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fragments of consciousness

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semantics etc. highlights

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Friday, February 29, 2008


Good ol' math and good ol' defense mechanisms (Thanks to Josh Eaves for the link)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Perception, Language and Space

Conference on Perception, Language, and Space at The Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology program at Washington University in St. Louis. Saturday & Sunday March 1-2.

Invited speakers include: Laura Carlson (Notre Dame), Anjan Chatterjee(Pennsylvania), Rick Grush (UC San Diego), Barbara Landau (Johns Hopkins), Leonard Talmy (Buffalo), Barbara Tversky (Stanford), Jeff Zacks (Wash U)

The Epistemology of Liberal Democracy

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

November 20-21, 2008

Confirmed speakers: Alvin Goldman (Rutgers), Erik Olsson (Lund), Christian List (LSE), Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh), Igor Douven (Louvan), Klemens Kappel (Copenhagen), Jesper Kallestrup (Edinburgh), Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund). Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern)

Call for papers. Papers are invited on any of the topics of the conference. Abstracts of no more than 1000 words should be sent to the organizing comittee at

Please prepare submissions for blind review. Deadline for submission is August 15th, 2008. Notifications of acceptance will be made no later than September 15th, 2008.

Registration details will be announced soon at conference website.

For further information, contact Klemens Kappel (

Organizers: Klemens Kappel, Erik Olsson, Duncan Pritchard, Jesper Kallestrup, Mikkel Gerken.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New PhilRel Weblog

New PhilRel blog with lots of cool probability stuff.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Random Beach Pictures

Holly Lawford-Smith and Wolfgang Schwartz

Susanna Schellenberg and David Chalmers

Beach gang

Joe Salerno and Rebecca Britney Brogaard Salerno

J.C. Bjerring

Aisling Crean and Yuri Cath

Declan Smithies and audience

Audience and a well-deserved beer

Me rehearsing something plainly obvious

Daniel Star, Jonathan Schaffer and Becky at the camp fire

A historic moment: Fiona MacPherson convincing Holly and me to become vegans.

Dave in one of his thoughtful moments

David "Mystery" Bourget

Dave and yours truly

Kangaroos: "Will you play with us?"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still the Happiest in the World

The Danes ... It must be really nice to be over there. Turns out Australia aint so bad either (HT: Adam Arico).

Summaries of Beach Talks

Here and here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Philosophy TV Show

The Power of Mind is a DK4 TV-series on philosophy hosted by Vincent F. Hendricks and devoted to fundamental philosophical questions.

The first show will air on Friday, February 29, 19:30.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Epistemology at the Beach

Our pics are now up

Back in Town

Just got back from the Epistemology at the Beach Conference. That was one great conference. Lots of fun talks and philosophical discussion, swimming, beach soccer, camp fires, stargazing on the beach, too much to drink. Am currently in the process of recovering. Hopefully I will be able to say something more substantial about the talks later and maybe upload some pictures.

UPDATE: Susanna posted some pics from the conference on her facebook page but I think you have to be on facebook to see them.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Going to the Beach

So, I am going to the beach tomorrow to participate in the Epistemology at the Beach Conference at ANU's Kioloa Coastal Campus, which Declan Smithies is organizing. Looks like a fantastic conference. Great talks, and plenty of time for swimming and sunbathing.

St. Louis University Bans V-Day

The administrators at SLU have banned V-Day -- a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Peter Hare Memorial Celebration

A Memorial Celebration for Peter Hare, recently deceased professor
emeritus of philosophy at the University at Buffalo, will be held at 2pm
on March 29, 2008 at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York. For a tentative schedule, directions to the Center for Inquiry, and local accommodations, click here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy: Call for Papers

Call for papers: Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy

Topic: Ancient Philosophy.

Deadline for submission: Sep. 30, 2008.

Papers should be sent to:

Prof. Dr. Uwe Meixner, Philosophisches Institut, Universität des Saarlandes, Postfach 15 11 50, 66041 Saarbrücken, Germany, E-mail:


Prof. Dr. Albert Newen, Institut für Philosophie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany, E-mail:

Questions: Prof. Newen (

Monday, February 11, 2008

Woman Bashing

I just read Stanley Fish' interesting column on Hillary-bashing (thanks to Susanna Schellenberg for the link). Though not his main focus Fish draws attention to the fact that sexism is not always a crime committed by old bearded men. Women are just as actively engaged in the recent Hillary-bashing as their male companions. Perhaps sexism is not the driving force behind the hatred but it seems at least partially responsible. Unlike their male counterparts women may not come right into your living room and say that Hillary is a power-addict who has "pimped out" her daughter. No -- female woman bashers won't do that. That's too blatant, not nearly as effective. Female woman bashers tend to be more subtle and more insidious. It's the high-school phenomenon. Girls who put girls in their "right" place. Smart girls were never in fashion -- for whatever reason. Perhaps it's time for a change. As one of Fish's commenters nicely puts it:

Sure, don’t we all hate those smart girls who always make the right move, the teachers pets, the one with all the answers, the one who may be smarter than us? But that is who we need in leadership!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New Blog on Gender, Race and Philosophy

The Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy has started a new blog: Gender, Race and Philosophy: The Blog. The blog will feature discussions of philosophical work on race and gender as well as current events. Their first post is on Obama (HT: Sally Haslanger).

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Videoclip from Award Ceremony

Here is a videoclip with Vincent Hendricks at the award ceremony.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Refereeing Practices: Single- or Double-Blind?

A recent study conducted by Budden et al indicates that double-blind refereeing helps to increase the representation of women in ecology journals. The researchers compared Behavioral Ecology, which implemented double-blind refereeing in 2001, to Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, which remains single-blind refereed. Following the introduction of double-blind refereeing there was a 33% percent increase in the number of women represented in BE.

So, why is blind refereeing not standardly employed in ecology? As the article points out, the following four reasons are frequently cited:

1) Increased admistrative burden.
2) Referees can determine author identify in other ways.
3) The decreased potential for more feedback to junior people.
4) Harder to "detect publication of the same data across multiple papers"

But none of them survives closer scrutiny.

Ad 1) If the journal asks authors to prepare their papers for blind review, double-blind refereeing does not increase the work load for the editor. And there certainly shouldn't be an increased burden on the reviewer, as we should expect the reviewer to apply the same high standards in both cases.
Ad 2) Guesses tend to be inaccurate. Referees make correct guesses only in 25% - 42% of the cases. A related concern is that referees might google the paper, which would make double-blind refereeing redundant. But, as not every author posts their work in progress, this is not a foolproof method for determining author identity either.
Ad 3) If this is a real concern, the editor (who knows the author's identity) could ask the referee for a written report, rather than a 'yes' or 'no' assessment.
Ad 4) This may be a genuine concern in the sciences. But I doubt that it generalizes to other areas. It certainly is not a concern in philosophy, as far as I can tell.

So what are the lessons (if any) for philosophy? Well, most philosophy journals are already double-blind refereed, but the data can perhaps explain the underrepresentation of women in edited volumes (as inclusion is determined prior to refereeing). It might also give reason to implement tripple-blind refereeing (i.e., neither editor nor referee knows the author's identity).

(Thanks to Claire Horisk for sending the link)

The Reasoner 2 (2)

The latest issue of The Reasoner is now available for download in pdf

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Mom Song

(Thanks to Richard Hull for the pointer)