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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Parallel Earth Simulator

Possible world semantics put to good use, or The US military's new "war game"? From Slashdot:

The US Department of Defense (DOD) may already be creating a copy of you in an alternate reality. Putting supercomputers to an innovative use, the military is simulating our planet in an effort to predict the outcome of different scenarios. They might run tests to see how long 'you' can go without food or water, or how 'you' will respond to televised propaganda. Billions of nodes are created in the system, intended to reflect every man, woman, and child. 'Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information", according to a concept paper for the project. Simulex is the company developing these systems, and they list pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and defense contractor Lockheed Martin among their private sector clients. The U.S. military is their biggest customer, apparently now running the most complex version of the system. JFCOM-9 is now capable of running real-time simulations for up to 62 nations, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and China. The simulations gobble up breaking news, census data, economic indicators, and climactic events in the real world, along with proprietary information such as military intelligence.

(Thanks to Ben Ricker for the link)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Reasoner 1(3)

The Reasoner - issue 1(3) is now available. Joe and I wrote a short note for this month's issue, which discusses Timothy Williamson's line against non-trivial counterpossibles and replies to Alan Baker.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hendricks and Stjernfelt on DR2

Vincent Hendricks and Frederik Stjernfelt will appear tonight on DR2's Deadline at 10:30 p.m., where they will discuss their new book Tal en Tanke.

UPDATE: Here is the link to the show.

Philosophers' Carnival # 49

... is here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Best Philosophy Journals

Via The Brooks Blog:

Best philosophy journals according to the European Science Foundation (incomplete list):

A
American Philosophical Quarterly
Analysis
Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Biology and Philosophy
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Economics and Philosophy
Ethics
Journal of Philosophy
Kantian Review
Kant-Studien
Law and Philosophy
Linguistics and Philosophy
Midwest Studies in Philosophy
Mind
Mind and Language
Monist
Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic
Nous
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Philosophical Perspectives (Nous Supplement)
Philosophical Quarterly
Philosophical Review
Philosophical Studies
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Philosophy and Public Affairs
Philosophy of Science
Phronesis
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Social Philosophy and Policy
Synthese

B
Ancient Philosophy
Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie
Argumentation
Asian Philosophy
Canadian Journal of Philosophy
Croatian Journal of Philosophy
Environmental Ethics
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
European Journal of Philosophy
Faith and Philosophy
Grazer Philosophische Studien
Inquiry
International Journal of Philosophical Studies
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Journal of Applied Philosophy
Journal of Consciousness Studies
Journal of Ethics
Journal of Medical Ethics
Journal of Moral Philosophy
Journal of Political Philosophy
Journal of Value Inquiry
Legal Theory
Logique et Analyse
Metaphilosophy
Metaphysica
Minds and Machines
Modern Schoolman
Nietzsche Studien
Philosophia
Philosophical Issues (Nous Supplement)
Philosophical Papers
Philosophical Topics
Political Theory
Ratio
Res Publica
Review of Metaphysics
Social Theory and Practice
Southern Journal of Philosophy
Utilitas

C
Analyse und Kritik
Critique
Danish Yearbook of Philosophy
Das Argument
Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie
Environmental Values
Ethical Perspectives
Fisosofisk Tidskrift
Filozoficky casopis
Hegel-Jahrbuch
LOGOS
Philosophica
Philosphical Investigations
Philosophie
Philosophy
Prima Philosophia
Reports on Philosophy
Sats
Studia Philosophica
Studies in East European Thought
Teorema
Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society

In my opinion, the list is fairly accurate as far as the mainstream journals go, though I think it would have been better to divide the A and B groups into more categories. Thom Brooks has some reasonable complaints (mostly) about the ranking of specialty journals.

UPDATE: There is an interesting discussion of the ESF's ranking of philosophy journals over at Leiter Reports.

FURTHER UPDATE: Noelle McAfee has expressed some worries about this ranking, which are well worth checking out. Also, there is an interesting discussion of ESF's ranking over at Knowledge and Experience.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Digby Wins Progressive Blogger Award


Joe Wilson, Digby, Rick Perlstein

No one knew the progressive blogger Digby's real identity -- until today, where she received the Progressive Blogger Award at the Take Back America conference. You can listen to her speech here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Paper

I have uploaded this paper on two-dimensionalism to my website. The paper is scheduled to appear in American Philosophical Quarterly, October 2007.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Around the Blogosphere

Joe has published a summary of our Williamson-on-counterpossibles note.

As Robbie points out, a number of 1-year positions are available at Leeds. If you are a recent Ph.D. and didn't land a permanent job yet, this seems like a nice opportunity.

Carrie Jenkins will appear on Philosophy Talk on August 12th.

Over at Feministe, Roy argues that children constitute an oppressed group.

Norman Finkelstein: Tenure Denied

The much-discussed Norman Finkelstein case ends dramatically with denial of tenure.

Finkelstein, the son of Holocaust survivors and a Princeton graduate, was denied tenure at DePaul for exposing the exploitation of Jewish suffering. Finkelstein has published several book-length critiques of issues relating to the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Finkelstein discusses, among other things, how prominent spokesmen for the Holocaust have turned the Holocaust into a money-making Industry. Elie Wiesel, a spokesperson for the Holocoast, charges a standard fee of $25,000 for revealing the secrets of the Holocoast, while real survivors such as Finkelstein's mother (a survivor of Majdanek camp and slave labor camps) received only $3,500 in compensation.

Finkelstein posted a letter from Depaul's president Dennis Holtschneider on his website two days ago. The letter alleges that tenure was denied because Finkelstein's scholarship is "deliberately hurtful" and clashes with the work of other scholars.

(Thanks to Matt Bell for the links)

UPDATE: Leiter has published a report covering the case. The petition mentioned by Leiter can be found here. There is also a student petition in support of Finkelstein.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Richard Rorty, 1931-2007


Reports are coming out that Richard Rorty died yesterday, June 8, 2007. Rorty was a leading figure in American Philosophy and Pragmatism (via Leiter).

UPDATE: Other memorial notices and obituaries can be found at TMP Cafe, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, WVEC, New York Times, and Progressive.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pics from St. Andrews

Elizabeth Barnes has put some great photos from the St. Andrews adjectives conference and the metaphysics conference preceding it online. However, I think I remember people's "reactions to relativism" slightly differently. Re-interpretation:











Ross Cameron and Robbie Williams' reactions to the lack of metaphysics at the adjectives conference.











... and Jason Stanley's rejoinder. Ross wonders whether he went too far. Chris Kennedy and John Hawthorne execute their rights to remain silent.











Peter Ludlow, giving Jason the stare-down stink eye. Robbie, trying to keep his cool.











Jonathan Schaffer: "Robbie, don't you know how big contrastivism is going to be in a few years?!" [Robbie, smiling knowingly. Ross, showing signs of skepticism].











John Hawthorne at 2AM: "Arrrggg, I am on the program at 9 AM in the morning, and I still haven't worked out what to say."











Jonathan and I, illustrating the size of the claws of Australian Magpies.











Breakfast: Ross' reaction to White Pudding.

Philosophers' Carnival # 48

... is here.