Burning Questions- What crazy shenanigans will philosophers get into next? Apparently the answer is social science (?). Christopher Shea at the Chronical for Higher Ed Blog reports on the growing number of experimental philosophers. Their adopted symbol, an armchair on fire, is almost as wacky as their purported methods/goals:
At the heart of experimental philosophy lies a suspicion of so-called “intuitions.” An intuition in philosophy is something far more potent than it is in ordinary discourse. … They think that by studying human minds, using empirical techniques, and drawing on the insights of modern psychological science, they can get a better sense of where intuitions come from, and whether or when they should be granted credence.
Let’s hope their intuition about intuitions are on the money.
Back from Baghdad: Mark Dawson wrote a piece on Ethnography.com about his experience with HTS in Iraq. While Dawson does not “hide [his] contempt for the stance of the AAA,” and his piece might seem like a rather ingenuous apologia for the U.S. military to the more cynical among us, it is well argued and worth attention. If for nothing else, it will help those of us in “the vocal minority in anthropology or the co-called ‘Network of Concerned Anthropologists,'” refine our arguments.
Scientists Love Obama: daniel at Cosmic Variance reported on the letter by 61 Nobel laureates in the sciences endorsing Barack Obama for president. Of course, as one of the comments mentions, scientists might not endorse McCain/Palin, but neither does Palin endorse science.
Reference This: Konrad Lawson at Munninn wrote a thorough and quite useful review of the bibliography-building programs available. While Lawson is clearly no fan of End Note, his well-researched post made me believe that his bias was well warranted.
Scapegoating Superstition: As if the Chicago Cubs nose-dive in the playoffs weren’t bad enough, now we have to read about theories behind the superstitions of Cub fans. The Chicago Tribune pulls together opinions from professors of mangement studies, anthropology, and psychology (already sounds like the set-up to a bad joke), to discover the reasons behind ritual superstitions in baseball.