Savage Minds Around the Web

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 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. 

But What Does it Mean for the Prostitutes?  Sudhir Venkatesh writes on the political economy of high-end sex work, the social role of sex workers, and strategies for coping with a failing economy. 

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

8 thoughts on “Savage Minds Around the Web

  1. Not sure how to best post a query on OA (I tried to do so in “Open Access Anthropology” and got a bunch of errors and confusion). I am wondering if anyone knows what, if anything, has happened to the Bentham journal, “Open Anthropology.”

    At one point they had some articles posted, but now the web site does not list any articles. Given Richard Poynder’s investigation of Bentham’s editorial and professional practices, I wonder if anyone has looked into “Open Anthropology” to see if this is a legitimate journal or not.

    Just curious (both about the journal and about those who might pay hundreds of dollars to publish in it).

  2. Thanks for noticing the post on I think refining the conversation in general is a good idea, and I certainly don’t make any claims to try to be balanced. You will see very diverse opinions on the site about the HTS from Tony Waters and Cindy VanGilder, you should check out their dissenting opinions as well.

  3. OK, lets refine the conversation, Mark Dawson, how are you negotiating the problems of voluntary informed consent in occupied Iraq? When you approach occupied Iraqis, how do you approach Iraqis and let them know that they don’t need to talk with you, and if they don’t talk with you they won’t be harmed and they won’t be labeled as being in the resistance? Also, how do you personally justify working to support the Bush Doctrine?

  4. So…

    How are this even new x-phi article different from what we went through here a long time ago? I still don’t see, following Chris’ comments in that article, how the x-phi’s are not simply rebranding philosophy to play “the game of Authority,” as Chris puts?

    With the newest material outpourings of the group (tshirts, etc), x-phi seems even closer to a new internet trend (ie Web 2.0) and less a sustained contribution to scholarly thinking… Because they saw off sheepheads?

  5. This blog has never not stripped my tags. I don’t know the logic behind when it does and does not do so—the posters with access to initiate threads never seem to have the problem, and I suspect that posters with their own WordPress accounts also avoid the issue. Just guesses, though.

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