Monthly Archives: November 2009

selling philosophy as quasi-science: a parable

I came across an interesting post by Adam over at Sophistpundit called Being a Scholar When You Can’t be a Scientist. The author argues that, although disciplines like history and philosophy are not sciences, there exist relevant virtues to be honored in their practice: humility, transparency of method, engaging extensive sources, and clarity of presentation. […]

teaching philosophy: possibility vs. plausibility

Here’s something with which I’ve noticed intro to philosophy students tend to struggle: the difference between it being possible that a theory is true, and the theory’s being plausible. Example: In the course I’m TAing this semester, one of the topics we discussed is the nature of value. In virtue of what does anything have […]

Stupak might reduce abortion insurance coverage, but not accessibility

From Feministing: A new study from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services reports that “the Stupak/Pitts Amendment will have an industry-wide effect, eliminating coverage of medically indicated abortions over time for all women, not only those whose coverage is derived through a health insurance exchange.” Brian at TPMDC writes: In […]

please update your readers and leave a comment for crying out loud!

Dear Readers, I have switched away from FeedBurner basically because I can’t be bothered to log into two different places to check on my blog. So, if you were using that feed, please update your RSS reader using the feed URL:  And for comments: In the time you would have taken to read […]

complications in commercializing curriculum

This NYT article piqued my curiosity: Selling Lesson Plans Online Raises Cash and Questions Basically, some teachers have made quite a bit of money by selling their lesson plans online to other teachers. Some teachers’ employers are wondering whether they should be receiving a cut of the profits, and one educational expert warns that the […]

"time heals all wounds" poll results

Yesterday, I asked my Twitter & Facebook friends whether they agree or disagree that “time heals all wounds.” The replies were fantastic, so I am reproducing them here for posterity. Kudos especially to the authors of 11, 13, and 16, whose views most closely track my own. And I apologize to #17, for obvious reasons, […]

"Governance of Virtual Worlds" course at ASU

This is cool, it’s the description I received via email of a “Governance of Virtual Worlds” course taking place at Arizona State University next semester. I wish I didn’t already have a commitment that prevents me from enrolling. The core of the course will be an innovative experiment in self-governance wtihin World of Warcraft. We […]

wasting food

Even though I try really hard to buy only the groceries we need and in amounts we can use, my husband & I still end up throwing away a pretty good bit of food on a regular basis. What I can’t figure out is why throwing away food feels so much worse than letting clothes […]

unintended consequences: Stupak Amendment & miscarriages edition

One of the most interesting things I have read about the Stupak Amendment is this: Will the Stupak Amendment Affect Insurance Coverage for Miscarriages? I Think So Sadly, the author experienced a miscarriage recently. In her case, as sometimes happens, the fetus had yet to be expelled. She was put in the difficult position of […]

it's all been done

This is my lament. I am posting it in the hopes that some of my fellow grad students can commiserate. Do you ever get the feeling that, for every new topic in which you develop interests, you later find that it’s all been done by someone else? It’s happened to me at least twice in […]