Philosophy

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Philosophy

In a frequently recycled list of proposed New Year’s resolutions, Ann Landers urges: Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. However, she fails to advise a course of action in the case that you think you might not be able to live up to this vow. (Maybe she was too…

Please apply.

If memory serves, today is the day that the meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association draws to a close. That meeting, always conveniently scheduled to fall in the interstices between Christmas and New Year’s, and more often than not located in some East Coast city with nasty winter weather (this year,…

This is not an exhaustive account of my experiences at the PSA so far, but rather what’s at the top of my Day-Quil-addled head:

… and, if that philosopher is Brian Weatherson, you’ll get a detailed consideration of cost, benefits, and rational strategies like this one: Voting is a lot like playing an n-player Prisoners Dilemma with the other people who (loosely speaking) share the values that underlie your vote. I’m taking values to be defined loosely enough here…

Over at Effect Measure, Revere takes issue with a science educator’s hand-wringing over what science students (and scientists) don’t know. In a piece at The Scientist, James Williams (the science educator in question) writes: Graduates, from a range of science disciplines and from a variety of universities in Britain and around the world, have a…

We’re nearly to the halfway mark (in terms of time) on Blogger Challenge 2008 and the mommy bloggers are still leaving us in their dust. We’ve told you about the school kids you could help by donating to our challenges, we’ve offered small incentives (and big incentives). Today, the news comes from our benevolent overlords…

Argumentation: FAIL.

One of the big things philosopher-types like to do with their students is work on extracting arguments from a piece of text and reconstructing them. This can be useful in locating sources of disagreement, whether they be specific premises or inferences. But some chunks of text that seem like they ought to have arguments that…

There’s a question I’ve been thinking about intermittently (over the course of several years) that I thought I’d lay out here, on the theory that you all have a track record of sharing smart and insightful things (including related questions of your own) in the comments. One of the things that potentially makes a human…

Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver (with Bill Birchard), Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life. Harvard Business Press, 2008. I fully embrace the idea that ethics should not just be a subject of esoteric inquiry in philosophy departments but rather a central feature of…

Seeing is believing.

Blogging has been a bit light lately, in part because I was persuaded to teach half of a graduate seminar during the summer session. The first half of the seminar looked at philosophical approaches to epistemology (basically, a set of issues around what counts as knowledge and what could count as reasonable ways to build…