Saturday, December 29, 2012

CFP: Pragmatism and Social Doubt in European Journal of Pragmatism

*European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy V, 2, 2013*


*Call for Papers*

*Pragmatism and the Social Dimensions of Doubt: Fresh Perspectives*


Guest editor: Mathias Girel (Ecole normale supérieure, Paris)

Debunking pathological doubts and sundry variants of skepticism has certainly been one of the most prominent features of Pragmatism since its inception in the early 1870s. Peirce's theory of inquiry, James's *Will to Believe*, and Dewey's *Quest for Certainty*, to mention only a few instances, to which Wittgenstein, as a non-standard pragmatist might be added, have offered several very different strategies to address this question. Extant scholarship has already devoted substantive accounts of this feature of pragmatism. Still, in addition to providing a rebuttal of the "paper-doubts" of the would-be skeptic, pragmatists have also been quite responsive to the *social* dimensions of doubt. As regards the
causes: Peirce, when he claims that we cannot doubt at will, mentions repeatedly that one of the strongest factors of doubt is the doubt of other competent inquirers. As regards the consequences: doubt has consequences on epistemic trust, on the way we discuss truths, either about the sciences or about the "construction of good". Readers of Dewey's *Quest* *for Certainty*and of some of his most important political writings can easily see how practical uncertainty can degenerate into a practical and political skepticism, preventing the emergence of publics.

This social aspect of the question has received less attention than the general pragmatist strategy towards skepticism, for which we already have important papers and monographs. Fundamental contributions --- whether conceptual or historical --- on the social dimensions of doubt in a pragmatist perspective would greatly benefit extant scholarship.

Several contexts have made this inquiry more urgent still. Firstly, doubt about the sciences --- about scientific certainty, scientific consensus and scientific normativity --- has been increasingly enrolled within several strategies and used to promote public controversies: can pragmatism offer, for example, an account of reasonable doubt in the sciences that would dismiss pathological doubts about the sciences, in the same way as the classical pragmatists have dismissed cartesian unreasonable doubts?
Secondly, the emergence of a new kind of pragmatism, inspired by Sellars and focusing on the social articulation of the space of reasons, had prompted new developments and sometimes a reconstruction of the main notions of classical epistemology : what are the main insights of linguistic pragmatism about this central notion? Thirdly, the social sciences have made extensive use of pragmatist resources in the past decades and it is time to see if they can in return cast some light on one of the core notions of pragmatism.

This issue of the *European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy* wants to investigate the perspectives that pragmatisms, old and new, open up on the social articulation of doubt. We will welcome any contribution on this topic that will (i) clarify classic or neo pragmatists accounts of doubt in its social setting, or (ii) use pragmatist insights in other disciplines --- sociology, anthropology, political science, HPS --- to explore the social dimensions of doubt, or (iii) compare pragmatist views with authors and perspectives belonging to other philosophical streams, or (iv) propose new theories inspired by pragmatism. Contributions offering new insights on the theory of inquiry, or providing a new reading of classical pragmatism, will be considered of central interest.

Papers should be sent to mathias.girel@ens.fr before June, 30, 2013. Papers should not exceed 12.000 words and must include an abstract of 200-400 words and a list of works cited. Papers will be selected on the basis of a process of blind review. Acceptance of papers will be determined before August, 10, 2013. Papers will be published in December 2013.

Donate to the Peirce Foundation

Giving is easy, and, as charitable organization, gifts to the Peirce Foundation are tax deductible for American citizens. Simply link to the Peirce Foundation website at:


Concerning the upcoming Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress held at July 16-19, 2014 at the University of Massachusetts Lowell...

A donor is providing a total of $1000 as match for anyone who might like to contribute with that in mind. If you contribute $50, the donor will match with $50, and do so for others until the $1000 is exhausted. That way your gift will go twice as far.

You also have an opportunity to sponsor a graduate student to the conference, with the asking gift of $300. This will assist students with any expenses associated with the conference travel and stay. It is important that we support the next generation of Peirce scholars, and this conference will an opportunity to help with that effort.

Friday, December 28, 2012

William James Society Session at the Eastern APA

The William James Society will be holding its annual session at the Eastern
APA in Atlanta, the night of December 29th from 7-10 pm.

APA - Eastern Division Meeting
Dec. 27-30, 2012
Atlanta, GA

William James Society Annual Meeting
Dec. 29, 2012; 7:00 - 10:00 pm

* Presidential Address: D. Micah Hester (UAMS)

* Invited Panel: Insights from "The Will to Believe"
Panelists: Scott Aikin (Vanderbilt), Jeff Kasser (Colorado State)
Respondent: Michael Slater (Georgetown)

* Business Meeting

CFP: AAPT Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Philosophy

Call For Proposals

Proposals for interactive workshops, panels, and presentations related to teaching and learning in Philosophy are welcome.

American Association of Philosophy Teachers
Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Philosophy
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA

Submission Guidelines:
1-2 page, single-space description of the aim of the session. Send to Nathan Nobis (Morehouse College), nathan.nobis@gmail.com , and Galen Foresman (North Carolina A&T State University), gaforesm@ncat.edu

Meritorious proposals will contain evidence-based content (e.g. relevant learning theory, data regarding student experience) and a clear description of the interactive nature of the session. No identifying information should appear on the proposal.

Workshop Format:

The workshop is designed to provide an opportunity for speakers to receive constructive feedback from interested colleagues, and for other participants to become acquainted with new work in the field. We anticipate close discussion among devoted philosophy teachers and scholars of teaching and learning. There is no registration fee. Contact Nathan Nobis at Nathan.nobis@gmail.com or 404-825-1740 for more information or with questions.

American Association of Philosophy Teachers: http://philosophyteachers.org/
Morehouse College: http://morehouse.edu

Deadline for Receipt of Proposals:
February 15, 2011

This call for proposals is available here in PDF:

SAAP Reception at the Eastern APA TONIGHT

The annual SAAP reception at the APA will be held tomorrow night, December 28th, at 9 pm in room 1110 at the Marriott Marquis, Atlanta. Join us!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CFP: Ancient and Analytic Philosophy

Ancient philosophy and analytic philosophy

Conference organised by Catherine Rowett, Tom Sorell and Alberto Vanzo, to be held in St Anne's College, Oxford, on 25-27 October 2013

For the past forty years, most research on ancient philosophy in the
English-speaking world has been shaped by the methods and style of
analytic philosophy. This has sharpened our understanding of key
doctrines, highlighted their philosophical relevance, and made it
possible for ancient views to bear on current debates. This alliance
of analytic philosophy and ancient philosophy also raises pressing
methodological questions. To what extent are we allowed to supplement
the claims of ancient philosophers with premises and concepts that the
authors involved would not recognize? How can our understanding of the
arguments of ancient philosophers profit from the study of
non-argumentative aspects of their texts, like the use of myths or the
dialogic form? How should we deal wih texts whose standards of
argument that are markedly different from our own, or which seek to
promote specific forms of life, rather than establishing a specific
body of truths?

Invited speakers: Mosley Brown (Oxford), Walter Cavini (Bologna), Gail
Fine (Cornell/Oxford), Terence Irwin (Oxford), Kathryn Morgan (UCLA),
Vasilis Politis (Dublin), Christopher Rowe (Durham).

Two slots are available for presentations of 45 minutes from
early-career scholars, followed by 30 minutes of discussion. We aim
to cover some of the travel and accommodation costs.

Please submit full papers (max. 15,000 words) to Alberto Vanzo
(alberto.vanzo@email.it) by Monday 3 June 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

CFP: Pragmatism and the Social Dimensions of Doubt: Fresh Perspectives

Call for Papers

Pragmatism and the Social Dimensions of Doubt: Fresh Perspectives
Guest editor: Mathias Girel (Ecole normale supérieure, Paris)

Debunking pathological doubts and sundry variants of skepticism has certainly been one of the most prominent features of Pragmatism since its inception in the early 1870s. Peirce's theory of inquiry, James's Will to Believe, and Dewey's Quest for Certainty, to mention only a few instances, to which Wittgenstein, as a non-standard pragmatist might be added, have offered several very different strategies to address this question. Extant scholarship has already devoted substantive accounts of this feature of pragmatism. Still, in addition to providing a rebuttal of the "paper-doubts" of the would-be skeptic, pragmatists have also been quite responsive to the socialdimensions of doubt. As regards the causes: Peirce, when he claims that we cannot doubt at will, mentions repeatedly that one of the strongest factors of doubt is the doubt of other competent inquirers. As regards the consequences: doubt has consequences on epistemic trust, on the way we discuss truths, either about the sciences or about the "construction of good". Readers of Dewey's Quest for Certainty and of some of his most important political writings can easily see how practical uncertainty can degenerate into a practical and political skepticism, preventing the emergence of publics.

This social aspect of the question has received less attention than the general pragmatist strategy towards skepticism, for which we already have important papers and monographs. Fundamental contributions --- whether conceptual or historical --- on the social dimensions of doubt in a pragmatist perspective would greatly benefit extant scholarship.

Several contexts have made this inquiry more urgent still. Firstly, doubt about the sciences --- about scientific certainty, scientific consensus and scientific normativity --- has been increasingly enrolled within several strategies and used to promote public controversies: can pragmatism offer, for example, an account of reasonable doubt in the sciences that would dismiss pathological doubts about the sciences, in the same way as the classical pragmatists have dismissed cartesian unreasonable doubts? Secondly, the emergence of a new kind of pragmatism, inspired by Sellars and focusing on the social articulation of the space of reasons, had prompted new developments and sometimes a reconstruction of the main notions of classical epistemology : what are the main insights of linguistic pragmatism about this central notion? Thirdly, the social sciences have made extensive use of pragmatist resources in the past decades and it is time to see if they can in return cast some light on one of the core notions of pragmatism.

This issue of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy wants to investigate the perspectives that pragmatisms, old and new, open up on the social articulation of doubt. We will welcome any contribution on this topic that will (i) clarify classic or neo pragmatists accounts of doubt in its social setting, or (ii) use pragmatist insights in other disciplines --- sociology, anthropology, political science, HPS --- to explore the social dimensions of doubt, or (iii) compare pragmatist views with authors and perspectives belonging to other philosophical streams, or (iv) propose new theories inspired by pragmatism. Contributions offering new insights on the theory of inquiry, or providing a new reading of classical pragmatism, will be considered of central interest.

Papers should be sent to mathias.girel@ens.fr before June, 30, 2013. Papers should not exceed 12.000 words and must include an abstract of 200-400 words and a list of works cited. Papers will be selected on the basis of a process of blind review. Acceptance of papers will be determined before August, 10, 2013. Papers will be published in December 2013.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Human Eros: Eco-Ontology and the Aesthetics of Existence


The lastest book from a mentor, and whose philosophy I am an intellectual heir. Tom aims towards culture and civilization, whereas I start from that ground and go towards culture and personal ethics. He tends to think at the level of ecosystems, civilizations, and the world, whereas I think upon personal responsibility, redemption, tragic moral consciousness, etc.

Inland Northwest Pragmatist Network


INLAND NORTHWEST PRAGMATIST NETWORK
Gonzaga University
Spokane, Washington

* January 26 (Saturday), 2013*
All sessions meet in College Hall, Room 101
-no fee, no registration, open to the public

10:30am-12pm: “Pragmatism & Obama”
–a Discussion led by Jon Isacoff (Political Science, Gonzaga)

12:15-1:30pm: LUNCH

1:45-3:15pm: “What Does Naturalism Mean By ‘Practical’?”
-Kevin Decker (Philosophy, Eastern Washington)

3:15-3:30pm: BREAK

3:45-5:15pm:
KEY TEXT DISCUSSION of
John Dewey’s new book: Unmodern Philosophy and Modern Philosophy

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CFP: New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility

This is a call for abstracts for the second biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR), to be held in New Orleans, LA at the Intercontinental Hotel on November 7-9, 2013. Abstracts are welcome on any topic having to do with agency and/or responsibility. Perspectives beyond just those from moral philosophy (e.g., psychology, legal theory, neuroscience, economics, metaphysics, and more) are welcome. (To see more about the workshop’s general aims and other details, follow this link: http://murphy.tulane.edu/events/center-conferences-symposia/1888.php.) 

Abstracts should be no more than 3 double-spaced pages and are due no later than March 1, 2013. They do NOT need to be prepared for blind review. Please send abstracts by e-mail to David Shoemaker: dshoemak@tulane.edu. A program committee will evaluate submissions and make decisions by early May. The authors of all accepted abstracts will be expected to provide drafts of their essays for distribution to NOWAR attendees four weeks prior to the workshop, present their ideas at the workshop, and then commit the final versions of their essays (subject to external review) to the second volume of Oxford Studies on Agency and Responsibility (which is expected to be published in early 2015). Those who presented at the first NOWAR are ineligible to present at the second. 


Keynote Speakers, 2013
John Martin Fischer, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside
Susan Wolf, Edna J. Koury Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CONF: SAAP at the Eastern APA

FRIDAY AFTERNOON, DECEMBER 28th****

GIV - 7. Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy****

2:00 - 5:00 p.m.****
Topic: Pragmatist Approaches to Culture and Justice****
Chair: Eric Thomas Weber (University of Mississippi)****

Speakers: Susan Dieleman (Ryerson University)****
"Epistemic Justice as a Larger Loyalty"****

Katherine Logan (University of Oregon)****
"Joan Williams, Feminist Pragmatism, and 'Work-Family Conflict"****

Gregory Pappas (Texas A & M University)****
"Towards a Pragmatist's Inquiry about Injustice"****

Eric Thomas Weber (University of Mississippi)****
"A Culture of Justice: On Rawls, Dewey, and Rorty"****



SATURDAY AFTERNOON, DECEMBER 29th****
GIX - 7. Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy****

1:30 - 4:30 p.m.****
Topic: Mead, Royce, and Dewey: Early Encounters with Evolution****
Chair: Mike Brady (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)****

Speakers: William Baird (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)****
"The Apple Falls Far from the Tree: Josiah Royce’s Divergence from Joseph
LeConte’s Evolutionary Totalism"****

Mike Brady (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)****
"John Dewey and Eugenics"****

Trevor Pearce (University of Wisconsin - Madison)****
"George Herbert Mead’s Debt to Biology: Evolution and Philosophy in the
1880s"

Monday, December 3, 2012

CONF: Metaphysics of Culture and Joseph Margolis


Conference:

The Metaphysics of Culture
- The Philosophy of Joseph Margolis

Helsinki, Finland
20-21 May 2013


Joseph Margolis’ philosophical career stretches over several decades. A
major figure of contemporary pragmatism, he is especially known for his
systematic defense of relativism and for emphasizing the historical
character of human thinking and inquiry.

This conference is devoted to the different aspects of Margolis’ vast
philosophical work and its contemporary relevance. Its keynote speakers are
Joseph Margolis and Christopher Hookway.

The event is organized by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, The
Philosophical Society of Finland, The Finnish Society for Aesthetics and
the Nordic Pragmatism Network.

For more information and the full call for papers, please see the
conference webpage at:


Please feel free to forward this announcement to mailing lists and possibly
interested colleagues.

CFP: Public Philosophy in Essays in Philosophy


Call for Papers
Essays in Philosophy
Volume 15, Number 1
Issue date: January 2014
 
Journal issue topic: Public Philosophy
 
Submission deadline: October 31, 2013
Editor: Jack Russell Weinstein (University of North Dakota)
Public philosophy is a vibrant sub-discipline with a long history stemming from Socrates onward. In the last few decades it has become an industry in the form of multiple book series on the connections between philosophy and popular culture, a force on the internet with dozens of philosophy-oriented blogs, and a beacon of hope for those who wish to educate often uncritical democratic populaces. But little work has been done on the nature and role of public philosophy in and of itself, and little attention has been placed on its methods as distinct from traditional teaching. This issue of Essay in Philosophy aims to be the first single-volume dedicated to the comprehensive examination of the philosophy underpinning public philosophy.

Public philosophy in this context refers to doing philosophy with general audiences in a non-academic setting. And while it is often said to play a role in democratic education, public philosophy is its own enterprise. It is philosophy outside the classroom, a voluntary endeavor without course-credit, assignments, or even a clear purpose. Submissions to the journal will ask about its nature, purpose, role, and assumptions.
Some sample topics include:
–The purpose of public philosophy.
– The history of public philosophy.
– The use of argument in public philosophy.
– The role of the “teacher” or facilitator in public philosophy events.
– Connections between public philosophy and democracy.
– Public philosophy and the internet.
– Short-form philosophy and its effectiveness.
– Public philosophy as entertainment.
– The language of public philosophy.
– Social networks as a tool for public philosophy.
– The nature and role of the “amateur” philosopher.
– Public philosophy and its relationship to the university.
– Public philosophy and professional philosophy.
– Public philosophy and diverse populations.
– Is public philosophy “research” in the sense required for tenure by most institutions?
The volume also welcomes reviews of public philosophy texts investigating their success or failure as public philosophy (as opposed to evaluating them as philosophical argument). Such texts include but are not limited to: Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, Socrates Café, Sophie’s World, Wittgenstein’s Poker, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
All submissions should be sent to the general editor via email: boersema@pacificu.edu.
Submission guidelines are available here: http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/styleguide.html

Saturday, December 1, 2012

CFP: 9th International Whitehead Conference


Colleagues, on behalf of the International Process Network and the organizing committee of the 9th International Whitehead Conference: "Society and Process: From Theory to Practice," which will be taking place in Krakow, Poland, from September 9-12, 2013, we would like to cordially invite you to submit a paper for the conference and/or possibly chair a section of the conference. The call for abstracts on most any topic related to process philosophy will be going out shortly.

For information about the conference, please visit: http://iwc9-poland.com. Also feel free to contact the main organizer, especially if you would like to chair a section: Bogdan Ogrodnik at: bogrod@interia.pl. We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be a superb event.

Very Best Wishes,

Adam Scarfe, Ph.D., M.Ed.,
Executive Director,
International Process Network

Academic Address:
Department of Philosophy,
University of Winnipeg,
515 Portage Avenue,
Canada R3B 2E9

Friday, November 30, 2012

SAAP 2014 in Denver

Negotiations with the Westin Hotel in Denver have just concluded with a
contract for SAAP, *2014*. The dates will be *Thursday, March 6th through
Saturday March 8th.*

I have been working with Judy Walker, a local scholar and SAAP member, to
hammer out the best possible deal. The Westin
hotel<http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1012>is
located walking-distance close to Denver's best galleries,
restaurants,
and downtown attractions. It is a comfortable hotel that will keep us in
easy contact with one another during the meeting. (It's neither too small
nor a sprawling meeting space.)

Please note: you won't hear much more about the 2014 meeting for a
while--we still have the 2013 meeting in New Jersey to look forward to. But
I wanted to let everyone know that SAAP will be in Denver in 2014 and it
will be great!

We very much look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Denver in
March, 2014. If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to
me, David Hildebrand. (Keep in mind that most of the details have not yet
been worked out as the meeting is still over a year away.)

CFP: Peirce Centennial Conference


In commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the death of C. S. Peirce,
The Charles S. Peirce Society and the Peirce Foundation invite the
submission of new papers and panel proposals for the *Charles S. Peirce
International Centennial Congress*, to be held on *July 16-19, 2014* at the
University of Massachusetts Lowell. The general theme of the congress is
Invigorating Philosophy for the 21st Century. Confirmed plenary speakers
include Susan Haack, Christopher Hookway, Nathan Houser, Cheryl Misak,
Nicholas Rescher, Claudine Tiercelin, and Fernando Zalamea.

Peirce was one of the most creative and versatile intellectual figures of
the last two centuries. Although his genius went largely unrecognized
during his lifetime, his work has exerted a considerable influence on the
development of philosophy and many other disciplines. In addition to his
acknowledged role as one of the pioneers of pragmatism, formal logic, and
philosophical sign theory, Peirce made ground-breaking contributions to
mathematics, experimental psychology, cosmology, cartography,
historiography, and the emerging field of computer science. Many treasures
still wait to be unearthed from the rich corpus of the published and
unpublished manuscripts of this seminal American mind.

The aim of the Centennial Congress is to advance scholarship on all aspects
of Peirce’s thought and biography, and to investigate the relevance and
potential of his philosophy for the 21st century – for contemporary
philosophical debates and beyond. The organizers welcome interdisciplinary
submissions and contributions from scholars in disciplines other than
philosophy.

*The deadline for submission of panel proposals is February 1st, 2013. *
*
*
*The deadline for submission of papers is September 1st, 2013. *

These are firm deadlines. For complete instructions on submission of papers
and panel proposals, please consult the full Call for Papers at

All submissions (papers and panel proposals) must be in English. However,
participants will be given the option to present their contributions at the
Congress in a language other than English if they prefer.

Submissions and all other correspondence related to the program of the
Congress should be sent to: PeirceCongress2014@gmail.com.

For more information about the Centennial Congress, please see

CFP: Philosophy in the Contemporary World


*Call for Papers:  20th Annual Conference of the Society for Philosophy in
the Contemporary World*

*July 19-23, 2013, Estes Park, CO*

We invite submissions for the 20th-annual conference of SPCW. We welcome
paper on all topics, from any and all philosophical traditions. The society
fosters and supports productive philosophical exchange in a constructive
environment. New members are always welcomed!

Standard submissions:   papers with a maximum length of 3,500 words, and an
abstract of 100 words or less.   Alternative presentation and creative
proposals will be given consideration.

Electronic submissions are preferred.

*Submissions are due March 1, 2013*

Questions and submissions (prepared for blind review) should be sent
electronically to:

 robert.metcalf@ucdenver.edu, Program Chair:

Robert Metcalf, Assoc. Professor & Chair, Department of Philosophy,
University of Colorado Denver

This year, we celebrate 20 years of thinking with SPCW.  Members of the
Society, and participants from previous conferences, are encouraged to
return to, critically reevaluate and develop, papers presented at previous
conferences.

Participants new to the Society are encouraged to submit papers on any of
the topics highlighted at the annual conference over the past 20 years:


   - Multiculturalism and Philosophy  Whither Liberal Arts?
   - Back to the things themselves  Human Nature and Human Habitats
   - Contemporary Culture   Philosophy and Everyday Life
   - Democracy and Democratic Theory  Intersubjectivity: Self, Other, and
   Lifeworld
   - Sport, Play and Leisure   Time, History, and Social Change
   - Place and Space   Philosophy and Humanistic Studies
   - Work, Labor, Creation   Culture and Ethics
   - Philosophy of Place   Tradition and Memory
   - Bridging Analytic and Continental Philosophy  Power, Law and the
   Possibility of Peace
   - Literary Theory and Philosophy  Applying the Virtues
   - Religious & Secular Institutions  Aesthetics
   - in the Contemporary World  Justice and Identity in a Global Context
   - Discourse and Dissent   Living Mindfully:  Food, Environment, and
   Technology

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Response to Harman on Whitehead

Responding the Graham Harman here, who is responding to Matt Segall here.


False Dilemma.

His argument assumes that something is either related or it is not, and this is a false dilemma.


Continuity.

Whitehead, like Peirce and Dewey, has a notion of continuity that eschews the binaries of substance-thinking that misinterpreters like Harman and Bryant apply to it. What motivates the view is the realization that if we accept the false dilemma that Harman and substance thought proposes, then change cannot be explained except in question-begging ways, e.g., Harman's "series of instants." Harman also brutalizes Heidegger on time, so it's no surprise that he's committing the same mistake in process philosophy.  He's consistently wrong, which makes me think that he flat-out rejects the possibility of continuity, and begs the question.

For those interested, I have posted many times on processional views of substance and time. I have also posted links to primary texts on Peirce that make his arguments for continuity clear.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Absurdity of Politics and Employment in Philosophy

The dilemma: be good at your field, or be reputable in your field.

I would respond to an article at Inside Higher Ed entitled "Mid-Tier Doctoral Programs". In it, the semi-anonymous author asks why graduate students apply to "mid-tier" graduate programs given the poor chance of employment. I would respond to the situation within philosophy, which may be at some remove to what the article targets. The author has a point, but there are some areas where this line of thinking falls terribly short.

What counts as mid-tier and why? The author ignores the politics of this. Let's start with an example.

There is no "top-tier" institution that teaches American pragmatism. Also, if I am remembering a colleague's words correctly, it is in question whether a "top-tier" institution is teaching Black/Africana/African diaspora philosophy. This leaves persons interested in those fields in a bind. Either attend a "top-tier" institution and gain reputation and status in the profession, or attend an institution that trains one in the field of study, but sacrifice employability. But since one's graduating institution is often also a stand-in for credentials, institutional reputation de facto matters more than training. Worse, non-specialists cannot tell the difference between reputation and training or scholarship.

The so-called "mid-tier" universities are often those not from the *political* top of the heap, which is frequently conflated with the *intellectual* top of the heap. It is horrifying that intellectuals are so blind to their situation. Consider another example.

Schools specializing in American pragmatism and continental philosophy are often not considered "top-tier" by the general standards of the Leiter Report or analytic philosophy, but are top-tier within their own traditions. This is why the Pluralist Report was launched last year, and anyone familiar with both will recognize that they are wholly incongruent.

Why mention this?  The philosophy job market begins today with the publication of the Jobs for Philosophers. For anyone in pragmatism on the market who was trained at the top-tier pragmatism schools, e.g., University of Oregon, Texas A&M, Vanderbuilt, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, etc, we all face this bind. Continentalists face a parallel bind. Asianists face problems as well, but the analogies break down.

Finally, I salute and thank fellow scholars who recognize this problem and are trying to overcome it. We do not have to be at odds, and we do not have to build fences.  But we must recognize the politics that infuse a profession even if we do not want to engage them, else we will surely become ensnared.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Great Divide: Neoclassical- vs. Neo-Pragmatism

A chasm divides neoclassical- and neo-pragmatist scholarship in philosophy.

The neoclassicals are the inheritors of the living tradition of classical pragmatism, and anchor themselves to elaborating or developing that tradition. They're historians and/or producers of new ideas in the wake of the founding thinkers.


The neopragmatists are borrowers of a few good ideas of classical pragmatism. They are united by a family resemblance among themselves, and not the various theses of classical or contemporary thinkers. 

A historic discontinuity divides neopragmatism from classical pragmatism, while an intellectual discontinuity divides neopragmatists from neoclassicals. But there is more to it. Neopragmatists are also analytic philosophers, and thus have the institutional support of being members of the dominant tradition of philosophy in the English-speaking world. This underlies a lot of strife, which is visible at the various conferences run by neoclassicals, as there is a reputation and economic deficit.

An anonymous poster sparked my musement on the distinction by linking an Q&A with Huw Price, self-reported "pragmatist." Guess what kind of pragmatist he is by the following question-and-answer that I give in the comments.

Against Rachels' Elements of morality


I greatly dislike James and Stuart Rachels’ The Elements of Morality. It introduces contemporary ethical theories to beginning students, and I am required to use it in my ethics course this semester. My dislike stems from its approach, which I call the “logical problem” approach to subjects that is typical in analytic philosophy. The ideals, motivations, contexts, etc. are sublimated to the logical adequacy of the argument, and the author heavily interprets historic arguments to present them as logically adequate. The author attempts to be accessible, and much of the text is fantastic in this regard, but forgets that the beginning student is completely unmoved by notions of (abstract) reason, logical adequacy, validity, etc. These concerns only make sense to a specialized audience, and in my verb may be beside the point.

The poor treatment of David Hume motivates my criticism. The text presents Hume as kin of “subjectivism” and “emotivism,” yet the connection misrepresents his position so badly that I am shocked to read it in print.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Feminist Pragmatism in Place Schedule Out!

Feminist Pragmatism in Place

University of Dayton Philosophy Department Colloquium
October 19-20, 2012

The schedule is out!

* I don't want to post it here, and I cannot find a copy on the net. If you want it, I have posted it as a comment. *

Winners of Best Edited Volume Goes to Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism!

Prof. David Hildebrand offer the following congratulatory announcement.


Congratulations to SAAP Members Maurice Hamington and Celia Bardwell-Jones. Their edited volume, *Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism *(Routledge, 2012) was named Outstanding Edited Book by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (OSCLG) and will be given the award at their Annual Meeting in October.

Many of the contributors to the volume are SAAP members as well: Shannon Sullivan, V. Denise James, Amrita Banerjee, Susan Dieleman, Judy D. Whipps, Lisa Heldke, Babara Thayer-Bacon, Cynthia Willett, Cathryn Bailey, Claudia Gillberg, Erin McKenna, and Heather E. Keith.

You can read about the book at:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

IV Congreso Iberoamericano de Filosofía: El Pragmatismo en Diálogo

IV Congreso Iberoamericano de Filosofía,
Santiago de Chile, del 5 al 9 de noviembre de 2012.
http://www.filosofiaendialogo.cl/

Título del simposio: *El Pragmatismo en Diálogo*

Coordinador:
Gregory Fernando Pappas,

Participantes:
Aurelia Di Berardino, Universidad de la Plata, Argentina
Ángel M. Faerna, Universidad de Toledo, Espana
Laura Inés García, U.N.C. – CONICET, Argentina
Daniel Kalpokas, UNC-CONICET, Argentina
Veronica Tozzi, UBA-UNTREF-CONICET, Argentina
Claudio Viale, UNC-CONICET, Argentina
Roger Ward, Georgetown College, USA
Federico Penelas, UBA/CONICET/GAF, Argentina
Gregory Fernando Pappas, Texas A & M University, USA
Pablo Quintanilla, PUCP, Peru


Tema y objetivo:

Algo admirable del “pragmatismo” como tendencia o corriente filosófica es
el hecho que ha evolucionado y que cuenta con una pluralidad de versiones y
modalidades. Nunca en la historia de la filosofía tantos y tan diversos
pensadores han sido catalogados como “pragmatistas”. A pesar de esta
inclusividad y diversidad no hubo suficiente diálogo entre los miembros de
esta tradición filosófica sobre las diferencias en su pensamiento. En la
familia de pragmatistas existen importantes tensiones que nuestro simposio
se propone examinar y confrontar por medio de un diálogo entre
investigadores de diferentes países de las Américas. Este diálogo entre
pragmatistas girará en torno a las siguientes preguntas: cuáles son
las más profundas
discrepancias entre pragmatistas contemporáneos (Putnam y Rorty), y también
entre los neo-pragmatistas (Rorty, Brandom Davidson) y los pragmatistas
clásicos (James, Dewey, Peirce) ¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre
“pragmatistas” en cuanto a la naturaleza de las emociones, la experiencia,
la percepción, el conocimiento, el lenguaje, las religión y las
creencias?Además proponemos contrastar el pensamiento
de los pragmatistas clásicos y neopragmaticos con* *algunas concepciones
contemporáneas sobre* *estos temas que son tan centrales en la filosofía.


Gregory Fernando Pappas, PhD

Professor of Philosophy, Texas A&M University
Fulbright Scholar '12-'13
Editor-in-Chief of the Inter-American Journal of Philosophy
http://philosophy.tamu.edu/People/Faculty/Pappas/index.html
* *

New Edition of Dewey's The Public and Its Problems

*The Public and Its Problems: An Essay in Political Inquiry*

*By John Dewey, and Edited and with an introduction by Melvin L. Rogers*

The revival of interest in pragmatism and its practical relevance for
democracy has prompted a reconsideration of John Dewey’s political
philosophy. Dewey’s *The Public and Its Problems *(1927) constitutes his
richest and most systematic meditation on the future of democracy in an age
of mass communication, governmental bureaucracy, social complexity, and
pluralism. Drawing on his previous writings and prefiguring his later
thinking, Dewey argues for the importance of civic participation and
clarifies the meaning and role of the state, the proper relationship
between the public and experts, and the source of democracy’s legitimacy.
These themes remain as important today as they were when Dewey first
engaged them, and this is the work to which scholars consistently turn when
assessing Dewey’s conception of democracy and what might be imagined for
democracy in our own time.

In this carefully annotated edition, Melvin L. Rogers provides an
introductory essay that elucidates the philosophical and historical
background of *The Public and Its Problems* while explaining the key ideas
of the book. He also provides a biographical outline of Dewey’s life and
bibliographical notes to assist student and scholar alike.

208 pages
ISBN 978-0-271-05569-5 | cloth: $69.95
ISBN 978-0-271-05570-1 | paper: $20.95

Here's the URL of the web page for that title:
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-05569-5.html

Monday, September 3, 2012

First European Pragmatism Conference

First European Pragmatism Conference
Rome, 19-21 September 2012

The First European Pragmatism Conference, organized by the Nordic
Pragmatism Network <http://www.nordprag.org/> and the Associazione
Pragma<http://www.associazionepragma.com/>,
takes place in Rome on September 19-21, 2012. The conference will be held
in Roma Tre University, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Via Ostiense 234,
Rome.

The purpose of the conference is for the first time to bring
togetherdifferent European groups and individuals working on the tradition
of pragmatism and American philosophy. The focus of the conference is on a
better understanding of the contemporary relevance of American philosophy
in general, and pragmatism in particular. American philosophy is here
considered as a proper philosophical tradition, distinguished from, and
capable of a dialogue with other traditions.

The conference is sponsored by the Philosophy Department and the Head of
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Roma Tre University, and the Department
of Human Historical and Social Sciences of the University of Molise. The
Nordic Pragmatism Network has received financial support from NordForsk.

The organizing committee: Rosa M. Calcaterra (Università Roma Tre); Roberto
Frega (Institute for Advanced Studies, Paris); Giovanni Maddalena
(University of Molise); Sami Pihlström (University of Helsinki); Henrik
Rydenfelt (University of Helsinki).

For more details and the full conference programme, please visit the
conference webpage at: http://nordprag.org/epc1.html

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Somaesthetics at the Dewey Center in Krakow

The John Dewey Research Center at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow is inaugurating a division on somaesthetics. There is an open invitation for this on September 3rd, 2012 at 2:00PM.

"Somaethetics" is the contemporary pragmatist aesthetic of Richard Schusterman, Professor of Philosophy at Florida Atlantic University, and he will be attending and giving a lecture on "Pragmatism, Somaesthetics, and Contemporary Art."

The lecture will be followed by a dance performance presented by Teatr Tańca DF. At 4.30 p.m. there will be a panel discussion (in polish) with the participation of aestheticians and dancers. The aim of the discussion is to exchange ideas between theorists and dancers on issues relating to body consciousness, somaesthetics, and
dance.

*The Somaesthetics Section has been organized by*
*Dr. Lilianna Bieszczad*
*The detailed program can be found on*
*www.deweycenter.uj.edu.pl*


(I have heavily edited the original announcement.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

International Conference on Rethinking Pragmatist Aesthetics

*International Conference “Rethinking Pragmatist Aesthetics”*

August 31-September 2, 2012

University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Campus in Wroclaw (Poland)****

Pragmatist aesthetics is a rich theoretical tradition which has its
beginnings in the work of classical pragmatists (most notably, John
Dewey’s 1934 book Art as Experience), and which was rejuvenated in the 80s
and the 90s by such scholars as Richard Rorty, Joseph Margolis, and Richard
Shusterman. The latter’s 1992 book Pragmatist Aesthetics can be seen as a
symbolic moment in the emergence of the second wave of pragmatist
aesthetics, and today, twenty years after its publication, it is perhaps
the right time to rethink pragmatism’s contribution to aesthetic theory.The
aim of this conference is to reflect on pragmatist aesthetics’ history and
current condition, but also on its potential to address the most pressing
problems of contemporary philosophical aesthetics, and to project the
future avenues for its progress. ****

Keynote speaker: Richard Shusterman (Florida Atlantic University)****

Conference program is attached to this message. ****

Organizers: prof. Leszek Koczanowicz (leszek@post.pl) and dr. Wojciech
Malecki (wojciech.malecki@wp.pl). The conference language is English.

Josiah Royce Society Session at the Eastern APA

The Josiah Royce Society will sponsor a session at the APA-Eastern meeting in Atlanta, GA:

SATURDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 29th

GVIII - 8. Josiah Royce Society

11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Topic: New Directions in Royce Scholarship

Chair: Mathew A. Foust (Lander University)

Speakers: Kara Barnette (Gustavus Adolphus College)
"Between Revenge and Forgiveness: Royce’s Concept of Atonement and Feminist Legal Theory"

Matthew Jacobs (Pennsylvania State University)
"Purpose, Discursivity, and Normativity in Royce and Brandom"

Commentator: Mathew A. Foust (Lander University)

C.S. Peirce Society Session at the Eastern APA

The C.S. Peirce Society will be sponsoring a session at this year's meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, in Atlanta, Georgia:

FRIDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 28th
GV - 2. Charles S. Peirce Society
5:15 - 7:15 p.m.
Topic: Peirce and Value Theory
Chair: Robert Lane (University of West Georgia)

Speakers:

Diana Heney (University of Toronto)
"The Peircean Strand in Pragmatist Ethics"

Rosa Mayorga (Miami-Dade College)
"Peirce and Value Theory"

Aaron Massecar (University of Guelph-Ontario)
"Peirce, Moral Cognitivism, and the Development of Character"

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012-2013 C.S. Peirce Essay Contest

Topic: Any topic on or related to the work of Charles Sanders Peirce.

Awards: $500 cash prize; presentation at the Society's next annual
meeting, held in conjunction with the Central APA (in New Orleans,
Louisiana, USA, February 20-23, 2013); possible publication, subject
to editorial revision, in the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce
Society.

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2012

Length: Because the winning essay may be published in the
Transactions, the length of contest submissions should be about the
length of an average journal article. The maximum acceptable length is
10,000 words, including notes. The presentation of the winning
submission at the annual meeting cannot exceed 30 minutes reading time.

Open to: Graduate students and persons who have held a Ph.D. or its
equivalent for no more than seven years. Entries from students who
have not yet begun their graduate training will not be considered.
Past winners of the contest are ineligible. Joint submissions are
allowed provided that all authors satisfy the eligibility requirements.


Advice to Essay Contest Entrants:

The winning entry will make a genuine contribution to the literature
on Peirce. Therefore, entrants should become familiar with the major
currents of work on Peirce to date and take care to locate their views
in relation to published material that bears directly on their topic.

Entrants should note that scholarly work on Peirce frequently benefits
from the explicit consideration of the historical development of his
views. Even a submission that focuses on a single stage in that
development can benefit from noting the stage on which it focuses in
reference to other phases of Peirce's treatment of the topic under
consideration. (This advice is not intended to reflect a bias toward
chronological studies, but merely to express a strong preference for a
chronologically informed understanding of Peirce's philosophy.)

We do not require but strongly encourage, where appropriate, citation
of the Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition.
Ideally, citation of texts found in both the Collected Papers and the
Writings should be to both CP and W.

Submissions should be prepared for blind evaluation and must not be
under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Cover letter or email should include complete contact information,
including mailing address and phone numbers, and a statement that the
entrant meets the eligibility requirements of the contest.

Electronic submissions are preferred. Submissions should be sent as
email attachments (Microsoft Word documents, RTF files, or PDF files
only) to Robert Lane, secretary-treasurer of the Society:
rlane@westga.edu . Please include "Peirce Essay Contest Submission" in
the subject line of your email.


Submissions by traditional mail are also acceptable. Please mail
submissions to:


Robert Lane
Philosophy Program
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118
Attn: Peirce Essay Contest

Alwin Carus Research Grant


Up to $5000 in research grants to study the Hegeler-Carus collection of the Open Court Publishers library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

I spent a year in that archive and have an unpublished manifest of the Open Court library of texts, which includes autographed first editions of Freud, first editions (original German) of Nietzsche, etc. I can share that information upon request. The rest of the archive catalogue is available at the Special Collections Research Center website, a division of the university.

2012 Midwest Pragmatist Study Group

The program is here. It will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana September 22-23.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Logic of Hatred


Levi Bryant recently engaged in an uncharitable polemic here and here against Matt Segall to which I am compelled to respond. I strongly recommend that the reader view the comments and Bryant’s post before continuing, else they will not appreciate the severity of the polemic.

In short, Bryant is a contemporary Thrasymachus as found in Plato’s Republic. That is, he subordinates his reason to his desires, and acts aggressively in pursuit of them. Let us be more specific.

In his second post on the matter, he castigates the “logic of transcendence or sovereignty” or “patriarchy” that is exemplified in religion. He proceeds to tell us that the structure, and not the content, of religion and similar institutions leads to oppression. He asks us not to focus on the beliefs of religion, which may be good, but to focus upon how they function, in which case he sees only evil. They always embody the logic of transcendence, sovereignty, patricarchy, etc. Later, he limits his accusations to judeo-christian-islamic religions and exempts “paganism,” Buddhism, etc.

Religion leads to “ineluctable violence” as any “social and intellectual structure premised on sovereignty, exception, or transcendence ineluctably generate violence.”



Prof. Bryant, this argument is not benefitting you. It is demonstrably untrue both deductively and inductively. At best it remains a thesis that supports an ideology of hatred, and in your case you have demonstrated that hatred against various interlocutors, most recently Matt Segal. I recommend that you examine your motivations for argumentation, as you are on the path of Thrasymachus, a path of violent confrontation claiming to be reasonable, but motivated by much less noble sources.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

CFP: Philosophy Born of Struggle 2012 at Texas A&M

Philosophy 
Born of Struggle 2012

Nineteenth Annual Conference
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Charles Mills
Author of The Racial Contract 
October 26 & 27, 2012

Philosophy Born of Struggle 2012: Call for Papers and Panels

The 19th Annual Philosophy Born of Struggle Conference with the theme Race, Class, Gender, and State Violence  will convene at  Texas A&M on October 26 & 27  2012. State violence while maintaining the pretense of legitimacy has become synonymous with social order and democracy with the prison industrial complex serving as a conduit for controlling the restless masses as well as the greatest competitor to public education.  Reclaim public education by dismantling the prison industrial complex should be a matter of great urgency for educators, and civic leaders of all areas of public life.   This conference explores the interconnections between Race, Class, Gender, state violence and the prison industrial complex and the social impact of having one in every hundred citizens in the United States   behind bars.   

Paper submissions on the following topics are highly encouraged:  Racial profiling and the culture of violence as part of the state apparatus. National Identity and the history of violence.  Economic Inequality and gender/race/ class oppression in the age of mass incarceration.  Education and the pursuit of life, livelihood and liberty. Capital Punishment as the ultimate expression of state violence.

For papers, please submit abstracts with proposed titles and biographical information.  For panels, please submit panel title plus abstracts, titles, names, affiliations, and bios of proposed presentations.  Please email proposals by August 18th to:

Everet Green (everet@verizon.net)

Leonard Harris (lharrisl@hotmail.com)

Tommy Curry (t-curry@philosophy.tamu.edu)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Advanced Seminar on Peirce in Portuguese

Inscrição 6th Advanced Seminar on Peirce’s Philosophy and Semiotics e 15a. Jornada do Centro Internacional de Estudos Peircianos

Informamos que estão abertas as inscrições para o 6th Advanced Seminar on Peirce’s Philosophy and Semiotics e 15a. Jornada do Centro Internacional de Estudos Peircianos.

A inscrição deverá ser feita com antecedência por meio do formulário eletrônico e os participantes deverão assinar a lista de presença nos dias do evento.

Os Cadernos da Jornada com todos os textos apresentados pelos palestrantes internacionais e nacionais poderão ser adquiridos no local antes do início do evento.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Pragmatists Commit Hubris


I am editing the last major chapter of my book. By now, I have completed a synoptic reading of Dewey's metaphysics and phenomenology with emphasis on its processional and temporal elements, and begin critiquing his concept of valuation. The problem? Dewey's analysis of valuation is incomplete, and most subsequent scholars follow him in this blindness, which leads them to commit hubris. They promise more of Deweyan method that it can accomplish, rarely admit its short-comings, and thereby hamstring any attempt to rectify deficiencies. Below I give you the introduction to the last chapter.
**

We have come full circle. In the beginning I asked how intelligence and agency are possible when impulsivity and desire are their root. For many, this formulation might have come as a shock, for western thinkers frequently understand the two to be opposites. John Dewey championed the view that intelligent inquiry is the transformation of impulsive desire through harmonizing it to ideal ends. However, I challenged his view because he promised more of our transformative capabilities than is warranted. He presumes that individuals are either more transparent to themselves or more integral of character than they are, and thereby assumed that desire is always ideational and available for reflective control at least in principle. Since I broached the question and criticism, I have presented a synoptic vision of Dewey’s philosophy focused on his metaphysics and phenomenology through the lens of Alexander coming to the following conclusion.

Every reflection is grounded upon what does not come to light, and this insight is fundamental to Dewey’s theory of experience. Experience is a process in which the unconscious phase occurs first and constitutes the conscious phase that becomes reflection. The “unconscious phase” includes the local environment, the active human body, the situation, habits ranging from instinct to the finest refinements of culture, etc., although I focus on only one strand of the unconscious phase, the process inclusive of “desire” or motivated human purposiveness that is a species of valuation. Our habits give us purposes without conscious intentions, and these purposes are the coordinated activity of biological impulses. When these purposes are sufficiently disrupted, the tension in ongoing activities may give rise to emotion and affectivity or a “felt difficulty” that initiates reflection and a problematic situation. Only then may we be an intelligent agent rather than rely on intelligently educated habit. However, the original impulsivity continues to constitute the situation, and supposing otherwise ignores the continuity of thought. The problem that confronts us is not whether an individual has a felt difficulty that provokes thought, but whether the individual may interpret the situation to re-educate habits and engender future felt difficulties that otherwise may not have been likely.

We cannot assume that every disruption launches us into reflection or reveals every unthought purpose. The conundrum is that only physical resistance necessarily provokes a felt difficulty, but the problem might be symbolic rather than physical. Symbolic resistance is possible only when a person interprets an event as a sign for a particular meaning. That is, morality does not walk across the street and slap sense into you. Racism is not only about conscious intention, but about attitudes, preconceptions, behaviors, and the material endurance of institutions that are frequently unthought. Culture is as much symbolic as physical, but only interpretation converts the physical into the symbolic. Intelligence requires resisting impulsive behavior, but when the event requires a symbolic resistance, talk about the possibilities of the situation become narrowed to the possibilities of interpretation.

In the process of experience, the unconscious phase occurs first and constitutes the conscious phase in which intelligence and agency occur. Part of the unconscious phase includes instinctual and habitual impulse that are primary in the direction of semi-autonomous behavior, and they function as gatekeepers of what might become conscious or what we might experience as meaningful. Every reflection is grounded upon what does not come to light, and this insight is fundamental to Dewey’s theory of experience. While there is no necessity for the occurrence of any particular event, the asymmetric flow is necessary, which establishes the enduring possibility of unconscious habits fragmented behavior from the reflective apprehension of their meaning. This is an unavoidable limitation of Dewey’s theory of intelligent inquiry that he did not adequately address.

Where I've Been Hiding

I took a break.

That's why I haven't posted regularly in some weeks. For those who follow my articles, blog, and FB posts, one might get the correct impression that I work non-stop seven days a week. I do. I'm a perfectionist about pedagogy, obsessive about scholarship and interpretation, and teach through the summer. I plan to start posting again, though more slowly.  Speaking of.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Kantian Meditation on Bacon

A colleague of mine, Randall Auxier, offered this fine meditation on Facebook, and I couldn't help but share.


A doubt has become a real problem for me. We all know that bacon is sort of an end in itself. It's almost a Kantian Idea of Reason --God, freedom, immortality, and bacon-- the ideas without which nothing else can really be good. And home grown tomatoes, while certainly a widely acknowledge intrinsic good, are commonly seen as contributors to other goods, but still very, very good all alone (with a bit of salt, perhaps). But here is the problem: I can't shake the feeling that bacon and homegrown tomatoes, even with good bread, can become a mayonnaise delivery system. Now, I know what you're thinking: "bacon isn't a system in the service of anything but itself." I know, I know. BUT HEAR ME OUT. How can you KNOW that unless you leave the mayonnaise off of the BLT? And no one has ever done that, and no one ever will. That's MY point. It's not just French ancestry speaking here. I am asserting that bacon CAN be subordinated in the hierarchy of goods, or at least, it is impossible to prove that it CAN'T BE, since no one is going to test this.

The Morality of Killing: Drone Strikes

The morality of the American use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been debated much recently. Consider the recent New York Times discussion at The Stone. A colleague directed me to an argument by Bradley Strawser in the Journal of Military Ethics. To his argument in favor of the use of drones, I have the following reply.



I strongly disagree with Strawser, and am almost tempted to accuse him of sophistry. Objection 6 covers my principle objection to the use of UAVs; it lowers the threshold for what counts as a just war (jus ad bellum) action. Below is his summary of the objection and response.

“Hence, although it is certainly possible that use of UAVs could lower the costs of going to war for a given state and, thereby, lower the threshold for going to war such that a state might have an increased likelihood of engaging in a war that is unjust, such predictions cannot be the basis for demanding an intentional violation of PUR given our present epistemic limitations.” (361)

 The author’s rebuttal shifts the focus of moral concern to what is owed the offensive combatant per the “PUR” principle (protect our soldiers), and not the societal and political issues of lowering the threshold. Not only does he shift the focus, from one issue to another, but he assumes that we would seek the same war action regardless of the technology. That is, his PUR principle, upon which his defense of UAVs is based, only works assuming that we seek the same war actions regardless of technology.

In sum, the arguments for objection 6 are beside-the-point, on the edge of fallacious if not fully committed, because of the shifting of focus and assumptions. They do not address the core concerns of such objections, and thus the whole argument is also implicitly a straw man argument, because the author posits that the objectors share the same assumptions, but they do not; the argument would be successful if they did.

Friday, July 20, 2012

CFP: THE SOCIETY FOR GERMAN IDEALISM

THE SOCIETY FOR GERMAN IDEALISM

Call for Papers

The Society for German Idealism will meet at the APA Pacific Division.

Papers must not exceed a length of 3000 words. Include the following ten items:

(1) word count -- 3000 words maximum!
(2) author's name
(3) academic status (professor, unaffiliated, graduate student)
(4) highest earned degree (BA, MA, PhD)
(5) institutional affiliation (if any)
(6) mailing address
(7) email address
(8) telephone number
(9) the paper's title
(10) an abstract -- 100 words maximum!

Include this information in the body of your email and on the first
page of your paper.

No more than one submission by the same author will be considered.

Email a copy of your paper, as an attachment, in Microsoft Word
(.doc), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or Adobe Portable Document Format
(.pdf) to idealism@lclark.edu.
Label your attachment as follows:
YourLastName_YourFirstName -- for example, Hegel_Georg.doc

Papers must be received by SEPTEMBER 1.

Papers will be reviewed by a committee. Three papers will be selected
for presentation, and each paper will have a commentator.
Notification of acceptance will be made via email in October.
Submissions whose authors cannot be contacted through email will be
rejected.

If you would like to serve as a commentator, please email
idealism@lclark.edu by September 15.


http://legacy.lclark.edu/~idealism/SGI.html has more information about
The Society for German Idealism.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pragmatism and Existential Philosophy

I translated an article by Hans Lipps that discusses the relationship of pragmatism and existential philosophy, including Heidegger. It might be of interest to readers, and is available here in the Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy.


Abstract
Hans Lipps compares pragmatism (William James and John Dewey) existentialism (Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, and Martin Heidegger) in this 1936 article translated from French. He claims that they aim at the same goals, e.g., a return to lived experience and a rejection of the Cartesian legacy in philosophy. While summarizing the commonalities of each, he engages in a polemic against philosophy then that remains relevant now into the next century.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is Abduction a Transcendental Method?


Is abduction a transcendental method? It can be construed as such, and I occassionally refer to it in that way, but that misses the core of abduction.

If "transcendental" means "arguing from a fact to the conditions of the possibility of that fact"--what must be true for this to occur--then abduction can be understood to be "transcendental." However, that is not the core of Peirce's intention or even more so how its used, because that ignores temporality. Abduction proposes a hypothesis given some facts understood to be evidence, and the hypothesis is true if it allows for the prediction and control of later events and facts. Let me phrase abduction in terms of how it is used to combat modern epistemology.

 In short and in Humean terminology, pragmatists no longer say, in a strict sense, that the thing causes the idea and the idea is like the thing, because you cannot beat Hume that way. Instead, we say that an idea is "true" if having and acting on the idea allows us to predict and control the flow of further ideas (experiences). This is abduction, the heart of scientific method, only it forms the basis of a theory of meaning and a phenomenology. However, unlike Hume and the whole modern tradition including Kant, we don't drink the Cartesian Kool-Aid and presume that the mind is radically separate from the body or the world. Hence, we shift the idea of knowledge from correspondence and related issues of representation to semiotics and how to represent ideas such that we can predict and control further experiences. However, the ideas have a real relation to the world even if it is neither direct causation nor representation; they cannot fail to be real without invoking solipsism or paradoxes. In this way we respond to Kant, a topic that I have discussed in more detail previously.

Perhaps you see how this relates to temporality. If an idea is true insomuch as an anticipated future occurs, and we say that reflective thought is abduction (literally), then knowledge and temporality are irreducible in any account of truth, knowledge, meaning, inquiry, etc. Transcendental method does not have this relationship to time.

Leon of After Nature asked me this question, and I thought that I would roll in a few other things while responding.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Bullseye for Shapiro

The Peirce Blog brought an excellent riposte by Michael Shapiro to my attention.  Recently, Anthony Gottlieb wrote a New York Times article containing the typical falsehoods about American pragmatism that I  usually just ignore. Michael Shapiro has my thanks for having this reply published.

Gottlieb trots out the usual mis-interpretation of pragmatism being about "what works," which laughably mis-construes the entire tradition. He then refers to neopragmatism, which is really a cousin three times removed from classical pragmatism.

Hard Data on Recent Hiring Practices in Philosophy

Prof Jennings has posted a lot of hard data on recent hiring practices in philosophy in American.  Check it out here.

I have already heard jokes that it might put the Philosophy Smoker blog out of business!

Caged in Thought

I have not posted recently; I have been so busy editing my book, teaching, and looking for a tenure-track job (and temporary work until then) that I have not had the time to post. Glancing around the blogosphere, I am not alone in this, and I suspect that academics everywhere I deep into their projects. Before I trapped myself in a cage of thought, I explored my on-going projects in temporality spurred in part by an analytic metaphysics reading group in which I am a fortunate participant. The readings have been a trial because the accounts of identity, time, causation, etc. are so at odds with my training in American, continental, and even Asian thought that it makes separating what they are saying and what I think they are saying difficult. Thankfully, the group is diverse and accommodating.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CFP: SAAP at the Pacific APA

Call for Papers

2013 American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting Westin
Saint Francis, San Francisco, California The Society for the Advancement of
American
Philosophy is scheduled to have a session at the 2013 American Philosophical
Association, Pacific Division meeting (March 27-30, 2013). The date
and time of
the session are TBA, but group sessions are always scheduled in
the Evenings.

Theme: The publication of John Dewey¹s *Unmodern Philosophy and
Modern Philosophy* this year provides scholars of American pragmatism
and naturalism the unusual opportunity of re-evaluating Dewey¹s corpus
from the perspective of a work believed lost. Philip Deen of Wellesley
College, who assembled and edited various
manuscripts from the 1940s to reconstruct the lost work, believes
that Unmodern Philosophy was to be Dewey¹s philosophical interpretation of
the history of Western man,² and as such, the project differs substantively
from Dewey¹s other mature monographs, from Experience and Nature to Knowing
and the Known.

Completed papers or paper proposals that address Unmodern Philosophy,
situating it against Dewey¹s epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, or history
of philosophy are sought. Comparative works that treat the text against
other philosophical histories, or that interrogate Dewey¹s arguments in
Unmodern Philosophy from related perspectives or themes in American
philosophy may also be tendered. Submissions from graduate students are
welcome.

Submission Guidelines: E-mail paper proposals or completed papers to Kevin
S. Decker at kdecker@ewu.edu by September 10, 2012. Paper proposal
submissions should be between 500-800 words in length. The word limit for
a completed paper submission is 3500 words. If you decide to include your
submission as an e-mail attachment, please send it in one of the following
formats: .doc, .rtf, or .pdf file. All submitters will be notified of
their submission status via e-mail by September 20, 2012.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Unconscious and Hermeneutic Phenomenology


Every reflection is grounded upon what does not come to light, and this insight is fundamental to Dewey’s theory of experience. Experience is a process in which the unconscious phase occurs first and constitutes the conscious phase that becomes reflection. The “unconscious phase” includes the local environment, the active human body, the situation, habits ranging from instinct to the finest refinements of culture, etc., although I focus on only one strand of the unconscious phase, the process inclusive of “desire” or motivated human purposiveness that is a species of valuation. Our habits give us purposes without conscious intentions, and these purposes are the coordinated activity of biological impulses. When these purposes are sufficiently disrupted, the tension in ongoing activities may give rise to emotion and affectivity or a “felt difficulty” that initiates reflection and a problematic situation. Only then may we be an intelligent agent rather than rely on intelligently educated habit. However, the original impulsivity continues to constitute the situation, and supposing otherwise ignores the continuity of thought. The problem that confronts us is not whether an individual has a felt difficulty that provokes thought, but whether the individual may interpret the situation to re-educate habits and engender future felt difficulties that otherwise may not have been likely.

We cannot assume that every disruption launches us into reflection or reveals every unthought purpose. The conundrum is that only physical resistance necessarily provokes a felt difficulty, but the problem might be symbolic rather than physical. Symbolic resistance is possible only when a person interprets an event as a sign for a particular meaning. That is, morality does not walk across the street and slap sense into you. Racism is not only about conscious intention, but about attitudes, preconceptions, behaviors, and the material endurance of institutions that are frequently unthought. Culture is as much symbolic as physical, but only interpretation converts the physical into the symbolic. Intelligence requires resisting impulsive behavior, but when the event requires a symbolic resistance, talk about the possibilities of the situation become narrowed to the possibilities of interpretation.

In the process of experience, the unconscious phase occurs first and constitutes the conscious phase in which intelligence and agency occur. Part of the unconscious phase includes instinctual and habitual impulse that are primary in the direction of semi-autonomous behavior, and they function as gatekeepers of what might become conscious or what we might experience as meaningful. Every reflection is grounded upon what does not come to light, and this insight is fundamental to Dewey’s theory of experience. While there is no necessity for the occurrence of any particular event, the asymmetric flow is necessary, which establishes the enduring possibility of unconscious habits fragmented behavior from the reflective apprehension of their meaning. Nothing that I have written runs counter to Dewey, but it gains from many decades of scholars in myriad philosophic traditions pursuing this thought. We now know perhaps better than Dewey how divided a person can become, and thus I would retool his work.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

CFP: Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy

CALL FOR PAPERS

SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY
40th ANNUAL MEETING
March 7-9, 2013
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

The Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy cordially invites the submission of papers and proposals for its 40th annual meeting, to be held at Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway, New Jersey. The theme of the conference is: American Philosophy and Cosmopolitanism. Papers in all areas of American philosophy are welcome.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

One does not need to be a member to submit a paper, but one must be a member in order to present his or her accepted paper. To become a member, please visit the Society’s membership page: http://www.press.uillinois.edu/journals/plur/saap_membership.html.

DEADLINE for submissions is September 1, 2012. This is a firm deadline. We will stop accepting submissions at midnight Pacific Standard Time on September 1. Please submit your paper or proposal following the guidelines below.

All submissions must be submitted electronically via the annual meeting website:
http://www.american-philosophy.org/saap2013/openconf/openconf.php

Electronic submission requires the following: (1) Submission Title, (2) Submission Type, (3) Author(s) Information, (4) Abstract, (5) Keywords, and (6) a Submission File prepared for blind review.

Anonymity: Papers, Discussion Papers, and Panel Proposals must be suitable for blind review. Please refrain from making references to your own work, your location, or anything obvious that could reveal your identity. If the author’s identity can be determined through self-references, endnotes, etc., the submission may be disqualified. Avoid headers/footers because they often contain information that breaches anonymity. NOTE: MS Word documents can sometimes reveal the author's identity through word tags. Microsoft explains how to change or erase these here:http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA100240611033.aspx#1

Number of Submissions: Please note that multiple submissions will not be accepted and that persons participating in invited sessions may not submit to the regular program.

Commentators and Session Chairs: Persons interested in serving in these capacities should contact the 2013 Program Co-Chairs, Felicia Kruse fkrusealex@gmail.com<mailto:fkrusealex@gmail.com> and Dwayne Tunstalltunstald@gvsu.edu<mailto:tunstald@gvsu.edu>, and indicate areas of interest.

SUBMISSION TYPES

Submissions that do not meet the following guidelines will not be considered.

Traditional Paper: Papers should be no longer than 3500 words. Longer papers will not be considered. Submissions must include a 100-150 word abstract Accepted papers will be presented in their entirety by the author during a session and, in most cases, will be followed by a ten minute commentary and a period of open discussion.

Discussion Paper: Papers should be no longer than 6000 words. Submissions must include a 100-150 word abstract. Discussion papers accepted for the program will be made available online prior to the meeting. Those who attend discussion paper sessions are expected to have read the paper in advance. Therefore, authors of discussion papers should prepare a concise summary or introductory statement limited to 10 minutes. The session's remaining time will be devoted to an invited commentary and open discussion. The Program Committee may limit the number of discussion paper sessions due to space constraints in the overall program and their estimation regarding which papers can generate sufficient interest to be read in advance.

Panel Discussion: A panel discussion should provide an opportunity to examine specific problems or topics from a variety of perspectives and should do more than present a set of related papers. Panel proposals should include a description of the issue that the session will address, an explanation of the relevance of this issue to the study of American philosophy or to wider social and philosophical issues, and an indication of how each paper in the panel addresses this issue. Panel Discussion proposals should include: (1) a title, (2) an abstract of 450-600 words for the panel as a whole, and (3) either complete papers (of no more than 3500 words) or abstracts (of no fewer than 600 words) for each paper in the panel. Please do not send a separate file for each panelist.

Author Meets Critics proposals must include:


* Name and affiliation of book's author(s)
* Complete title of the book
* Publication date and name of publisher (only books published in 2012 will be considered)
* Brief statement of the book’s significance for American philosophy and rationale for inclusion in the program
* Names and affiliations of confirmed critics and session organizer, and why they were chosen

The committee anticipates a very limited number of these sessions, perhaps two.

Poster Presentation: Proposals for Poster Presentations should be in the form of a description of the research project to be presented. The description should not be longer than 2600 words and should include a description of its relation to issues in American philosophy or wider social and philosophical issues. The proposal should also include a brief summary of materials to be included in the visual display. Poster Presentations will be on display throughout the meeting, with presenters available in the display area for a designated time during the meeting. Presenters may provide accompanying papers for distribution in the display area.

Book/Article Discussion: Proposals should include a brief summary of the book or article to be discussed and its general relation to American philosophy or wider social and philosophical issues. Proposals should not exceed 1500 words. All accepted book/article discussions will be scheduled as round-table discussion breakfast sessions at the hotel restaurant.

NOTE: To encourage the development of original philosophy rooted in the American tradition while creatively developing it, the SAAP Program Committee plans to set aside a special session to feature such works. If you would like your paper to be considered for this session, please indicate this in the “Optional Comments” field of your electronic submission.

If you have ideas for special sessions beyond the categories indicated in this CFP, please contact the Program Co-Chairs by July 1.

Please note that only Book Discussions, Poster Presentations, Author Meets Critics, and Panel Proposals can submit with only an abstract.

Please note any AV needs with your online submission by indicating them under “Optional Comments.”

Confirmation: All persons making submissions to the annual meeting website will receive automatic confirmation of receipt of their submission. If you have not received an automatic confirmation within 48 hours, the submitter should contact the Secretary directly. If you have not received notification regarding the Program Committee’s decision about your submission by 15 November, please contact the Secretary.

Scheduling: The Program Committee assumes that it may schedule a paper or session at any time between Thursday at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday late afternoon.

Student Travel Funds: Limited travel funds are available to assist students whose papers are accepted for the program. Please Contact Bill Myers, SAAP Treasurer, for more information, bmyers@bsc.edu<mailto:bmyers@bsc.edu>.

PRIZES

Prizes: Only papers that are accepted to the regular program, that is, not panels or invited group presentations, are eligible for the Greenlee, Blau, Mellow, Addams, and Inter-American Philosophy Prizes. Papers previously submitted to The Pluralist are not eligible for prizes. For full descriptions of the prizes, please visit the SAAP website: http://american-philosophy.org/about.htm

Greenlee Consideration: If you are currently a student or within five years of having completed your Ph.D, you are eligible for consideration for the Douglas Greenlee Prize. If you fit within these qualifications, please indicate this in your submission by checking “Yes” for “Student” when prompted during the online submission process.

Publication Possibilities: SAAP will plan to publish selected papers from the annual SAAP conference. If your paper is accepted for the annual meeting, it will be considered for publication unless you indicate in your submission under “Comments to Chair” that you do not wish this to be the case. Only those papers that are complete at the time of submission will be considered for publication.


CONTACTS

For all correspondence regarding the program content, contact the Program Co-Chairs:

Felicia Kruse
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
fkrusealex@gmail.com<mailto:fkrusealex@gmail.com>

Dwayne Tunstall
Grand Valley State University
tunstald@gvsu.edu<mailto:tunstald@gvsu.edu>

Local Arrangements and Conference Host:

Herman Saatkamp
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Primary contact: Brian Jackson
Brian.Jackson@stockton.edu<mailto:Brian.Jackson@stockton.edu>

SAAP Secretary:

Chris Voparil
Union Institute & University
chris.voparil@myunion.edu<mailto:chris.voparil@myunion.edu>
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