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Eric Schliesser
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Edward Egan and Thane Naberhaus were fired on Monday, February 8 from their faculty positions at Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland. Egan, who advised the Pre-Law program, was also the faculty supervisor to the Mountain Echo, the student newspaper that broke the news that the president of Mount St.... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Digressions&Impressions
Yes, bullying is bad. (I don't deny that.) But it's not clear that the anonymous commentators are the strong, and the APA is not the sort of organization that ought to settle that.
Perhaps the public's average competence is below .5 in economics (as you often seem to claim), Jason. But what's your evidence for average low moral competence?
Abusive speech directed at philosophers is not limited to responses by the public to published op-eds. A look at some of the anonymous philosophy blogs also reveals a host of examples of abusive speech by philosophers directed against other philosophers. Disagreement is fine and is not the issue. But bullying... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
The Jury Theorem seems to imply that, in groups of much size, if it is correct more often than not then it is also virtually infallible. Majority rule is only better than random if voters are better than random; but if they are, then in large groups majority rule is... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
In spite of the rhetoric employed by Damon and Colby concerning the search for higher moral truths, the basic moral principle that is consistently employed in this psychological literature is the bare Hobbesian one of resolving disagreement, or promoting cooperation. In his book Moral Tribes, Joshua Greene warns that even... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Economists approach political competition with a simple but potent hypothesis called the “median voter theorem.” Anthony Downs, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, proposed the idea in his 1957 book, “An Economic Theory of Democracy.” Essentially, the idea is this: Any politician who strays too far from voters at... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Throughout his career, but perhaps most noticeably from the mid-1970s onwards, Rawls developed modes of moral and political inquiry distinct from normative moral and political philosophy as it has traditionally been understood…Rawls’ short-lived project in what he called “moral theory” — a project that lasted from approximately the mid-1970s to... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
I awoke early to write a long-ish post on Rawls on Moral Theory and economics (with nods to Gaus), but I recognized that rather than using the draft to discover what I really think, the writing turned into a way not to feel. I dislike this most about my scholarship;... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Notice that nothing in the epistemic argument here suggests that no prisoners should, in fact, spend the rest of their natural lives behind bars. Instead, the point is that rationality requires that we leave the epistemic door open to acquiring new information. Put bluntly, the argument says that it is... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
In the political sciences all that the [purportedly Islamic--ES] philosophers have to say comes down to administrative maxims concerned with secular affairs and the government of rulers. They simply took these over from the scriptures revealed to the prophets by God Most High and from the maxims handed down from... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
But there is this basis of powerful natural sentiment; and this it is which, when once the general happiness is recognised as the ethical standard, will constitute the strength of the utilitarian morality. This firm foundation is that of the social feelings of mankind; the desire to be in unity... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
During the 1680s Huygens's pendulum clocks were involved in two episodes: (i) the great debate between Huygens and Newton over universal gravity and the search for longitude with Huygens’s pendulum clocks, which was arguably the most important technological issue for a country -- the Dutch Republic -- dependent on commerce... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Then sense-data spoke up: “What assurance have you that your reliance on [reason] is not like your reliance on sense-data? Indeed, you used to have confidence in me. Then the reason-judge came along and gave me the lie. But were it not for the reason-judge, you would still accept me... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
The moralistic fallacy is the mistake of supposing that reasons why it would be morally good or bad to feel some emotional response toward an object bear on whether that emotional response is fitting (i.e. on whether the object has the particular evaluative feature that it seems to you to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
In Book VIII of the Odyssey, we read that the gods weave misfortunes so that future generations will have something to sing about; Mallarmé’s statement, “The world exists to end up in a book,” seems to repeat, some thirty centuries later, the same concept of an aesthetic justification for evils.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Axiomata Sive Leges Motus--Newton, Principa, p. 12. In the Principia, after Newton introduces his definitions, and his scholium to the definitions, he turns the page and offers three "laws of motion." And while Newton's own formulation was displaced during the development of 'Newtonian' or 'classical' mechanics (Newton works with proportions... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Since I suspect there are other early-career shy, introverted philosophers out there like 'postdoc' and myself, I thought it might be helpful if I opened up a discussion on these issues. If one is shy and/or introverted, are these impediments to professional success? Are they things one should aim to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
It is so incredibly hard to do a good job, and when things go well, no one says: well done, editor! (Well, on occasion I’ve had authors thanking me for the swiftness of the process.) When things go bad, however… (For example, as an editor I’ve rejected a paper which... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Unlike the Cosby women, I certainly intended to consent to intercourse. What I did not consent to was the gruesome, violent, and painful assault that he substituted for intercourse. I remember screaming for help, to no avail, and I remember him saying, "It's all part of sex." I never seriously... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
A new scandal is brewing at Synthese -- by some metrics the most important journal published in European analytical philosophy -- about this article. HT Audrey Yap. (See her post here.) The article is blatantly sexist and homophobic in ways that add nothing to the underlying argument about the nature... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Of late years it has been the fashion to talk about Gandhi as though he were not only sympathetic to the Western Left-wing movement, but were integrally part of it. Anarchists and pacifists, in particular, have claimed him for their own, noticing only that he was opposed to centralism and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
It seemed it to me important to supplement the thought that there is more to life than morality with the idea that there is more to life than self-interest (or the conjunction of self-interest and morality).--Susan Wolf (2015) "Introduction" The Variety of Values, 3. One may feel, as I do,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Luc is very good, but we disagree. Berkeley is creating something anew, and it is not quite Newtonian.
It is surely not anti-Jewish or counter-Jewish to offer a critique of the forms of state violence instituted and maintained by political Zionism (which would include the massive dispossessions of Palestinians in 1948, the appropriation of land in 1967, and the recurrent confiscations of Palestinian lands that continues now with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions