Philosophy at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

The Island University is proud to be the only university in the A&M system outside College Station to offer both the minor (18hrs.) and the major (30hrs.) in philosophy. Boasting a long and storied tradition in Applied Ethics, the Philosophy Program has particular strengths which are rare outside much larger universities, including American Pragmatism and Eastern Philosophy.

Compos Mentis: Undergraduate Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics

This is a reminder of the upcoming deadline for compos mentis, our undergraduate philosophy journal. This journal is entirely student managed. The deadline for this year's open open issue is March 31. (This deadline is somewhat flexible; we like to have the issue published before the end of the semester but can accommodate students working with later course deadlines/schedules.) For more information about the journal, submission requirements, previously published issues and student editor contact information, please go here: https://www.cognethic.org/compos-mentis

Distributed Computing Solves the 42 Problem

Our own Matthew Tedrow alerts us to an article in ScienceAlert that "[m]athematicians have finally figured out the three cubed numbers that add up to 42. This has settled a problem that has been pondered for 65 years: namely, can each of the natural numbers below 100 be expressed as the sum of three cubes?" Douglas Adams would be pleased.

Pursuing the PhD

From time to time we have students so enamored of philosophical inquiry that they seek to pursue it professionally as university or college professors of philosophy. Due to the ongoing scarcity of academic positions for philosophers, our usual response is to steer students towards law school or medical school. Watching extremely talented and productive colleagues desperately struggle to find even temporary positions no doubt shades our perceptions of the prospects of a building a career in philosophy.

To be sure, being steered one way or the other is not exactly the same as making fully informed decisions--particularly decisions which require extraordinary effort, self-determination, and self-discipline.

To that end, 80,000hours.org is carrying an impressively comprehensive discussion by William MacAskill (Oxford), further developed by Arden Koehler (NYU Philosophy Graduate Student) on careers in philosophy (not all of them academic!) and the pros and cons of its pursuit.

Why Study Philosophy? (Reason 632)

The Mellon Foundation is carrying an interview with investment fund manager Bill Miller (who made waves with a 75 million dollar donation to the philosophy program at Johns Hopkins University) on the practical--and not so practical--value of studying philosophy. From the interview,

I was recently giving a talk at a conference, and there was a speaker there who specialized in disruptive technologies and had a PhD in computer science. He described all the different technologies that would be changing significantly over the next 10 to 20 years and would upend the work force. During the audience Q and A, somebody asked, "If that's the case, what should we advise our children to do, because so many of the things that they would be trained for might become obsolete?”