Philosophy In The News, Weekly: October 1 to 7, 2018

Harvard College, University Hall (Cambridge, Mass.) Albumen silver print by Deloss Barnum (about 1859)

The best of the philosophical internet from The New York Times, NewStatesman, Areo, Newsweek, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Information Age, UCLA Newsroom, Philosophy Now, The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, NBC-2 News, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Aeon, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Republic and 1000-Word Philosophy.

  • An elaborate academic prank pulled on the activist journals of academia “unleashed a cascade of mockery — along with a torrent of debate about the ethics of hoaxes, the state of peer review and the excesses of academia.” | The New York Times
  • “Although the papers we wrote scanned many subdisciplines of identity-based studies, by far the greatest uptake was of the ones which argued… that heterosexual masculinity is toxic, abusive, and thoroughly problematic.” The three researchers explain why they hoaxed academic journals. | NewStatesman
  • “Something has gone wrong in the university—especially in certain fields within the humanities.” The hoaxers look at their own project and what it means. | Areo
  • “Ancient philosophers prized the liberal arts as gateways to wisdom.” Polemicist Ben Shapiro thinks that the academic hoax reveals that liberal arts colleges no longer care about the truth. | Newsweek
  • “Some scholars applauded the hoax for unmasking what they called academe’s leftist, victim-obsessed ideological slant and low publishing standards.” Others defend “grievance studies.” The Kafkaesque ‘Sokal Squared’ publishing hoax. | The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “A partial solution to the problem of lack of artificial intelligence talent might lie with recruiting philosophy students.” Michael Baxter on the intersection of AI & philosophy. | Information Age
  • “Philosophical decisions occur in everyday life.” UCLA Professor Pamela Hieronymi gives advice on the episodic decisions that occur on the NBC sitcom ‘The Good Place” | UCLA Newsroom
  • Peter Flegel on the possible Egyptian roots of early Greek philosophy. | Philosophy Now
  • Julian Baggini’s latest contribution to pop philosophy is a cosmopolitan and humane global history. | The Guardian
  • “Growing up in Bismarck’s reich, there were three things Nietzsche hated: the big state, nationalism and antisemitism.” Sue Prideaux sets the record straight regarding the myths that surround the philosopher with a hammer. | The Guardian
  •  “Within a week of meeting her, Nietzsche also proposed but Lou was determined to remain unattached and she rejected him.” An extract from Sue Prideaux’s biography. | The Times Literary Supplement
  • “He is the father of modern philosophy, but some may have forgotten why.” The Culture Critic of on a biography of Descartes by A.C. Grayling. | NBC-2 News
  • “For Einstein, the mystery in the architecture of the physical universe… was more profound than any wonder he read about in the Talmud or the Bible.” Avi Selk on the auction of a letter Albert Einstein wrote to a Jewish philosopher in 1954. | The Washington Post
  • Atlantic readers respond to Benjamin Schmidt’s article about the decline of college humanities majors. |The Atlantic
  • ‘Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.’ John Kaag on William James’s response to the question of life’s worth. | Aeon
  • “Can we be held morally responsible for our actions? Yes, says Daniel Dennett. No, says Gregg Caruso.” Philosophy professors freely and genteelly debate freedom and moral responsibility. | Aeon
  • “To put it in the fire-and-brimstone terms Peterson himself so often employs, ‘ignore him at your peril.'” Guy Stevenson engages with Jordan Peterson, the bête noire of left-leaning academics. | Los Angeles Review of Books
  • “The secular, progressive, rationalist ideologies of the West are so much ‘spilt theology.’ The expectation that science, or more generally knowledge, will transform the human condition is a form of Gnosticism.” George Scialabba on John Gray’s Seven Types of Atheism. | The New Republic
  • 1984, 100 Years of Solitude, and even The Little Mermaid, aren’t safe from book banning by Kuwait’s Ministry of Information. | The New York Times
  • “Living under a contract is likely better than living in the state of nature. Questions remain, however.” David Antonini is legally employed at Clemson University, specializing in social contract theory. | 1000-Word Philosophy