Monday, January 07, 2008

Dead Philosophers' Carnival - The 60th Philosophers' Carnival.

Welcome to the Dead Philosophers’ Carnival - The 60th Philosophers' Carnival.

The death of Socrates marks one of the most significant moments in the development of philosophy. It is one of the landmarks in the development of Plato’s thought, and thus influential on all who have laboured under his tutelage. It is also one of the deaths that have a presence in the history of philosophy; a notable elder sibling to the deaths of Seneca, Boethius, Nietzsche, and Foucault.

The death of a philosopher marks the conclusion of their endeavours. In some cases it comes at the end of substantial contribution, in others it comes a little too early.

The intent of this Carnival – the first in what, it is hoped, will be an annual series – was to provide an opportunity for the students of philosophy to reflect on the contributions made by those who did not see the close of 2007. Admittedly not everyone stuck to the theme, but if philosophers always did what was asked of them, where would we be?

Duckrabbit starts the proceedings with a discussion of the work of Richard Rorty, one of the most high-profile philosophers to die in 2007 with: Is Rorty a "textualist"? And if so, is that bad?

Inconsistent thoughts provides a retrospective of Paul Cohen’s work on the Continuum Hypothesis: On Cohen and CH

VirtualPrimate gives an excellent summation of the Humanist philosophy of of Kurt Vonnegut jr: Goodbye Blue Monday : Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 1922-2007

Philosophy etc talks not about someone in particular who died, but about the end of one’s life itself with: Death's Deprivations


Enigmania nominated two other posts of note relating to the work of philosophers who passed in 2007:

Religious Pluralism and Consistency relates to Jewish religious philosopher Ernst Ludwig Ehrlic’s work

and

Monty Hall and Interpretations of Probability is in the area of the late Henry E Kyburg Jr, well known for his contributions to both Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence.


And now to the other articles of philosophy worthy of inclusion, but sadly off-theme.

Pete Mandik of Brain Hammer assures us that: Your Brain is Reading This. And who are we to argue?

Andrew Moon of Show-me the Argument asks us to consider how much similarity is there between The Train Case and the Hospital Case ?

Gualtiero Piccinini quizzes us on out semantic intuitions (I have none, Kripke has ruined them) - Will You Share Your Semantic Intuitions?

Nothing of Consequence revisits some earlier work on Sequent Calculus in: Operational meaning and global meaning in sequent calculus.

And finally, Thom Brooks at The Brooks Blog outlines some of the pitfalls awaiting us when we try to get a book deal with: Some of the worst advice on publishing (Graduate Students note: Thom's blog is packed with good advice in many relevant areas!)


To all the contributors who made the cut, especially those who stuck to the theme, well done and keep up the good work. The Editors appreciate the effort that you went to.

With only one exception (the article was good, but not actual philosophy), the rest of the submissions we received were essentially political, commercial or religious spam and/or total and utter drivel. Those people will get nothing from us except pure contempt. You know who you are.

Happy New Year Everyone.

6 comments:

Jared said...

Hm. I don't appreciate your contempt, but what am I gonna do?

Annie said...

total and utter drivel. Those people will get nothing from us except pure contempt. You know who you are.

Is this attitude really necessary? Or perhaps this is supposed to be humorous.

Editor said...

Would you prefer pity or smug condescension?

OK so maybe some of these people didn't know better and don't deserve to be treated harshly. I would agree that they possibly don’t deserve contempt as such.
But many of the posts were either promoting a particular political stance or religion or were simply promoting the author. More importantly there was not just very little philosophy in these posts, there was very little effort devoted to even attempting it.
What are the people who would use the Philosophers’ Carnival to promote politics/religion/themselves in an inappropriate manner worthy of if not our scorn? And the others who are convinced that every single opinion that they blog is pure gold (despite being repeatedly told that it isn’t) – was I supposed to tell them that it was bad luck that they didn’t make it?

Whether or not this attitude is necessary is a good question (which is partly why we decided to include it). But have a look around on the Web. I think some of this attitude is sorely overdue.

Jared said...

"Sorely overdue"? Don't get ahead of yourselves. After all, these are blogs that we're talking about--a way for people to talk about things that are interesting and/or important to them--not term papers or journals or dissertation prompts, etc. Drivel like, "visit my site and click on ads!" is to be expected. But when someone wants to make an observation about politics, but doesn't make the link up to Adorno totally explicit, it might just be too much to toss that someone in with the spam.

Without that "drivel" comment, I wouldn't be distracted as I am from the actual entries that made it.

Annie said...

Wrt Editor's comment:

1) Perhaps I should have been more explicit. The spammers and submitters who use the carnival to try and spread their religious/political/commercial agendas are irrelevant. People who submitted good faith efforts at philosophy are relevant.

2) Would you prefer pity or smug condescension?

And the others who are convinced that every single opinion that they blog is pure gold (despite being repeatedly told that it isn’t) – was I supposed to tell them that it was bad luck that they didn’t make it?

I would prefer neither contempt nor pity nor condescension. Simply not including a submission in the carnival should tell the submitter that their work didn't make the cut. If the submitter persists or the host wishes to make it clear, a simple email (to the submitter only; the whole internet doesn't need to receive it) explaining that the submission wasn't good/rigorous/deep/whatever enough should suffice. I don't expect that a carnival host go to this length to explain exclusions. I'm sure that hosting the carnival takes a good amount of time and effort; anything above and beyond that is up to the host.

3) But have a look around on the Web. I think some of this attitude is sorely overdue.

I would appreciate any links you might suggest (I've already read the recent Leiter posts on McGinn/Honderich). Obvs, my position is that less snark is better than more snark, but will certainly read something that might convince me otherwise.

4) Whether or not this attitude is necessary is a good question (which is partly why we decided to include it).

Personally, I'm glad to hear it bc this happens to be something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately.

Annie

Kenny said...

The editor's remarks leads me to wonder how much effort he or she went to to distinguish (applied) political philosophy or philosophy of religion from political and religious rhetoric or unsupported assertions. After all, legitimate political philosophy and philosophy of religion will generally "promote a particular political stance or religion" (perhaps not an established religion, but at least certain religious views). Certainly posts on political philosophy and philosophy of religion ought to be considered legitimate parts of the philosophers' carnival and distinguished from spam.

I didn't submit anything myself, so I have no way of really knowing what the excluded posts were actually like.