Logic Resources

Peter Smith (Cambridge) is generously providing tremendous resources for students, whether beginning or advanced, setting out to study logic. In a recent email, he writes:

Students are having a rotten time right now. It’s good to do what we can to make learning materials more easily available (a pretty small thing, but something). So: I’ve now made corrected versions of the second editions of

Peter Smith, An Introduction to Formal Logic

Peter Smith, An Introduction to Gödel’s Theorem

(originally published by CUP) both available as free PDF downloads (for anyone who wants a hard copy, there are also at-cost Amazon print-on-demand reprints).

The first is an introduction originally based on the Cambridge first year course for philosophers. The second, although published in a philosophy series too, could be of more interest to mathematicians as it is more maths than philosophical commentary.

More information and links at my website, https://www.logicmatters.net

Please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested.

CFP: The British Undergraduate Philosophy Review

The British Undergraduate Philosophy Review invites submissions from current undergraduates for its Summer 2020 Issue. The BUR is a newly established philosophy journal aiming to showcase the best of undergraduate philosophy; we encourage undergraduates to submit essays on topics from all areas of philosophy.

If you wish to submit a paper, please send it to philosophy@britishundergraduatereview.org before Saturday 15th August 2020 together with a separate document including your name, contact details, paper title, and university affiliation. Please ensure that the paper contains no information which could be used to identify the author. Please also note that we only accept one paper per author, and will not accept papers that have previously been published elsewhere.

Submissions of 2000-3000 words are preferred, but all submissions under 5000 words will be peer-reviewed. Submissions are welcome from all areas of 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

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?”