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My colleague Nicole Vincent has led the organization for this conference: NEURO-INTERVENTIONS AND THE LAW: Regulating Human Mental Capacity 12-14 September 2014 at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Georgia State University and the Atlanta Neuroethics Consortium (ANEC) is hosting an international conference about neuroscience and legal responsibility. More information... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Flickers of Freedom
Here, hosted by the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics in Flint, MI. Looks like a really interesting lineup, including (to mention just a few of the many speakers): Oisin Deery, Zac Cogley, Jennifer Mundale, Tony Jack, Marcela Herdova, Justin Capes, Kadri Vihvelin, Gregg Caruso, Janet Levin, and Gunnar Bjornsson (and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Wonderful interview with John Fischer here. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Tamler has cheated on his own podcast (Very Bad Wizards) to be the guest star on Partially Examined Life, discussing free will and moral responsibility, with a focus on the Strawsons, father vs. son. The episode is here. Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
P.F. Strawson, in his famous 1962 article, pointed out that we excuse people who harm us when their harm does not represent ill will towards us. And one reason an otherwise normal agent may harm us without expressing ill will is because he acted “for reasons which acceptably override his... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Abstracts Due: March 30 (500-750 words) Conference: Sept 12-14, 2014 at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA More info here: http://atlneuroethics.org/ Summary: Modern neuro-interventions hold out the promise of non-invasively but directly, effectively, efficiently, and maybe even permanently altering people’s mental capacities. This conference will examine a range of pertinent... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Abstracts Due: March 30 (500-750 words) Conference: Sept 12-14, 2014 at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA More info here: http://atlneuroethics.org/ Summary: Modern neuro-interventions hold out the promise of non-invasively but directly, effectively, efficiently, and maybe even permanently altering people’s mental capacities. This conference will examine a range of pertinent... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at Experimental Philosophy
I sympathize with the commentator's concerns regarding the difficulties of making fine-grained distinctions among increasingly impressive applicants, though for reasons amply pointed out above, there is no reason to think MA students efforts' or work should be discounted. On the contrary, I'd suggest that PhD programs allow the MA programs to serve the valuable functions of helping to professionalize students and helping to distinguish among those students who really want to continue in the profession and have both the "natural talents" to do so and the work ethic, receptiveness to feedback, teaching aptitude and other things that MA programs both hone and assess. If a student excels in a good MA program, I would think that would provide a lot of evidence that s/he will excel in good PhD programs. Second, I can't help but wonder if some people at top PhD programs (not necessarily the commentator, despite the way the comments can be read) are biased against students from MA programs because they think that students with the requisite "natural talent" would shine through as undergrads (at top schools, of course), while those with MAs must have less of that talent and shine (only!) because of determination (and perhaps help from profs). I hope that bias can be expunged. Of course, the best way to expunge any such bias is for the MA students (on average) to kick ass in PhD programs relative to those who come straight from BA programs (and perhaps to drop out less often). At some point, perhaps Brian can start a conversation asking for impressions (or even data) about whether profs in PhD programs have better experiences (on average) with students who have MAs. [full disclosure: I work at Georgia State, a terminal MA program, so I'm sure I have some biases]
... Read these 30 interviews in Methode Well, it just came out, so I've actually only read the one I wrote, but it's a pretty remarkable line up of most of the major figures in the contempoarary debates (plus some hangers on like me), each offering a summary of their... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
This paper with primary authors Toni Adleberg and Morgan Thompson will come out in Philosophical Psychology and a prepublication draft is here (abstract below). In addition to presenting our failure to replicate Buckwalter & Stich's results, we also present an extensive literature search we did on gender differences in x-phi... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2014 at Experimental Philosophy
First, the GRE (and other test) data is problematic (it's only measuring people who are applying to grad school in philosophy, a small proportion of phil majors). And from the armchair (but Patrick offers a good way to test), I have no doubt there is some selection effect, though probably also some improvement in these test scores because of the critical thinking, logic, and writing skills philosophy majors get. But I'm with Dan Haybron: WTF are we doing if we don't think that we are improving our majors' abilities to think well, read well, argue effectively, and write clearly?? And if we can't sell those skills to students (and to a wide range of potential employers), then we aren't doing our jobs. (I say this as a DUS who is trying, but not hard enough, to do this job.) It would be much better if we had some better data to make this case, but until we get it, I have no problem suggesting to potential majors (and administrators and employers and ideally high school curriculum creators) that philosophy does at least as well, and typically better, than other disciplines at improving reading, writing, editing, critical thinking, and communication skills (plus pretty good with creativity and problem solving), skills that are essential for a wide variety of careers (not to mention, life in general).
Yes, I know, my time as Featured Author is done (in an hour). But before I flicker out, I wanted to raise a sociological question for us to consider. I just watched the episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, "Do We Have Free Will?" It's a pretty good... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
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[This is my last post, and it is co-authored with Oisin Deery (pronounced o-SHEEN) who just defended his dissertation at UBC and is headed off to the University of Montreal. Hopefully, this post will offer a nice transition into Carolina Sartorio’s month as Featured Author at Flickers. I want to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
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As I’ve suggested in previous comments, I believe that the counterfactuals involved in understanding human choice should not be treated as special—that is, they are not best understood or analyzed in a way that is different in kind from the counterfactuals involved in understanding other contingent events. Here, I want... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
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Before I post on other issues, I’d like to try once more to lay out my story about what I take to be a central part of the free will debate, in part because I feel like previous posts got sidetracked a bit by my suggestions that it was the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
I’d already written up this post, and it raises some of the issues that are being discussed in the previous post’s thread, so I figured I’d post it now and then respond to comments and critiques to both posts as the week progresses. (Plus we’re putting up follow-up experiments this... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
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My first two posts have been speculative jaunts. My next 2-3 posts will discuss recent work related in one way or another to my ‘bypassing’ thesis. As a thesis about people’s beliefs about free will, it basically holds that people think we have free will regarding a decision or action... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
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A short post—really just posing some questions for people about issues I haven’t thought about enough—and then I’ll post something more substantive in a day or two. Thanks for the great discussion about pluralism. It seems to me that, in many cases, we tend to punish, and want to punish,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
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Tamler Sommers (2011) argues that different cultures have different practices regarding moral responsibility (and fair punishment)—for instance, people in honor cultures are apt to think it fair to punish people who have no control over bad actions, such as relatives of the bad actors, which is very different than, say,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
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Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be the Featured Author this month, and humbled to follow such an incredible lineup—imagine a conference with several talks each by Mele, Fischer, Nelkin, McKenna, Levy, Waller, Smilansky, and Pereboom! We really owe a lot to Thomas for breathing new life into this blog... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
April Fools! However, John Fischer was on NPR's The Story here. Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
Something fun to kill the time until Dana gets us back into the thick of it. Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
We are creating a Neuroethics program at Georgia State University in Atlanta, building on our strengths in neurophilosophy/moral psychology and ethics/phil law, and our interdisciplinary connections with Neuroscience, Psychology, and Law. We will begin with three hires, one or two of which will be in philosophy (and one in neuroscience... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2012 at Flickers of Freedom
Dylan Murray and I have our article with this title published now in early view at PPR here (if your institution does not have a subscription, you can email me for a copy of the paper). Some of you may have seen some of the results if you've read our... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2012 at Flickers of Freedom
I have a blog post at Templeton's Big Questions Online that you may wish to check out (though it won't be news for people who've read my rants here). The link is here. Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2012 at Flickers of Freedom