. We were in Death... 3 Quarks Daily -


Jane Goodall Is Not Here for Donald Trump Julia Felsenthal in Vogue: When Dr. Jane Goodall poses for a photo, she counts down, “1, 2, 3, chimpanzee!” When she has a drink, it’s often scotch, which has the added benefit of soothing her sore throat. Goodall is hoarse because she’s been talking a lot—most recently about Jane, the new documentary by Brett Morgen (Cobain: Montage of Heck) that focuses on her early years observing chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park; and more generally, about wildlife... 3 Quarks Daily -


CFP: Duke Graduate Conference in Political Theory, 2017-2018 The Political Science department at Duke University will host its annual Graduate Conference in Political Theory on February 8-9, 2018. We will consider proposals from graduate students in any related discipline, and on any topic in the fields of political … Continue reading → Public Reason -


Forgetfulness: Making the Modern Culture of Amnesia John Gray very warmly reviews Francis O’Gorman’s Forgetfulness: Making the Modern Culture of Amnesia. Trying to control culture from a rationalistic perspective is bound to frustrate: the upshot is that cultural marxists have to double down, manifest as even more authoritarian. Their whole project is akin to “pissing in the wind” but we pay a grim price… Man Without Qualities -


FROM DIFFERENCE TO MULTIPLICITY: an open transition Some of the works that are held up as exemplars of the epoch of the philosophy of difference are in fact implicit critiques of difference as too structuralist. In particular Deleuze’s DIFFERENCE AND REPETITION and Derrida’s DIFFERANCE are cases rather of the re-temporalisation of synchronic difference, they are transitions to other concepts such as multiplicities and dissemination. Similarly, some of the works held up as exemplars of the end of the epoch of difference (Badiou,... Agent Swarm -


In-der-Blog-seinPhilosophy in a Time of Error podcasts Peter Gratton's lecture on Heidegger's lecture course Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics. The last part of the lecture course (GA 29/30), on the λόγος ἀποφαντικός, is an important step on the way to Heidegger's understanding of the ontological priority of being-as-truth in the 1930s. Enowning -


Beauty, Transcendence, and the Inclusive Hierarchy of Creation  Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, Rome We’re presenting a short series of abstracts of the work-in-progress our scholars presented and discussed at their June 2017 Working Group Meeting. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies.   Interpreters of Thomas Aquinas have long argued about whether he holds that beauty is a “transcendental,” that is to say a feature of reality... Virtue Blog -


on 'Tell Them They’re Not Trees' Dorian Stuber at Open Letters Monthly:  “I was born in Romania, and I am Jewish. That makes me a Jew, and a Romanian.” This might seem a straightforward, even self-evident claim. But for Mihail Sebastian—whose brilliant novel For Two Thousand Years, first published in 1934, is now available in a sparkling translation by the Romanian-based Irish short story writer Philip Ó Ceallaigh—this assertion of identity names a problem rather than a tautology. To be a Jew... 3 Quarks Daily -


WHY DOES LITERATURE HAVE SO LITTLE TO SAY ABOUT ILLNESS? Meghan O'Rourke at Literary Hub: It’s true, as Daudet says, that words aren’t of “use” to the ill person: They can’t capture pain. But words help us in a subtler way—they save us from the isolation of illness and mortality. I don’t mean anything as reassuring as “they make us less alone” (they don’t, really). But they do give form to an experience that is otherwise shapeless, and in so doing they make us less estranged from... 3 Quarks Daily -


How (not) to teach philosophy I went into reading this blog post (by a non-philosopher) on how to teach Heidegger expecting the worst. I didn't find it, but I do think there are problems. The motivating question behind the post is how to apply lessons from The New Education to teaching a class on Heidegger (no more information provided on what from Heidegger is being taught, what the course is, etc.). Cathy Davidson, author of  the blog post and the book in question,... Language Goes on Holiday -


Cinematic Nihilism By John Marmysz Cultural critics commonly warn against the dangers of nihilism. Associated with the decline and decay of our highest values, nihilism traditionally has been treated as an unequivocal evil; something to be resisted and overcome at all costs. Today, the popular media is frequently denounced as promoting nihilism, with critics regularly bemoaning the corrupting influences of television shows and movies. This type of complaint stretches all the way back to Plato, who famously... Blog of the APA -


Eudaemonism and Virtue Neo-Stoicism as eudaemonistic is questionable certainly but ought eudaemonism be causally linked to virtue at all?Relating eudaemonia to being a virtuous person may have arisen as the result of equivocation. It seems to be so for Aristotle where being good and doing good are linked as perhaps they should be. However he warps the connection by suggesting that the more good you can do the better person you will be. Ethics are propaduetic to Politics... Ombhurbhuva -


Why Dementia Is a Population-Level Problem Dan Garisto in Nautilus: Dementia is typically thought of and treated as an individual sickness. Unlike something like measles, dementia is non-transferrable, and can’t be vaccinated against. But Malaz Boustani, a professor of medicine at Indiana University, thinks that the right way to think about dementia may be through the lens of epidemiology—“the branch of medicine that deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health.” After all, like... 3 Quarks Daily -


$2.6 Milllion Grant for “The Geography of Philosophy” Philosophers Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh) and Stephen Stich (Rutgers) and anthropologist H. Clark Barrett (UCLA) have been awarded a $2,569,563 grant from the John Templeton Foundation to fund their project, “The Geography of Philosophy: An Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Exploration of Universality and Diversity in Fundamental Philosophical Concepts.” Here’s a description of the project: Throughout the history of philosophy, many thinkers have urged that some fundamental philosophical concepts are universal–used by all rational people. Historians and anthropologists have often... Daily Nous -


Out now: The Philosophy of Social Evolution, by Jonathan Birch Dr Jonathan Birch’s new book, The Philosophy of Social Evolution, is out today. From mitochondria to meerkats, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of social behaviour. In the early 1960s W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves. He introduced three key innovations – now known as Hamilton’s rule, kin selection, and inclusive fitness – and his pioneering work kick-started a research programme now known as social evolution... LSE Philosophy -