The AOS is a ASS. How Specialization in Professional Philosophy Creates Disastrously Bad Philosophical Pictures

“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass—a idiot.” –Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, ch, 51. 1. Recently I read Samuel Wheeler’s very cool and insightful essay, “Specialization and the Future of Analytic Philosophy,” on the malign impact and implications of endemic, forced specialization, both early- and hyper-, in contemporary professional … [continue reading]

POOCs Without PAWs (Philosophy Open Online Courses Without PAy Wall Shit), and Why the Internet Might Be a Primary Vehicle for Real Liberal Arts Education and Real Philosophy.

Z:  Recently I’ve been thinking lots about how a real liberal arts education—i.e., a liberal arts education that hasn’t run into the neo-conservative cultural cul de sac and nihilist abyss of what William Deresiewicz so aptly calls the “neo-liberal arts,” and is aimed at Heavy Duty Enlightenment, not Enlightenment Lite–-might be really possible, about real … [continue reading]

1. By personal problems, I mean large or small individual or first-person difficulties, that need to be dealt with, and can be controlled to some extent by that first-person. 2. But an existential problem, as I will understand it, is a personal problem that is so profound and severe that it seriously raises the question … [continue reading]

Beyond Enlightenment Lite.

APP Editors’ note: Boethius is a tenured associate professor of philosophy at a public university somewhere in North America. In a recent APP post, Z critically compares-and-contrasts Enlightenment Lite and Heavy Duty Enlightenment. I think most would agree with the basic complaint, namely that it’s a poor excuse for an undergraduate education to say it’s … [continue reading]

On Having the Name ‘Z’.

1. Recently, in reply to what I thought was a very friendly, polite, and even slightly amusing e-mail letter telling him about APP, a well-known Analytic philosopher of science–whose name I won’t name–sent me this fairly nasty little note: “Dear X,Y and Z, I tend to prefer opinions, good, bad, inane as they may be, … [continue reading]

Philosoflicks 2, Installment 2: Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus, Volume 1, Chapter 1.

WHAT IS A PHILOSOFLICK? In “Let’s Make More Movies,” the epistemological anarchist Paul Feyerabend wrote this: The separation of subjects that is such a pronounced characteristic of modern philosophy is … not altogether undesirable. It is a step on the way to a more satisfactory type of myth. What is needed to proceed further is … [continue reading]