Check out Stephen Wolfram’s blog, which has a post documenting his fascination for Leibniz. It includes many photographs of Leibniz’s notes and diagrams, and the mechanical calculator Leibniz designed – very interesting!
Six new members were inducted into the Utah Gamma chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the national honor society of undergraduate philosophy. Congratulations and welcome to Emily Cannon, Evan Cummings, Ben Harman, Cameron Hunter, Erika Lamborn, and Jess Van Natter.
(H/T Rob Sica.) The organizers of Philpapers conducted a fairly extensive survey to determine what most professional philosophers believe about a range of issues. See their results and methods here. Some interesting results:
1. A priori knowledge: yes 71.1%; no 18.4%; other 10.5%.
2. Abstract objects: Platonism 39.3%; nominalism 37.7%; other 23.0%.
3. Aesthetic value: objective 41.0%; subjective 34.5%; other 24.5%.
4. Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes 64.9%; no 27.1%; other 8.1%.
5. Epistemic justification: externalism 42.7%; internalism 26.4%; other 30.8%.
6. External world: non-skeptical realism 81.6%; skepticism 4.8%; idealism 4.3%; other 9.2%.
7. Free will: compatibilism 59.1%; libertarianism 13.7%; no free will 12.2%; other 14.9%.
8. God: atheism 72.8%; theism 14.6%; other 12.6%.
28. Trolley problem: switch 68.2%; don’t switch 7.6%; other 24.2%.
29. Truth: correspondence 50.8%; deflationary 24.8%; epistemic 6.9%; other 17.5%.
30. Zombies: conceivable but not metaphysically possible 35.6%; metaphysically possible 23.3%; inconceivable 16.0%; other 25.1%
Congratulations and thanks to all the philosophers who presented at the LPCS Symposium: Tate, Solum, Hunter, Hobbs, Tarbet, Harvey, and Harman. I was at first chagrined to discover each presenter would have only 10 minutes, but as we got underway, I found that “lightning philosophy” is fun. And congratulations to Tate on winning the overall “Best Paper” award for the symposium!
Congratulations to Mike Otteson! He has been accepted with funding to the doctoral program in philosophy at the University of Kansas. If you see Mike in the halls, give him a well-deserved back slap!
The Philosophy session runs from 5:15 to 6:30, in Main 117. Given the number of papers and the time constraints, it looks like we’ll have to limit each speaker to a total of 10 minutes for presentation and questions. This is speed philosophy!
Ever wonder what you should be doing here at college? What is college for? Are you here for job training or to be educated? What is the difference? What does it mean to be educated, anyway?
If you are interesting in exploring these questions, you are invited to apply to a College of Humanities and Social Sciences reading group called “What is an Educated Person? – a CHASS Reading Group” which will meet every Tuesday (fall term 2013) from 3:00 to 4:30 in ANSC 314.
Expectations: Each week students will read selections from classic and contemporary seminal works on education and the meaning of life, post a brief reading reflection on a blog, and participate in the weekly discussion. Discussions will be moderated by Dr. Harrison Kleiner and Dr. Susan Shapiro. While the reading group does not count for USU credit, students may get Honors credit through an Honors Contract.
Thanks to the generous support of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the USU Honors Program, students will receive their program books for free.
Fall 2013 readings:
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (selections)
Plato, The Republic (selections)
John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University (selections)
Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (selections)
Anthony Kronman, Educations End
Students of sufficient intellectual maturity who are eager to read, think, and discuss the purposes and meaning of higher education can apply. We welcome applications from freshman to seniors and from every discipline and college. Application information can be found at saintsocratessociety.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit applications to email@example.com. Include as attachments to the email:
- A resume. Your resume must include the following items: your contact information (phone, email, address); academic year; major; GPA; academic achievements; extra-curricular activities; the name and email address of a USU faculty member who can be contacted for a reference.
- Submit a list of at least 3 books that have helped to shape your self-understanding.
Candidates may be interviewed by a team composed of Drs. Kleiner and Shapiro.
Priority deadline for applications: Monday May 5, 5pm. After that date, a rolling deadline for applications.