The Royal Institute of Philosophy (RIP) has announced the creation of a new book prize to recognize “the most original philosophical research that transcends academic disciplines”. The prize comes with a monetary award of £20,000 (≈ $24,600). The Nayef Al-Rodhan International Prize in Transdisciplinary Philosophy will aim to reward the authors of books that, according to a press release from the RIP, demonstrate rigorous original and high-quality transdisciplinary research are accessible and engaging to read are original, innovative, and impactful intend to advance and contribute to the understanding of human behaviors. They add: We welcome philosophical work that transcends academic boundaries, and furthers our understanding of the key challenges facing the world today, and that may face us in the future. The work may be from philosophers, neuroscientists, social scientists, or from other disciplines. Among other work we welcome submissions from those researching disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, from those concerned with climate change, and from those concerned with the future of democracy.
A recent survey of publications in experimental philosophy provides a picture of the field’s growth and range. In “Twenty Years of Experimental Philosophy Research,” published recently in Metaphilosophy, Jincai Li (Normal University) and Xiaozhen Zhu (Guangdong University) take a bibliometric look at X-phi. They write: X-phi has undergone roughly four developmental stages over the past two decades, namely, the initiation period (2000–2005), the development period (2006–2010), the expansion period (2011–2015), and the plateau period (2016–2020). Although works in the first period had paved the way for later development of this experimental approach to philosophical inquiries, the key umbrella term “experimental philosophy” did not come into widespread use until 2006. Since then, it has remained at the center of heated discussion. Over the next fifteen years or so, x-phi evolved from negative research programs with the slogan of “burning the armchair” to the more positive and interdisciplinary projects that embrace more armchairs, becoming a fascinating part of the broad enterprise of cognitive science.
Philosopher Nathan Ballantyne (Arizona State University) and psychologist Norbert Schwarz (University of Southern California) have won a $3.4 million grant for their project, “Humility in Inquiry”. “The project focuses on humility in inquiry—the practices and processes that encourage humble, open-minded thinking,” says Professor Ballantyne. “The project’s aim is to support intensive collaborations between philosophers and scientists, and ultimately to establish a new paradigm of interdisciplinary research.” The grant supporting the research was awarded by the John Templeton Foundation. Professors Ballantyne and Schwarz will in turn be distributing subawards totaling $1.3 million. These will support research by multidisciplinary teams with members drawn from philosophy, psychological science, and related fields to address one or more of the themes of “Applying Epistemic Ideals, Science and Organizations, and Mindsets and Metacognitive Perspectives”.
How has philosophy’s role in cognate disciplines been changing? We could ask this question about philosophy and political theory, or cognitive science, or business ethics, or theoretical physics, and so on. In the following guest post, the focus is on philosophy and bioethics. Authors Vilius Dranseika, Piotr Bystranowski, and Tomasz Żuradzki (Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics, Jagiellonian University) examine the claim that philosophy’s role in bioethics is diminishing. They take a data-driven approach to the problem, looking at trends in how frequently philosophical work is cited, and how often especially philosophical topics are discussed, in bioethics literature. In addition to putting forward their view of the matter, they are seeking feedback from readers about this method and their particular application of it. Are Philosophy’s Glory Days in Bioethics Over? by Vilius Dranseika, Piotr Bystranowski, and Tomasz Żuradzki There is a familiar claim that, when compared to the early days of bioethics, the role of philosophy in bioethics has diminished. Let’s call it the Disconnection Thesis.