T.J. Donahue (Johns Hopkins): Political Principles: Why Normative Political Theories Depend on Ethics (the introduction to a dissertation, and more). William A. Edmundson (Georgia State): Morality Without Responsibility. Thom Brooks (Newcastle): Hegel's Critique of Kantian Morality. From PhaenEx, Bela Egyed (Concordia): Spinoza, Schopenhauer and the Standpoint of Affirmation; David A. Duquette (St. Norbert): The Unity and Difference of the Speculative and the Historical in Hegel's Concept of Geist; Richard Matthews (Mount Allison): The Limits of Transcendence; Farhang Erfani (American): Something New Under the Sun: Levinas and the Ethics of Political Imagination; and Benedict O'Donohoe (Sussex): L'Étranger and the Messianic Myth, or Meursault Unmasked.

From American Scientist, a review of From Clockwork to Crapshoot: A History of Physics by Roger G. Newton; a review of Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lindley and Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics by Gino Segre (and more); and a review of Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Science or Folktale? Current cosmological theory rests on a disturbingly small number of independent observations. Are planetary systems filled to capacity? Computer simulations suggest that the answer may be yes. But observations of extrasolar systems will provide the ultimate test. 

From Inside Higher Ed, 4 months of holidays? Not quite! Celeste Brotheridge and Raymond Lee are tired of non-academics who think professors live a life of leisure in the summer. The Numbers Guy on the science of the sophomore: Too many studies use college students as their guinea pigs. Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, has reached a settlement with the economist John Lott, who had brought a defamation lawsuit against him. From The Chronicle, Walden on the Blue Ridge: An English professor and his students seek their inner Thoreau; and in Romance in the Ivory Tower: The Rights and Liberty of Conscience, Paul Abramson argues that the Constitution protects professor-student love.