Nov 21, 2010

Philosophers' Carnival #117

Welcome to the Philosophers' Carnival #117. I'm Matt Hoberg, Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley. With (American) Thanksgiving coming up this week, we have a fine feast of philosophy to enjoy.

First, let's break the ice with some philosophy interviews.
Now let's flout the absurd maxim against talking politics and religion at the table.
  • Jules Evans explores an alternative to liberalism: virtue politics. 
  • In philosophy of religion, Mike Almeida argues that Plantinga's felix culpa theodicy has God violate the doctrine of double effect. 
  • And Kenny Pearce has a go at analyzing omnipotence. 
These last two posts about divine agency provide a nice segue to posts about human agency.
With all the brandied eggnog, tempers tend to flare. When Aunt Hilda calls Uncle Joe a jerk, Eric Schwitzgebel intervenes diplomatically to explain the phenomenology of being a jerk.

Uncle Joe's feelings are hurt, but he might benefit from thinking about the episode from another perspective. That much is suggested by Jules Evans' overview of cognitive re-appraisal.

Our meta-ethics course is provided by Jussi Suikkanen, who explores a meta-ethical dualism inspired by Chalmers' phenomenal property dualism in The Conscious Mind.

As we squabble over how to split the pumpkin pie, we turn to ethics. 
A row breaks out over the distinction between analytic and synthetic philosophy. Tom has a go, as does Dave Allen.

After dinner, conversation turns to the state of the profession. 
  • Brian Leiter asks readers how the APA can improve given the results of a poll on how the APA is doing
  • A post at Feminist Philosophers discusses evidence that letters of recommendation for women tend to use more 'communal' terms (like 'helpful' or 'tactful') than do letters for men, and that this difference is perceived negatively by those who read the letter. This effect might be related to the apparent fact that when a female academic is first perceived as likable, she is less likely to be seen as competent, and vice versa, according to another study discussed at Feminist Philosophers
  • A new blog shares some first-person accounts from female philosophers.
That's all for this edition, thanks for reading. Want to host a future carnival? 


  1. Thanks for the link Matt,

  2. I'd also like to recommend an excellent source of conversation topics: the National Humanities Center's ON THE HUMAN forum. A host of excellent essays on what it is to be human by an interdisciplinary group of scholars, including many philosophers (such as Doris, Hacking, Leiter, Churchland, Rosati, Lycan, McMahan, Prinz, Knobe, Pippin, Railton, Sober, Sterelny, Rosenberg et al). Forums appear every 2 weeks.

  3. Thanks, Sally, I couldn't agree more- 'On the Human' is an excellent resource.

  4. Thanks, Matt. Very nicely put together. Have a great real Thanksgiving too.