Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Philosophy Museum (guest post by Anna Ichino)

The following is a guest post by Anna Ichino, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Milan. A version of it first appeared at the blog, Imperfect Cognitions. The Philosophy Museum by Anna Ichino Have you ever visited a Philosophy Museum? I bet not. Apparently, though there have been some philosophy-related museum exhibits and temporary installations, there aren’t any permanent philosophy museums in the world. So my colleagues and I in the Philosophy Department of the University of Milan have decided that it is time to build the first one. In this post, I’ll tell you about this exciting project. What we had in mind was not an historically-minded museum collecting relics about the lives and works of important philosophers, but something more dynamic and interactive—built on the model of the best science museums—where philosophical problems and theories become intuitively accessible through a variety of games, activities, experiments, aesthetic experiences, and other such things. Easier to say than to do, no doubt. It’s an ambitious project, and to put it into action we had to proceed gradually. We started with a temporary exhibition, which took place in our University from November 5th to 21st. There, we created the first two actual halls of what we hope will soon become a permanent museum, together with a third ‘programmatic’ hall where we presented the plan for what still needs to be done. Thanks to a generous funding awarded to our Department as a [More]

A Modest Proposal for the New Year

by Bruce Krajewski Sober philosophical guidance about New Year’s Eve seems unsuited to a holiday marked by a champagne buzz and celebratory gunfire. But many of us at the end of 2019 will mark the turning of the year as something significant—as a time for resolutions, change, even rebirth. “No one ever regarded the First [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]

Life Is a Lease Contract

by Jake Gray Growing up, I was adamantly afraid of death. I had a habit of leaving the TV on as I slept at night, so my thoughts wouldn’t drift towards my inevitable demise. The trailers I saw for the apocalyptic film 2012 left me hyperventilating and in tears. I was seven or eight at [More]

Course to Teach University Students to Engage Philosophically with High Schoolers

The University of Pennsylvania is offering a course that will teach undergraduates how to teach philosophy to high school students. The course, “Public Philosophy & Civic Engagement,” is one of the university’s “Academically Based Community Service” courses. According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the course will be taught by Michael Vazquez, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Philosophy who is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Project for Philosophy for the Young. In his course, students will spend a part of each class figuring out how to distill complex philosophical ideas to high school students in an exciting way, and they will then go to teach philosophy in a Philadelphia high school once a week. According to the course syllabus, students will learn and teach topics from moral and political philosophy that relate to living in a democratic society, such as civic duties and obligations, patriotism, propaganda, and civil disobedience.  “We’re going to let the high school students dictate the sort of questions we want them to ask,” Vazquez said, adding that the Penn students will develop lesson plans that are shaped by high school students’ interests. By the end of the semester, Vazquez added, the high school students will write philosophical op-eds based on what they learned from the Penn students, and they will hopefully be able to publish these op-eds and present them at Penn.  In the Daily Pennsylvanian article, [More]

Why Aren’t Ethicists More Ethical?

By Michael J. Sigrist Eric Schwitzgebel, a philosopher at University of California, Riverside, and a prolific blogger, has stirred up some controversy by studying whether ethics professors are morally better than others. As you might imagine, this is not a straightforward task. How do you measure how moral someone is? Schwitzgebel looks at indicators that [More]

Free Philosophy Book for Swedish Students

All third-year high school students in Sweden can claim a free copy of Alternative facts: On Knowledge and Its Enemies, by Stockholm University philosophy professor Åsa Wikforss. The book (in Swedish: Alternativa fakta. Om kunskapen och dess fiender) was published in 2017, and addresses questions in epistemology with an eye towards critical thinking, knowledge resistance, the media, disinformation, and propaganda. The publisher, Fri Tanke, explains why it is offering students free copies of the book: Threats to knowledge are a growing problem in large parts of the world, even in Sweden. After the 2016 US presidential election, many caught the eye of how dangerous and effective it can be to use fake news and to highlight “alternative facts”. To base our perception of reality on facts is crucial and when knowledge is threatened it has consequences. We see how the measles spread again as a result of vaccine resistance, how climate deniers delay important efforts to counter global warming, and how the new technology is used to spread propaganda and undermine democratic society. The book, Alternative Facts, can be a tool for tackling development and helping students discern lies from truth.  The book is not party-political at all. It takes a stand for knowledge, facts and objective truth. It takes a stand against post-truth, ignorance, disinformation and propaganda. The initiative is funded by the publisher along with two of its executives, banker Sven Hagströmer [More]

The Importance of Gratitude

By Andrew Fiala Gratitude lubricates social relations. To say thanks is to express gladness. But gratitude is also a spiritual capacity that lightens and energizes. Some call it the wine of the soul. When we drink it, we want to share it with others. Social rituals revolve around thankfulness. We thank people throughout the day [More]

Coming in 2020: Gallery of Art and Philosophy

New Philosopher, a popular philosophy magazine based in Australia, is in the process of creating a new art space “devoted to the representation of philosophical ideas.” The magazine acquired a former Victorian Gothic church that housed an existing art gallery in Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, Australia, and will be converting it into the Gallery of Art and Philosophy (GAAP). The gallery will be accepting submissions from artists “whose works fulfil the philosophical requirements of GAAP, which include such aspects as the study of reality, existence, and the search for wisdom,” according to New Philosopher. It will also display art by the artists featured in New Philosopher and its sister magazine, Womankind. GAAP will open sometime in 2020. More information here. The post Coming in 2020: Gallery of Art and Philosophy appeared first on Daily [More]

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