A truly honest question, in light of today's NY Times science article, "If Smart is the Norm, Stupidity Gets More Interesting." Perhaps, as usual, scientists could use some conceptual help. Just curious on your thoughts. Here is one line of query: what is stupidity as opposed to mild mental retardation? "Stupid" is, after all, still an acceptable predicate to toss around at both people and their actions. On what basis? What is it tracking if not an incapacity? (Or perhaps it is targeting an incapacity, in which case how could there be warrant for what seems a responsibility predication?)
I'm pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the next St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality, sponsored by UMSL and Washington University. Many PEA Soupers have participated the past three years.
May 19 – 21, 2013 Moonrise Hotel in St Louis, MO
Keynote Speaker: Michael Smith (Princeton)
St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality (SLACRR) provides a forum for new work on practical and theoretical reason, broadly construed. Please submit an abstract of 750-1500 words by December 31, 2012 to SLACRR (at) gmail.com. In writing your abstract, please bear in mind that full papers should suitable for a 30 minute presentation.
What to Submit
SLACRR includes papers in ethics, epistemology, and other areas of philosophy that deal with reasons, reasoning, or rationality. For instance, we would be interested in papers exploring such questions as:
• What is the relation between reasons for actions and reasons for beliefs? • What are the sources of our reasons for belief? • How are features of one’s psychology relevant to reasons? • What is the relation between reasons and what we ought to do or believe? • What is the relation between reasons and value? • Are the requirements of practical and theoretical rationality normative? • What is the relation between individual rationality and collective rationality?
For more information, see http://www.umsl.edu/~slacrr/
Thanks again to everyone who took the emotional responses survey. Below are the cases and response data for the first 100 responses. I’ve given a bit of analysis following each case, and there are some general remarks following that. First, I wanted to say just a bit about what I was up to here.
Eli Weber, a graduate student at Bowling Green, has designed a three-question survey about emotional responses to past perceived injuries that ought to yield some interesting results. Please take the survey here, and perhaps Eli will discuss the results in a few days.
Philosophers have long debated the nature of happiness, with some saying that happiness is just a certain kind of psychological state and others claiming that true happiness is not just a matter of having certain feelings but also requires genuine virtue.
The new field of experimental philosophy may not be able to help us arrive at a definitive resolution of this age-old debate, but at the very least, it does seem to have inspired a very funny interactive video!
(Note: To go through this interactive video, you have to click at the end of each segment to begin the next one.)
Deadline for abstracts: January 20, 2012 (for instructions, see below)
The relation between moral judgments and moral motivation is a central issue in ethical theory. According to motivational internalism, making a moral judgment implies being motivated to act accordingly, at least under normal circumstances. The truth of motivational internalism is highly contested, and often taken to have implications for the nature of moral emotions and moral judgments, the meaning of normative terms, and the possibility of objective truth and knowledge in morality. During the last two decades, various new forms of motivational internalism have raised questions both about possible sources of evidence for and against these forms, and about the metaethical relevance of a defensible internalism. Some forms seem to be straightforward empirical claims, making traditional a priori arguments for or against internalism suspect; other forms make it unclear how internalism would favor moral anti-realism over realism. (For an overview of recent work on motivational internalism, see thisAnalysis paper.) The conference Moral Motivation: Evidence and Relevance will bring together senior and junior scholars working on both issues of evidence and issues of relevance.
St. Louis Annual Conference on Reason and Rationality UM-St. Louis May 22-24, 2011 Moonrise Hotel
The Department of Philosophy at UM-St. Louis is pleased to announce the program for SLACRR 2. PEA Soupers on this year's program include Jamie Dreier (Keynote), Brad Cokelet, Jussi Suikkanen, Mark van Roojen, and Robert N. Johnson. There is no fee to attend SLACRR, but since space is limited, we ask that you register, which you can do simply by emailing John Brunero or Eric Wiland at SLACRR@gmail.com. More information about the conference is available at http://www.umsl.edu/~slacrr/
Ever since Aristotle, the terms that are translated ‘end’ (e.g. the Greek word telos and the Latin finis) have played a starring role in ethical theory. But in fact there are three crucially different things that can be meant by speaking of the “end for the sake of which” an agent is acting.
In one sense, this “end” is the ultimate goal or end result that the agent is trying or intending to bring about.
In a second sense, this “end” is the object of the fundamental wish or desire that motivated the action.
In a third sense, this “end” is a state of affairs that the agent believes to be good, such that the agent believes the goodness of this state of affairs to explain what is good about the action.
The Character Project at Wake Forest University is very excited to launch its funding competition entitled "New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Character." This $300,000 RFP is aimed at work in philosophy on the topic of character, and proposals can request between $40,000 and $100,000 for projects not to exceed one year in duration. We hope to make between 5-6 awards. A residential incentive of $6,000 for one semester or $12,000 for an academic year will be offered to philosophy RFP winners who are willing to move to Wake Forest University during the award period, and this stipend would not count as part of the research funding request. A willingness to move will not be taken into account when evaluating proposals.
Since work here will primarily be theoretical, the funding is aimed at semester or yearlong sabbatical research leave projects involving a book manuscript or series of substantive articles on character.
This competition is supported by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.