Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Ethics of Assassination

The United States recently assassinated Iran’s Qassem Soleimani which raises, once again, moral questions about targeted killings of this sort. While it is easy to get bogged down in the particulars of this assassination, I will focus on the general matter of the ethics of assassination. While the definition of “assassination” can be debated and [More]

Empirical Approaches to Altruism

[New Entry by John Doris, Stephen Stich, and Lachlan Walmsley on January 6, 2020.] Many philosophers have maintained that altruism is a crucial component of morality, and that people often do behave altruistically. Other philosophers, along with many biologists and social scientists, have claimed that facts about human psychology, or about the evolutionary processes that have shaped human psychology, indicate that no human behavior is genuinely altruistic. Part of this disagreement can be traced to the fact that both philosophers and scientists use the term "altruism" with many quite different meanings. Sections [More]

Philosopher Running for U.S. Senate

Richard Winfield, a philosophy professor at the University of Georgia, is running for Senate. Professor Winfield is aiming to fill the seat opened by the health-related resignation of former Senator Johnny Isakson at the end of 2019. The position is being temporarily filled by Kelly Loeffler, a Republican appointed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. A special election in November 2020 will decide who will finish the remaining two years of Isakson’s term. Winfield, who is running as a Democrat, announced his campaign last week. State law requires that during the campaign, he goes on unpaid leave from his position at the University of Georgia. Readers may recall that  in 2018 Winfield ran, unsuccessfully, to represent Georgia’s 10th District in the House of Representatives. According to The Red & Black, Winfield “is running on a broad social rights agenda with his largest emphasis being a federal job guarantee.” To find out more about him and his positions, you can read an interview I conducted with him here or check out his prior campaign’s website. The post Philosopher Running for U.S. Senate appeared first on Daily [More]

2019: A Look Back

What news and issues concerning the philosophy profession received the most attention in 2019? Among last year’s top stories were a philosopher’s punishment for sexual harassment, the rallying of academics worldwide to defend the study of philosophy in a country in which it was under attack, philosophers commenting on a provocative physics experiment, the philosophy profession’s handling of issues concerning transgender persons, correlations with majoring in philosophy, and others. The single most-viewed post at Daily Nous this year reported that well-known philosopher John Searle was stripped of his emeritus status by the University of California, Berkeley, after having been found to have violated the university’s sexual harassment policies. This was the only major news story about sexual harassment in philosophy this year. Related stories included students protesting what they took to be universities’ failures to adequately respond to sexual harassment (here for example, and #5 here). Also, Janice Dowell and David Sobel (Syracuse) wrote a two-part post on sexual harassment and philosophy (part one, part two). (And there was also item #3, here.) Philosophers around the world were jolted by the announcement this past April from Jair M. Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, of his plan to stop government funding of philosophy and sociology in the nation’s public universities, and over 5000 academics signed a letter in response, authored by Sergio [More]

Codes and Ciphers

My book group recently read a 2017 mystery called The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett. In the novel, an English bibliophile and an American digitizer track down a mysterious book thought to lead to the Holy Grail. The chief clue: a secret message hidden in the rare books collection of the fictional Barchester Cathedral Library. The post Codes and Ciphers appeared first on [More]

California Consumer Privacy Act

California recently implemented a consumer privacy act aimed at giving consumers a choice about companies selling their personal data. The law is not just a matter of concern for Californians; because it is an economic powerhouse, the state has considerable influence. My home state of Maine, which has far less influence than California, has a [More]

New Books in Philosophy Podcast - Automation and Utopia

Someday the seemingly endless promotion of Automation and Utopia will come to an end, but today is not that day. I just had the pleasure of being a guest on the New Books in Philosophy podcast. I discussed the main ideas and arguments from my book with Robert Talisse. This interview is very comprehensive and was a bit of a thrill for me since I am a long-time listener to the podcast (which I highly recommend for anyone with an interest in philosophy).You can listen via the embedded player above or at this link. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; } /* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */ Subscribe to the [More]