I’m happy to announce that our search for a Philosopher of AI has concluded and that Alessandra Buccella will be starting at UAlbany Philosophy in the Fall.
UAlbany hiring in Philosophy of AI
The University at Albany is hiring dozens of faculty across the disciplines to launch the UAlbany AI Institute. One of those lines is a tenure-track position in Philosophy.
As part of this enormous cluster hire, the schedule is not the usual thing. The JFP ad just went live today, and we’ll begin review of applications January 12— so the search is open for just over a month. And the job starts Fall 2023.
Note that, although the new person will need to teach AI Ethics, this is not specifically an Ethics search. It is in Philosophy of AI broadly construed, which includes relevant value theory but also philosophy of mind and philosophy of science.
If that’s you, please apply.1 If you know someone who would be a good candidate, please encourage them to apply.
Philbio grad conference
For many years now, the graduate students in my department have hosted an annual graduate conference. This year’s topic is philosophy of biology.
I’ve gotten a lot out of attending over the years. There’s a specified topic, so all the papers are at least peripherally related. There’s only one track, so every speaker gets the attention of all the attendees.
If you are a grad student working in philbio, consider submitting an abstract. If you know a grad student working in philbio, consider nudging them to submit.
Here’s the official call:
The University at Albany Philosophical Association will hold its 13th Annual Graduate Conference on April 4th, 2020. Our topic is Philosophy of Biology, and our Keynote Speaker is Justin Garson (Hunter College, CUNY). The deadline is January 5th.1 We would greatly appreciate it if you would circulate the following call for papers amongst the graduate students in your Department.
The mysterious island
Continue reading “The mysterious island”
Deep within these grooves of Academe,Edith Eliot1
In quiet cubicles, white and bare,
Hunched homunculi strain and labor
(Like monks of old in cloistered cells
Balancing angels on needles’ points)
At tasks bizarre with tools outrageous
Through days and nights of anguish unrelenting.
Blogs come and go
There’s also the general cultural shift from blogs to social media.Jenny Saul
The pull quote is from the announcement that the Feminist Philosophers blog is shutting down. It had a good run, but it’s sad to see it go.
Imagine some kind of segue here.
My colleague Monika Piotrowska wrote a recent post for the Blog of the APA about the possibility of de-extinction. Last week I complimented her on the post, and she expressed surprise that I’d seen it. I still do the old-school thing of using an RSS reader to follow blogs that I care about.
Saul is right, though. Lots of things that would have been on a blog a decade ago are now Tweeted or Facebooked. This post could drift off into maudlin reflection, dismay at the state of culture, or references to Marshall McLuhan. But I’m not going to do it. 🙄
If you’re looking for an RSS reader, I highly recommend The Old Reader. It was founded after Google torpedoed GoogleReader, and the founders were programmers who just wanted something that had the same basic functionality. They subsidize it with a Premium option, but the free account will aggregate up to 100 blogs. I’m using only about two-thirds of that.
Education by any other name would still be next to Humanities
When the UAlbany uptown campus was built, all the buildings were given functional names. The Philosophy department is in the Humanities building, on the podium next to Education and across from Business Administration.
Here’s the rub: The actual school of ed was moved downtown long ago and so doesn’t have anything to do with the Education building. The business school got a shiny new building several years ago, and so we’ve had to awkwardly distinguish the new business building from the old business building (which hasn’t actually housed any of the business classes).Continue reading “Education by any other name would still be next to Humanities”
Pedagogy and the early modern syllabus
Ruth Boeker’s syllabus for teaching early modern philosophy is featured today at the Blog of the APA.
Ruth was a visiting assistant professor here in Albany several years ago, and her current practice reflects things she did here. Our campus teaching center has been a big promoter of Team-Based Learning for many years. She first encoutnered it here and recommends, as further reading on TBL for anyone interested, a pair of articles written by our local experts. (One of whom is Philosophy PhD alum Kimberly Van Orman.)
So, yay! Cheers to all.
Constitutivism and the foundations of ethics
My colleague Ariel Zylberman has organized a one-day academic workshop here at UAlbany, coming up on March 15. The topic is constitutivism about moral norms— the view that norms are presumed by the very nature of action and agency.
The powerhouse list of speakers comprises Matthias Haase (Chicago), Michelle Kosch (Cornell), Sharon Street (NYU), and David Velleman (NYU). The official commenters will be Hille Paakkunainen (Syracuse), Francey Russell (Yale), Jason D’Cruz (UAlbany), and Paul Katsafanas (Boston University).
If it sounds like your kind of thing and you might be in the capital region in mid-March, more information and the registration form are at the workshop webpage. It’s a free workshop, but Ariel is asking that attendees register by March 1.
Colloquium, as you like it
Next month Kareem Khalifa (Middlebury College) is visiting Albany to present work that he developed in collaboration with Emily Sullivan (Delft University of Technology).
Will it turn out to be a comedy of errors, or can they show that the sound and fury about the epistemic role of idealization is just a tempest in a teapot? Either way would be interesting, and all’s well that ends well.
Idealizations and Understanding: Much Ado About Nothing?
3:00-5:00, March 9, 2018
UAlbany Humanities Building, room 354
Abstract: Idealizations frequently advance scientific understanding. Because of this, many have argued that understanding is non-factive or that falsehoods play a distinct epistemic role. In this paper, we argue that these positions greatly overstate idealizations’ epistemic import. We bring work on epistemic value to bear on the debate surrounding idealizations and understanding, arguing that idealizations qua falsehoods only have non-epistemic value. We argue for this claim by criticizing the four leading approaches that give epistemic importance to idealizations. For each of these approaches, we show that: (a) idealizations’ false components only promote psychological convenience instead of the epistemic good of understanding, and (b) only the true components of idealizations have epistemic value.
As I wrote a while ago, my department is trying to drum up more graduate applications. One strategy is to send out encouraging e-mails. I’m endeavoring to write to all the philosophy departments in our corner of the country. I’m presently in the middle of that, so you might hear from me soon.
In the interests of maximizing reach, I’m posting the e-mail here too.