Scholar bloggers

by Henry on July 18, 2003

Something which I should have mentioned previously. Below our main blogroll is a list of academic bloggers, which has been transplanted over from my old blog. This is a fairly non-exclusive list; i.e., if you think that you should be on it, you’re probably right. And not only that, if you email me, and you qualify, I’ll put you on it (you can email one of my fellow bloggers if you prefer, but it may take a bit longer to get you up). The qualifications are fairly straightforward. You should either _a_ have an academic position at a university type institution, or _b_ be a Ph.D. student or equivalent at same. And _c_, you shouldn’t be using your blogs to propagate views that I and/or my fellow bloggers find downright revolting. Which isn’t to say at all that you need to agree with us; conservatives, right-libertarians etc, are all very welcome. But if you’re a racist, or anti-Semitic, or homophobic, or you think that all Jews or Arabs ought to be forcibly expelled, or similar, we would prefer if you continue to practice your right to free speech without a link from us.

Academic Placement

by Brian on July 18, 2003

We all know there are lots of horror stories about trying to find work in academia. The smart money is on not even starting a PhD unless you are prepared to sell your soul on the job market. Just say no to those fancy scholarships. Unless, it seems, they’re from a good school in philosophy, where the numbers don’t exactly support the bad tidings.

Thanks to lobbying from various sources (prominent amongst them being Brian Leiter’s Philosophical Gourmet Report) we now have quite a bit of data about how philosophy PhDs do on the job market. And the news on the whole is fairly good, or at least much better than I had expected.

[click to continue…]

Economists, sophists and calculators

by Henry on July 18, 2003

“The Economist”:http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1923421 gives us a rather longwinded editorial today, explaining why it was right to support the war, even if it turns out that George and Tony indeed were telling porkies. The piece makes some (apparently) good arguments. First, Saddam had repeatedly failed to comply with UN sanctions, and had lied about what he was up to. The UN needed to carry through if its threats were to be considered credible. Second, any delay in following through on the threat would possibly have led to divisions among the allies. Third, America and its allies are doing their best to make the country and the region more peaceful and less threatening.

So why is the _Economist_ wrong? Let’s take each of their arguments in turn.

[click to continue…]

Snitch!

by Daniel on July 18, 2003

Given that we have at least two or three contributors who hold down paid jobs as philosophers of one kind or another, and it’s a Friday afternoon, I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask a question that’s been on my mind for a while.

Why is it that no moral or political philosophy of which I am aware has a satisfactory explanation for the fact that snitches, grasses and tattle-tales are almost universally reviled? In most other areas of moral philosophy, it is considered generally unsatisfying at least to have what is known as an “error theory”; a set of principles which commits you to the belief that the majority of the population are wrong in some of their strongly held beliefs. But in the case of snitches, grasses and squealers, most of the moral philosophies I’ve ever heard of seem to be more or less entirely committed to an error theory? Why?

[click to continue…]