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List of Public Philosophy Venues

Is there a list of everywhere that publishes public philosophy? If there is, I haven’t heard about it. So I started a list. It’s rough, and in no particular order, but if you’d like to add to it (and assuming I set the Google Sheets permissions correctly) then I’d appreciate it:

The Comprehensive Public Philosophy List

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Upcoming Talk: APA Eastern Teaching Hub

In January I’ll be speaking at the APA Eastern as part of the Teaching Hub, where I’ll be talking about different approaches to teaching Gettier. Here’s what it’s all about:

 

Gettier and Metaphilosophy: Intuitions and Empirical Approaches in Epistemology

Edmund Gettier’s “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” is typically employed in introductory epistemology classes as the starting point for discussions of theories of knowledge, and as a connection between the classic JTB theory and more contemporary debates. While I think that Gettier’s paper retains significant value in occupying this role, it can also act as an introduction to an area of philosophy that is underexplored in introductory courses, namely metaphilosophical work on the methodologies of relying on intuitions in adjudicating between competing epistemic theories. In this session I will discuss how employing Gettier as a jumping off point for discussion about methodologies can aid in the effective teaching of the Gettier cases in three ways: first, it allows instructors to address frustrations that students might have towards arguments that may appear to be merely battles of intuitions; second, students can acquire a better appreciation of how the Gettier cases function, and why the subsequent discussions of “Gettierology” occurred in the way that they did; and third, looking at empirical discussions of the cases can help legitimize the discussions for students who have a background in the sciences.

While Gettier himself does not employ the term “intuition” in his 1963 paper, it is clear that he relies on some degree of intuition in defending his two central cases. In my experience, no intuition is shared universally, and thus students who do not immediately share the Gettier intuition can feel left out of the discussion. Drawing attention to the way that intuitions can motivate views in epistemology allows students to think more in-depth not only about why they responded as they did to the Gettier cases, but about why they respond to other classic thought experiments in subsequent work on theories of knowledge, as well.

In discussing empirical methods associated with thought experiments in epistemology I have students read and discuss portions of papers that report empirical results or metanalyses of results pertaining to studies of various layperson intuitions in experimental settings. While I do not assume any background in empirical methodologies for my students, students who come from a science background may be more comfortable in applying said methodologies to philosophical problems, and thus may feel like they are getting more out of the discussion. This is especially the case since empirical findings support the idea that there are universally shared epistemic commitments, and thus that epistemologists are plausibly investigating real phenomenon, and not something simply created in the armchair. This is especially important from my experience teaching students from diverse backgrounds: while it may seem that the discussions surrounding Gettier and his respondents occur between and involve the intuitions of exclusively white men, showing students that Gettier intuitions are shared across cultures  can again help students feel like they are part of a discussion that applies to them, as well.

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Upcoming Talks: APAs

A couple of talks coming up. First, at the Eastern APA, I’ll be giving my paper “Peirce, Ladd-Franklin, and the Development of the Proposition.” It’s about how Peirce’s correspondence with is student Christine Ladd-Franklin influenced the way that he developed his conception of the proposition. Come by if you like pragmatism, propositions, and reading the terrible handwriting of pragmatists writing on propositions.

Second, at the Central APA I’ll be giving my paper “The Other Value Problem for Knowledge.” The problem for the value of knowledge is the problem of what way knowledge is more valuable than true belief; the other value problem is the problem of what way an instance of knowledge can be more valuable than another. I think these problems are interrelated in interesting ways. Come if you like questions about knowledge and value and agree with me that W.D. Ross’ epistemology is underrated.