The next phase of PEA Soup is here. As
of this announcement, Dan Boisvert, Doug Portmore, and Josh Glasgow are
stepping down from their posts as co-editors of PEA Soup with Dave
Shoemaker. Going forward, the blog will be run by Dave Shoemaker and
Those of us stepping down want to take this chance to thank everyone--contributors, commentators, participants in the
Ethics-at-PEA-Soup discussions, and everyone else who is part of
the PEA Soup family--for making the blog such a great place. This June
will kick off the tenth year of its existence, and when we started so
many years ago, the four of us couldn't have
predicted that such a wonderful community would take root here. We are
thrilled that this blog has become a valuable site for those working in
ethics and cognate areas.
We are also grateful to Shoemaker and Sobel for taking things over from here, and we look forward to the next era at PEA Soup.
We are pleased to announce that Peter A. Graham has accepted our invitation to be a contributor at PEA Soup. Pete is a professor of philosophy at UMass Amherst. His current research concerns arguments for the incompatibility of free will and determinism, theories of moral blameworthiness, the relation between ability and obligation, and subjective and objective moral obligation. Welcome Pete!
A free online forum sponsored by Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy and Wiley-Blackwell. Scheduled to run July 9 to 13, the invited symposium "Feminists Encountering Animals," published in the Animal Others special issue of Hypatia, is open for public comments and discussion.
Leading feminist animal studies scholars Lori Gruen (Ethics and Animals: An Introduction) and Kari Weil (Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now) invited six feminist scholars to reflect on trends within this burgeoning new field of scholarship. The online forum will include free access to their co-edited special issue in addition to commentary and real-time interaction among participants and authors—allowing for a lively discussion that extends the beyond the printed page.
We haven’t had a post on professional issues lately, but I hope that readers won’t mind a bit of light reading. In any case, here it goes:
Suppose that I’ve become a better teacher. Suppose, for instance, that I’ve used the same bank of test questions over the years and that, due to implementing certain non-substantive changes in my PHI X course, students taking that course from me this year are doing a better job answering those questions than students who took the same course from me in previous years. So the material that I’m trying to get the students to learn and the technique that I’ve been using for assessing whether they’ve learned it hasn’t change, but I’ve become more effective in that my current students are, on average, leaving the course with a better understanding of the material than students who took the same course from me in previous years.
The question, then, is: Should I (A) adopt higher standards with respect to what level of understanding I expect from them so as to earn certain grades or (B) keep the same standards and give higher grades on average than I had been giving in previous years?
It is fairly common to give a conditional analysis of an option, e.g.:
(CAO) Performing an act X at a future time t1 is an option for a subject S at the present time t0 if and only if S would perform X at t1 if S were to intend (to try, to decide, or to choose) at t0 to perform X at t1.
I know that there are a host of problems with such conditional analyses, but let’s set those aside for the moment, for I want to address what seems to be an unappreciated worry concerning the possibility of indeterminism.