Deception in social networking

People tend to embellish and to stretch the truth regarding certain facts about themselves on resumes and CVs. I suppose it’s like boasting to friends. They do so because they would like to inflate their reputation among those people they know, among those they don’t know, and among those they’d like to come to know. The more one embellishes a point, the more persuasive they believe they will be among peers. Netizens of social networking websites, like Facebook and Twitter, have seemingly taken these embellishments to a new level claiming to have done great things for other people and for themselves.

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2014 New Mexico – Texas Philosophical Society CFP

The University of Texas at El Paso (my current institutional affiliation) is hosting the upcoming 2014 New Mexico – Texas Philosophical Society meeting on 4-6 April 2014. We’re especially excited to host the conference, as it coincides with the university’s Centennial. Below is text from the official call for papers, which has been distributed to institutional and individual members of the Society. Please distribute widely! Thanks!

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Reminder: CFP 2013 Southwestern Philosophical Society

The 75th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Philosophical Society will take place 8-10 November 2013 in Fredericksburg, Texas (off I-10 north, north west of San Antonio).

Papers on any theme or problem in philosophy are welcome. Presented papers will be published in the Society’s journal, Southwest Philosophy Review. The Society gives an annual award of $100 to the best paper accepted for the program written by a graduate student or recent Ph.D. (degree must have been granted within three years of the meeting). Authors who are eligible for the prize should indicate this on the cover page of their submission.

Electronic submissions are required and should be sent to and contain “SWPS 2013 Conference” in the subject line.

Papers must be in MS Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Papers submitted in any other format cannot be processed. Papers may not exceed 3000 words in length, and those over 3000 words will not be considered. Submissions should include a word count and 150 word abstract (not counted in total word count) on the title page. Papers should not contain any information identifying the author of the submission.

In a separate title page document, please submit the following:

  • title of the paper
  • abstract of the paper
  • author’s name
  • author’s affiliation
  • author’s email address
  • author’s phone number

Submission deadline is 12 July 2013.

For further information, see the society’s website:


Reminder: 2013 Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference

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:

The hallmarks of good academic journal manuscript refereeing

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.

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The Carbon Sink kerfuffle, one last round

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:

  1. Do businesses have any kind of moral obligation to the state and its citizens?
  2. 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.

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On moral intuitionism, the problem of clairvoyance?

Moral intuitionism is not an easy philosophical “-ism” to define; there are as many views of moral intuitionism out there as there are people working on it. At its core, there seem to be at least two different versions of intuitionism.  On the one hand, there is metaphysical moral intuitionism (one which discusses the ontological status of mental states behind one’s intuitions responding to moral problems) and epistemic moral intuitionism (one which discusses the justificatory parameters of moral problems).  While we may think that moral intuitionism fails to distinguish between the two problems clearly, the literature suggests something different.

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