"The accident of where one is born is just that, an accident; any human being might have been born in any nation"
Martha Nussbaum, 'Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism' in For Love of Country (Beacon Press, 2002)

Friday, 29 August 2008

Seyla Benhabib Interview

I've just read an interesting interview with Seyla Benhabib on the subject of 'the Public Sphere, Deliberation, Journalism and Dignity' (thanks to Christopher Ro for the link). Amongst other things, Benhabib talks about how the growth of the blogosphere and online media in general is either helping or hindering democratic deliberation. She concludes that journalism 

'is also about creating the enlarged mentality, by teaching us to see from the standpoint of others, even when we do not agree with them. We extend the boundaries of our sympathy by understanding the conditions of others who may be radically different than us. At its best journalism does this; it extends your vision of the world by making you see the world thought the eyes of the others. It informs you, as well as stretching your empathy across time and space. The best kind of journalism has this capacity of uniting the dignity of the generalised other with empathy for the concrete other.'
I wholeheartedly agree with this view of what journalism (and indeed philosophy) should be doing in a globalised world. I just wish I could express it quite so eloquently! 

Read the rest of the interview here.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Race and the American Presidential Election

There's an excellent article in today's Guardian newspaper on the race issue in the American presidential election. Slightly off topic for this blog I know, but well worth a read - thought-provoking and more than a little worrying. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

St Andrews Research Fellowships

Details below...

University of St Andrews
Centre For Ethics, Philosophy And Public Affairs

I. Visiting Research Fellowships 2009-10

Applications are invited for visiting research fellowships for the academic session 2009-10. The fellowship provides residential accommodation in St Andrews, an office in the University, and access to the usual facilities. Further details are available at 

Fellows are also expected to participate in activities of the moral philosophy group. Where relevant applicants may propose to work on projects that they would wish to have considered for inclusion in the Centre's publication series (see below). Applications, including a c.v., a statement of research intentions, and an indication of the period during which the fellowship would be held, should be submitted no later than 1 December 2008 to:

Human Resources,
University of St Andrews,
College Gate,
St Andrews,
Fife, KY16 9AL
Scotland. UK.                                                                                                                          
II. St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs

The series will include monographs, collections of essays and occasional anthologies of source material representing study in those areas of philosophy most relevant to topics of public importance, with the aim of advancing the contribution of philosophy in the discussion of these topics. For further information on the series see 

Leiter on 'The State of the Vocation'

Interesting article from Brian Leiter in The Philosophers' Magazine Online on the state of academic philosophy as a profession and vocation here

Public Ethics Radio

Another addition to the growing wealth of philosophy resources online - Public Ethics Radio. Details below...

The idea of Public Ethics Radio is to engage ethicists in discussion of pressing practical dilemmas Each program focuses on a particular theme - military intervention, international trade, political corruption - and takes as it starting point some more specific issue that is prominent in the public consciousness. 
The show is hosted by Christian Barry and produced by Matt Peterson
Public Ethics Radio is a production of the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre, at the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, and Charles Stuart University. 

The first episode features Thomas Pogge on Pharmaceutical Innovation. Upcoming episodes will feature Leif Wenar (Kings College London) on the Resource Curse, Jessica Wolfendale (University of Melbourne) on Torture Lite, and Larry Temkin (Rutgers) on Extending Human Lifespans. 

Monday, 25 August 2008

Monday, 18 August 2008

Brooks' 5 tips for getting published

Thom Brooks has written a very helpful and readable article on publication for early-career academics which can be found here. It develops some of the ideas from his previous advice for graduates on getting published, which can be found here

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

New Philosophy Bookmarking Site: 'Sympoze'

Yet another site to add to the list:

Sympoze is a new social networking and bookmarking site for philosophers. Sympoze will help you stay current on what professional philosophers are reading and enjoying. Sympoze is currently in beta testing. If you would like to join and start submitting and/or voting up content from philosophy blogs, online papers, and philosophy journal articles, then email Andrew Cullison via [lastname] [at] [fredonia] [dot] [edu].

Social bookmarking is a way for social networks to collectively save, rate, and promote online content. At Sympoze users can submit links to philosophy content that they enjoy - from philosophy blog posts, links to unpublished papers, or links to published journal articles they enjoy or think other philosophers will enjoy. Once a user submits a link, the rest of the Sympoze community can "digg" the content. Popular scoops will automatically be promoted to the front page so everyone (including non-users) can get an up to the minute update concerning what's hot in philosophy.

The unique feature about Sympoze is that User accounts are limited to persons with graduate degrees in philosophy or who are enrolled in a philosophy graduate program. This will ensure that the content being voted up and down will reflect the opinions of professional philosophers - however, everyone will be able to view the content that philosophers vote up and down. Philosophers are encouraged to submit links to any philosophy content available online including links to their own material be it a blog post, an online paper, or a link to a philosophy journal article.

Academia.edu New Look

Academia.edu - the popular networking site for academics - has had a makeover. The main change is the addition of a function which allows one to search departments and view the members of particular universities in a 'tree' 

Paris and Bavaria by Train

I've been away for a long weekend visiting family in Bavaria, Germany. We decided to travel by train rather than fly, for various reasons, both altruistic (environmental concern) and selfish (fear of flying). We took the Eurostar to Paris, spent an afternoon walking down the Seine and an evening drinking wine overlooking Notre Dame, before boarding the sleeper to Augsburg (nr. Munich). We arrived fairly refreshed at about 8am the next morning, feeling rather smug. I'd recommend to anyone planning a trip to Western Europe from the UK to consider traveling by train - all the information needed on timetables etc. can be found here

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Peer Review

There's an interesting post from Nigel Warburton over at Virtual Philosopher on the peer review process in academia, with an equally interesting reply from Tim Crane - I especially like the idea of getting a grant not to publish!