Philosophy everyw...
Follow
Find
6.3K views | +2 today
Philosophy everywhere everywhen
The First Law of Philosophy: For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher. The Second Law of Philosophy: They're bo
Curated by Wildcat2030
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Name Five Women In Philosophy. Bet You Can't. : NPR

Name Five Women In Philosophy. Bet You Can't. : NPR | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Academic philosophy is an outlier within the humanities, with fewer than 20 percent of full-time faculty positions occupied by women. Commentator Tania Lombrozo discusses some recent findings that might help us understand why.

-

Last Friday I found myself in a lovely lecture hall at Brown University with some 50 philosophers and psychologists attending the annual meeting of the , affectionately known as "SPP." Daniel Dennett was in the seat just ahead of me; additional luminaries were scattered about the room. A quick count revealed about equal numbers of men and women in the audience — an unusual figure for an event in philosophy, where .

That was precisely the topic we'd gathered to discuss: the underrepresentation of women in philosophy, where numbers mirror those for math, engineering, and the physical sciences, making philosophy an outlier within the humanities.

There's been no shortage of speculation about . Perhaps, to quote Hegel, women's "." Perhaps women are turned off by philosophy's confrontational style. Perhaps women are more inclined toward careers with practical applications.

But the most plausible hypothesis is that operate in philosophy, . Unfortunately, though, this explanation refines our question rather than answering it.

Why should bias be any greater in philosophy than in other humanistic disciplines? Is sexual harassment unusually common within philosophy, as might be suggested by , not to mention some chilling experiences reported in the blog Might our implicit assumptions about what a philosopher should look like and sound like be especially hard to reconcile with our implicit assumptions about women?

more...
nerdfiles's comment, July 4, 2013 3:35 PM
Joyce McDougall, Patricia Churchland, Margaret La Caze, Iris Murdoch, Mary Wollstonecraft
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Nature Photography: Good or Bad for the Environment?: Scientific American

Nature Photography: Good or Bad for the Environment?: Scientific American | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
It's a wonderful way to share the beauty and wonder of the natural world with others, but not if landscapes are trampled and wildlife is frightened

-

Is nature photography good or bad for the environment?—Cal Moss, Camden, Maine

Nature photography is a wonderful way to share the beauty and wonder of the natural world with others who don’t have the opportunity to see a given subject first-hand. An obvious benefit of the art is raising awareness about and generating empathy for special landscapes and species. But too much love can be a bad thing if landscapes are trampled and wildlife is frightened—all in the name of leaving only footprints.

The use of photography as a conservation tool dates back as far as photography itself. William Henry Jackson’s photos from his travels with the Hayden Expedition of the 1860s to survey the American West helped convince Congress to create Yellowstone National Park in 1872—and as such played a role in the birth of the worldwide movement to set aside special places as national parks. Ansel Adams carried this torch forward a century later; opening up millions of viewers’ eyes to the splendor of many an iconic western landscape. And more recently wildlife photographers have gotten up close and personal to wild animals large and small so the rest of us can appreciate their beauty out of harm’s way.But some say there is a dark side to all this exposure of the wild and the natural. In a provocative essay in the Fall 1997 issue of DoubleTake magazine, activist and author Bill McKibben argued that the world has enough wildlife photography and that continuing to invade the lives of animal subjects—given the vast oversupply of images already available—is counterproductive to the goals of preserving biodiversity. He also decried the idealized view of the world that wildlife photography portrays. “How can there really be a shortage of whooping cranes when you’ve seen a thousand images of them—seen ten times more images than there are actually whooping cranes left in the wild?” he asked.
Most wildlife photographers bristle at McKibben’s stance. “The real problem with wildlife photography is not that there is too much of it but that photographers…are failing to reflect natural diversity,” argues UK-based nature photographer Niall Benvie. “Far from inhibiting productivity, it needs to be expanded greatly, telling the story of species and locations unknown to readers and viewers.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The Zombie Threat to a Science of Mind | Issue 96 | Philosophy Now

The Zombie Threat to a Science of Mind | Issue 96 | Philosophy Now | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Philip Goff discusses a thought-experiment about consciousness.

-

For the last five hundred years or so physics has been doing extraordinarily well. More and more of our world has been captured in its explanatory net, from the formation of planets and stars, to the nature of space and time, to the very basic constituents of the matter that makes us up. There’s a long way to go: our best theory of the very big, i.e., Einstein’s general relativity, is inconsistent with our best theory of the very small, i.e., quantum mechanics. But many look forward to the day when physicists will resolve these niggling issues and present the public with the Holy Grail of science: a Grand Unified Theory of everything. The hope of many philosophically-inclined scientists and scientifically-enthused philosophers is that this theory will explain the existence and nature of everything there is. Let us call this kind of view ‘physicalism’.

Physicalism is a grand and ambitious project, but there is a thorn in its side: consciousness. The qualities each of us encounters in our conscious experience – the feeling of pain, the sensations of biting into a lemon, what it’s like to see red – stubbornly refuse to be incorporated into the physicalist’s all-encompassing vision of the universe. Consciousness seems to be the one bit of left-over magic that refuses to be physicalised. And it’s all the fault of the zombies.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Why the West Loves Sci-Fi and Fantasy: A Cultural Explanation

Why the West Loves Sci-Fi and Fantasy: A Cultural Explanation | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
The world's largest film industry—that'd be India's—is largely barren of the superhero and spaceship films that dominate Hollywood. What, exactly, accounts for the difference?

-

Hollywood's had a long love affair with sci-fi and fantasy, but the romance has never been stronger than it is today. A quick glance into bookstores, television lineups, and upcoming films shows that the futuristic and fantastical is everywhere in American pop culture. In fact, of Hollywood's top earners since 1980, a mere eight have not featured wizardry, space or time travel, or apocalyptic destruction caused by aliens/zombies/Robert Downey Jr.'s acerbic wit. Now, with Man of Steel, it appears we will at last have an effective reboot of the most important superhero story of them all.

These tales of mystical worlds and improbable technological power appeal universally, right? Maybe not. Bollywood, not Hollywood, is the largest movie industry in the world. But only a handful its top hits of the last four decades have dealt with science fiction themes, and even fewer are fantasy or horror. American films in those genres make much of their profits abroad, but they tend to underperform in front of Indian audiences.

This isn't to say that there aren't folk tales with magic and mythology in India. There are. That makes their absence in Bollywood and their overabundance in Hollywood all the more remarkable. Whereas Bollywood takes quotidian family dramas and imbues them with spectacular tales of love and wealth found-lost-regained amidst the pageantry of choreographed dance pieces, Hollywood goes to the supernatural and futurism. It's a sign that longing for mystery is universal, but the taste for science fiction and fantasy is cultural.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American

Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
A fascinating new neuroscience experiment probes an ancient philosophical question—and hints that you might want to get out more

-

Imagine we rewound the tape of your life. Your diplomas are pulled off of walls, unframed, and returned. Your children grow smaller, and then vanish. Soon, you too become smaller. Your adult teeth retract, your baby teeth return, and your traits and foibles start to slip away. Once language goes, you are not so much you as potential you. We keep rewinding still, until we’re halving and halving a colony of cells, finally arriving at that amazing singularity: the cell that will become you.

The question, of course, is what happens when we press “play” again. Are your talents, traits, and insecurities so deeply embedded in your genes that they’re basically inevitable? Or could things go rather differently with just a few tiny nudges? In other words, how much of your fate do you allot to your genes, versus your surroundings, versus chance? This is navel gazing that matters.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Wildcat2030 from science fiction, rhetoric and ideology
Scoop.it!

Languages, Litanies, and the Limit

Languages, Litanies, and the Limit | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

In this article, I explore Stephenson's use of mathematical objects and philosophies in his novel Anathem (2008).Comparing it to Plato's Timaeus, I argue that the novel should not be read as a literal expression of Stephenson's own philosophical commitments, but that it should instead be treated as a thought-experiment in metaphysical possibility. I then situate the novel in the context of mathematical philosophy, and by means of close readings of the relevant passages, proceed to argue that the conclusion of Anathem suggests a possible reconciliation between Platonist and Fictionalist philosophies of mathematics.


Via Mariusz Leś
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Where Thomas Nagel Went Wrong-The philosopher's critique of evolution wasn't shocking. So why is he being raked over the coals?

Where Thomas Nagel Went Wrong-The philosopher's critique of evolution wasn't shocking. So why is he being raked over the coals? | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
The philosopher's critique of evolution wasn't shocking. So why have his colleagues raked him over the coals?

-

Thomas Nagel is a leading figure in philosophy, now enjoying the title of university professor at New York University, a testament to the scope and influence of his work. His 1974 essay "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" has been read by legions of undergraduates, with its argument that the inner experience of a brain is truly knowable only to that brain. Since then he has published 11 books, on philosophy of mind, ethics, and epistemology.

But Nagel's academic golden years are less peaceful than he might have wished. His latest book, Mind and Cosmos (Oxford University Press, 2012), has been greeted by a storm of rebuttals, ripostes, and pure snark. "The shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker," Steven Pinker tweeted. The Weekly Standard quoted the philosopher Daniel Dennett calling Nagel a member of a "retrograde gang" whose work "isn't worth anything—it's cute and it's clever and it's not worth a damn."

The critics have focused much of their ire on what Nagel calls "natural teleology," the hypothesis that the universe has an internal logic that inevitably drives matter from nonliving to living, from simple to complex, from chemistry to consciousness, from instinctual to intellectual.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

There is no alternative!-Bayesian statistics & Philosophy of science

There is no alternative!-Bayesian statistics & Philosophy of science | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
That is the claim made by the iron ladies to justify their political agendas. Can a scientific theory also be supported by such an argument? Michael Krämer discusses a new philosophical proof

-

While most scientists do not care much about the philosophy of science, almost everyone knows of Karl Popper, and some might have heard of Thomas Kuhn. Both Popper and Kuhn have shaped two important phases of philosophy of science in the 20th century. Popper and his contemporaries were aiming at the grand picture, and have been arguing what is, and what is not, "good science". Kuhn, on the other hand, focused on sociological and historical aspects and initiated a new, descriptive style of philosophy that brought it closer to the actual scientific practice. In his talk at the recent meeting of the German Society for Philosophy of Science, Stephan Hartmann, Director of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, argued that we have now entered a third phase, the phase of "scientific philosophy". Scientific philosophy combines different scientific methods to address philosophical problems, including mathematics, empirical studies and even experiment. Hartmann demonstrated the power of such an approach by analyzing the "no alternatives" argument: can we base trust in a scientific theory on the fact that no alternative has been found? In a recent paper to appear in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Hartmann and his collaborators Dawid and Sprenger provide a mathematical proof of the "no alternatives" argument based on Bayesian statistics.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Julian Baggini — I still love Kierkegaard (A torrential thunderstorm at the heart)

Julian Baggini — I still love Kierkegaard (A torrential thunderstorm at the heart) | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

He is the dramatic, torrential thunderstorm at the heart of philosophy and his provocation is more valuable than ever-

 

..Kierkegaard was not so much an oasis in this desert as a dramatic, torrential thunderstorm at the heart of it. Discovering him as a 17-year-old suddenly made philosophy and religion human and exciting, not arid and abstract. In part that’s because he was a complex personality with a tumultuous biography. Even his name emanates romantic darkness. ‘Søren’ is the Danish version of the Latin severus, meaning ‘severe’, ‘serious’ or ‘strict’, while ‘Kierkegaard’ means churchyard, with its traditional associations of the graveyard.

He knew intense love, and was engaged to Regine Olsen, whom he describes in his journals as ‘sovereign queen of my heart’. Yet in 1841, after four years of courtship, he called the engagement off, apparently because he did not believe he could give the marriage the commitment it deserved. He took love, God and philosophy so seriously that he did not see how he could allow himself all three.

He was a romantic iconoclast, who lived fast and died young, but on a rollercoaster of words and ideas rather than sex and booze. During the 1840s, books poured from his pen. In 1843 alone, he published three masterpieces, Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, and Repetition.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Wildcat2030 from Consciousness
Scoop.it!

Functionalism and mental boundaries

Functionalism and mental boundaries | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

According to extended cognitivists, the mind’s location is only partly in the head. In addition, extended cognitivists have argued, the mind is located in parts of the world outside the body.

 

Moreover, the possibility of extended cognition suggests new lines of research within the domain of social cognition. If minds extend, the boundaries that define the units of social interaction become less certain. Perhaps minds overlap. If, as some extended cognitivists believe, features of the environment comprise parts of a cognitive system, then a single piece of the world might constitute a piece of distinct cognitive systems. More dramatically, perhaps parts of a mind of one individual may be located within the mind of another. Insofar as extended cognition can make such possibilities plausible, social psychologists will need to re-interpret the nature of social interaction, will need to re-examine how the motivations and emotions of a single agent can influence an extended cognitive system, and so on.


Via ddrrnt
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Disputed Results a Fresh Blow for Social Psychology: Scientific American

Disputed Results a Fresh Blow for Social Psychology: Scientific American | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Failure to replicate intelligence-priming effects ignites row in research community

-

Thinking about a professor just before you take an intelligence test makes you perform better than if you think about football hooligans. Or does it? An influential theory that certain behavior can be modified by unconscious cues is under serious attack.

A paper published in PLoS ONE last week reports that nine different experiments failed to replicate this example of ‘intelligence priming’, first described in 1998 by Ap Dijksterhuis, a social psychologist at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and now included in textbooks.

David Shanks, a cognitive psychologist at University College London, UK, and first author of the paper in PLoS ONE, is among skeptical scientists calling for Dijksterhuis to design a detailed experimental protocol to be carried out indifferent laboratories to pin down the effect. Dijksterhuis has rejected the request, saying that he “stands by the general effect” and blames the failure to replicate on “poor experiments”.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Wildcat: The otherness of the other is none other than me or you

Wildcat: The otherness of the other is none other than me or you | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

The point is this: The otherness of an ‘other’ is none other than you. Allow me a moment to explain, for it is no simple matter, to realize that otherness is fundamentally a complex trait-building, pattern making characteristic of our minds.

Wildcat2030's insight:

My latest entry in the Ultrashorts Project

more...
luiy's curator insight, April 27, 2013 2:31 PM

And as emergent semantic networks our minds define and redefine continuously in a hyper complex dynamic process that which we consider as meaningful. In the case we are talking about here the ‘meaningfulness’ resides with the concept of the ‘other’. In the conceptual scaffolding I am proposing to you here, the very term ‘other’ transforms to become an extension of that which is ‘me’, but even that transformation is only the first step into a greater motion still. The motion I refer to is the one in which the ‘other’ is not only an extension but forms a nucleic reality within your own self-description. In this case the nucleic form or image that the ‘other’ has become is no longer disassociated from the powers at play within your own mind but constitutes ipso-facto a strength of activity, dynamically interacting with the overall process of your own self description.

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Who are the most significant moral philosophers in the history of Western philosophy?Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog:

So out poll got over 650 responses; here's the top 20:

1. Aristotle  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)2. Immanuel Kant  loses to Aristotle by 364–2273. Plato  loses to Aristotle by 414–168, loses to Immanuel Kant by 349–2414. David Hume  loses to Aristotle by 494–95, loses to Plato by 378–1975. John Stuart Mill  loses to Aristotle by 493–102, loses to David Hume by 292–2716. Socrates  loses to Aristotle by 464–104, loses to John Stuart Mill by 292–2507. Thomas Hobbes  loses to Aristotle by 556–29, loses to Socrates by 319–1928. John Rawls  loses to Aristotle by 557–38, loses to Thomas Hobbes by 272–2509. Jeremy Bentham  loses to Aristotle by 543–39, loses to John Rawls by 273–25010. Aquinas  loses to Aristotle by 547–23, loses to Jeremy Bentham by 280–22211. Augustine  loses to Aristotle by 550–20, loses to Aquinas by 306–13112. Friedrich Nietzsche  loses to Aristotle by 542–57, loses to Augustine by 263–24713. Soren Kierkegaard  loses to Aristotle by 553–31, loses to Friedrich Nietzsche by 290–21014. Epicurus  loses to Aristotle by 554–21, loses to Soren Kierkegaard by 218–21415. Henry Sidgwick  loses to Aristotle by 542–27, loses to Epicurus by 286–18116. Jean-Jacques Rousseau  loses to Aristotle by 566–21, loses to Henry Sidgwick by 242–21617. G.E. Moore  loses to Aristotle by 563–20, loses to Jean-Jacques Rousseau by 264–19118. Benedict Spinoza  loses to Aristotle by 543–24, loses to G.E. Moore by 252–19419. G.E.M. Anscombe  loses to Aristotle by 555–13, loses to Benedict Spinoza by 268–165

20. G.W.F. Hegel  loses to Aristotle by 546–14, loses to G.E.M. Anscombe by 227–161

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Rationally Speaking: Hanna Arendt: the movie, the philosopher

Rationally Speaking: Hanna Arendt: the movie, the philosopher | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

I recently saw Hannah Arendt, a rare movie whose protagonist is a philosopher. And an exceedingly well done movie, it is. I was lucky enough to go to the US premier of it, held at Film Forum in New York, and which was attended by the director, Margarethe von Trotta, the leading actress, Barbara Sukowa, the screenwriter, Pamela Katz, and the main supporting actress, Janet McTeer. This sort of thing is a major reason I love living in New York.

The movie centers around a crucial period of Arendt’s career, when she covered the trial of former nazi officer Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem, on behalf of the New Yorker magazine. The result was a series of five articles that were then collected in a highly influential book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Yes, you’ve heard the phrase before, and that’s where it comes from.

Arendt was already famous at the time, a leading faculty member at the New School in New York, and the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, which is why the notoriously picky New Yorker immediately accepted her offer to cover the Eichmann trial. Little did they know about the fury and heated controversy that Arendt’s writing would soon generate, a controversy that alienated her from some of her closest friends and family members, though it also made her the talk of the town and the idol of her students.

As I said, the movie is well worth watching because of the superb screenwriting, directing and acting, and von Trotta stressed — during the q&a following the first screening — that it is based on a painstaking analysis of the available documents, including letters from Arendt to her friends and family. Indeed, Arendt doesn’t come across as an unquestionable hero in the film. She was a complex woman and superb intellectual, embodying plenty of contradictions (she was the lover of famous philosopher, and nazi sympathizer, Martin Heidegger), and who had suffered personally at the hands of the nazis (she fled Germany, was interned in a camp in France, escaped and moved to the US).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Studies may have overestimated our generosity

Studies may have overestimated our generosity | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

Many past stud­ies may have over­es­ti­mated hu­man gen­eros­ity, if a new piece of re­search is any clue.

The study recre­ated a game of­ten used in lab­o­r­a­to­ry ex­pe­ri­ments to as­sess peo­ple’s will­ing­ness to give away mon­ey, or their al­tru­ism.

Par­ti­ci­pants are typ­ic­ally granted an­o­nym­ity. But the new study was de­signed to af­ford an as­sur­ance of an­o­nym­ity even more be­liev­a­ble than usu­al. It was set up so that par­ti­ci­pants would be un­aware any ex­pe­ri­ment was even hap­pen­ing—or that any de­ci­sion would even be counted, let alone watched.

Un­der this seem­ingly great­er lev­el of se­cre­cy, the lev­el of giv­ing plunged to ze­ro.

The find­ings sug­gest that the lev­els of al­tru­ism recorded in pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ments may be “sub­stanti­ally in­flat­ed,” wrote the re­search­ers, Jef­frey Wink­ing and Nich­o­las Mizer of Tex­as A&M Uni­vers­ity.

The results are pub­lished in the Ju­ly is­sue of the jour­nal Evo­lution and Hu­man Be­havior.

The findings, they added, high­light the idea that “an­o­nym­ity” and “se­cre­cy” can be dif­fer­ent things, be­cause any vis­i­ble ex­pe­ri­men­tal situa­t­ion can threat­en a par­ti­ci­pant with “very sub­tle cues” that the free­dom from pry­ing eyes is not ab­so­lute.

The al­tru­ism game, known as the Dic­ta­tor Game, along with many vari­ants, is rou­tine fare in psy­chol­o­gy and eco­nom­ics ex­pe­ri­ments. Usu­ally par­ti­ci­pants are giv­en some mon­ey, along with in­struc­tions that they may share some of it with an un­known, ran­domly as­signed part­ner if they wish. An­o­nym­ity is of­ten, though not al­ways, prom­ised.

In the new ver­sion, peo­ple wait­ing for bus­es near Las Ve­gas casi­nos were ap­proached by an ap­par­ently ran­dom strang­er. This per­son would of­fer some free ca­si­no chips, con­vert­i­ble to mon­ey, say­ing he did­n’t have time to cash them in. In some cases, this strang­er would al­so sug­gest that the re­cip­i­ent could share the chips with a sec­ond strang­er, who was stand­ing some dis­tance away with his back turned, chat­ting in­to a cell phone. Both strang­ers were really ac­tors. 

The chip-giver would then leave, and the sec­ond strang­er would put down his phone and come to the bus stop. The chip re­cip­i­ent’s next move was then se­cretly not­ed.

In the stand­ard Dic­ta­tor Game, the over­all av­er­age dona­t­ion based on past stud­ies is 28 per­cent of the to­tal, with nearly two-thirds of peo­ple of­fering at least some­thing, Wink­ing and Mizer wrote.

But in their “real-life” re-enactment of the game, no one gave a thing.

One pos­si­ble rea­son might have been re­luc­tance to in­i­ti­ate a con­versa­t­ion with a strang­er, the re­search­ers spec­u­lat­ed. How­ev­er, two par­ti­ci­pants did start a con­versa­t­ion with the cell phone guy—just to re­late their stroke of good luck.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Does Great Literature Make Us Better?

The view that literary fiction educates and civilizes its readers is widespread, and unproven.
more...
Cindy Tam's curator insight, June 16, 2013 1:36 PM

How do we take an honest account of our character in the first place?  Do we take one at all?

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

A Marketing Plan for Philosophy: Brand Your Thought Experiments

A Marketing Plan for Philosophy: Brand Your Thought Experiments | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

Only the bravest would side with philosophers in the end days of their turf war with scientists. For America’s pipe-puffing perplexity-ponderers, the tweed grows heavy and the hour late. Scientists have the flashy buildings, the splashy headlines, and credit for the “most impressive intellectual feats” of the age. The National Science Foundation has a budget of around $7 billion, while the National Philosophy Foundation—oh wait, there isn’t one.

Commentators refer to “the growing crisis in philosophy” and lament that “within a few decades, the entire discipline may be threatened.” The National Center for Education Statistics reports a 20 percent drop in the share of philosophy and religion majors between 1970 and 2009. The cruelest twist of the blade, say philosophers: “We are ignored at dinner parties.”

Amy Ferrer, executive director of the American Philosophical Association, offers reasons to be skeptical of the data on declining philosophy majors. But she acknowledged that at the root of “any perceived crisis” were “mistaken impressions about philosophy’s worth and practicality.” In public relations terms, a perceived crisis is a crisis.

Philosophy’s PR issues, of course, are nothing new (see Socrates, execution of). But really, nothing says “we take you seriously!” like a tall glass of hemlock. Some 24 centuries later, it was easy for a New York Times reviewer to conclude that “academic philosophy in the United States has virtually abandoned the attempt to speak to the culture at large.”

Let’s take it as given that every civilization will want a few philosophers on staff. Someone needs to keep humanity’s oldest intellectual fires burning. Someone needs to keep both comedians (Monty Python) and liquor stores (“I Drink Therefore I Am”) in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. And someone needs to regularly remind us of the value of unanswerable questions.

But if philosophy is so important, then selling itself to the culture at large is important too. So it’s time for philosophers to put their clothespins on their noses, wade into the stench of real-world commerce, and ask some of those tanned and toned marketing majors who skipped out on Philosophy 101 for some help.

What might a marketing plan for philosophy look like? The Four Ps (product, price, place, and promotion) constitute perhaps the best-known marketing template. In a digital era, though, the Four Cs model may be more relevant: consumer, costs, convenience, and communication.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Mark Rowlands - Is there a right to believe? (read of the day)

Mark Rowlands - Is there a right to believe? (read of the day) | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
You are entitled to believe what you will, but your beliefs must to be subject to criticism and scrutiny just like mine

-

Here is a true story. A young philosophy lecturer — let us call him Shane — is charged with the task of introducing young minds to the wonders of philosophy. His course, a standard Introduction to Philosophy, contains a section on the philosophy of religion: the usual arguments-for-and-against-the-existence-of-God stuff. One of Shane’s students complains to Shane’s Dean that his cherished religious beliefs are being attacked. ‘I have a right to my beliefs,’ the student claims. Shane’s repeated interrogations of those beliefs amounts to an attack on this right to believe. Shane’s institution is not a particularly enlightened one. The Dean concurs with the student, and instructs Shane to desist in teaching philosophy of religion.

But what exactly does it mean to claim ‘a right to my beliefs’? It often comes up in a religious context, but can arise in others too. Shane could just as easily be teaching Marxist theory to a laissez-faire capitalist student, or imparting evidence for global warming to a global warming sceptic. Whatever the context, the claim of a right to one’s beliefs is a curious one. We might distinguish two different interpretations of this claim. First, there is the evidential one. You have an evidential right to your belief if you can provide appropriate evidence in support of it. I have, in this sense, no right to believe that the moon is made of green cheese because my belief is lacking in any supporting evidence.

 

Keep on reading..

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Why Rituals Work: Scientific American

Why Rituals Work: Scientific American | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
There are real benefits to rituals, religious or otherwise

-

Think about the last time you were about to interview for a job, speak in front of an audience, or go on a first date. To quell your nerves, chances are you spent time preparing – reading up on the company, reviewing your slides, practicing your charming patter. People facing situations that induce anxiety typically take comfort in engaging in preparatory activities, inducing a feeling of being back in control and reducing uncertainty.

While a little extra preparation seems perfectly reasonable, people also engage in seemingly less logical behaviors in such situations. Here’s one person’s description from our research:

I pound my feet strongly on the ground several times, I take several deep breaths, and I "shake" my body to remove any negative energies.  I do this often before going to work, going into meetings, and at the front door before entering my house after a long day.

...

Recent research suggests that rituals may be more rational than they appear. Why? Because even simple rituals can be extremely effective. Rituals performed after experiencing losses – from loved ones to lotteries – do alleviate grief, and rituals performed before high-pressure tasks – like singing in public – do in fact reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence. What’s more, rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work. While anthropologists have documented rituals across cultures, this earlier research has been primarily observational. Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

more...
luiy's curator insight, May 16, 2013 2:17 PM

Rituals appear to be effective, but, given the wide variety of rituals documented by social scientists, do we know which types of rituals work best? In a recent studyconducted in Brazil, researchers studied people who perform simpatias: formulaic rituals that are used for solving problems such as quitting smoking, curing asthma, and warding off bad luck. People perceive simpatias to be more effective depending on the number of steps involved, the repetition of procedures, and whether the steps are performed at a specified time. While more research is needed, these intriguing results suggest that the specific nature of rituals may be crucial in understanding when they work – and when they do not.

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The Philosophy of SimCity: An Interview With the Game's Lead Designer

The Philosophy of SimCity: An Interview With the Game's Lead Designer | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Stone Librande talks about parking lots, governing styles, and how Google Earth shaped the Sim's new world.

-

In the nearly quarter-century since designer Will Wright launched the iconic urban planning computer game, SimCity, not only has the world's population become majoritatively urban for the first time in human history, but interest in cities and their design has gone mainstream.

Once a byword for boring, city planning is now a hot topic, claimed by technology companies, economists, so-called "Supermayors," and cultural institutions alike as the key to humanity's future. Indeed, if we are to believe the hype, the city has become our species' greatest triumph.

-

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

On synthesis, design and chemistry’s outstanding philosophical problems | The Curious Wavefunction, Scientific American Blog Network

On synthesis, design and chemistry’s outstanding philosophical problems | The Curious Wavefunction, Scientific American Blog Network | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it
Yesterday I wrote a post about a perspective by multifaceted chemist George Whitesides in which he urged chemists to broaden the boundaries of their discipline and ...
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Wildcat2030 from Consciousness
Scoop.it!

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | Philosophy everywhere everywhen | Scoop.it

Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more counter-intuitive ideas in cognitive science. In sharp contrast is dualism, a theory of mind famously put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century when he claimed that “there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible… the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” In the proceeding centuries, the notion of the disembodied mind flourished. From it, western thought developed two basic ideas: reason is disembodied because the mind is disembodied and reason is transcendent and universal. However, as George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain:

 

Cognitive science calls this entire philosophical worldview into serious question on empirical grounds… [the mind] arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment… Thus, to understand reason we must understand the details of our visual system, our motor system, and the general mechanism of neural binding.

 

What exactly does this mean? It means that our cognition isn’t confined to our cortices. That is, our cognition is influenced, perhaps determined by, our experiences in the physical world. This is why we say that something is “over our heads” to express the idea that we do not understand; we are drawing upon the physical inability to not see something over our heads and the mental feeling of uncertainty. Or why we understand warmth with affection; as infants and children the subjective judgment of affection almost always corresponded with the sensation of warmth, thus giving way to metaphors such as “I’m warming up to her.”


Via ddrrnt
more...
Claudia M. Reder's comment, May 19, 2013 8:28 PM
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/11/04/a-brief-guide-to-embodied-cognition-why-you-are-not-your-brain/
Alexander Vorobiev-Char's curator insight, February 4, 2014 2:14 AM

Соответствуют ли Ваши мысли возможностям Вашего тела? Что из них первично?

Eli Levine's comment, February 4, 2014 9:35 AM
This sounds like an analogy to a government sitting within a society. For example, while a government does technically control the body society through the production of laws (to a limited extent), the body society also influences and effects the government (brain) to produce different results. This is how government can be working independently of (and sometimes, contrary to) the rest of society, just as the society can also work independently of (and, sometimes, when the government isn't being cooperative with society's needs) contrary to the government.<br><br>Thanks for this! :)
Rescooped by Wildcat2030 from cognition
Scoop.it!

John Searle on Ludwig Wittgenstein: Section 1

Bryan Magee talks to John Searle about the legacy of Ludwig Wittgenstein; ranging from his early work, the Tractatus, to his posthumously published, Philosophical Investigations.


Via FastTFriend
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

On Borges, Particles and the Paradox of the Perceived

How can science, philosophy and a work of pure imagination meet to deepen our understanding of the physical world?

-

In 1927 a young German physicist published a paper that would turn the scientific world on its head. Until that time, classical physics had assumed that when a particle’s position and velocity were known, its future trajectory could be calculated. Werner Heisenberg demonstrated that this condition was actually impossible: we cannot know with precision both a particle’s location and its velocity, and the more precisely we know the one, the less we can know the other. Five years later he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for having laid the foundations of quantum physics.

This discovery has all the hallmarks of a modern scientific breakthrough; so it may be surprising to learn that the uncertainty principle was intuited by Heisenberg’s contemporary, the Argentine poet and fiction writer Jorge Luis Borges, and predicted by philosophers centuries and even millenniums before him.

While Borges did not comment on the revolution in physics that was occurring during his lifetime, he was obsessively concerned with paradoxes, and in particular those of the Greek philosopher Zeno. As he wrote in one of his essays: “Let us admit what all the idealists admit: the hallucinatory character of the world. Let us do what no idealist has done: let us look for unrealities that confirm that character. We will find them, I believe, in the antinomies of Kant and in the dialectic of Zeno.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Stephen Hawking: So Here's How It All Happened without God: Scientific American

Even some of the more faithful might have wondered over the last few days whether there truly is a God-

Even some of the more faithful might have wondered over the last few days whether there truly is a God.

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking would like to help. Let's imagine there isn't, seems to be his preference.

Indeed, in a speech at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday night, he made jokes about God's supposed power and omnipresence.

"What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?" asked Hawking, clearly not afraid of meeting a reddish man with a fork and a tail.

Being a scientist, Hawking has faith only in scientific explanations.

As NBC News reports, he discounted a repeating Big Bang Theory (even though he's appeared on the show).

Instead, he thinks: "We are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe."

I certainly feel like the product of quantum fluctuations on many days of the week, don't you?

more...
No comment yet.