The Profession

By In Applied Ethics, The Profession, Uncategorized Comments Off on Thoughts on Divesting from For-Profit Prisons

Thoughts on Divesting from For-Profit Prisons

Considerations in favor of supporting such divestment and advice about how to get started here.

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By In News and Events, The Profession, Web/Tech Comments (4)

Populus: A Hopefully-Soon-to-Be Journal with Crowd-Sourced Peer Review

As has been widely discussed both here (at least a couple of times) and elsewhere, there are numerous problems with traditional publishing models. Some of these have been admirably addressed by the move to open access journals like Philosophers’ Imprint and Ergo. For the most part, however, these journals have simply exported the traditional publishing process to the Internet. I think it’s time we try something genuinely new. To that end, I’ve put together a prospectus for a new project, Populus, that will be both a curated archive (think (the non-horrific parts of) Reddit meets PhilPapers) and a philosophy journal with an experimental crowd-source peer review process. I am coming to you, Soupers, because:

  • I’m looking for feedback on the project itself and/or its expression through the prospectus.
  • I’m hoping those of you who support the project, or at least think it’s worth a go, will help me spread the word.
  • I’m looking for help.
    • I’d like to put together an editorial board whose association with the project will boost its credibility. I anticipate this’ requiring little actual work. If you are a famous person who likes my idea and would like to get on board, that would be great.
    • This project will likely require some funding. I’m looking for suggestions for sources.
    • I need people with web development or other relevant technical experience who would like to donate (or, if we get funding, be paid for) their time.
    • I’m looking for people who want to help or get involved in any other way, especially ones with the general entrepreneurial skills I lack.

Here that’s link one more time: Populus Prospectus

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By In Normative Ethics, Teaching, The Profession Comments (1)

An open text in moral theory?

I'd be curious to know if some of our contributors and readers would be interested in collaborating with me on creating an open online textbook in moral theory. Open source textbooks hold promise in reducing costs to students and making scholarly knowledge more publicly available. There are quite a lot of open resources in philosophy (particularly in logic, it seems) but not a high quality textbook on normative moral theory. I'll admit to not knowing all that much about some of the likely technical issues (the design and layout, how best to disseminate such works, etc.) we would face, but my thought is that a team of 3-5 with the right technical knowhow, a strong publishing history in moral theory, and some pedagogical flair could create a great resource.

Please contact me if you're interested – thanks!

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By In The Profession Comments (5)

Philosophy and Law programs?

I hope to gather information about undergraduate degree programs that somehow combine philosophy and law.  A few examples include Indiana University PA, Georgia State, Lewis, and USC.  I am looking only at degree programs administered by philosophy departments, and that have the word "law" somewhere in the description of the major, so that a student or an administrator would see the program as combining something marketable (law) with philosophy.

Are there other such programs?  Do they attract majors?  Do they attract students to the college itself?  Any advice on how to get one's own university (ahem) to look favorably upon proposing such a degree program?

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By In News and Events, The Profession Comments Off on Announcement: PIKSI Deadline Approaching

Announcement: PIKSI Deadline Approaching

Thanks to a major grant ($600,000) awarded to the APA by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) program is expanding to Boston — among other undergraduate diversity initiatives that this grant will make possible over a three year period. 

PIKSI-Boston will take place August 2-8 2015 at MIT, Cambridge, MA; PIKSI-Rock will be held June 13-22 2015 at Penn State University, State College, PA. Applicants may apply to either program, or both. The deadline for applications is this Friday March 13, so please encourage undergraduates/recent graduates who might benefit from these terrific programs to apply (more details are below the fold). 


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By In Academia, The Profession Comments (5)

Do cover letters for journal submissions make any difference?

I'm curious to know whether cover letters that accompany journal submissions make any difference — whether editors read them, whether the letters influence publication decisions, etc. I've always treated this as pro forma: "Dear Editors, Please consider this manuscript for a future issue ofthe journal," etc. But I've had scientists tell me that significant effort goes into crafting their cover letters because the significance of the work may not be obvious. Is that so in philosophy — that explaining the significance of a submission will help its publication chances?

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By In Academia, Normative Ethics, The Profession Comments (8)

What’s My Method?

I'm applying for an intramural grant to work on a perfectly ordinary, non X-phi, piece of philosophy. (I want to think about the claim that someone like a florist might make that being required to provide services to a same-sex wedding violates her freedom of association in light of On Liberty.) I'm required to spell out my "Study Design/Methodology." More specifically: "Provide a detailed account of precisely what will be done to answer the question(s) or test the hypothesi(/e)s. Include plans for the protection of human or animal subjects and the environment." I think that I can provide convicing assurances that my project poses little risk to the environment. But how have other philosophers finessed these questions about methodology that are obviously formulated with empirical work in mind?

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