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June 12 2019

"Die Zeit" honors Habermas

The culture section of the German weekly "Die Zeit" (June 13, 2019) features 19 articles in honor of Jürgen Habermas, who turns 90 on June 18: 

Alexander Cammann - "Ein genialer Typ"

Peter E. Gordon - "Seine Philosophie har die Lehren der Katastrophe verinnerlict"

Karl Heinz Bohrer - "Eine Erscheinung. Wie ein impulsiver Künstler".

Martil Seel - "In Machinenraum des Denkens"

Zhang Shuangli - "Neu lesen. Was chinesische Intellektuelle von ihm lernen"

Richard J. Bernstein - "Es war ein Schock"

Eva Illouz - "Allzu nüchterne Stimme der Vernunft"

Manfred Frank - "Was bei ihm fehlt"

Armin von Bogdandy - "Wie die deutsch Elf in Brasilien"

Rahel Jaeggi - "Moralisieren ist überflüssig"

Kenichi Mishima - "Er har doch Recht"

Helga Nowotny - " Ein Frankfurter in New York"

Hartmut Rosa - "Petitionen mag er nicht"

Claus Offe - "Vorwärtsverteidiger"

Rainer Forst - "Was auf Spiel steht"

Axel Honneth - "Ein Spurenleser"

Andrea Sangiovanni - "Jürgen und Jack" [John Rawls]

Rajeev Bhargava - "Ein neuer heller Stern"

Agnes Heller - "Wir alle meinten, mit unserem Denken die Welt erlösen zu können" (interview) 
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

June 06 2019

June 04 2019

May 28 2019

[Repost][Academic] Hello, this is a survey for academic research, which will be due soon: (+18). Please and hope you guys can help me. Sincerely thanks!

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The title of this study is "The Effect of Volunteers’ Experiences on their Life and Future behavioural intentions."

In particular, this study seeks to examine the effect of volunteering experiences on the volunteers’ psychological well-being (flourishing) and their future behavioural intentions (decision to continue volunteering).

The questionnaire for this study will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. It consists of 6 sections: (a) volunteers’ mindsets, (b) positive emotions, (c) nostalgia, (d) flourishing, (e) behavioural intention, and (f) background information.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and your response will be used only for academic research.

In the event where you have any questions or comments regarding the survey, you may contact the following


Dr. Heetae Cho: []( (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

NTU Institutional Review Board c/o Research Support Office: []( / (65) 67906468

If you want to participate in the survey, please click the link below, and complete the survey.

<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/akadora77
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Sharing My MA Dissertation: The Epistemic Virtue of Robustness in Climate Modeling

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Hi all,

I just finished my MA in Climate Change and Sustainability Studies from the Tata Inst. of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Within this interdisciplinary program, my focus was on philosophy of science. Actually, I've always wanted to study PhilSci but there's no good institutions or programs in my country. So my best chance was to go for an interdisciplinary social science program and focus on the PhilSci aspect. Since climate science is one of the most bleeding edge areas of scientific research, the philosophy of science aspect was very attractive to me.

Abstract: The aim of this dissertation is to comprehensively study various robustness arguments proposed in the literature from Levins to Lloyd as well as the opposition offered to them and pose enquiry into the degree of epistemic virtue that they provide to the model prediction results with respect to climate science and modeling. Another critical issue that this dissertation strives to examine is that of the actual epistemic notion that is operational when scientists and philosophers appeal to robustness. In attempting to explicate this idea, the discussion turns to arguments provided by Schupbach who completely rejects probabilistic independence in favour of explanatory reasoning, Stegenga and Menon who still see some value in probabilistic independence, and Winsberg who takes applies Schupbach’s to climate science, going beyond models to involve multi-modal evidence. After an exhaustive discussion on these arguments, this dissertation attempts to provide a thorough and updated notion of robustness in climate modeling and climate science.

<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/HawkmothEffect
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May 25 2019

Joissance the pleasure principle and Hedonism. Also Habermas and Communicative Action

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I am looking for readings or you tube videos that go over these together. I know Jouissance goes further than PP and just trying to think of it in conjunction with hedonism. Basically to check my work as I have not done any Lacan or Freud in like 4years so hoping I got it right but just want something to double check my work against.

Heading onto Habermas for my second essay and have two of his books but not the first book on C.A only the second. Any decent youtube videos I can listen to on C.A to catch me up before I read some set chapters? I did an essay on him two years ago on Modernity but I need to be careful not to repeat. Cheers.

<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/rheetkd
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Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

May 23 2019

Why I left Academic Philosophy.

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A year ago I finished my MA in philosophy. Up until half through that degree, my plan was to apply to PHD programs. However, I became disillusioned with philosophy and its ability to affect change outside of the ivory tower. The jargon took your entire undergraduate degree to learn and nobody else understands it. This is acceptable in other fields of study, but philosophy is supposed to be different, it is suppose to be the undercurrent from which all knowledge is derived and the cornerstone of progressive change. Yet, what I came to find out was that philosophers would rather write about our growing economic disparities, environmental justice, and identity politics, than do anything about it. I know there are bound to be many people who actually do act, but I can almost guarantee that many philosophers place the responsibility to act on others.

<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/Cmntague
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May 20 2019

International conference in Lodz on Jürgen Habermas

On June 13-14, the University of Lodz hosts an international conference on Jürgen Habermas:

"Normativity and Praxis: Celebrating the philosophical and intellectual achivements of Jürgen Habermas".

The speakers are:

Rainer Adolphi (Berlin) – "Lebenssphären und Lebensformen. Zur Tragweite der Max-Weber-Tradition bei J. Habermas"

Hauke Brunkhorst (Flensburg) – "Kommunikative Vernunft und rächende Gewalt – Zur kritischen Theorie von Jürgen Habermas"

Matthias Kettner (Witten/Herdecke) – "The Mystery of „Communicative Rationality“ dispelled"

Peter Koller (Graz) – "Habermas Diskurstheorie des Rechts im Dilemma zwischen sozialtheoretischem Objektivismus und ethischem Normativismus"

Georg Lohmann (Magdeburg) – "Habermas über Menschenrechte und Demokratie"

Martin Matuštík (Tempe) – "Rituals and Algorithms: Postmetaphysical Thinking in Post-Secular Condition"

Stephan Müller-Doohm (Oldenburg) – "Gibt es Grenzen nachmetaphysischen Denkens? Jürgen Habermas‘ Konzept von Normativität in der säkularisierten Gesellschaft"

Alessandro Pinzani (Santa Catarina) – "Habermas and Capitalism"

David M. Rasmussen (Boston)  – "Populism and The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere"

Thomas M. Schmidt (Frankfurt) – "Prozedurale Demokratie und symbolische Repräsentation. Zur politischen Rolle von Religion in postsäkularen Gesellschaften"

Gunnar Skirbekk (Bergen) – "Freedom of Expression. A Normative Justification of the Legal Protection of Freedom of Expression" [paper]

Wang Xingfu (Shanghai) – "How Critical Theory Works in the Age of Decline"

A public lecture by Habermas in Frankfurt on June 19?

A rumour that we hope is true: A public lecture by Jürgen Habermas at Goethe University Frankfurt on June 19, 2019 – the day after he turns 90 – with the title: “Noch einmal: Zum Verhältnis von Moralität und Sittlichkeit”.

The title refers to a lecture Habermas gave in 1982 at the University of Hamburg: "Über Moralität und Sittlichkeit – Was macht eine Lebensform ”rational”?. It was published in "Rationalität”, edited by Herbert Schnädelbach (Suhrkamp Verlag, 1984)  and reprinted in Jürgen Habermas’s “Erläuterungen zur Diskursethik” (Suhrkamp Verlag, 1991), pp. 31-48.

May 19 2019

The idea of human plasticity and politics

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I have been struggling with the idea of human plasticity and its consequences for ethics/politics for some time. The idea of evolution suggests that there is no human nature and it is plastic in the sense that it has evolved and continues to evolve through non-moral external causes- sexual selection, climate... We were single-celled organisms once.

Given this plasticity idea how can we ground any political claim that argues that x is good for us or the society. After all, the subject of politics is "humans" or the society as a whole however there is no rigid human nature to ground such normative claims. How can we have normative universal claims when the subject of these claims are indeterminate?

<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/ygzltkn
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May 17 2019

Book launching ceremony: The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon

On May 27, 2019, a book launching ceremony takes place at the university in Bad Homburg celebrating the launch of "The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon" edited by Amy Allen & Eduardo Mendieta (Cambridge University Press). See my post on the book here.

Speakers: Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Bad Homburg), Amy Allen (Pennsylvania State University), Eduardo Mendieta (Pennsylvania State University), Hilary Gaskin (Cambridge University Press), Rainer Forst (Frankfurt am Main) and Jürgen Habermas (Starnberg).

More information here.

May 16 2019

May 11 2019

A new kind of critical thinking textbook

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Hi! I'm David Manley and I teach philosophy at the University of Michigan, and got frustrated with the texts available for Critical Thinking courses. So I wrote my own! The text, Reason Better: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Critical Thinking, is about acquiring a mindset of inquiry, recognizing our cognitive biases, and adjusting our beliefs to match the strength of the evidence. You can check it out here. (Link won't work on a mobile phone. Use the “Enter as Guest” button on the right: no need for an account to check it out.)

I tried to include only the most useful skills from the toolkits of philosophy, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. The result is a text that:

  • emphasizes acquiring a mindset that avoids systematic error, rather than persuading others.
  • focuses on the logic of probability and decisions more than on the logic of deduction.
  • offers a unified picture of how evidence works in statistical, causal, and best-explanation inferences—rather than treating them as unrelated.

The unified account of evidence I offer is a broadly Bayesian one, but there aren’t any daunting theorems. (Without knowing it, students are taught to use a gentle form of the Bayes factor to measure the strength of evidence and to update.) It’s also shown how this framework illuminates aspects of the scientific method, such as the proper design of experiments.

I’m happy to report that there’s no need to accept the false choice between a narrow Intro to Logic course and a remedial Critical Thinking course. The course at Michigan that uses this text– at the moment taught by the amazing Anna Edmonds–is rigorous but immensely practical. Students come away with a sense of how to weigh the strength of evidence for claims, and adjust their beliefs accordingly.

I’ve been hesitant to turn to a traditional publisher, because I like the TopHat platform so much:

  • There are embedded questions in each section that are auto-graded and ensure the students are doing the readings.
  • It offers a really nice UI for students with search and note-taking capabilities, and they can read the text and answer questions on any device.
  • It’s pretty cheap: TopHat charges $35 plus a $10 platform fee if the student isn’t using TopHat already.
  • Most importantly, it's very flexible: any prof who assigns the text can modify it it. Want the students to skip a section? Just cut it out. Don’t like the wording of a question? Just change it. It’s hard to overestimate how useful this is in a text.

The text is ready for use right now, but I’ll be continuing to improve it, so I’d be very happy to get any feedback. There is an anonymous feedback form in the text itself that anyone can use. For the next month or so I’ll be working on an additional chapter called “Sources”, about social epistemology in a world of information overload: navigating science reporting, expertise, consensus, conformity, polarization, and conditions for skilled intuition.

Here's the Table of Contents:

1 | Reasoning

  • What it takes
    • Specific vs. general skills
    • The right mindset
  • Our complex minds
    • Two systems
    • Direct control
    • Transparency
    • Effort
    • Clarifications
    • Systems in conflict
    • A metaphor
  • Guiding the mind
    • Distracted minds
    • Stubborn minds
    • Motivated minds
    • A closing caveat

2 | Mindset

  • Curious
    • Defense or discovery?
    • Accurate beliefs
  • Thorough
    • Search for possibilities
    • Search for evidence
  • Open
    • Decoupling
    • The bias blindspot
    • Considering the opposite
    • Openness to revision

3 | Clarity

  • Clear inferences
    • The two elements
    • Suppositional strength
    • Implicit premises
    • Deductive vs. inductive
    • The tradeoff
    • The ground floor
  • Clear interpretation
    • Standard form
    • Interpretive charity
    • Reconstruction
  • Clear language
    • Ambiguity
    • Vagueness
    • Vagueness neglect

4 | Entailment

  • Deductive validity
    • Step by step
    • Flipping the argument
  • Logical form
    • Argument recipes
    • Some valid sentential forms
    • Some valid predicate forms
    • The limits of logical form
  • Pitfalls
    • Overlooking validity
    • Biased evaluation
    • Some invalid forms

5 | Evidence

  • What is evidence?
    • The evidence test
    • The strength test
    • Evidence & probability
  • Selection effects
    • Survival & attrition
    • Selective recall
    • Selective noticing
  • Media biases
    • News and fear
    • Echo chambers
    • Research media

6 | Generalizations

  • Samples as evidence
    • Selection effects
    • Sample size
    • The law of large numbers
  • Better samples
    • Big enough
    • Sampling methods
    • Survey pitfalls
  • The big picture
    • Measures of centrality
    • The shape of the data
    • Misleading presentations
  • Thinking proportionally
    • Loose generalizations
    • Representativeness heuristic

7 | Causes

  • Causal thinking
    • An instinct for causal stories
    • One thing after another
    • Complex causes
  • Causes and correlations
    • The nature of correlation
    • Illusory correlations
    • Generalizing correlations
  • Misleading correlations
    • Reverse causation
    • Common cause
    • Side effects
    • Regression to the mean
    • Mere chance
    • Evidence & experiments

8 | Updating

  • How to update
    • The updating rule
    • The die is cast
    • More visuals
    • The detective
  • Probability Pitfalls
    • One-sided strength testing
    • Base rate neglect
    • Selective updating
    • Heads I win; tails we're even

9 | Theories

  • Compound claims
    • Conjunctions
    • Disjunctions
  • Criteria of theory choice
    • Coherence
    • Simplicity
    • Breadth
    • A case study
  • The best explanation
    • Sometimes the best explanation is probably false
    • IBE and statistical generalization
  • The scientific method
    • The order of observation
    • Ad hoc hijinks

10 | Decisions

  • The logic of decisions
    • Possible outcomes
    • Expected monetary value
    • Mo money, less marginal utility
    • The value of everything else
    • Expected utility
  • Decision Pitfalls
    • Outcome framing
    • New vs. old risks
    • The endowment effect
    • The possibility and certainty effects
    • Honoring sunk costs
    • Time-inconsistent utilities
<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/ReasonBetterTextbook
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May 08 2019

Will my Masters (BPhil) not being funded hurt my chances for graduate school applications?

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I got accepted to the BPhil, but haven't been offered any funding yet. How important for graduate school applications is it to have had funding in you masters (if you did one)? As the BPhil is notoriously terribly funded, I assume this won't be a big deal, right?

<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/IFeastOnIdeology
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May 06 2019

May 05 2019

How do you impart the knowledge & benefits you gain from academic philosophy onto your family, friends and others you care about?

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I'm sure a large portion of us study philosophy because of the benefits we realise from it. My question is directed toward those who have tried to pass this knowledge onto those they care about. Mainly, how have you found success in passing on knowledge to others who may not necessarily have any interest in academic philosophy?

Any anecdotal success stories would be appreciated and addressing the below points would be appreciated even further:

- Medium used (discussion, books, philosophers, videos, courses etc.)

- Depth/difficulty of knowledge passed on (from understanding the trolley problem to reading the full works of Hegel)

- Did this result in a further pursuit of philosophy on their end, or stop there?

<!-- SC_ON --> submitted by /u/will___t
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