Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Philosophers Win NEH Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced the winners of its most recent round of grants, and several philosophy faculty  are among them. They are: Dorit Bar-On (University of Connecticut) Expression, Communication, and Origins of Meaning Project Description: Completion of a book on the origins of language. $60,000 Fellowship Michael Jacovides (Purdue University) Springs and Principles of the Universe: David Hume on Laws and Causes Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the development of philosopher David Hume’s (1711–1776) theories of laws and causation. $60,000 Fellowship Allison Kuklok (St. Michael’s College) The Status of Man in John Locke’s Natural Philosophy Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on John Locke’s (1632– 1704) natural philosophy. $60,000 Fellowship Gabriel Mendlow (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) Thought Crime in Anglo-American Law and Legal Philosophy Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the criminalization of thought in Anglo-American law. $60,000 Fellowship Nathanael Stein (Florida State University) Causation and Explanation in Aristotle Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on Aristotle’s view on causation and his natural philosophy. $60,000 Fellowship David Stern (University of Iowa) The First Complete Translation of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Project Description: Research and translation leading to publication of a complete [More]

Journal of the History of Philosophy Article Prize

The Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy has selected Jessica Moss (New York University) and Whitney Schwab (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) as the winners of the journal’s 2019 Best Article Prize.  Their winning article, “The Birth of Belief,” appeared in the January, 2019 issue (volume 57, number 1). Here’s the abstract of their article: It is widely accepted that doxa, which plays a major role in Plato’s and Aristotle’s epistemologies, is the Ancient counterpart of belief. We argue against this consensus: doxa is not generic taking-to-be-true, but instead something closer to mere opinion. We then show that Plato shows little sign of interest in the generic notion of belief; it is Aristotle who systematically develops that notion, under the rubric of hupolêpsis (usually translated as ‘supposition’), a much-overlooked notion that is, we argue, central to his epistemology. We close by considering the significance of this development, outlining the shifts in epistemological concerns enabled by the birth of belief as a philosophical notion. Honorable Mention for the prize went to Jon McGinnis (University of Missouri, St. Louis) for “A Continuation of Atomism: Shahrastānī on the Atom and Continuity,” which appeared in the journal in October, 2019 (volume 57, number 4). Here’s its abstract: The present study investigates the atomism of Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Karīm al-Shahrastānī (c. 1075–1153). [More]

Philosophy Foundation Co-Founder Recognized in New Years Honours

Emma Worley, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of The Philosophy Foundation, was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) as part of the 2020 New Years Honours. The New Year Honours are issued in the name of Queen Elizabeth to recognize people in various domains for their noteworthy achivements. Ms. Worley was officially recognized “for services to innovation” in philosophy and education. She co-founded The Philosophy Foundation with her husband Peter Worley in 2007. The mission of the foundation is “to bring understanding, wisdom and eudaimonia (flourishing) to the heart of education for children and adults.” It does so mainly through bringing philosophy to schools at the pre-college level, communities, and workplaces. According to a press release from the foundation, it is “the only charity in the world that specifically employs Philosophy graduates to do Philosophy with children, training Philosophy graduates to be able to do Philosophy in schools from nursery up to 18 using a specific methodology developed over years of practice and research in the classroom.” Ms. Worley “has helped grow the organisation from a one-person start up to a charity that has international recognition, directly reaching between 4,000-6,000 beneficiaries in schools every year as well as local community groups. Over the last couple of years The Philosophy Foundation has expanded to Canada and Europe, and Emma has helped build [More]

Sarah Moss Wins Sanders Epistemology Prize

Sarah Moss, professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, has won the 2019 Sanders Prize in Epistemology. The Sanders Prize in Epistemology is awarded for the best submitted essay of original research in epistemology by either a scholar who is within fifteen years of receiving a Ph.D. or a current graduate student. Professor Moss won the prize for her essay, “Knowledge and Legal Proof.” Here’s the paper’s abstract: Contemporary legal scholarship on evidence and proof addresses a host of apparently disparate questions: What does it take to prove a fact beyond a reasonable doubt? Why is the reasonable doubt standard notoriously elusive, even sometimes considered by courts to be impossible to define? Can the standard of proof by a preponderance of the evidence be defined in terms of probability thresholds? Why is merely statistical evidence often insufficient to meet the burden of proof? This paper defends an account of proof that addresses each of these questions. Where existing theories take a piecemeal approach to these puzzles, my theory develops a core insight that unifies them—namely, the thesis that legal proof requires knowledge. Although this thesis may seem radical at first, I argue that it is in fact highly intuitive; in fact, the knowledge account of legal proof does better than several competing accounts when it comes to making sense of our intuitive judgments about what legal proof requires. The prize is $5,000 and [More]

Down Girl by Kate Manne Wins APA Book Prize

Kate Manne, associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University, has won the 2019 Book Prize from the American Philosophical Association (APA) for her Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. The APA states: In Down Girl, Kate Manne calls attention to an underappreciated question in the literature: how should we understand misogyny? She advances a new account of it to make sense of some of the most fundamental issues in feminist thought and political philosophy. Despite the ambitious nature of her project, the end result is a powerful view that nevertheless seems like common sense. Manne has succeeded in measurably improving the quality of public discourse on very timely and vexed issues by writing a book that is both accessible and rigorous. The APA’s Book Prize is awarded every other year for the best, published book that was written by a younger scholar during the previous two years. The prize is $4,000, which will be presented at the upcoming Eastern Division meeting of the APA. Honorable Mention for the prize went to Sarah Moss, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, for her book, Probabilistic Knowledge.   The post Down Girl by Kate Manne Wins APA Book Prize appeared first on Daily [More]

2019 Popper Prize Winner Announced

The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (BJPS) has selected Carlos Gray Santana (University of Utah) as the winner of its 2019 Karl Popper Prize for his “ground breaking” paper in the philosophy of geology. The Popper Prize is awarded annually to the article judged to be the best published in that year’s volume of the Journal, as determined by the editors-in-chief and the British Society for the Philosophy of Science Committee. Professor Santana won the prize for his article, “Waiting for the Anthropocene“. The BJPS editors-in-chief, Steven French (Leeds) and Wendy Parker (Durham), write: Are we at the dawn of a new geological epoch? Many have answered ‘yes’, coining the term ‘Anthropocene’ to designate the impact of humanity on the geological record. In this ground breaking paper, Carlos Santana notes that answering that question requires a radical shift in perspective for a historical science such as geology: whereas previously the identification of formal units of geological time was based on the groupings already present in the stratographic record, establishing such a distinction in the case of the Anthropocene requires the geologist to project herself into the future and imagine what that record will be, looking back to the current time. Santana argues that from such a future geologist’s perspective, we should refrain from adopting the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch, because of the fragility of such a projective move and [More]

Journal of the History of Philosophy Announces Book Prize Winner

The Journal of the History of Philosophy has announced the winner of it 2019 book prize, which is awarded for the best book written in history of philosophy in 2018. The winner is Richard Arthur (Professor Emeritus, McMaster University), for his book, Monads, Composition, and Force: Ariadnean Threads Through Leibniz’s Labyrinth. The publisher, Oxford University Press, provides the following description of the book: Leibniz’s monads have long been a source of fascination and puzzlement. If monads are merely immaterial, how can they alone constitute reality? In Monads, Composition and Force, Richard T. W. Arthur takes seriously Leibniz’s claim of introducing monads to solve the problem of the composition of matter and motion. Going against a trend of idealistic interpretations of Leibniz’s thought, Arthur argues that although monads are presupposed as the principles making actual each of the infinite parts of matter, bodies are not composed of them. He offers a fresh interpretation of Leibniz’s theory of substance in which monads are enduring primitive forces, corporeal substances are embodied monads, and bodies are aggregates of monads, not mere appearances. In this reading the monads are constitutive unities, constituting an organic unity of function through time, and bodies are phenomenal in two senses; as ever-changing things they are Platonic phenomena and as pluralities, in being perceived together, they are also Democritean phenomena. Arthur [More]

APA Project Grant Recipients

The American Philosophical Association (APA) has announced the winners of its 2019-2020 Small Grants and Diversity and Inclusiveness Grants. The Small Grants Program has a pot of $25,000 to split among projects proposed to the APA’s Board. This year’s winners of Small Grants, according to a press release from the APA, are: AAPT Graduate Student and Early Career Seminar on Teaching and Learning, Summer 2020 ($5,000) Project Coordinators: Alexandra Bradner (Kenyon College), Jennifer Mulnix (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth), Emily Esch (College of St. Benedict, St. John’s University), Stephen Bloch-Schulman (Elon University) The American Association of Philosophy Teachers’ biennial Graduate Student and Early Career Seminar on Teaching and Learning brings together philosophers from all over the country to study materials on the teaching of philosophy in a four-day, interactive workshop led by philosophers with pedagogical expertise. The seminar provides participants with research-based best practices from both the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and the science of learning. AAPT Summer Seminar on Teaching and Learning Philosophy ($4,500) Project Coordinators: Stephen K. Miller (Oakwood Friends School and Marist College), Wendy Turgeon (St. Joseph’s College) At the 2020 AAPT Summer Seminar on Teaching and Learning Philosophy, selected high school and middle school educators will discuss new approaches to engaging students with [More]

Berggruen Prize Awarded to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The winner of the 2019 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture has been awarded to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This is the first time the award, established in 2016, has been bestowed to someone who is not an academic philosopher. The previous awardees of the $1 million prize were Charles Taylor (2016), Onora O’Neill (2017), and Martha Nussbaum (2018). The prize is awarded to “humanistic thinkers whose ideas have helped us find direction, wisdom and improved self-understanding in a world being rapidly transformed by social, technological, political, cultural and economic change.” Originally called “The Berggruen Philosophy Prize,” in 2017 the word “philosophy” was dropped from its name. The chair of the prize committee is philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU). Justice Ginsberg, he says, “has been both a visionary and a strategic leader in securing equality, fairness, and the rule of law not only in the realm of theory, but in social institutions and the lives of individuals.” The prize is sponsored by the Berggruen Institute. (via The New York Times) The post Berggruen Prize Awarded to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared first on Daily [More]

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