Friday, 12 October 2018

The GIF of Reason (Coming Soon!)

Jonathan Taylor-Thomas, grad student at Ecole Normale Superieure (no relation to the actor) has kindly written to me with advance information about a GIF image he is producing which will summarise and visualise Kant's excellent book The Critique of Pure Reason.

I'm really excited by this project, which could be a next big step in philosophy.

Taylor-Thomas is currently looking for assistance in hosting the GIF at a number of different "mirror" sites (apologies to Rorty), so if you have some free webspace, particularly if it's at an .edu domain, holla at him.

So, watch this space, for the GIF is coming soooon! But for now here's a neat visualisation of some recent work in metaethics:

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Friday, 22 June 2018

Let Us Make Our Discussions Here Better

Hat tip to a beautiful phil site which contains many norm violations and protects members of the profession from others.

I will protect you all, if you come under my big, capacious, beautiful wings, and we can all sit down and roll our sleeves up and talk about this besieged discipline we call "Philosophy".

Some of the comments here have been highly misleading and harmful to many members of the profession. Please refrain from any and all misleading facts in this section, and let's stick to the substance of this post, which is how we should improve the blog and, in turn, maybe the profession:

- Stick to the substance of the arguments: I've seen  people here who seem to think that writing a bunch of sentences in a  coherent way constitutes an argument, but this can be harmful, and it is our duty as lecturers and teachers to be more protective. John Protevi had an interesting take on this when I met him at a conference in Osaka in 1991: he says burn em all down (I Mean by this those who would have their cake and eat it too - "arguing" while all the while producing concrete harms to the profession. Go figure).

- Don't grandstand: just give us the argument, or if you can't do that, prepare a comic strip and show us that. It will be cool, entertaining, and funny, with low production values - that twisted, low fi aesthetic we've come to all know and love on the internet!

- Just be yourself: there's nothing worse than people coming here and posing as tenured seniour figures, or emeritus professors, when we all know you're just some filthy male in your basement playing on your Mom's latest computer. Shove it up your ass and go to hell.

I think we all need to take a breather for now after some of the recent norm violations we've seen here and elsewhere in the "philblogosphere". I for one could use a rest!

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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Monthly Norms Debate #1

I propose that we use this blog to have a debate on our norms every month. This is the first debate.

Please keep it civil, and give arguments, not just opinions.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Guest Post: Why Not Destroy Philosophy? An Open Journal Proposal

This is a guest post by Justin Ferrier, co-creator of the US Philosopher's Association and a very popular blog, now defunct.

I was listening to my kids at the art gallery the other day and I heard my daughter ask:

'Why do all these dead men want to keep doing philosophy anyway?'

I thought to myself for a minute and then said 'Good question, Arianthe. I do not know the answer to it.'

My son johannesberg then grew restive, and they ran around the gallery interacting with the works, allowing me some more time to think.

We have a terrible discipline that oppresses almost all who try to attain anything within it. We have a rigged journal system overflowing with formulaic, "safe", uninspiring papers, and the barriers to entry grow taller every day.

So Ariadne's astute question hit me with extra force today.

We've had a lot of discussion here lately and over at Daily Nous, with Brian Kemple weighing in heavily. I reached out to Doc F Emeritus for comment, but he is unwilling to contribute to the harms we're seeing these days. I think it's a terrible shame that we won't have Doc around for this one, but these are important conversations that need to happen. I will be writing to Dan Kaufman this evening for comments on some old essays I found lying around. If anything comes up I'll flag it for peer review.

Why do we need a peer review system anyway?

Judgements of quality are notoriously unreliable and hard to assess. Recent data suggests up to 40% variance across different referees in the same discipline. If anyone has the numbers for other disciplines, let me know.

Let's have an opener journal system, some have said. Others have responded that this would potentially pose a real hazard to the quality of philosophy itself. But here's an interesting idea: who cares? If we see the ashes of philosophy as a problem, we should give os closer thought to this and consider the possible transformations it may yet undergo - a new artform rising from the ashes?

Thursday, 15 March 2018

New Post: An Online Philosophy "Ranch" to Hang out

New post. I recently looked at my peers and at philosophy and had an idea. There's no central, online forum we can all get together in, like the Agora of old times, to discuss the ideas and problems of the profession.

I wanted a supportive, interesting space where people can put out bright ideas, argue maybe, and even just kick back and have a good time with other thinkers.

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So I bring you this post - a Philosophy Ranch! Let us get together here in future and we can talk. I may start things off with a few comments in the comments. But once the ice gets broken, I think I'm going to have a hard time stopping you!

So welcome to the ranch! There are cows at the bottom, there's some food in the middle if you want a nibble, and I may be able to get some wine to share with you. But the most important thing is that you bring your philosophical minds, and leave those preconceptions at the door.





So, enjoy the ranch, don't get too much sun, wear your sturdy boots, and jump on the saddle.

After a few people others come and join me here, I might add new structures. S

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