Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

About a year ago, I wrote a post examining a New York Times article regarding the dearth of women philosophers. At the time, research conducted by The Philosophers’ Magazine (tpm), found that only two out of every ten full-time permanent academic philosophers working in leading higher education institutions in the UK are female. The conclusion drawn from Brooke Lewis, a freelance journalist and writer of the piece in tpm, was that males in the field tend to be more aggressive in their argumentation, creating a hostile environment for women. At the time, our post was notable in the discourse following the article and “Where My Philosophical Girls At?” continues to be one of our most read pieces.

Following up on this topic, I came across a new blog that collects accounts by women of their experiences in academic philosophy (via Leiter Reports). In the About section, the blog is given the following description:

This blog is devoted to short observations (generally fewer than 300 words) sent in by readers, about life as a woman in philosophy. Some of these will undoubtedly be tales of the sexism, conscious and unconscious, that remains. But we hope that others will be tales of ways that improvements have been (or are being) made. Many will be written by women in philosophy. But we hope that not all will be– for others in philosophy also know some important things relevant to what it’s like to be a woman in philosophy. They know, for example, what men in philosophy say to each other when the women aren’t there.

Like the article we highlighted last year, this blog shows the disturbing trend of women in philosophy being treated with hostility by male professors, peers, and students. Take, for example, an excerpt from a post where a female professor is told by one of her students, after recounting a story about her child’s illness, that, “Maybe God was trying to tell you that you need to decide whether you want to be a philosophy professor or a mother.”

Hopefully this blog will bring awareness to the undue hardships faced by women in the field of philosophy and, ultimately, lead to academic reform or other actions to correct this insidious problem.


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The people have spoken. Playtonic Dialogues is the top vote-getter for the voting round of the 3 Quarks Daily 2010 Prize In Philosophy.  A total of 497 votes were cast for the 36 nominees, and, according to Graham Jones, Playtonic Dialogues received at least 15.26% of the vote. Thank you all for supporting us!

The contest is now down to 20 semfinalists (look, we got a “trophy” logo to display!) and, in the coming days, the editors of 3 Quarks Daily will pick the top six entries from these, and after possibly adding up to three “wildcard” entries, will send that list of finalists to Akeel Bilgrami on September 11. Also, on that date, 3 Quarks Daily will post the list of finalists.

Keep your fingers crossed, Playtonics! In the mean time, see below for the full list of semifinalists in descending order from the most voted-for: (more…)

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Happy Labor Day, Playtonics!

I am elated to announce that Playtonic Dialogues is a nominee for the 3 Quarks Daily 2010 Prize In Philosophy! 3 Quarks Daily is a website that pools together interesting articles from around the web on a daily basis, “in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating.” This year they are hosting the 2nd annual prize for the best blog writing in philosophy. Akeel Bilgrami, the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University as well as the Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities, is judging the contest. The first place award, called the “Top Quark,” will include a cash prize of one thousand dollars, so lot of money is at stake!

Check out the list of nominees here but PLEASE GO TO THIS LINK and vote for Playtonic Dialogues’ post “Musicians Debate Methods Of Political Dissent.”


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Pop philosophy is on the up and up! Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder and Alain De Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy have cracked the bestsellers list while the podcast Philosophy Bites boasts 7.5 million downloads.  Read more about the popularization of philosophy over at The Independent.

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Summer: a time for relaxing and getting away from it all.  But there is a blog to be written and the seasonal tilt of the Earth’s axis shouldn’t be an impediment to the examination of the intersection of philosophy and music.  At least JL has an excuse (go all in, I’ve got a feeling about this one), I’m still ensconced in the same cubicle where I dwelt, troll-like, throughout the snowy winter.  So without further delay, a juicy item from the pen of David Brooks.


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Mornin’ Playtonics,

Last week I wrote about the New York Time’s exclusive online opinion series ‘The Stone.’ Well, since the blog’s first post, What Is a Philosopher?, it appears that a number of blogs and websites have launched criticism at both the article and the series’ moderator, Simon Critchley. (more…)

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