30 December 2014

Top Ten Looks

these apply to the APA, too:



15 December 2014

Santa Run

is that the Gebbie-Guay family racing past the camera in their matching neon-green t-shirts (from -0:38 to -0:36)?


yes it is.

(does Bob know how to embed video from the local tv news? No.)

get back to work.

09 December 2014

SPEL Workshop THU

"Developing a Reflective Teaching Practice"

required for all 1st and 2nd year students and job market candidates
others welcome

LT 1506

08 December 2014

Busy day tomorrow

Brown Bag Lunch
topic: Holly Stone's "The Subjective Moral Duty to Inform Oneself Before Acting"
LT 1506

Workshop: Faculty Student-Interaction
Violet Room, Lost Dog Café


Winter Storm Damon!

04 December 2014

SPEL Colloquium: Carol Gould, "Motivating Solidarity with Distant Others"

Professor Carol Gould
Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center

"Motivating Solidarity with Distant Others: Empathic Politics and the Problem of Global Justice."

Thursday December 4
5:00 PM in UU-W 324.

20 November 2014

Shoni Rancher: "Kierkegaard and Nietzsche: Tragicomedy, the Double Demands of Ethics, and Ethical Communication"

meant to post this earlier:


“Kierkegaard and Nietzsche: Tragicomedy, the Double Demands of Ethics, and Ethical Communication”

Thursday, November 20th

1:00 pm

LT – 1107

16 November 2014

Honneth workshop

I can't get this formatted right, so here's a picture:

here's some text, too, in case someone needs to search for it.

A Workshop on Axel Honneth's Freedom's Right
Friday, November 21, 2014

location: UUW 325
9.30-10: coffee
10-10.15: welcome by Max
10.15-11.15: Mattias Iser on Freedom's Right Part I: Historical Backgrounds
11.15-12.15: Fred Neuhouser on Freedom's Right Part II: The Possibility of Freedom

location: UUW 324
12.15-1.30: lunch
1.30-2.30: Danielle Petherbridge on Freedom's Right Part III: The 'We' of Interpersonal Relationships
2.30-3.30: Timo Jütten on Freedom's Right Part III, 6.2: The 'We' of the Market Economy
3.30-3.45: coffee
3.45-4.45: Christopher Zurn on Freedom's Right Part III, 6.3: The 'We' of Democratic Will Formation
4.45-5.30: closing roundtable discussion

location: Doubletree Hotel
5.30-7.00: reception
7.00-?: dinner

how to fail philosophy exams

just in case someone wants to know:


(this is true:

.....All candidates would have done better if they had concentrated on clearly explaining simple points which they did understand, and which were under their command, rather than gesturing vaguely at more complex or sophisticated condiderations which they did notunderstand, and which were not under their command.

and the stuff about guessing the question.)

(h/t Lisa)

11 November 2014

SPEL Workshop: Writing the Prospectus

Professional Development Workshop

Writing a Prospectus

this THU (13 Nov)
LT 1506

mandatory for 1st/2nd year SPEL students; optional for others

05 November 2014

why is this a category?

does there really need to be tragic drama for children?

(and if there does, shouldn't Medea be ranked higher?)

03 November 2014

some statistics

So, I was curious about something about implicit bias, so I thought I'd look at how male and female students do on the final exams of a big lecture class.

That turned out not to be very interesting: women do slightly (about 1.4%) better, at least according to my very flawed statistics. (Not that that says very much about implicit bias, but whatever.)

The possibly interesting thing is that I've had either two male or two female TA's each of the last few times that I've taught the course, and this might seem to correlate with the gender breakdown in enrolled students:
two male TA's: 74% men, 26% women
two female TA's: 58% men, 42% women

27 October 2014

Spring '15, just around the corner

classes are live in Banner/BUbrain

here are the SPEL seminars:

25 October 2014

Guest speaker: Sharon Street

Sharon Street
New York University

"Does Anything Really Matter or Did We Just Evolve to Think So?"

AA ('Academic A') G8

sponsored by EvoS and Philosophy, too

17 October 2014

A Very Big Week upcoming ...

Upcoming this week, no doubt in honor of Jenn Dum's birthday ...


Brown Bag Lunch
topic: Anja Karnein, "Putting Fairness in its Place: Why There is a Duty to Take up the Slack"
read article from Journal of Philosophy in advance
11:45a - 1:00p
LT 1506


IASH Speakers Series
Rochelle DuFord
"Can There Be Government Without a State?"
12noon - 1:30pm
LN 1106 (IASH Conference Room)


SPEL Colloquium
Erin Kelly, Tufts University
"Culpability and Fault in Criminal Justice"
5:00p - 7:00p
UUW 324

15 October 2014

Workshop tomorrow

The Job Market and CV Construction

req. for first and second years and those currently on the market
all others are also welcome to attend

Thu 16 Oct
Conference room

29 September 2014

SPEL Colloquium -- this THU

SPEL Colloquium

Antoine Panaioti
McGill University

Causation as Folk Psychology:
Intersections between Nietzschean and Mādhyamika Perspectives

Thursday, October 2nd
5:00pm  TIME CHANGED TO 5:30PM
location: UUW-324

25 September 2014

Graduate School stuff

Travel and Awards

The Graduate School would like to remind all departments about available funding for traveling graduate students. We recognize the importance of conference and research travel to graduate education. There are several funding sources available by application on our website under Travel and Research Funds. Please note that the Clark student Travel Grant application is also listed on this page, and has the same deadlines as the Foundation Travel Grant.

Graduate Application for Degree

Are you planning to take a degree this semester?  If yes, you must complete the Graduate Application for Degree (GAFD) available here: 

The deadline for completing the form is Friday, October 31, 2014.  

On not going to bed

Takumi's argument for not going to bed:

- you use energy while you are asleep
- you need to have energy to do well in school
- it is important to do well in school

∴ I should not go to bed.


story: here

With no desire to practice law, Karp went on to study under Jurgen Habermas, one of the 20th century’s most prominent philosophers, at the University of Frankfurt. Not long after obtaining his doctorate, he received an inheritance from his grandfather, and began investing it in startups and stocks with surprising success. Some high-net-worth individuals heard that “this crazy dude was good at investing” and began to seek his services, he says. To manage their money he set up the London-based Caedmon Group, a reference to Karp’s middle name, the same as the first known English-language poet.
Back in Silicon Valley Thiel had cofounded PayPal and sold it to eBay in October 2002 for $1.5 billion. He went on to create a hedge fund called Clarium Capital but continued to found new companies: One would become Palantir, named by Thiel for the Palantiri seeing stones from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, orbs that allow the holder to gaze across vast distances to track friends and foes.
In a post-9/11 world Thiel wanted to sell those Palantiri-like powers to the growing national security complex: His concept for Palantir was to use the fraud-recognition software designed for PayPal to stop terrorist attacks. But from the beginning the libertarian saw Palantir as an antidote to–not a tool for–privacy violations in a society slipping into a vise of security.

14 September 2014

workshop post-minder

I'm putting this in, even though it's late, for record-keeping purposes.

This is a postreminder about the first workshop for this semester -- on a career in philosophy -- which will take place tomorrow (Sept. 11th) at 11:45 in the IASH room.  All first and second year students as well as job market candidates are required to attend. That said, the seminar should be of interest to all students -- especially those considering going on the market in the next year or two.

10 September 2014

a non-jet equipment type

I hope this doesn't mean that I have to twirl the rubber-band myself.

09 September 2014

Colloquium: Japa Pallikkathayil (Pitt.)

Japa Pallikkathayil

Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh

"Political Justification"

this THURSDAY (sept. 11th)
LN 1106 (IASH Conference Room)

28 August 2014

from the Graduate School

Graduate Student Registration and Confirmation of Enrollment
Please encourage all graduate students to register for fall courses as quickly as possible.  If the department is responsible for registering students, we ask that you complete registration this week or next week, at the latest. This includes registration for students who require continuous registration, pre-dissertation, or dissertation credits. Early registration ensures accurate and timely enrollment reporting. Please remind students to confirm their enrollments via BU Brain by September 5

from the Graduate School

Graduate Student Registration and Confirmation of Enrollment
Please encourage all graduate students to register for fall courses as quickly as possible.  If the department is responsible for registering students, we ask that you complete registration this week or next week, at the latest. This includes registration for students who require continuous registration, pre-dissertation, or dissertation credits. Early registration ensures accurate and timely enrollment reporting. Please remind students to confirm their enrollments via BU Brain by September 5

Empathy: pro or con?

from Paul Bloom in the Boston Review ...

link: here

10 July 2014

New graduate student orientation

New Graduate Student Orientation
The Graduate School will be welcoming all new graduate students to campus during a brief orientation session in Lecture Hall 1 from 8:30 to 10:30am on Tuesday, August 26. The new TA Orientation will also be held the same day from 10:45am to 4:00pm.  More information regarding orientations is available online.

23 June 2014

12 June 2014

APA Book Prize

yay Nicole!

Graduate School orientation


The Graduate School will hold orientation for all new graduate students and GA/TA students on Tuesday, August 26.

This is different from SPEL's own orientation.

04 June 2014

SACP here in two weeks

Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy

49th Annual Conference: June 19-22, 2014

Hosted by:
State University of New York at Binghamton
Binghamton, New York

Theme: “Universality and Particularity”  

now in paperback

SPELalum Howard Engelkirchen's Capital as a Social Kind


26 May 2014



here's a quote:

But female adjuncts, in my experience, often find themselves in a particularly precarious position: part-teacher, part-guidance counselor, part-confessorthey are filling roles related to mental health and general wellbeing that they are in no way qualified to fill. 

my free advice: don't do this.

Over the course of a ten-week class,I play the role of therapist, priest, mentor, and friend.

17 May 2014

some advice for those interested in teaching at a community college

not sure how useful it is.

from Inside Higher Ed:

First, make sure that any grad student with potential designs on a teaching institution gets experience teaching online. Preferably more than once, and with some sort of mentoring or support.


Second, and you should already be doing this anyway, train your people in ADAA compliance and universal design.  They should know that it’s not just a matter of sending copies of an exam to the testing center for extra time when they get a note from the relevant office.  It’s about consciously designing classes and other learning experiences to be accessible to everyone from the outset.  That means, for instance, ensuring that any textbooks used are accessible even before ordering them.  It means ensuring that any videos you use in class or online are captioned.  It means a host of small details that make a real difference to students, and that make a real difference in job interviews.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/open-letter-graduate-program-directors#ixzz31x83eWyN
Inside Higher Ed 

13 May 2014

best website ever


finally my suspicions about Nicholas Cage films and the per capita consumption of cheese confirmed


made my own


07 May 2014

random linkage



["Why Some M.B.A.s Are Reading Plato"]

24 April 2014

new SPELbaby

beautiful ** ILSA **, via Edgar Valdez

very reflective for a newborn


to everybody who did stuff this year.

(the list is on the listserv)


22 April 2014

Logic exam


SPEL Basic Exam in Formal Logic is tomorrow (4/23).

10am, I think.

21 April 2014


Gilens and Page:

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized 
groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government 
policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent 
influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination 
and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or 
Majoritarian Pluralism.

paper: here

media coverage:

New Yorker

11 April 2014

Standpoint epistemology

this is what things look like from Inside Higher Ed

Josh goes to Germany

congrats to SPELalum Joshua Wretzel, who won a grant from the Max Kade Foundation to spend some time at the Forschungskolleg Analytic German Idealism in Leipzig.

This one's for Max

link to The Daily Beast

(click through to hear from Petronella Ravenshear)

10 April 2014

04 April 2014

SPEL Colloquium

Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst
Goethe-Universität zu Frankfurt

"Transnational Justice and Democracy: Overcoming Three Dogmas of Political Theory"

Tue 29 April
UUW 324


I wonder if this has any bearing on the ideal of a well-ordered society:

"Spite is Good. Spite Works"
Although groups of excessively spiteful or selfish players quickly collapsed, and rigidly fair-minded societies were readily destabilized by influxes of selfish exploiters, the flexible sharers not only proved able to coexist with the spiteful types, but the presence of spitefuls had the salubrious effect of enhancing the rate of fair exchanges among the genials. By the looks of it, Dr. Smead said, “fairness is acting as a defense against spite.”
The results echo other recent research suggesting that human decency and cooperation require a certain degree of so-called altruistic punishment: the willingness of some individuals to punish rule breakers even when the infraction does not directly affect them — challenging the guy who broke into the line behind you, for example.
“It could be that Nietzsche was right about punishment,” Dr. Forber said, “that it originated as spite and only later was turned into a mechanism for maintaining fairness and justice.”
can't find my other links, so this will have to do for "misc."

02 April 2014

Graduate Application for Degree (GAFD)--Deadline is Monday

If you think that you will be taking a degree this semester, you MUST complete the Graduate Application for Degree (GAFD), available now on the Graduate School websiteThe deadline is Monday, April 7 to guarantee inclusion in the Commencement program.

Here’s the link for your graduation checklist:  http://www.binghamton.edu/commencement/students/checklist.html
For more information, visit the commencement website:  http://www.binghamton.edu/commencement/index.html

*note: you should do this if you think it might be somewhat possible that you could be taking a degree this semester. it's easier to cancel later than to register late.

Brown Bag Lunch

Discussion of Kenneth Walden, "The Aid that Leaves Something to Chance," Ethics 124:2

CompLit Conference room (15th floor)
April 10th (that's a THU)

*this is the kind of brown bag lunch where you actually have to bring your own lunch. in a brown bag.

31 March 2014


meant to put this up earlier, too:

Anja Karnein (biomedical ethics, applied ethics) and Mattias Iser (political philosophy) will join the faculty in the Fall. We're delighted that they've accepted our offer and we are all really looking forward to welcoming them to Binghamton in August.

Heidegger's black notebooks



it started last Thursday, actually.

you should probably get on that.


philosophy professors

... are the representation of incarnate evil in the #5 movie in the country.

Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) is a Christian who never thought his faith would get in the way of his higher education. As a result, he is deeply shaken when, on the first day of his Philosophy class, Professor Radisson (Sorbo) begins the semester by demanding that each of his students deny the existence of God in order to earn a passing grade. Although Josh tries his best to graciously refuse, Professor Radisson informs him that in order to continue in the class, the disagreeable student must make an air-tight argument for the defense. Not only that, but the semester will culminate in a debate between teacher and student on the subject. Should the class still remain unconvinced of God's existence, Josh will fail, sending his entire academic future up in flames. Duck Dynasty's Willie and Korie Robertson have cameos.

rotten tomatoes
film school rejects

* update: apparently, this is a thing, too

27 March 2014

Professional Development Workshop


"Course Materials"

location: LN1106 (IASH Conference Room)
at the normal time

* if you've written a syllabus before, please bring it

17 March 2014

PPL Visiting Scholar and Philosophy of Law conference

this week!

and in case you're wondering, the Keynote is in UUW-324 and the rest is in AB-124

exciting update: Pensky subs in for Dimock

10 March 2014

Blake makes the big time

a link to his paper in the bookforum blog:

here is the link.


here is a conference program on which the paper appears

Blake goes up after Jeff McMahan, before Elaine Scarry, roughly

less, more, whatever


and fwiw:
from 2007: Germany agonizes over brain drain
and from the U.S.
from Africa
from the UK
from Asia

07 March 2014

Colloquium next week

Jamie Kelly
Vassar College

"Official Nullification and Immigration Law"

usual place

This has been rescheduled to the 26th.

Seeking Success Social Events:
Subject Line:  Student Success, Lunch, and Discussions
Event TitleSeeking Success as a Graduate Student at the Harpur School
What strategies most effectively ensure a successful graduate experience at Binghamton University?  This event will address the specific needs of graduate students and offer some advice for negotiating the broad array of opportunities and responsibilities that confront the new recruit to graduate studies.  Dr. Sarah Lam, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, will offer a presentation and lead a discussion about student success, offering planning strategies and advice.  Dr. Susan Strehle, Vice-Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, will join in the discussion.  Enjoy some pizza with your colleagues from the Harpur School and share your ideas for maximizing the graduate experience at Binghamton University.  Please RSVP to Gail Musante at gcos@binghamton.edu
Date:  March 26, 2014   
Time:  12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Place:  UU108--
Gail Musante
Program Coordinator for Graduate Community of Scholars 
LSG 652

06 March 2014

03 March 2014

IASH Fellowships

IASH accepting 2014-2015 Student Fellowship applicationsHide Show
The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) is now accepting applications for its 2014-2015 graduate and undergraduate student fellowships. The deadline for submitting applications is March 28, 2014. For forms and additional information about the fellowships, go online.

28 February 2014

possible future course offerings, Fall '14


SPEL colloquium

PHIL 570Q SPEL colloquium Hassoun R 11:45–1:05 (Colloquium)

SPEL seminars:

PHIL 508 Social and Political Thought Reeves T 5:50–8:50

PHIL 550C Wittgenstein Guay W 1:40-4:40

PHIL 560 Philosophy of Mind Dietrich TR 2:50–4:15

PHIL 580C Testimony and the Holocaust Bar On M 1:40–4:40

PHIL 605A What is Morality? Tessman T 1:40-4:40

PHIL 605B Metaethics Knapp R 1:40–4:40

PHIL 608x TBA (Political) New Hire T 5:50-8:50

Graduate courses cross-listed with Philosophy:

PHIL 630B Evolution and Human Affairs Wilson R 6:00–9:00

26 February 2014

professional development workshop tomorrow

SPEL Professional Development Workshop

Thu 27 Feb.

Topic: Publishing

Place: IASH conference room (LN-1106)

usual time slot.

cost of research

(two university systems) spend $0.40 on the dollar to generate external funding for research, to get back $0.26 on the dollar.


for those who plan to graduate soon

Graduate Application for Degree (GAFD) for spring 2014 graduates now availableHide Show
Graduate students who are planning to complete their degree in spring 2014 must submit the GAFD, available now on the Graduate School website. The deadline is Monday, April 7to guarantee inclusion in the Commencement program.

22 February 2014

guest post from Takumi

two proofs that Mommy likes chores

Mommy does chores.
Mommy does not get paid to do chores.
Either Mommy likes doing chores or someone is making Mommy do chores.
No one makes Mommy do chores.
∴ Mommy likes doing chores.

When Mommy starts doing chores, she is unhappy.
When Mommy finishes doing chores, she is happy.
Something must happen while Mommy is doing chores to make Mommy happy.
The only thing that happens while Mommy is doing chores is that Mommy is doing chores.
Mommy doing chores makes Mommy happy.
∴ Mommy likes doing chores.

[ed. note: this is part of a long-term project to prove that Takumi does not need to do chores.]

travel and research funds website

Binghamton University Graduate School
News & Notes - February 20th, 2014

Travel and Research Funds Available

The Graduate School recognizes the importance of conference and research travel to graduate education; access the Graduate School’s Travel and Research Funds Websitefor details. We encourage Graduate Directors to share this information with your graduate students.