Brian Earp (Oxford): I Can't Get No (Epistemic) Satisfaction: Why the Hard Problem of Consciousness Entails a Hard Problem of Explanation. Dora Kostakopoulou (Southampton): Defending the Case for Liberal Anationalism. Where the fighting never ends: Jason Zasky goes inside the wide world of war reenactment. The Future of Special Ops: You might think of special operations forces as gunslingers who launch clandestine raids — but the traditional role of spec ops is training soldiers and building nations. A review of The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-secular Ethics by Clive Hamilton. From Swans, Michael Barker on a feminist critique of the so-called sexual revolution (and part 2), and on Emma Goldman's sexological obsession. Atlas Obscura visits (another) Bridge to Nowhere, hidden among the Southern California wilderness of the San Gabriel Mountains.
From The University of Virginia Magazine, a look at how social media helped change university history (and a timeline of Teresa Sullivan’s resignation and reinstatement). Should academe be concerned that it loses many of its introverted graduate students — do they not have something to contribute? From The Weekly Standard, as Asian Americans have risen through the academic ranks, some claim that they’ve become the “new Jews”. Does it matter where you go to college? Years of research show that, when it comes to your future paycheck, the name on your degree really does count. Who is the next MIT? There is one element that links the schools that top university rankings: They tend to be old. A new study, the purpose of which some may find delightfully puzzling, looks at the self-portraits scholars put on their home pages. Ted Turner's dad was irate his son chose to major in Greek. The family business: Matthew Reisz speaks to scholars with learned bloodlines about the inspirations, insights and rebellions that come with growing up in the very midst of the academy.
Richard H. Pildes (NYU): Law and the President. Art over culture: A review of Why Lyrics Last: Evolution, Cognition, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Brian Boyd, Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind by Mark Pagel, and The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present by Eric R. Kandel. Scientists read monkeys' minds, see what they're planning to do before they do it. While Vatican insiders jockey for power and speculate on his successor, Joseph Ratzinger has withdrawn to focus on his still-ambiguous legacy. The more people criticize Benedict XVI, the more people flock to listen to him. Rebecca Wesson Darwin launched Garden and Gun in 2007 with the purpose of establishing something that reflected the Southern lifestyle in a sophisticated and charming way.
A new issue of Synthesis Philosophica is out. Kimberley Brownlee (Warwick) and Richard Child (Cambridge): Can the Law Help Us to Be Moral? The place of philosophy: An interview with Gila Sher, a philosopher who looks to fatten up truth in a groovy way. A review of The Necessity of Errors by John Roberts. Alexis Burgess is a groovy indie-rocking philosopher who finds logic and the metaphysics of language the key, what with his deep thoughts on truth, fiction, realism, reference, existence, identity, indeterminacy and all. A review of When Words Are Called For: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy by Avner Baz. J. David Velleman on why it's irrational to regret what might have been. A review of Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus by John M. Cooper. What could leave philosophy? Brian Weatherson wonders (and more). The drama of existentialism: Though written off by many, Sartre, Camus and their cohort still animate some of the deepest philosophical questions we face.
Aleks Farrugia (Malta): Mythistory and the Reinvention of the People. Maxwell Murphey (UC-Riverside): Theoria as Eudaimonia. How to Build an NBA Championship Team: A Stanford undergrad's new super-nerd study suggests that there are really 13 positions in basketball — not just five. Are you responsible for your behavior if your brain “made you do it”? The Great White House Rating Game: A review of Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians by Robert Merry (and more). As prices drop and availability increases, 3D printers are expected to become a feature in many ordinary homes in the coming years. Why do we continue to believe that we can be part of society and still exist apart from social media? When billionaires become educational experts: “Venture philanthropists” push for the privatization of public education.
Abdulla Galadari (AUD): Reincarnation vs. Resurrection: The Debate Ends. Vera Pereira and Rodrigo de Sa-Saraiva (Lisboa) and Luis Faisca (Algarve): Immortality of the Soul as an Intuitive Idea: Towards a Psychological Explanation of the Origins of Afterlife Beliefs. From The American Interest, a review of The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures by Nicholas Wade and Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by Robert N. Bellah (and more and more and more and more). Cris Campbell on the myth of pristine “primitive” religions. Man the Religious Animal: Christian Smith on how we are naturally but not necessarily religious. From Big Questions Online, does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God? If Satan did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him, not as the ultimate villain but the ultimate scapegoat. How relativism justifies our selfishness: The atheistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche may have been right on the mark in his observations about the best way to undermine Christianity.
From CLCWeb, a special issue on new work in comparative Indian literatures and cultures. From Frontline, in addition to the loss of human lives and property, the near-fatal blows on cultures mark Partition's distinctively hideous features (and part 2). From LRB, why Partition? Perry Anderson wants to know (and part 2). Morgan Meis on Dawkins vs. Sri Lanka, and silence wins. The perils of nation rebuilding: Jacob Heilbrunn on Sesame Street and the corruption of Pakistan. Why are India and Pakistan sacrificing hundreds of soldiers' lives over an uninhabitable icy wasteland? Borders are so yesterday: It’s time to open the doors of our borders — it’s possible, this dream sequence of hope. Buddhists Behaving Badly: William McGowan on what zealotry is doing to Sri Lanka. Navsharan Singh and Urvashi Butalia on challenging impunity on sexual violence in South Asia. Who is pulling the xenophobic strings in Pakistan? Despite increasing recognition, it is hard to correct India’s image in the domain of global cinema. What we talk about when we talk about Sri Lanka: How do Sri Lankan writers recreate their country in their fiction? A review of Anatol Lieven’s Pakistan: A Hard Country.
Mark Tushnet (Harvard): Dialogue and Constitutional Duty. Uliana Loginova and Petra Persson (Columbia): Paternalism, Libertarianism, and the Nature of Disagreement. The coup against Nixon: An excerpt from Fammily of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years by Russ Baker. The earth isn’t dying; it is being killed — and “clean energy” will only make things worse. A review of The Human Right to Health by Jonathan Wolff. Women of the Internet on how the Internet has changed them. Obama Abroad: A review of Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power by David E. Sanger and The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power by James Mann. A look at the Third World troops who fight the U.N.'s wars.
From the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, a special issue on pragmatism and the social sciences. Helen Kopnina (The Hague): Anthropocentric Bias in Anthropology: Re-Examining Culture/Conservation Conflict. Keith E. Whittington (Princeton): Critical Concepts in Political Science. Franz Dietrich (CNRS) and Christian List (LSE): Mentalism Versus Behaviourism in Economics: A Philosophy-of-Science Perspective. A review of Economic Anthropology: History, Ethnography, Critique by Chris Hann and Keith Hart. Revenge of the sociologists: Andrew Ferguson on the perils of politically incorrect academic research. Because of advances in methods and theory, archaeology now addresses issues central to debates in the social sciences in a far more sophisticated manner than ever before. Why don't social scientists want to be read? Because they deal with systems that are highly complex, adaptive and not rigorously rule-bound, the social sciences are among the most difficult of disciplines, both methodologically and intellectually. You want to know the value of the social sciences? Here you go.
Anna Marie Smith (Cornell): Deadly Force and Public Reason. Jesse Hearns-Branaman (Leeds): Utopianism and Alienation in the Information and Technology Society. Thomas Kleven (Texas Southern): Equitable Sharing and Democratic Theory; and Equitable Sharing and the American Ideal. From American, are Americans too dumb for democracy? Lee Harris wonders. A review of Darwin's Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists by Rebecca Stott. What if economics, as we know it is not economic per se, but the product of socio-political arrangements between institutions of power and those conforming to such principles? From Philosophy Now, Joel Marks on crazy, or what is it like to be batty. Gail Collins on how Texas inflicts bad textbooks on us. Cities as technologically precise as a Formula One race car are being built now — do we really want to live in them?