Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Inference and Consciousness

2020.05.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Anders Nes and Timothy Chan (eds.), Inference and Consciousness, Routledge, 2020, 294pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138557178. Reviewed by Christopher Mole, University of British Columbia Psychologists who ventured into the territory of their philosophical neighbours thirty years ago were often looking for ideas about consciousness, but they were also interested in reasoning and the representation of thought. Those interests gave the impetus to questions about the purportedly analogue format of mental imagery (Kosslyn; Sterelny; Rollins); to questions about the apparent need for inference to be conducted in a language of thought (Fodor; Fodor and Pylyshyn); and to questions about the putative roles for 'heuristics' (Tversky and Kahneman; Gigerenzer), and for 'mental models' (Johnson-Laird), in supporting reasoning. Themes from that twentieth-century work make a number of appearances in this volume of new essays, edited by Anders Nes with his whilom colleague Timothy Chan. The book's eleven chapters... Read [More]

5 Doctoral Candidates in Ethics of Science and/or Philosophy of Science

Job List:  Europe Name of institution:  Leibniz University Hannover / Bielefeld University Town:  Hannover / Bielefeld Country:  Germany Job Description:  Leibniz University Hannover and Bielefeld University (Germany) invite applications for the position of 5 Doctoral Candidates (m/f/d) (salary scale E13 TV-L, 65%) in Ethics of Science and/or Philosophy of Science starting 1 October 2020, within the Graduiertenkolleg (research training group) GRK 2073 “Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research”. The positions are limited to 3 years. At least two of the positions are expected to be located at Leibniz University Hannover and at least two at Bielefeld University. Application deadline: 31 May [More]

I’m the mother I am thanks to my daughter’s disability

On the first Mother’s Day that my daughter, Sesha, no longer lived at home with us, I received a lovely basket with various hand-crafted gifts from her. With help from her aide, she handed it over to me, and as I gushed she looked so very pleased. Mother’s Day is a time for children to […] The post I’m the mother I am thanks to my daughter’s disability appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesMusic schools respond to COVID-19 shutdownWhy we need humour at a time like thisA.J. Ayer and Logical [More]

How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Perso

2020.05.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Colin Koopman, How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person, University of Chicago Press, 2019, 269pp., $30.00 (pbk), ISBN 9780226626581. Reviewed by Ladelle McWhorter, University of Richmond Colin Koopman's title encapsulates the central -- and both disturbing and compelling -- arguments of his book: (1) over the past century, a new sort of subject has emerged, whom he dubs the informational person; (2) this new subject formed within an initially disparate array of administrative and technical practices of data collection, formatting, storage, and application; and (3) this subject is us. The third claim bears emphasizing; Koopman writes, "Our data do not simply point at who we already were before information systems were constructed. Rather, our information composes significant parts of our very selves. Data are active participants in our making. The formats structuring data help shape who we are" (vii). Our informational selves are not merely doubles of our real... Read [More]

The downfall of 'Professor Lockdown': triumphs and failures of science based policies

Scientists normally think that a scientific theory can be good or bad independently of the moral status of the person who proposes it. But in politics, the messenger can be blamed. That was the probable reason for the downfall of Dr. Neil Ferguson, nicknamed "Professor Lockdown," whose moral position was destroyed by a petty sexual scandal. For most scientists, Dr, Ferguson's personal misbehavior has no relevance to the validity of his models, but for politicians and for the public, it does. A lot. You all read the story of the downfall of Professor Neil Ferguson, aka "Professor Lockdown" trashed worldwide in the media for having had his lover, Ms. Antonia Staats, visiting him during the lockdown period that he himself had recommended for everybody else. It was a blessing for tabloids and there is no doubt that Dr. Ferguson deserved much of the scorn and the ridicule that was poured on him. Yet, there are some elements in this story that make it different from an ordinary story of philandering.Let's review what we know: it seems that Ms. Staats and Dr. Ferguson met first over an internet site and then it was Staats who went to visit Ferguson at his home in London, and the same Staats who told the story to friends who, in turn, diffused it around. These encounters took place about one month before the story was revealed in the media. Ferguson didn't deny the media reports and he immediately apologized and resigned from his post of government advisor in epidemiologic matters. [More]

The downfall of 'Professor Lockdown": triumphs and failures of science based policies

Scientists normally think that a scientific theory can be good or bad independently of the moral status of the person who proposes it. But in politics, the messenger can be blamed. That was the probable reason for the downfall of Dr. Neil Ferguson, nicknamed "Professor Lockdown," whose moral position was destroyed by a petty sexual scandal. For most scientists, Dr, Ferguson's personal misbehavior has no relevance to the validity of his models, but for politicians and for the public, it does. A lot. You all read the story of the downfall of Professor Neil Ferguson, aka "Professor Lockdown" trashed worldwide in the media for having had his lover, Ms. Antonia Staats, visiting him during the lockdown period that he himself had recommended for everybody else. It was a blessing for tabloids and there is no doubt that Dr. Ferguson deserved much of the scorn and the ridicule that was poured on him. Yet, there are some elements in this story that make it different from an ordinary story of philandering.Let's review what we know: it seems that Ms. Staats and Dr. Ferguson met first over an internet site and then it was Staats who went to visit Ferguson at his home in London, and the same Staats who told the story to friends who, in turn, diffused it around. These encounters took place about one month before the story was revealed in the media. Ferguson didn't deny the media reports and he immediately apologized and resigned from his post of government advisor in epidemiologic matters. [More]