philosophy

Publishing Your Philosophy Book with Open Access

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/02/2019 - 10:26pm in

Some academic publishers offer authors of monographs an “open access” option. For a fee, the publisher will make a version of the text available online, free to anyone.

Nicholas Shea (University of London) recently published his book, Representation in Cognitive Science, with Oxford University Press, and chose open access (you can view it here).

He writes:

I recently published an open access book with OUP, using grant money to pay for the substantial open access fee. This isn’t something OUP has done much in philosophy, and it’s certainly an experiment for me, so I want to make up my mind about whether it’s a good use of funds.

Given that the book would be on Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) anyway, the biggest advantage is for people whose universities don’t subscribe to OSO, e.g. in resource-poor settings. There’s also an advantage to having a portable pdf that you can read when you’re offline.

The cost approximates to four open access journal articles, so getting an eight-chapter monograph sounds like a reasonable value. On the other hand the money could instead pay for a conference or a couple of workshops. And it’s a route that’s only open if the author can find some research funds to pay the fee—which of course is more expensive if taking advantage of the reputational and editorial benefits of a major publisher like OUP.

So there are arguments either way and I’m trying to see what people in the profession think. 

Readers, what do you think about the value of choosing and paying for open access publishing? And if you have ideas for/experience with obtaining funds for the express purpose of paying open access fees, please share them. Thanks.


Daniel Lai, “Thinker Under Tree”

Related: “What Is the Best Type of Open Access for Philosophy and Other Humanities Disciplines?“, “Open Access Philosophy Textbooks

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Mini-Heap

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/02/2019 - 6:58am in

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A new Mini-Heap is here!

  1. To be a good academic philosopher, you need to be more than just a good philosopher — Ian James Kidd (Nottingham) discusses this difference and the skills of each
  2. “The multifariousness of the laws suggests a different conception of what physics is all about. We’re not building a machine that calculates answers… instead, we’re discovering questions” — a way physics is similar to philosophy, in The New Yorker
  3. This month is the 200th anniversary of “one of the most significant statements of the principles of liberalism” — that would be “The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Moderns” by Benjamin Constant. Jacob Levy (McGill) celebrates.
  4. A newly-discovered letter from Einstein in which he discusses Hume’s influence on his work — “It is very possible that without these philosophical studies I can not say that the solution would have come.” (The Telegraph)
  5. “Most people do not realise that Aristotle wrote works designed for the general public” — they did not survive, but we know something of them, and they provide a model for public philosophy, argues Edith Hall (KCL)
  6. In 1964 John Stewart Bell published his eponymous theorem, now regarded by many as one of the most important discoveries in physics. — 55 years later, BJPS is commemorating this by making available a selection of past papers exploring the implications of Bell’s Theorem
  7. On deriving an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ — Rick Lewis at Philosophy Now recently discovered a note Philippa Foot wrote to him about this 18 years ago

Mini-Heap posts appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, the ever-growing collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

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. Thanks!

COMMENTS POLICY

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Mini-Heap

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/02/2019 - 4:01pm in

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Links, philosophy

What, another Mini-Heap so soon? 

  1. Online, “I want… to be boring to argue with… That way, the only people who will do it are the ones who sincerely care about the argument”— Regina Rini (York) on arguing on the Internet
  2. An important lesson for academics: saying no— Kevin Timpe (Calvin) shares some advice
  3. “As a professor who regularly teaches East Asian philosophies, I die a little inside every time we experience a cultural phenomenon with a veneer of ‘wisdom from the East’ on it.”— Amy Olberding (Oklahoma) on Marie Kondo, tidying, plain sense, joy-sparking, and usefulness
  4. If there are epistemic facts, does that imply there are moral facts?— Spencer Case (Colorado) says yes. David Enoch (Hebrew University) and others discuss.
  5. Mary Whiton Calkins studied philosophy and psychology under William James and was the first woman president of the APA— there’s now an effort underway to get her the PhD she appears to have earned but which Harvard refused her
  6. The high price of justice is an injustice — three posts from Michael Huemer (Colorado) on the subject
  7. Wrestling with the Stoics — a discussion with philosophy PhD student and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor Michael Tremblay (Queen’s) and others

Mini-Heap posts appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, the ever-growing collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

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. Thanks!

COMMENTS POLICY

The post Mini-Heap appeared first on Daily Nous.

Is a Rising Tide Enough?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/02/2019 - 10:09am in

Inequality in China has raced ahead of the U.S.'s and far ahead of Taiwan's. With a still growing economy, do any of China's people care?

$1.3 Million Grant for Philosophy of Religion in North America, Latin America, UK

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/02/2019 - 7:00am in

Luis Oliveira, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Houston, has received $1.3 million to lead an international project on the epistemology of religion.

The central question of the project is “What arguments are there for believing in God or for following a specific religious tradition?”, according to the University of Houston.

The project aims to “connect Latin American philosophers with colleagues from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to stimulate academic interest and research in the epistemology of religion.”

The funding for the project is from the John Templeton Foundation. Funds will support summer seminars in Latin America, research scholarships, academic prizes, and a conference at  the University of Houston. You can learn more about the project here.


John Piper, Stained Glass at Coventry Cathedral

The post $1.3 Million Grant for Philosophy of Religion in North America, Latin America, UK appeared first on Daily Nous.

The NSF and the Rise of Value-Free Philosophies of Science (guest post by Joel Katzav & Krist Vaesen)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/02/2019 - 12:47am in

Why were social, moral and political issues relatively neglected in philosophy of science during the 20th Century? Joel Katzav (Queensland) and Krist Vaesen (Eindhoven) continue their investigation of the institutional and sociological influences on the history and development of analytic philosophy in the following guest post.*


[Ad Reinhardt, Untitled (Red and Gray)]

The National Science Foundation and the Rise of Value-Free Philosophies of Science
by Joel Katzav & Krist Vaesen

In a series of papers that appeared in 2017 and 2018, we have shown that an important part of the explanation for the rise of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century was the takeover by analytic philosophers of generalist, British and American philosophy journals and the subsequent use of these journals in order to marginalize non-analytic approaches to philosophy (see here, here and, for an overview, here (published) or here (preprint)). In our most recent paper, we extend this work on the emergence of analytic philosophy in two ways. We show that at least one important funding body was also used to marginalize non-analytic philosophy and we examine how such marginalization affected the development of one specialization in philosophy, namely the philosophy of science (see here).

G.E. Moore by and large excluded philosophical psychology and work sympathetic to Neo-Hegelian idealism from Mind roughly in 1926, not long after he became the journal’s editor. In roughly 1948, analytic editors took over The Philosophical Review and turned it from a journal that was open to diverse approaches to philosophy into one that was basically only open to analytic philosophy. A similar, though slightly more complex story took place in The Journal of Philosophy just over a decade later. In these three cases, the primary form of philosophy excluded from publication was distinguished from analytic philosophy of the time by being speculative, that is, very roughly, by tending to make substantive claims about the world that are epistemically independent of established belief, including commonsense and science. Marginalized speculative work included Neo-Hegelian idealism, classical pragmatism, speculative phenomenology and existentialism, process philosophy and approaches to philosophy that grew out of these more familiar ones. The story of marginalization also occurred at other journals (e.g., at The Philosophical Quarterly in the late 1950s and at Philosophy and Phenomenological Research in 1980) and was supplemented by the creation of analytic only journals (e.g., Analysis, Philosophical Studies and Noûs). If one looks at which journals were affected by these sectarian practices, one will find a very familiar set of journals; it is roughly the set of the journals that are the most prestigious journals in philosophy today.

In our more recent paper, we provide evidence for thinking that a similar kind of marginalization occurred at the level of one of Anglo-American philosophy’s sub-fields, namely the philosophy of science.

The post-WWII years saw the growth of U.S. government funding of science, including the growth of financial support for the sciences by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The first-half of the 1950s saw political pressure, partly associated with McCarthyism, that meant there was hesitation to extend NSF funding to the social sciences. In the second half of the 1950s, however, these sciences acquired their own NSF program. The program included the sub-program “History and Philosophy of Science” (HPS). Philosophy of science, too, was in the money.

However, decisions about allocating NSF funding for philosophy of science were placed in the hands of logical empiricists. These philosophers, in their function as NSF advisors, allocated virtually all HPS money during the period 1958-1963 to value-free philosophies of science; similar preference for value-free philosophy of science is likely to have continued throughout the 1960s. Moreover, this occurred at a time when there were still many philosophers writing philosophy of science that did deal with social, moral and political concerns (value-laden approaches).

The allocation of NSF funds, together with the contemporaneous exclusion of value-laden approaches from the pages of Philosophy of Science (see here) and of pragmatism from The Journal of Philosophy (see here), contributed considerably to philosophy of science’s withdrawal from social concerns. Interestingly, some of the figures involved in marginalizing non-analytic work at The Philosophical Review and The Journal of Philosophy, namely Max Black and Sydney Morgenbesser, were also involved in what occurred at the NSF.

Our work on the HPS sub-program only allows us to say that value-laden philosophy of science was not funded by the HPS, a claim that is weaker than the claim that it only funded logical empiricist or analytic philosophy of science, though the identity of HPS advisors does suggest that this was also the case. It does seem that philosophy of science was following the same pattern found elsewhere in British and American philosophy.

That said, the pattern of marginalization in the philosophy of science had its own distinct characteristics. For example, NSF funding did not go to philosophy of science that had an historical dimension. While this fits what we find in, say, Mind at the time, it does not fit what we find in The Philosophical Review, which did publish a substantial amount of historical work in the 1950s. At least part of the reason for the difference is plausibly that, on the one hand, the logical empiricists at the NSF, like the then editor of Mind, Gilbert Ryle, had little sympathy for history informed philosophy while, on the other hand, one of those who was an editor at The Philosophical Review when it decided it would no longer publish speculative philosophy, namely Gregory Vlastos, was an historian of philosophy. A deeper explanation for the difference is that what drove the sectarian practices of analytic philosophy was the opposition to speculative philosophy. Beyond this, there was some room for the opinions of influential individuals to decide for themselves what kind of philosophy would be tolerated. Philosophy of science, as it happens, was under the strong influence of individuals with a particularly narrow view of their specialization.

The post The NSF and the Rise of Value-Free Philosophies of Science (guest post by Joel Katzav & Krist Vaesen) appeared first on Daily Nous.

Burnheim on Gray on Hayek

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/02/2019 - 11:07pm in


Friedrich Hayek was notoriously less savvy with photoshoots than some of his relatives.

A few years ago I read some John Gray on Friedrich Hayek. In short, he’s very good on Hayek, though he seems to have moved on rather to larger topics, not always to good effect. Anyway, If you have the best part of an hour, you could do a lot worse than read Gray on Hayek back in 1982 when Gray was (I think) something of a fellow traveller (and it was less evident how badly some neoliberal reform would go – I’m looking at you GFC). And here’s an excellent revisiting of Hayek 33 years later. I recommend both heartily.

I really should have written the words above just to let you know of two excellent essays, but I probably wouldn’t have bothered but for the reaction I got from John Burnheim when I sent him a link to the first essay above. Below the fold are the words he sent back in reply. As usual, there seems to be a vast depth of thought behind his words.  

I think Gray is right about Hayek, but wrong in endorsing him. Hayek was a conservative liberal; whose hero was Mill. One libertarian had a point in characterising him as moderate social democrat. I once made a close comparison of him and Marx in relation to Socialism. Marx disliked socialism, but thought it necessary to destroy capitalism and open the way to Communism, the freedom of the producers. Hayek claimed to share the humanitarian values of the social democrats, but said he disagreed about how to realise them. Capitalism freed the producers and rewarded them for producing what people wanted. Market prices are the unique way of transmitting the necessary information. Marx admitted that he did not know how communists would achieve that. Both were wrong in their own way, but right in rejecting the egalitarianism of the socialist regimentation.

Where both were wrong was in assuming that a society must have only one way of dealing with all human wants instead of admitting that different needs, especially needs for public goods might require different means of production and distribution or that a society consists pf a multiplicity of overlapping communities. Both suffered from the disease of philosophy.

What I like about both is their emphasis on the importance of the dynamics of social practices as opposed to ideals as the determinant of social roles and their outcomes on a much broader front than the economy. But both fail to get it right, In H’s case because of his Kantian errors. One mistake was to accept the traditional idea that knowledge consists of nebulous pictures that we just see or look at. As C S Peirce discovered, knowledge of an object is a capacity to deal with it successfully in its theoretical and practical connections.

Far from having no knowledge of things in themselves, we have extraordinarily precise and extensive knowledge of the external world, though we have not reliable imaged of it. Contrary to the traditional assumption that knowledge refers to perfect, immaterial ideas that get distorted in material instances, it turns out that matter can be known exactly, but spiritual ideas are complicated and messy. It is not the structure of our minds that brings order into live experience, but the structure of our methods of identifying, dissecting and interrelating things.

However. because complexes have properties that go beyond those of their components, the knowledge of physical reality is of little use in helping members of complexes to understand the complexes to which they belong, and the modes of theorisation appropriate to those components themselves are often inappropriate to understanding the complexes, We know quite a lot about the components of our brains but hardly anything about its functional dynamics and how it is encoded with cognitive and emotive signifiers. What is pretty certain is that its workings are nothing like those of digital models.

None of this is to say that we don’t have many snippets of knowledge independently of science. They and even much science is contextual in ways we cannot allow for. That is why I always present my views about solutions to practical problems as suggestions and it is in this guise that I believe one should read others

Mini-Heap

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/02/2019 - 4:13pm in

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For your perusal, the latest Mini-Heap.

  1. “Nationalism and cosmopolitanism are, far from being incompatible, actually intertwined” — Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU) on global citizenship in Foreign Affairs (via Paul Wilson)
  2. Marx’s grave vandalized again — “Memorial to Bolshevik Holocaust… 66,000,000 Dead” was part of the graffiti written on it
  3. A philosopher’s new band aims to make music for kids that the adults like, too — check out Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band from Daniel Groll & Louis Epstein (St. Olaf). Also available on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
  4. “A diverse elite is better able to advance the interests of all sectors of society. Unfortunately, the way that this principle has been practiced is too narrowly focused on the demographics of elite institutions.” — Jennifer Morton (CUNY) on elite education, diversity, and “real difference”
  5. The mascot for a new museum about poop in Japan is a philosopher named Unberuto –he’s “an anthropomorphized poop pile who carries his toilet around with him” when he’s not sitting on it pondering “the nature of universal truths” (via Tanya Kostochka)
  6. “By looking carefully—by looking with love—we can see others for who they are” — Anil Gomes (Oxford) on Iris Murdoch, morality attention, and love
  7. “Planned, coordinated violence gave us a social order that made virtue adaptive. But that social order also made exploitation and oppression possible.” — a primatologist’s attempt to explain the development of morality

Mini-Heap posts appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, the ever-growing collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

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. Thanks!

COMMENTS POLICY

The post Mini-Heap appeared first on Daily Nous.

Are We Ready for Less Work?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/02/2019 - 12:50am in

We'll need new thinking as human labor becomes dispensable in the modern economy.

New Group: Philosophers for Sustainability

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 16/02/2019 - 12:59am in

Philosophers for Sustainability is a new group of philosophy faculty and graduate students interested in working toward environmental sustainability and combating climate change in practice, especially within academia.

The group is the creation of Eugene Chislenko (Temple University) and Rebecca Millsop (University of Rhode Island). They plan to develop it with input from the community of professional philosophers, and to that end will be hosting a pair of conference-call forums interested parties can join. They’ve asked me to pass along the following message.

Dear philosophers,

We are writing to you as the co-founders of Philosophers for Sustainability, a newly formed group of philosophers that aims to encourage our profession to take leadership on climate change and environmental sustainability. We agree with the current scientific consensus that climate change is real, caused largely by human activity, already having significant effects, disproportionately impacting many of the groups that are underrepresented in philosophy, and poised to worsen dramatically within our lifetimes. We believe that everyone has a role to play in combating climate change and ensuring a sustainable future. And we believe that philosophers, despite our disproportionately large carbon footprints, are well positioned to think, teach, and lead effectively about the complex environmental issues we now have to face. We are attempting to integrate environmental issues into our work as philosophers, not only in our research, but, more immediately, in a wide range of philosophy courses and in our service to the profession. We have a few different projects underway, and are actively seeking new projects and new members.

We write to you now because we are seeking input from the broader philosophical community, and especially from philosophers of color and members of other groups underrepresented in philosophy, about the ways in which philosophers would like to see the profession grow with respect to issues of sustainability. We are inviting all interested philosophy graduate students and faculty to join one of two Forums on Sustainability in Philosophy, by conference call, on Wednesday, February 27, 6:00-7:00pm, or Saturday, March 2, 3:00-4:00pm Eastern Standard Time. The two forums will be identical in format and aim. Each one will focus mainly on participants’ suggestions and comments, followed by discussion of next steps.

Please feel free to forward this email and spread the word. To sign up for a forum and receive instructions for joining the call, please email Philosophers for Sustainability at philosophersforsustainability@gmail.com with your preferred time.


Cover art from Angles, “Every Woman Is a Tree”

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