Monday, September 09, 2013

Graduate Student Workshop in Applied Philosophy

Extended Call for Papers
Inaugural Bowling Green State University Graduate Student
Workshop in Applied Philosophy
November 15-16, 2013
Bowling Green, OH
The Philosophy Department of Bowling Green State University invites submissions to its inaugural Graduate Student Workshop in Applied Philosophy. The aim of the workshop is to bring together graduate scholars working in applied philosophy topics to encourage constructive discussion and debate. Each presenter will be given an undivided audience, a commentator and at least 20 minutes for questions.
This Year’s Theme:
Animal and Environmental Philosophy

The Philosophy Department of Bowling Green State University welcomes high-quality paper submissions from graduate students that engage issues in animal and environmental philosophy, broadly construed.

Keynote Speaker: Paul B. Thompson
W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics
Michigan State University

Submission Guidelines
Submissions should include two separate documents: A cover page that includes the title of the paper and contact information for the author; a paper, not to exceed 4000 words, should be included in a separate document and prepared for blind review. Please submit all documents in .doc/.docx or .pdf format to by September 20th.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Check It Out

Our blog has been included on a list of "100 Ethics Blogs Every Business Student Should Read." You can check it out here.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Imagine that we have embraced modal, global normative skepticism: we have concluded that we never do and never could be aware of the normative facts. We may continue to ask questions about what we ought to do, but we can never properly answer these questions. Proper answers necessitate our knowing what is of value, or what normative reasons there are, or what moral obligations we have—facts to which we have no access.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Student Grade Expectations

To most of us teaching here this is probably not news, but I thought it was worth posting:

NY Times: Student Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes

I suspect that the gut reaction for most of you is the same as for me: disgust. Grades are a mode of assessment, not only of effort, but of the quality of a student's work (perhaps on the theory that this, in turn, is a way of assessing that student's skill or skill+effort). When I read that students are willing to ask, boldly, "what else is there?" when considering grading criteria beyond effort, I am left in abject horror.

That's what my attitude is (well, most of the time). But what should it be? Certainly, grades aren't just about effort, but is it really still reasonable to treat a C as an acceptable grade for a diligent student who meets our expectations? And if not, what does this mean for grades; or, rather, what do grades mean? Should graduate schools (or whoever cares about undergraduate grades) just treat transcripts as reports on how hard-working their applicants are?

And even if we should grade that way, can one, in good conscience, continue to do so knowing that one is alone in so doing, and that one's students will suffer for it in terms of comparative standing? What do we do when we have to choose between our convictions about grading and our convictions about fairness?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Epistemic Standard

I'm looking for feedback on the plausibility of a MINIMAL epistemic standard:

MES: My belief that b counts as knowledge/epistemically justified only if its being the case that b factors into some possible explanation of my belief.

I don't think it matters whether we talk about knowledge or epistemic justification, though I'm open to disagreement on this point. Also, I think the relevant kind of possibility is nomological, but I have to think about it more.