Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Postgraduate Scholarships at University of Birmingham 2011-2012

We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the following postgraduate Scholarships for 2011-2012. We welcome applicants interested in philosophy of religion. We currently have 11 MA students, 2 MPhil students and 3 PhD students in this specific area. AHRC doctoral awards (fees + maintenance) open to UK students and non-UK students who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years for reasons other than education in the following disciplinary areas: Philosophy (1) Religious Studies (1) 12 College Doctoral Scholarships (Home/EU or Overseas, fees + maintenance) AHRC equivalent awards, open to UK, EU and international students in all disciplines in arts and law Up to 5 College Doctoral Overseas Scholarships (full-fees only) Up to 2 College MA/MPhil Overseas Scholarships (full-fees only) 2 fee remission (Home/EU) Scholarships in any Masters/MPhil Programme in Philosophy, Theology and Religion Dinshaw Bursary for Theology/Inter-religious studies (to be confirmed) For more information please see: http://www.alpg.bham.ac.uk/funding/

OCC Program Finalized

The program for the third Online Consciousness Conference is finalized and is available at the conference website. The conference begins February 18th and lasts until March 4th. Papers (but not commentaries) will be available to read one week before the conference starts February 11th. To be updated on conference events, subscribe to the rss feed at the conference website, or join them on Facebook. Reposted from Brains

Religion and Evolutionary Value

Nick Spencer considers the question, “Is there a God Instinct” in a series for The Guardian. He concludes that evolutionary explanations—both modern and historical—for religion are severely lacking and that it appears that unbelief is what needs to be explained. Even if the claims of religion aren’t true, that fact won’t be determined by the hard sciences. No longer able to find refuge in the idea that belief in God is an unnatural or neurotic accretion on human nature (save the rather clumsy virus metaphor that is still doing the rounds in some quarters), the atheist finds himself saying: "Yes, OK, religion may well be an inherent part of human nature, but that doesn't mean it is good or true. Perhaps not, but few serious religious believers would claim that any scientific discipline is competent to adjudicate on the goodness or truth of religious claims. See article

A Reflection on Elizabeth Anscombe

Mark Oppenheimer, for the New York Times, writes considers the impact and life of this influential Catholic philosopher (her philosophy and her life are inseparable, he says) who died a decade ago. More pointedly, he observes a resurgence in interest in her work and life. “Philosophers are primarily interested in Miss Anscombe’s action theory. But Professor Vogler says that a true appreciation of her includes the religious writing.” See article.

CFP: Special Issue of *Philosophical Explorations* on “Extended Cognition and Epistemic Action”

Call for Papers Special Issue of *Philosophical Explorations* on ”Extended Cognition and Epistemic Action” Guest Editors: Andy Clark (University of Edinburgh), Duncan Pritchard (University of Edinburgh), Krist Vaesen (Eindhoven University of Technology) Submission Deadline: September 15, 2011 Invited Contributors: Fred Adams (University of Delaware) & Ken Aizawa (Centenary College of Louisiana), Ronald Giere (University of Minnesota), Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern University), Richard Menary (University of Wollongong) and Kim Sterelny (Australian National University and Victoria University). Background and Aim According to the thesis of extended cognition, cognitive processes do not need to be located inside the skin of the cognizing agent. Humans routinely engage their wider artifactual environment to extend the capacities of their naked brain. They often rely so much on external aids (notebooks, watches, smartphones) that the latter become a proper part of a hybrid (human-artifact) cognitive system. The thesis of extended cognition has been influential in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, linguistics, informatics, and ethics, but, surprisingly, not in epistemology. The discipline concerned with one of the most remarkable products of human cognition, viz. knowledge, has largely ignored the suggestion that her main object of study might be produced by processes outside the human skin. In this special issue of *Philosophical Explorations* we therefore are looking for papers that explore the ramifications of the thesis of extended cognition for contemporary epistemology in general, and for conceptualizations of epistemic action in particular. The special issue will include five invited papers (by Fred Adams & Kenneth Aizawa, Ronald Giere, Sanford Goldberg, Richard Menary and Kim Sterelny), plus two contributions selected from the papers submitted in response to this open call for papers. We expect contributions discussing the impact of extended cognition on issues as: epistemic agency and responsibility, cognitive ability, ownership of belief, the distribution of epistemic credit, the sources of belief, artifactual testimony, the growth of knowledge, non-propositional knowledge, the evolution and reliability of extended cognitive processes, the varieties of extended epistemic action. Submission Details Please send a pdf-version of your paper (max. 8000 words) to Krist Vaesen. Contributions that do not make it to the special issue may be considered for publication in one of the regular issues of *Philosophical Explorations*. Further Inquiries Please direct any inquiries about this call for papers to Krist Vaesen.

The Irrational Faith–Proof, Intuitions, and Religious Belief

These two specific ways of viewing the relationship between faith and reason capture in general, I believe, the distinction between the Kierkegaardian religious epistemology and the religious epistemology of contemporary believers that wish to preserve the role of reason in religious belief. The latter hold that the deliverances of faith and the deliverances of reason not only do complement each other but should complement each other. [More]

2011 Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Younger Scholars Competition

Dean Zimmerman announces the imminent publication of the winning essay from the 2009 Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Younger Scholars Prize: “Ontological Nihilism”, by Jason Turner (University of Leeds). It will be the lead article in Vol. 6 of OSM, due early 2011 from Oxford University Press. It is also time to remind all the younger metaphysicians out there that the due date for submission to the 2011 competition is fast approaching! It is NOT January 15 (as last OSM reported), but January 30. The winning essay will be published in OSM (often alongside runners-up) and the author receives an $8,000 prize. You still have a whole month in which to prepare your submissions. Get to it! Full announcement

BSPR 2010 Conference - God, Mind and Knowledge

The British Society for the Philosophy of Religion 2011 Conference: God, Mind and Knowledge Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford ---Call for Papers--- The next conference of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion will be at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford from Wednesday 14th - Friday 16th September 2011. The theme for the conference will be God, Mind and Knowledge. The plenary speakers will be John Cottingham, Anthony Kenny, Robin Le Poidevin, and Charles Taliaferro. If you would like to present a paper, please send an abstract of a maximum of 300 words to Andrew Moore by the end of March. Papers need not be on the theme of the conference, although a preference may be displayed towards selecting those that are, other things being equal. Obviously time and space at the Conference will be limited, so we shall have to be selective, even allowing for the fact that we plan to run parallel sessions and encourage people presenting papers to keep to half-hour slots. In order to keep to the tight timetabling required to permit participants to hear (the whole of) as many papers as possible, papers should take ideally fifteen minutes and an absolute maximum twenty minutes to deliver, leaving ten minutes or so for discussion. Reposted from The Prosblogion

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  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
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