PEA Soup http://peasoup.us Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:24:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 http://peasoup.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-pea-soup-favicon-32x32.png PEA Soup http://peasoup.us 32 32 116732443 ONE WEEK LEFT: Submit to the First Annual PEA Soup Awards http://peasoup.us/2017/06/one-week-left-submit-first-annual-pea-soup-awards/ http://peasoup.us/2017/06/one-week-left-submit-first-annual-pea-soup-awards/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:24:40 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2534 It’s been a great year at the new PEA Soup, and we’re using the First Annual PEA Soup awards to celebrate. Nominate your favorite articles, discussed papers, comments, and contributors from the past year for $4,000 in cash prizes. Nominations are due June 30th (that’s a week from today), so don’t forget to submit! You can …

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It’s been a great year at the new PEA Soup, and we’re using the First Annual PEA Soup awards to celebrate. Nominate your favorite articles, discussed papers, comments, and contributors from the past year for $4,000 in cash prizes. Nominations are due June 30th (that’s a week from today), so don’t forget to submit!

You can nominate your pieces here. 

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CFP: Marc Sanders Award for Public Philosophy http://peasoup.us/2017/06/cfp-marc-sanders-award-public-philosophy/ http://peasoup.us/2017/06/cfp-marc-sanders-award-public-philosophy/#respond Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:39:53 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2526  This is an invitation to submit previously unpublished papers (minimum 3,000 words, maximum 8,000) with significant philosophical content or method by authors with significant philosophical training addressed primarily to the general reader. There is no restriction to any area of philosophy. In particular, there is no restriction to practical philosophy. Everyone from graduate students to emeritus …

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 This is an invitation to submit previously unpublished papers (minimum 3,000 words, maximum 8,000) with significant philosophical content or method by authors with significant philosophical training addressed primarily to the general reader. There is no restriction to any area of philosophy. In particular, there is no restriction to practical philosophy. Everyone from graduate students to emeritus professors is encouraged to apply.
Prizes:
The winner of the Marc Sanders Award for Public Philosophy will receive $4,500. The winning essay will be published in Philosophers’ ImprintPhilosophers’ Imprint is a free online journal specializing in major original contributions to philosophy. The second best essay will be published in Aeonwhose editorial staff will be available to help with the final draft. There will also be an opportunity for the winner(s) to present their work directly to a general audience.
Committee:
The Award Committee is Chaired by Susan Wolf, Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at UNC Chapel Hill. The other committee members are Kenneth A. Taylor, Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University and co-host of Philosophy TalkDavid Velleman, Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics at NYU and a founding co-Editor ofPhilosopher’s ImprintBarry Maguire, Associate Professor at Stanford University; and Brigid Haines, Editorial Director at Aeon Magazine.

Deadline: 15 September, 2017
Please submit your entry to publicphilosophyaward@gmail.com by 15 September 2017. Please include the essay title in the Subject line. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged by email. Refereeing will be blind; authors should omit all remarks and references that might disclose their identities. Unlike other Marc Sanders Prizes there is no restriction to junior candidates. Philosophers at any career stage are encouraged to submit. No more than one submission per person. Previously published essays will not be considered.
Any inquiries should be sent to Barry Maguire at barrymaguire@gmail.com

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NDPR Discussion Forum on David Sobel’s From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism http://peasoup.us/2017/06/ndpr-discussion-forum-david-sobels-valuing-value-defense-subjectivism/ http://peasoup.us/2017/06/ndpr-discussion-forum-david-sobels-valuing-value-defense-subjectivism/#comments Sat, 10 Jun 2017 06:42:26 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2524 Welcome to our discussion thread on David Sobel’s From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism, recently reviewed by Ben Bramble for NDPR. We have invited Sobel and Bramble to provide any comments they’d like on either the book or the review, and we hope other readers of PEA Soup will chime in with thoughts on either the …

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Welcome to our discussion thread on David Sobel’s From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism, recently reviewed by Ben Bramble for NDPR. We have invited Sobel and Bramble to provide any comments they’d like on either the book or the review, and we hope other readers of PEA Soup will chime in with thoughts on either the book or the review as well.

From the OUP blurb on FVV: “Subjective accounts of well-being and reasons for action have a remarkable pedigree. The idea that normativity flows from what an agent cares about-that something is valuable because it is valued-has appealed to a wide range of great thinkers. But at the same time this idea has seemed to many of the best minds in ethics to be outrageous or worse, not least because it seems to threaten the status of morality. Mutual incomprehension looms over the discussion. From Valuing to Value, written by an influential former critic of subjectivism, owns up to the problematic features to which critics have pointed while arguing that such criticisms can be blunted and the overall view rendered defensible. In this collection of his essays David Sobel does not shrink from acknowledging the real tension between subjective views of reasons and morality, yet argues that such a tension does not undermine subjectivism. In this volume the fundamental commitments of subjectivism are clarified and revealed to be rather plausible and well-motivated, while the most influential criticisms of subjectivism are straightforwardly addressed and found wanting.”

From Bramble’s review: “In making all of these arguments, Sobel develops an extremely innovative and nuanced subjectivism. In my view, Sobel’s is probably the most sophisticated defense of subjectivism given to date. That said, I have a number of concerns. First, I am not entirely persuaded by Sobel’s response to the Amoralism Objection. When I think of an agent who knows all there is to know about a given innocent, but remains unmoved by her condition or well-being, I am inclined to think that we have here, not some brute to be condemned, but someone who is making a mistake, someone who has either missed something (an evaluative fact) or is responding in an ill-fitting way to their full and accurate appreciation of the evaluative facts. Such an agent fails to care about something that seems in some sense worth caring about. Sobel’s response, and indeed his subjectivism more generally, seems to lack the resources to properly account for this intuition.”

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NDPR Discussion Forum on Owen Flanagan’s The Geography of Morals http://peasoup.us/2017/06/ndpr-discussion-forum-owen-flanagans-geography-morals/ http://peasoup.us/2017/06/ndpr-discussion-forum-owen-flanagans-geography-morals/#comments Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:35:33 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2510 Welcome to our discussion thread on Owen Flanagan’s The Geography of Morals, recently reviewed by Regina Rini for NDPR. We have invited Owen and Regina to provide any comments they’d like on either the book or the review, and we hope other readers of PEA Soup will chime in with thoughts on either the book or …

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Welcome to our discussion thread on Owen Flanagan’s The Geography of Morals, recently reviewed by Regina Rini for NDPR. We have invited Owen and Regina to provide any comments they’d like on either the book or the review, and we hope other readers of PEA Soup will chime in with thoughts on either the book or the review as well.

From the OUP blurb: “The Geography of Morals is a work of extraordinary ambition: an indictment of the parochialism of Western philosophy, a comprehensive dialogue between anthropology, empirical moral psychology, behavioral economics, and cross-cultural philosophy, and a deep exploration of the opportunities for self, social, and political improvement provided by world philosophy.”

From Rini’s review: “Overall, the book does an excellent job of stretching the acknowledged possibility space of morality. Flanagan convincingly shows that we cannot responsibly conduct ethical inquiry in ignorance of cultural diversity. But I remained frustrated by the book’s unclear positive answers to normative questions. Flanagan himself puts the challenge well: ‘How do we tell when a genealogy of morals has not just produced a morality — that is guaranteed — but a good one, a morality that is ethical, an ethical morality, a truly good way of living, of being human?’ (106) This is exactly what we need to ask, once our cross-cultural surveying has laid out the genuine possibilities. But Flanagan never entirely answers.”

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NDPR Discussion Forum: Jason Brennan’s Against Democracy http://peasoup.us/2017/06/ndpr-discussion-forum-jason-brennans-democracy/ http://peasoup.us/2017/06/ndpr-discussion-forum-jason-brennans-democracy/#comments Tue, 06 Jun 2017 14:32:01 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2518 Welcome to the next installation of our ongoing forum for discussion of recent books in moral/political philosophy, alongside the reviews of them in NDPR, which provides authors a chance to respond to their reviewers (and for the reviewers to respond back). Today we open discussion on Jason Brennan’s book Against Democracy, which was recently reviewed by …

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Welcome to the next installation of our ongoing forum for discussion of recent books in moral/political philosophy, alongside the reviews of them in NDPR, which provides authors a chance to respond to their reviewers (and for the reviewers to respond back). Today we open discussion on Jason Brennan’s book Against Democracy, which was recently reviewed by Tom Christiano (Arizona) in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (NDPR). Blurbs from both the book and the review below the fold. Please join in on the discussion. Feel free to post thoughts on the book, the review, or Jason’s response to the review, which will appear below.

About Against Democracy: “Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us—it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But, Jason Brennan says, they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough.” (Princeton website)

From the start of Christiano’s review: “Jason Brennan’s book is a lively and entertaining exploration of an important pair of questions: (1) how can democracies work when the citizens who are supposed to rule are not very well informed about the substance and form of government and policy? and, (2) can we do better with non-democratic government? The basic difficulty with Brennan’s discussion is that he is inclined to proceed from a poorly understood micro-theory of democracy to conclusions about how well democracy works. He doesn’t always hold to this — indeed there are times when he suggests that democracies overall work pretty well and then wonders how this is possible — but the main thrust of the book starts from the micro-theory, which is simply not strong enough to bear the weight of his argument.”

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The Return of Rankings http://peasoup.us/2017/06/the-return-of-rankings/ http://peasoup.us/2017/06/the-return-of-rankings/#comments Mon, 05 Jun 2017 19:26:26 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2514 It appears the Philosophical Gourmet Report is returning. The last installment was in 2014-5. We are now in the midst of a 3-year gap in rankings, which is the longest gap, I think, since the thing got going in the 90s. We may not have such a long gap again. So I got to thinking …

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It appears the Philosophical Gourmet Report is returning. The last installment was in 2014-5. We are now in the midst of a 3-year gap in rankings, which is the longest gap, I think, since the thing got going in the 90s. We may not have such a long gap again. So I got to thinking this might be a time to reflect on people’s experiences of doing without such a ranking for a while. What were the costs, if any? What were the benefits, if any? Or perhaps this was too short of a gap to serve as a useful test of life without rankings?

There are now many more surrogates for ranking than ever before. In large part as a result of pressure from the Report, most departments now provide detailed placement information. In addition most faculty at graduate programs list their CV and research interests. That, combined with a sense of what the top journals in the field are, and the availability of citation information, grad attrition information, etc. mean that people without rankings would be much less in the dark about where to go to grad school than I was back when dinosaurs roamed the plains and we lacked a widely consulted ranking of grad programs in philosophy in the 80s.

Given the availability of such, do we still need rankings? If so, how might they be made better and what do we need or want ranked? If not, what if anything is to be done given that they will exist. Dept’s that are ranked highly unsurprisingly tend to tout their ranking with the result that many of the top departments seem to tacitly ratify or endorse the rankings. This self-interested reason to tout favorable rankings among top depts would seem to exist whether the report is well done or not and whether or not a dept finds the rankings reliable. The new editors of the Report may be, especially at this moment, interested in and responsive to advice about how to make the Report better. What would be good advice for us to offer?

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Upcoming NDPR Discussions on the Soup http://peasoup.us/2017/05/upcoming-ndpr-discussions-soup/ http://peasoup.us/2017/05/upcoming-ndpr-discussions-soup/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 15:35:15 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2508 Just a quick announcement to let you all know of some exciting upcoming discussions on the Soup about recently published books and book reviews. Next Thursday (June 8), we will host a discussion of Owen Flanagan’s Geography of Morals, in light of Regina Rini’s recent NDPR review of it. And in upcoming days and weeks we will …

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Just a quick announcement to let you all know of some exciting upcoming discussions on the Soup about recently published books and book reviews. Next Thursday (June 8), we will host a discussion of Owen Flanagan’s Geography of Morals, in light of Regina Rini’s recent NDPR review of it. And in upcoming days and weeks we will host discussions of Jason Brennan’s Against Democracy (reviewed by Tom Christiano), Christine Tappolet’s Emotions, Values, and Agency (reviewed by Benjamin De Mesel), and Julie Rose’s Free Time (reviewed by Eric Rakowski). We hope you all will join in on these discussions.

Love this idea? Nominate it for the Annual PEA Soup Awards!

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Conversion Stories http://peasoup.us/2017/05/conversion-stories/ http://peasoup.us/2017/05/conversion-stories/#comments Tue, 23 May 2017 14:38:27 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2506 Much is made these days of ideological bubbles and commitment cocoons (OK, I made up that one), in which people stick to their beliefs regardless of any “evidence” or “reasoning” otherwise. But, let’s admit it, it’s hard to change your mind about something you’ve been committed to solely based on your assessment of reasons. This is true even for — perhaps especially …

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Much is made these days of ideological bubbles and commitment cocoons (OK, I made up that one), in which people stick to their beliefs regardless of any “evidence” or “reasoning” otherwise. But, let’s admit it, it’s hard to change your mind about something you’ve been committed to solely based on your assessment of reasons. This is true even for — perhaps especially for — professional philosophers.

It might be worth hearing, then, about your true conversion stories and the role contrary reasons played for you: What moral/political view were you committed to — perhaps even published about — that you abandoned solely in the face of good reasons otherwise? Were the reasons available to you all along and you just saw them in a newly salient light, or were they new reasons to you? Have you “backslid”? Have you gone on to publish on the contrary view? (See my conversion story below the fold.)

For my part, I used to be a died-in-the-wool psychological theorist about personal identity, convinced by the standard thought experiments Parfit leaned so heavily on: teletransportation, brain transplant cases, fission cases, and so forth. I wrote a dissertation and published 5-6 articles defending a version of this view. But in finally reading Eric Olson’s Human Animals in 2001, I came to realize that I’d been convinced to be a psychological theorist by my sympathetic responses to the normative applications of the theory, that, for instance, it would be rational to anticipate the thoughts and experiences of the person “teleported” to Mars, and that it would be appropriate to view the products of fission as nevertheless morally responsible for the actions of the pre-fission person. But once I realized that the person-related metaphysics could be prized apart from the person-related ethics, as it were, I was free to shop around for the right metaphysical theory of personal identity. And then the reasons given by the animalists (that we are all human animals, and so our persistence conditions across time are just those of biological/animal continuity) were freed up, in a way, to make their case to me, which was strong. I haven’t backslid, and I’ve published a few articles since in defense of animalism (or at least making clear that those inclined toward my normative views are free to be animalists).

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NOWAR 4 Program http://peasoup.us/2017/05/nowar-4-program/ Tue, 09 May 2017 14:41:17 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2500 The program for the 4th biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR 4) has been set. It is pasted below the fold. The workshop takes place in New Orleans on November 2-4, 2017, and this year it kicks off with an open discussion on the foundations of moral responsibility, with Michael McKenna, Dana Nelkin, …

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The program for the 4th biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR 4) has been set. It is pasted below the fold. The workshop takes place in New Orleans on November 2-4, 2017, and this year it kicks off with an open discussion on the foundations of moral responsibility, with Michael McKenna, Dana Nelkin, Chandra Sripada, and David Shoemaker. The three keynote speakers this year are Jeanette Kennett, Michael S. Moore, and Angela Smith. Registration is free, and just requires an email to David Shoemaker (dshoemak AT tulane DOT edu). Information about lodging (with a reserved hotel block) to be found soon on the Murphy Institute website.

Thursday, November 2

4:30-6:00 p.m.: Open discussion forum on the foundations of moral responsibility and the search for basic schemes of categorization, featuring Michael McKenna, Dana Nelkin, Chandra Sripada, and David Shoemaker

7:30-8:50 p.m.: Michael S. Moore (University of Illinois) – KEYNOTE

CHAIR: Stephen White (Northwestern)

Reception: 9-11 p.m.

Friday, November 3

9:30-10:35: Andreas Brekke Carlsson (University of Oslo), “Shame and Attributability”

CHAIR: Santiago Amaya (Universidad de los Andes)

BREAK: 10:35-10:50

10:50-11:55: A.G. Gorman (USC), “The Minimal Approval Account of Attributional-Responsibility”

CHAIR: Phoebe Chan (Arizona)

BREAK: 11:55-12:10

12:10-1:15: Douglas W. Portmore (Arizona St.), “Options, Control, and Accountability”

CHAIR: Noel Dominguez (Harvard)

LUNCH: 1:15-3:00

3:00-4:05: Eric Wiland (UMSL), “(En)joining Others”

CHAIR: Samuel Reis-Dennis (UNC)

BREAK: 4:05-4:30 

4:30-5:50: Angela Smith (Washington & Lee) – KEYNOTE

CHAIR: Rahul Kumar (Queens University)

Saturday, November 4

9:30-10:35: Elizabeth Harman (Princeton), “Moral Testimony Goes Only So Far: How Examining Moral Responsibility Reveals the Limits of Moral Testimony”

CHAIR: Hannah Tierney (Cornell)

BREAK: 10:35-10:50

10:50-11:55: Philip Swenson and Travis Timmerman, “How to be an Actualist and Blame People”

CHAIR: Daniel Telech

BREAK: 11:55-12:10

12:10-1:15: Elinor Mason (Edinburgh), “Taking Responsibility: The Space Between Strict Liability and Blameworthy Quality of Will”

CHAIR: Ben Mitchell-Yellin (Sam Houston State)

LUNCH: 1:15-3:00

3:00-4:05: Matt King (UAB), “Skepticism About the Standing to Blame

CHAIR: Anneli Jefferson (Birmingham)

BREAK: 4:05-4:30

4:30-5:50: Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie) – KEYNOTE:

            CHAIR: Andras Szigeti (Gothenburg)

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Call for Participation: Climate Ethics and Climate Economics http://peasoup.us/2017/04/call-participation-climate-ethics-climate-economics/ Sun, 30 Apr 2017 16:40:13 +0000 http://peasoup.us/?p=2497 Call for Participation Climate Ethics And Climate Economics: Risk, Uncertainty and Catastrophe Scenarios Workshop at the University of Cambridge Convened by Simon Beard (with Kai Spiekermann), supported by the ESRC, in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk 8-10 May 2017 Accompanied by public lectures given by Professor Doyne Farmer and Professor …

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Call for Participation

Climate Ethics And Climate Economics: Risk, Uncertainty and Catastrophe Scenarios

Workshop at the University of Cambridge

Convened by Simon Beard (with Kai Spiekermann), supported by the ESRC, in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

8-10 May 2017

Accompanied by public lectures given by Professor Doyne Farmer and Professor Hilary Greaves on the evenings of the 8th and 10th of May.

The fifth of six ESRC-funded workshops on Climate Ethics and Climate Economics.

 

We are now looking for participants.

Confirmed Speakers

Matthew Rendall (University of Nottingham)

John Halstead (University of Oxford)

Elizabeth Baldwin (University of Oxford)

Doyne Farmer (Oxford Martin School)

Tina Sikka (University of Newcastle)

Iñaki San Pedro (University of the Basque Country)

Eike Düvel (University of Graz)

Hilary Greaves (Future of Humanity Institute)

Mariam Thalos (University of Utah)

Kieran Marray (University of Oxford)

Workshop Description

Some scholars, most notably Martin Weitzman (2009; 2011) have warned that there is an uncertain chance of runaway climate change that could devastate the planet. At least since Hans Jonas’s The Imperative of Responsibility (1981), some have argued that even low-probability existential risks should be treated in a fundamentally different way. How should we act when we believe that there is some chance of a catastrophe, but cannot make reliable probability estimates (Elster 1979; Haller 2002; Gardiner 2005)? How much should we worry about worst-case scenarios? What should we do when experts disagree about whether catastrophe is possible?

Papers will be pre-circulated, with short presentations and comments from discussants.

Please pre-register here.

 

 

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