By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn, John Fletcher, Debbie Goldgaber, BP Morton, and Duncan Richter)
A person has all sorts of lags built into him, Kesey is saying. One, the most basic, is the sensory lag, the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes, if you are the most alert person alive, and most people are a lot slower than that. Now Cassady is right up against that 1/30th of a second barrier. He is going as fast as a human can go, but even he can't overcome it. He is a living example of how close you can come, but it can't be done. You can't go any faster than that. You can't through sheer speed overcome the lag. We are all of us doomed to spend the rest of our lives watching a movie of our lives - we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we are in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past, and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means. That lag has to be overcome some other way, through some kind of total breakthrough.
- io9's Lauren Davis argues that fans of Battlestar Galactica will love The Expanse.
- Star Wars Comicon reel! [Note that Philpercs' own crack social media experts Mona and James Rocha have been sending us updates all week].
- io9's Charlie Jane Andrews on Josh Whedon explaining the meaning of life at Comicon. QUOTE-"The world is a random and meaningless terifying place and then we all—spoiler alert—die. Most critters are designed not to know that. We are designed, uniquely, to transcend that, and to understand that—I can quote myself—a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts. . .the main function of a the human brain, the primary instinct, is storytelling. Memory is storyelling. If we all remembered everything, we would be Rain Man, and would not be socially active at all. We learn to forget and to distort, but we [also] learn to tell a story about ourselves."
- A wonderful bibliography of all things whedonological here. You'll find works by both members of Philpercs' crack social media team. And, if you e-mail James he will also surely send you the syllabus of his Whedonology class. He might even do it over the facebooks!
- Harrison Ford is not crotchety about the new Star Wars films!
- Virtual reality horror games are going to be terrifying.
- io9's Charlie Jane Adams interviews Game of Thrones' Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos). I've lost track at this point.
- There is lots of advice out there on being a good GM, advice on being a good roleplayer is much rarer. Trying to think of analogues of this asymmetry elsewhere.
- What could possibly top the bizarre mash-upery of Archie vs Sharknado? Archie meets the Ramones. And drawn by the incomparable Gisele Legace!
- Mere decades after the show has gone off the air, someone (blogger Tom Francis) has finally--at last!--deciphered the script formula at the heart of most Murder, She Wrote episodes.
Ethics and Political Philosophy:
- aeon's Rebecca Roache considers the role of unpleasantness in punishment and rehabilitation.
- aeon's Eric Schwitzgebel on why ethicists aren't better people. Cory Doctorow actually noticed this and blogged about it. Cool stuff!
- Boston Review's Vivian Gornick reviews Susan Nieman's Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age. QUOTE- "For Susan Neiman, and the hundreds of moral philosophers (including Kant, Rousseau, and Nietzsche) who stand behind her, the word “integration” is best replaced by the word 'maturity.' What the poets and the analysts describe as achieving wholeness, these philosophers describe as inhabiting adulthood. Neiman herself has written widely and often about the meaning and the promise of a life devoted to maturing. It is her mission to rescue the phrase “Grow up!” from irony and deliver it over to those who earnestly believe that growing up does not mean resigning oneself to the world as it is; rather, it means contributing materially to the making of a world as it ought to be. Philosophy, she tells us repeatedly, can supply a history of thought that will act as an invaluable aid in this endeavor."
- Snopes.com has a pretty thorough rundown of the brouhaha about the video of a Planned Parenthood official "caught" on tape talking about legal procedures for tissue and organ donation. Media Matters highlights the deceptive edits used in the video originally cut and released by activists.
Gender and its Discontents:
- TLS' David Papineau reviews Katrina Hutchison and Fiona Jenkins (editors) Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change? Papineau's own comments gave rise to lots of discussion, as usual best encapsulated at dailynous. COMMENT BY JONATHAN ICHIKAWA-JENKINS- "I am a bit puzzled by Papineau’s treatment of the ‘genius’ hypothesis. His piece reads as if he is endorsing the thoughts of the ‘commentors on the blogsphere’ mentioned here: 'However, commentators on the blogosphere were not slow to point out that there is a possible alternative explanation for the data. Perhaps men are getting the posts not because they are thought to be more brilliant but because they are more brilliant, at least by the time the jobs are handed out, and by the standards of the talent-requiring disciplines. In truth, the data presented in Leslie’s study did little to rule out this alternative explanation.' From there he moves on to speculate that the unrelated explanation mentioned in this post plays the key explanatory role. It seems to me remarkable that Papineau never even entertains the question as to whether the idea that this kind of raw talent is essential to philosophy is correct (it seems to me both dubious and harmful), and I don’t know what his point is in even mentioning the idea that maybe there just aren’t many brilliant women, unless he’s lending it significant credence."
- Feminist Philosopher's Kate Norlock reporting new work by Hilda Bastian about how anonymity in peer review leads to horribleness. QUOTE- "Peer reviewers were more likely to substantiate the points they made when they knew they would be named. They were especially likely to provide extra substantiation if they were recommending an article be rejected, and they knew their report would be published if the article was accepted anyway. In some studies, when the reviewers knew they would be named, they were likely to be more courteous or regarded as helpful by the authors. There’s no support here for the concern that naming peer reviewers leads to systematically less critical reviews – and some support for improvement. There was one large effect: many peer reviewers declined the invitation to peer review when they knew there was a chance they would be named – especially when they knew their colors would be nailed to the public mast if the article was published." Jenny Saul links to additional work by Carole Lee and Christian Shunn which shows that this is worse in philosophy.
- Disney's old form letter for rejecting female animation applicants.
- How do you determine someone's race and gender for descriptions of images for the visually impaired? If you leave them out are you doing a disservice to visually impaired users of the image description service? If you include best guesses are you doing a disservice to subjects of photographs? And how can a brief description be apt for a wide and diverse audience? The folks at Body is Not an Apology want help in their struggle with these issues.
Great news for defenders of the evidential argument from evil:
- I hope no one's feeling overly optimistic about climate change. According to Esquire, climatologists sure aren't.
- I hope no one's stopped fretting about a super-huge quake in the Pacific Northwest. According to The New Yorker, plenty of seismologists and disaster response experts are worried sick.
- Libcom's sometimes explode brings a mental health perspective to Mark Fisher's critique of magical voluntarism. The real secret is that there is no secret.
- Cracked's Cher Martinetti presents five effed up things Dr. Oz believes:
- He uses Reiki in the operating room
- He will prescribe endive to cure your cancer.
- He thinks your water has memories.
- He endorses neuropathic medicine.
- He recommends things no ethical surgeon would.
- Modern Medicine's Jason Koebler writes a searing post on "cure culture." We put so much energy and resources are put into "curing" stubbornly incurable diseases instead of making life less miserable for people who suffer from them. It actually increases a lot of life's awfulness.
- We need to have more contempt for Nathaniel Bedford Forrest. Yup.
- Literary Review's John Keay reviews Raghu Karnad's Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War and Yasmin Khan's The Raj at War: A People's History of India's Second World War. QUOTE- "The two million Indian combatants (according to Raghu Karnad) - or the two and a half million (according to Yasmin Khan) - comprised the largest volunteer army in the world. They pushed the Italians from the rocky heights of Eritrea, trudged back and forth through the minefields of North Africa, quelled an insurgency in Iraq, and in the 'Forgotten War' for Burma suffered heavier casualties than all the other Allies combined. Nor were civilians spared. Cities such as Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam were bombed, ships were sunk and dockyards were shelled. In 1942 some 80,000 Indians perished in the chaotic exodus from Burma and in 1943 several millions starved to death in the war-induced famine in Bengal. Acts of bravery were applauded, medals were won and loved ones were lost. There is much to record. But if the wartime sacrifice has seldom been recognised, it is because so many Indians were ambivalent about the cause they were serving. After all, it was not their war: they hadn't been consulted about it and they objected to dying for an empire they were trying to get shot of."
- Two cheers for the Middle Ages? The 1380s are apparently the new 1860s. So hard to keep up.
History of Philosophy:
- The Nation's Corey Robin making connections between Nietzsche and the ideas legitimating greater economic stratification. QUOTE- "Yet no one understood better than Nietzsche the social and cultural forces that would shape the Austrians: the demise of an ancient ruling class; the raising of the labor question by trade unions and socialist parties; the inability of an ascendant bourgeoisie to crush or contain democracy in the streets; the need for a new ruling class in an age of mass politics. The relationship between Nietzsche and the free-market right—which has been seeking to put labor back in its box since the nineteenth century, and now, with the help of the neoliberal left, has succeeded—is thus one of elective affinity rather than direct influence, at the level of idiom rather than policy." To anyone not gulled by Kaufmann's white-washing (which has become the null hypothesis for well meaning liberals who nonetheless like Nietzsche just a little too much), this is a little bit like shooting fish in a barrel. But there's actually some very nice intellectual history here, highlighting Nietzsche's repulsive responses to the slaughter of the Paris Commune, the First International, and the Haitian slave revolt.
- Alison Peterman's "Spinoza on Extension" (Philosopher's Imprint). ABSTRACT- "This paper argues that Spinoza does not take extension in space to be a fundamental property of physical things. This means that when Spinoza calls either substance or a mode “an Extended thing”, he does not mean that it is a thing extended in three dimensions. The argument proceeds by showing, first, that Spinoza does not associate extension in space with substance, and second, that finite bodies, or physical things, are not understood through the intellect when they are conceived as extended in space. I conclude by articulating some suggestions about where we should go from here in trying to understand Spinoza’s account of the attribute of extension and of the physical world."
- Ted Parent's awesome bibliography of analytic existentialism. This made me less insecure about being an analytic philosopher. The disciplinary norms allow and sometimes aid in the discovery of non-trivial truths about the human condition. Now I'm going to go back to thinking about whether the totality of possible worlds is intrinsically contradictory.
- OUP Blog's Reider Maliks considers Kant on the French Revolution.
- Jacobin's Harrison Fluss considers Hegel on the French Revolution.
Logic and Language:
- Ewa Dąbrowska's "What exactly is Universal Grammar, and has anyone seen it?" (Frontiers in Psychology). I'm pretty sure that the gig is actually up at this point. Formal Syntax doesn't need transformations or UG in any case. Let's move on. ABSTRACT- "Universal Grammar (UG) is a suspect concept. There is little agreement on what exactly is in it; and the empirical evidence for it is very weak. This paper critically examines a variety of arguments that have been put forward as evidence for UG, focussing on the three most powerful ones: universality (all human languages share a number of properties), convergence (all language learners converge on the same grammar in spite of the fact that they are exposed to different input), and poverty of the stimulus (children know things about language which they could not have learned from the input available to them). I argue that these arguments are based on premises which are either false or unsubstantiated. Languages differ from each other in profound ways, and there are very few true universals, so the fundamental crosslinguistic fact that needs explaining is diversity, not universality. A number of recent studies have demonstrated the existence of considerable differences in adult native speakers’ knowledge of the grammar of their language, including aspects of inflectional morphology, passives, quantifiers, and a variety of more complex constructions, so learners do not in fact converge on the same grammar. Finally, the poverty of the stimulus argument presupposes that children acquire linguistic representations of the kind postulated by generative grammarians; constructionist grammars such as those proposed by Tomasello, Goldberg and others can be learned from the input. We are the only species that has language, so there must be something unique about humans that makes language learning possible. The extent of crosslinguistic diversity and the considerable individual differences in the rate, style and outcome of acquisition suggest that it is more promising to think in terms of a language-making capacity, i.e., a set of domain-general abilities, rather than an innate body of knowledge about the structural properties of the target system."
- Gabriel Oak Rabin and Brian Rabern's "Well Founding Grounding Grounding" (Journal of Philosophical Logic). ABSTRACT- "Those who wish to claim that all facts about grounding are themselves grounded (“the meta-grounding thesis”) must defend against the charge that such a claim leads to infinite regress and violates the well-foundedness of ground. In this paper, we defend. First, we explore three distinct but related notions of “well- founded”, which are often conflated, and three corresponding notions of infinite regress. We explore the entailment relations between these notions. We conclude that the meta-grounding thesis need not lead to tension with any of the three notions of “well-founded”. Finally, we explore the details of and motivations for further conditions on ground that one might add to generate a conflict between the meta-grounding thesis and a well-founded constraint. We explore these topics by developing and utilizing a formal framework based on the notion of a grounding structure."
- Susanne Bobzien, "Higher-Order Vagueness and Numbers of Distinct Modalities" (Disputatio). ABSTRACT- "This paper shows that the following common assumption is false: that in modal-logical representations of higher-order vagueness, for there to be borderline cases to borderline cases ad infinitum, the number of possible distinct modalities in a modal system must be infinite."
- M Phi-s Catarina Dutilh Novaes' continues her series of posts on reductio ad absurdum from a dialogical perspective.
- Part I, Problems with reductio proofs: cognitive aspects
- Part II, Problems with reductio proofs: assuming the impossible
- Part III, Problems with reductio proofs: "jumping to conclusions"
- Part IV, A precis of the dialogical account of deduction
- Part V, Dialectical refutations and reductio ad absurdum
- Public Books' Christopher Schaberg thinks critically about critical thinking. A shout out to R. Scott Bakker would have been nice.
- As is his wont, OUPblog's Roy T. Cook waxes Yabloesque.
- The Atlantic's week in pop culture writing.
- You do not need facility with the lambda calculus to enjoy dailynous' heap of links.
Metaphysics, broadly construed:
- Philpercs' own Helen De Cruz begins a fascinating Philosophers' Cocoon series on skilled epistemic practices: (1) Three puzzles about skilled epistemic practices, and (2) A cognitive account of skilled expertise.
- John Wigglesworth, "Set-Theoretic Dependence" (The Australasian Journal of Logic). ABSTRACT- "In this paper, we explore the idea that sets depend on, or are grounded in, their members. It is said that a set depends on each of its members, and not vice versa. Members do not depend on thesets that they belong to. We show that the intuitive modal truth conditions for dependence, given in terms of possible worlds, do not accurately capture asymmetric dependence relations between sets and their members. We extend the modal truth conditions to include impossible worlds and give a more satisfactory account of the dependence of a set on its members. Focusing on the case of singletons, we articulate a logical framework in which to evaluate set-theoretic dependence claims, using a normal first-order modal logic. We show that on this framework the dependence of a singleton on its single members follows from logic alone. However, the converse does not hold."
- Francesco Berto & Graham Pries, "Modal Meinongianism and Characterization" (Grazer). ABSTRACT- "In this paper we reply to arguments of Kroon (“Characterization and Existence in Modal Meinongianism”. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86, 23–34) to the effect that Modal Meinongianism cannot do justice to Meinongian claims such as that the golden mountain is golden, and that it does not exist."
- Paul Raymont continues his genealogical exploration of the usage of words relating to objectivity (see the sixth installment on "fact" (with links to earlier ones) here) with two posts on "opinion": (1) introductory notes, and part two.
- LA Review of Books' AJ Nocek reviews Steven Shaviro's The Universe of Things. QUOTE- "What’s perhaps most surprising about this resurgence of interest in Whitehead’s later work is that it’s not only coming from philosophers, but also from sociologists, geographers, scientists, film and media scholars, literary theorists, architects and designers, feminists, and others. Indeed, within the last 10 years, there has been such an unbelievable surge of interest in Whitehead’s work that it is difficult to keep abreast of the latest developments. What seems clear, however, is that scholars are finding relevancy for Whitehead’s thought today that it clearly did not posses in its own time. As Isabelle Stengers succinctly puts it, 'the speculative operation attempted by Whitehead could well be more relevant today than it was in his day […].'"
- Maxwell Kennell reviews Katerina Kolozova's Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Post-Structuralist Philosophy (Parrhesia).Looks like a fantastic discussion of Laruelle as well as one of the most thoughtful developments of what happens when deconstructionism is self-reflexively applied.
- Nonsite's Clive Barnett takes a very close look at the Foucault Rorschach Blot.
- Graham Harman's "Aesthetics as First Philosophy: Levinas and the Non-Human."
- aeon's Michael Graziano on consciousness as an engineering problem. We can do this the hard way, or we can do it the easy way.
- Just because knowing everything would be unbearable (for creatures like us), it doesn't follow that ignorance is bliss. Similarly with respect to the purported worthiness of the examined life.
- Gifographic on Optical Illusions.
Philosophers- Stylin', Profilin':
- The Philosophers Cocoon's Marcus Arvan profiles philpercs own Helen De Cruz.
- Figure/Ground's David Roden interviews R. Scott Bakker.
- big think's Derek Beres interviews Even Thompson about Buddhism and the philosophy of mind.
- Discrimination and Disadvantage's Shelley Tremain interviews Maeve O'Donovan. QUOTE- "got interested in the topic of my DSQ essay—the failure of feminist philosophers and theorists to take disability into account in their critiques of evolutionary psychology and the failure of disability theorists to address evolutionary psychology—when I realized just how popular and unchallenged evolutionary justifications for contemporary behavior have become. Readers and listeners of this interview are no doubt familiar with the following claims which exemplify how evolutionary psychology has embedded itself in popular thinking: (1) rape and violence are functional evolutionary developments that have served humans well; (2) women hate it when men cheat because they need men’s financial and other resources to raise their children; (3) gay animals don’t contribute to the survival of the species; etc. As it turns out, evolutionary justifications are, in addition, used in philosophy of mind, that is, in discussions about modularity of mind. While there are variations between accounts of modularity, a dominant account of modularity claims that mental modules (functional modules, not physical modules, although they have neural correlates) developed in humans in response to evolutionary pressures to carry out various, to some degree isolatable, functions. In other words, mental modules are adaptations evolved through natural selection. Behaviors are the output of these mental modules and should be understood as such, according to many evolutionary psychologists. This explanation oversimplifies the problem, of course, but it matters that, once again, in philosophy, current uncritical beliefs and biases about how thinking works and why certain behaviors occur have been given a seemingly neutral and objective biological origin. It’s as if disability theory, critical race theory, feminist philosophy, and queer theory never existed. Or, at least, it seems that way because no mention is made of these critical lenses through which we must read origin stories. What surprised me, the more I looked into this research, was how little feminist philosophers and theorists and disability theorists had to say about the implications of evolutionary psychology for people living with disability. So this neglect itself also became part of my new project, that is, the project came to comprise both understanding why this neglect has occurred and finding ways in which to rectify it. In short, my new book will be an extended discussion of these philosophical and meta-philosophical issues."
- An interesting interview by Gary Gutting of Daniel Hausman, philosopher of economics: "There are cognitive limits to what can be learned about such a complicated system as a modern market economy, and there are practical and political limits to our ability to make use of what can be learned. Within these limits, economics can be of use. I fear this is faint praise."
Politics/Economics/Sociology/etc., not otherwise categorized:
- Fredrik deBoer reflects on the downsides of leaderless left activisms.
- dailybeast's Lloyd Green on why Donald Trump appeals to voters. QUOTE- "Trump understands that politics is transactional, and that the electorate must be offered something in return for their votes. By contrast, almost everyone else in the Republican field seems fixated on the donor base, broadening the GOP at the expense of its core, or talking about faith, even as they would pickpocket the voters of what is theirs." Trump is the only Republican candidate: (a) criticizing Republican plans to cut entitlements for the elderly, and (b) not making tax cuts for the rich the centerpiece of his economic agenda. Don't be so surprised everyone! The racism is a return to form of a certain kind of populism that flourishes every time in recorded history when shortsighted mandarins too soundly defeat the left.
- More on the theme of major parties abandoning the working class in the Guardian. This time less depressing. QUOTE- "Labour is paying a heavy price today for all those years when New Labour acted, and continues to act, as if everyone was middle class. They’re not."
- Robert Reich on the four biggest lies legitimating inequality:
- Lie number one: The rich and CEOs are America’s job creators. So we dare not tax them.
- Lie number two: People are paid what they’re worth in the market. So we shouldn’t tamper with pay.
- Lie number three: Anyone can make it in America with enough guts, gumption, and intelligence. So we don’t need to do anything for poor and lower-middle class kids.
- Lie number four: Increasing the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs. So we shouldn’t raise it.
- Schliesser on the European project.
- Full transcript of Varnoukis' interview with New Statesman. On the efficacy of arguments in the Eurogroup. QUOTE- "It’s not that it didn’t go down well – it’s that there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. … You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on – to make sure it’s logically coherent – and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem."
- Guardian interview with Habermas on Greece and Germany "unashamedly revealing itself as Europe’s chief disciplinarian."
Race and Racism:
- Vox's Jenée Desmond-Harris on how people respond with racism to Serena Williams' wins.
- New York Magazine's Benjamin Wallace-Wells reviews Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me. QUOTE- "The only endorsement he had wanted was the novelist Toni Morrison’s. Neither he nor his editor, Christopher Jackson, knew Morrison, but they managed to get the galleys into her hands. Weeks later, Morrison’s assistant sent Jackson an email with her reaction: “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died,” Morrison had written. “Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates.” Baldwin died 28 years ago. Jackson forwarded the note to Coates, who sent back a one-word email: 'Man.”'
- Pacific Standard's Tom Jacobs reports on recent psychological work surrounding why privileged people believe that they are not privileged.
- A fun set of supercuts to highlight diversity issues in Hollywood.
- Patheos' Neil Carter on his father in-law disinheriting his wife for her non-theism. QUOTE- "That’s how much he detested our lack of belief. Never mind our love for each other. Never mind our continued pursuit of a relationship with them. Never mind the sacrifices we make to care for their only grandchild, who greets each morning screaming and banging walls and challenging and inverting every parental instinct we have. Never mind how hard both of us work in order to cover the exorbitant medical and pharmaceutical bills accumulated because of her son’s many needs on top of her own autoimmune issues. Nothing she or I do counted for anything anymore. All that mattered was that we were no longer believers in Jesus, and that meant we were no longer family and we must be cut off." I don't for a second agree with Carter's conclusion that his father-in-law was doing the Christian thing, and I think we would be collectively much worse off if Carter's view became received wisdom. But his piece is an important challenge.
- Bethel college professor resigns after refusing to lie about just how stultified his own intellect is.
- Are real comments on the blog getting you down? Try this program (h/t Rob Beschizza) which creates a fake comment form that users can fill in. When the user returns to the page, they see their "comment" and think they've actually commented. Illusion!
- Lee Smolin rocking the town even more extremely than a mouldy crouton. Weird sloppiness where he introduces his co-writers first name a few paragraphs after referring to her by her last name. Given that the essay is about time's arrow, this freaked me out. I know Martin Amis Lee Smolin. You're no Martin Amis.
- New Statesman's Steven Poole on pseudo-scientific self-help books that aren't too far removed from advertisements for luminosity. Neural plasticity! Yeah, that's the ticket.
- Don't arm the robots! Characteristically good stuff from Mike LaBossiere.
- Founders of Pirate Bay acquitted of conspiracy to violate copyrights in a Belgian court (on the grounds that the cases in question happened years after their last provable contact with the site, and after they had sold it to another company).
- See entry #1 of Race and Racism.
- Logical Fallacy Ref!
- Possibly the troll of the year. Not quite at the level of the old e-mails from an a@#hole trolling, but up there.
- Analytic Office. Very skillfully done in part because the satire actually involves criticism of the ideas on parade.
- How to talk to babies about postmodernism.
- Toddler disciplining made easy.
- Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you for your delectation and further nausea The Eggmaster!
This Week’s Cool Podcasts/Videos:
- See This Week's Wifi below.
- Fran Meissner interviews Dagmar Herzog.
- History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps′ Peter Adamson on Roger Bacon.
- History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps′ Peter Adamson on Charles Burnett on magic.
- Philosophy Bits Nigel Warburton interviews Larry Temkin on transitivity (or lack thereof) in moral reasoning.
- The Philosopher's Zone's Joe Gelonosi on the complexity of evil.
- New Books in Philosophy's Carrie Figdor interviews Margaret Morrison about her Reconstructing Reality: Models, Mathematics, and Simulations.
- Trent Doughtery interviews Richard Swinburne.
This Week’s IEP:
- Donald Wayne Viney's Charles Hartshorne: Neoclassical Metaphysics.
This Week’s NDPR:
- Steven Horst reviews Richard N. Williams and Daniel N. Robinson (eds'.) Scientism: The New Orthodoxy.
- Kym Maclaren reviews Donald A. Landes' Merleau-Ponty and the Paradoxes of Expression.
- Anna Petronella Foultie rreviews Beata Stawarsk'sa Saussure's Philosophy of Language as Phenomenology: Undoing the Doctrine of the Course in General Linguistics.
- Chad Flanders reviews Claudio López-Guerra's Democracy and Disenfranchisement: The Morality of Electoral Exclusions.
- Joseph A. Adlerreviews Chenyang Li and Franklin Perkins (eds'.) Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems.
- Ryan K. Balot reviews Nickolas Pappas and Mark Zelcer's Politics and Philosophy in Plato's Menexenus: Education and Rhetoric, Myth and History.
- Tamar Meisels reviews Margaret Moore's A Political Theory of Territory.
- Nellie Wieland reviews Nancy Bauer's How to Do Things with Pornography.
- Miri Albahari reviews Evan Thompson's Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy.
- Catherine Legg reviews Danielle Macbeth's Realizing Reason: A Narrative of Truth and Knowing.
This Week’s SEP:
This Week’s WiPhi:
- How to get more writing done for the rest of Summer.
- Washington Monthly's Daniel Luzer gets to the bottom of the movement to allow students to carry guns on college campuses. Lord help us. QUOTE- "The real point here isn’t to pass campus carry laws, or even get rid of Republicans who are insufficiently pro-gun; it’s just to get rid of any Republican who isn’t really, really conservative. Anyone who appears to have a reasonable perspective on guns, like those who believe maybe we should have some limits on where people can have them, is then forced to admit such a perspective, and seem like a waffling RINO." But still, lord help us.
- Vice's Chris Bethell on the movement of British students to call their universities on false advertising. QUOTE- "UCL have year-on-year been fleecing their students out of more and more money for rent. When I was a freshman at UCL five years ago, my halls on Charlotte Street in central London cost £110 [$170] a week; this year the same room costs £187 [$290]. Figures that I've seen show that year on year since the turn of the millennium, UCL has gradually been increasing the amount of money it makes from its halls of residence. In 2014, UCL made a net profit for accommodation of around £18 million [$27 million]. In 2010, this profit was £11.1 million [$17 million]; In 2005 it was £8.5 million [$13 million]; in 2000 it was £1.6 million [$2.5 million]. Just to be clear: this is the money UCL is making from charging its own student extortionate rents to live in "appalling" conditions in sometimes cockroach infested halls."
- Irish Times' Robert Grant on why primary education needs philosophy.
- Truthout's Curry Mallot's speech on the importance of publicly funded education in Pennsylvania.
- The AAUP on trigger warnings and academic freedom. PENULTIMATE CONCLUDING BITS- "Instead of putting the onus for avoiding such responses on the teacher, cases of serious trauma should be referred to student health services. Faculty should, of course, be sensitive that such reactions may occur in their classrooms, but they should not be held responsible for them. Instead, as with other disabilities, a student diagnosed with PTSD should, in advance, agree on a plan for treatment with the relevant health advisors who, in some cases, may want to alert teachers to the presence of a trauma victim in their classroom. The Americans with Disabilities Act contains recommendations for reasonable accommodation to be made on an individual basis. This should be done without affecting other students’ exposure to material that has educational value."
- A (n American) conservative defense of community colleges being community colleges.
- Columbia University divests from the private prison industry.
- Washington Monthly's Jon Marcus shows that Vanderbilt University's claim that they spend 150 million dollars a year complying with federal mandates is radically misleading. They receive about half a billion in federal grants and many of the costs concern complying with those grants and are recovered from grant overhead. Nobody has made a good case yet for the increasingly common administrative refrain that the feds are to blame for rising tuition.
What it's Like:
- Standing in line for dozens of hours to get the coveted "Hall H" Comicon pass. In lieu of a link, here are some instructions. First, facebook friend Philpercs' own crack social media experts Mona and James Rocha. Second, scroll through the status updates until you start getting to the ones where James has an uncharacteristic thousand yard stare. Then, recoil in horror.
- Having a hangover. QUOTE- "Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad."
- Teaching Philosophy in primary school.
- Being blacked out.
- Playing Atari's infamous E.T. (with a link to an emulator so you can share in the misery).
- Losing the Obama get-out-of-prison lottery.
- Facing 150 mph tennis serve.
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.
Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you'd be forced to smell your feet.
Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.
Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.
Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place--
be glad your nose is on your face!