The 67th annual 2013 Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference will be held 3-5 October 2013 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The keynote speaker has yet to be determined.
Papers on any topic of philosophical interest will be considered. Submissions should be no longer than 3000 words, suitable for reading aloud, and prepared for blind-reviewing (detachable title page). Please indicate in your cover letter whether, should your paper not be accepted, you would be willing to serve as a commentator or session moderator.
Deadline for submission: 11 July 2013.
Conference organizers prefer that you email submissions or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A prominent professional philosophy journal invited me to referee a manuscript for their journal. Each time I agree to be a referee for a journal I always think there’s got to be good practices one should implement in completing the review. I have had too much experience receiving referee reports that seemed to me “too sloppy” to report back to the author. Here are a five tips referees ought to employ while reviewing a manuscript for a professional journal.
On 17 February 2013, I published an op-ed, entitled “Carbon Sink (or Swim), taking the high ground in Wyoming” (available here) in the Casper Star-Tribune. The editorial was meant merely to adjust our views of the two sides in what has become known as the “Carbon Sink kerfuffle.” The two sides, to my knowledge, had not considered all of the fundamental issues in the debate. I used the column to show each side what they had missed.
That article did not represent all of the views I have about the debate. So, this blog post will be dedicated to elucidating some of my latent views about the issue. Think of this as my last contribution to the debate because I will put it to rest following a draft of this post, even though I believe that the debate raises some very interesting problems for how Wyoming industry leaders and the state’s premier academic institution interact. The two most prominent questions on everyone’s mind are:
- Do businesses have any kind of moral obligation to the state and its citizens?
- Does the state and its citizens have a moral obligation to businesses?
At the heart of the matter, whether you’re on the side of academic professionals or you’re on the side of the oil, natural gas, and coal industry, you will have to attend to these two questions in order to come to some resolution about the Carbon Sink kerfuffle.
Often couples that experience difficulties becoming pregnant turn to various forms of therapy to assist them in order to do so. While some procedures are relatively easy to implement, there are other procedures that are not and could not be considered natural. In-Vitro fertilization, for example, is quite invasive, doesn’t always work, and certainly doesn’t qualify as natural.
I believe there’s no harm (moral or otherwise) in choosing these alternatives when a couple has decided they want children; however, I would like to point out that some religious sects, if they’re consistent in upholding their own church’s doctrinal beliefs, would have to be in a position to find these practices morally impermissible.
Interestingly, despite it’s vehement opposition to other forms of birth control, the Catholic Church has not proscribed the use of drugs or other invasive procedures in the aid of procreation. It’s seemingly inconsistent to prohibit the use of some forms of birth control while remaining silent on others. Just as Catholics ought not to use contraceptives Catholic law ought not permit the use of drugs to improve the likelihood of pregnancy if said practices are unnatural, just as unnatural as the use of other forms of birth control.
The title’s a bit misleading (on purpose). I’m not going to discuss or recommend any kind of gun control policy (or the revocation thereof); rather, I want to consider a prevailing assumption of the argument promoting fewer gun control restrictions.
There are lots of sophisticated arguments promoting the right of gun ownership, but that’s not what motivates Americans supporting the permissibility of gun ownership. The argument that we not take away our right to gun ownership is far simpler than what these sophisticated arguments contend. It’s a wacky assumption, as I’m sure you’ll see, not held by all gun advocates or gun owners but by a vocal minority whose arguments have gained a stronghold among nearly 50% of Americans (anecdotally speaking).
I’m teaching philosophy of science this fall. In preparation for this class, I have been reviewing quite a bit of material. A part of this literature review has involved probability theory, especially subjective probability and Bayesianism.
Proponents of probability theory very rarely subject their own theories to any kind of critical scrutiny. In fact, most followers of probability theory leave reason and rational argumentation aside, preferring instead to follow blindly the results of some mathematical analysis. Don’t believe me. Check out how philosophers of religion have argued that the universe is finely tuned for human life. Such arguments have always irritated me — they pass off terrible arguments by employing relatively acceptable scientific fact. This is irresponsible. My response to fine-tuners, “give me a break! This is bad philosophy and bad science.” Despite my irritation with fine-tuning, I’ve never devised an argument opposing fine-tuning, until recently.
(There are many good critiques of fine-tuning. I’m always looking to stake out a new piece of the landscape because that’s what I’m trained to do and what I get paid to do. So, here goes.)