Is Philosophy OK?

by Robert Gressis Lately, I’ve been wondering whether it’s OK for me to be a philosophy professor. You might wonder, “Why on earth should anyone wonder whether it’s OK to be a philosophy professor?” I have a simple argument. It goes like this: The Conceptual Claim: Professors do three things as part of their jobs: produce research, teach, and provide […]

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Of White Papers and Jumping the Shark

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ When one hears the expression “white paper,” one thinks of a document of great historic significance, typically issued by a government.  Winston Churchill’s famous 1922 white paper clarifying the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which set in motion a series of events that changed the face of the Middle East, immediately comes to mind. What one doesn’t […]

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A Very Philosophical Conceit

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Over at the Daily Nous, an influential philosophy-insider’s blog, editor Justin Weinberg kicks off a celebration of its five year anniversary by congratulating himself. [1]  He says that he is proud that he and the Nous have played a role in “breaking up a toxic concentration of power in our profession” and ushering in a […]

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Time for a Change?

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Over at Leiter Reports, probably the most well-read philosophy-insider’s blog, Brian Leiter has run a two-day poll, in which he asked the following question: Would you leave the APA [American Philosophical Association] and join a new dues-charging professional philosophy association that does much of what the APA does, but without the current political agendas/projects? The […]

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Epithets in Philosophy

By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Do epithets have a place in philosophical disputes? Is it useful, productive, or even appropriate to call people “racist,” “misogynist,” or “transphobic,” when engaged in philosophical arguments about the ethics of affirmative action, or whether we are properly described as living in a “rape culture” or whether gender identity is such that trans-women are in […]

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Science and Natural Language

by Mark English I once watched a nature documentary about a group of lions in the wild. At one stage a lioness and her cubs found themselves separated from the group. After a period of time during which she almost starved and her cubs were killed, she finally managed to rejoin the group. The other lions certainly recognized her and […]

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Disability, Well-Being, and Intuition

By Daniel Tippens In 2014, Elizabeth Barnes published a paper in Ethics with the title “Valuing Disability, Causing Disability.” Barnes is disabled herself and observes that there seems to be a striking difference between philosophers and disabled individuals, when it comes to their intuitions about the well-being of disabled people. Philosophers tend to hold what she calls the “bad-difference” view: […]

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