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NYU Conference: “Is the Brain Bayesian?” December 4-5, 2015

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: November 22, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

Is the Brain Bayesian?

Friday, December 4 – Saturday, December 5

Kimmel Center and Jurow Hall, New York University


On December 4-5, the NYU Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness will host a conference on “Is the Brain Bayesian?”.

Bayesian theories have attracted enormous attention in the cognitive sciences in recent years. According to these theories, the mind assigns probabilities to hypotheses and updates them according to standard probabilistic rules of inference. Bayesian theories have been applied to the study of perception, learning, memory, reasoning, language, decision making, and many other domains. Bayesian approaches have also become increasingly popular in neuroscience, and a number of potential neurobiological mechanisms have been proposed.

At the same time, Bayesian theories have been controversial, and they raise many foundational questions. Does the brain actually use Bayesian rules? Or are they merely approximate descriptions of behavior? How well can Bayesian theories accommodate apparent irrationality in cognition? Do they require an implausibly uniform view of the mind? Are Bayesian theories near-trivial due to their many degrees of freedom? What are their implications for the relationship between perception, cognition, rationality, and consciousness?

All of these questions and more will be discussed at the conference. The conference will bring together both scientists and philosophers, and both proponents and opponents of Bayesian approaches, to discuss and debate a number of central issues. Speakers and panelists will include:

Jeffrey Bowers (Bristol), David Danks (Carnegie Mellon), Ernest Davis (NYU), Karl Friston (University College London), Weiji Ma (NYU), Larry Maloney (NYU), Eric Mandelbaum (CUNY), Gary Marcus (NYU), John Morrison (Barnard/Columbia), Nicoletta Orlandi (UC Santa Cruz), Michael Rescorla (UC Santa Barbara), Laura Schulz (MIT), Susanna Siegel (Harvard), Eero Simoncelli (NYU), Joshua Tenenbaum (MIT) and others

The conference sessions will run from 9:30am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday December 4-5. Friday sessions will be in Kimmel Center 914 (60 Washington Square South) and Saturday sessions will be in Jurow Hall in the Silver Center (100 Washington Square East). Conference registration and coffee will begin at 9am both days. A full schedule will be circulated closer to the conference date.

Registration is free but required. REGISTER HERE.


Call for Philosophy Undergraduate Reviewers for STANCE

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: September 21, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized



Stance seeks undergraduate philosophy students to serve as external reviewers. This is an exciting pre-professional learning opportunity. Reviewers hone their writing, researching, and reviewing skills by serving on a groundbreaking journal. Reviewers must have advanced undergraduate experience in philosophy, strengths in writing and editing, and the self-motivation necessary to complete work by given deadlines. As such, in addition to this application form, one letter of recommendation is required.

Chosen reviewers will be given one of two opportunities. Most will be External Reviewers and will be responsible for reviewing one or two papers in early January. A few will be selected to serve as Assistant Editorial Board Members on our review teams. Assistant Editorial Board Members will consider approximately 20 papers in December. All reviewers receive training material that explains what is expected in the formal review. Reviewers will also be credited in both the print and electronic versions of the journal.

If you are interested, please provide us with the following information:


Name of School:

Year in School:


Philosophy Courses Taken:

What is your specialty or concentration?

What experience do you have that would qualify you for this project?

What goals do you have that working on Stance will support?

What, in your opinion, are the makings of a good philosophy paper?

Students should:

(1) return this application to ballstatestance@gmail.com(include “External Reviewer Application” as the subject heading) and

(2) arrange for a philosophy professor to send a letter of recommendation to ballstatestance@gmail.com(include “LOR” as the subject heading for recommendation letter).

For more information see http://stancephilosophy.com/.

Deadline: October 8, 2015


Stance seeks your help to get better acquainted with an external reviewer applicant. Reviewers must have advanced undergraduate experience in philosophy, strong writing and editing skills, and the self-motivation necessary to meet deadlines. Please speak to the following questions in your letter. Thank you for assisting us in making this important decision.

Name of Student:

How does this student handle deadlines?

Has this student demonstrated a level of writing proficiency such that s/he can develop a useful anonymous review?

Has this student demonstrated the good judgment necessary for writing positive, constructive reviews of peers?

Does this student have sufficient experience in philosophy to provide substantive criticism of undergraduate manuscripts or the self-motivation necessary to conduct independent research to develop enough expertise to provide criticism?

Recommendations should contain “LOR” within the subject heading and be returned directly to us at ballstatestance@gmail.com.

Deadline: October 8, 2015


[JOB] Vacancy: Coordinator at 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology [U Twente]

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: September 8, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

JOB VACANCY: Coordinator at 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology

Faculty/department Department of Philosophy, University of Twente Level PhD degree Maximum employment 32 hours per week (0.84 FTE) Starting Date Dec 1, 2015 Salary scale €3.324 to €4.551 per month (fulltime, scale 11 CAO-NU)

Applications due Sept 16, 2015

About the 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology

Science and technology are of paramount social, political and economic importance in the 21st century. They are not only drivers of economic and social developments; they shape our societies, practices and institutions. In order to come to grips with science and technology and to make adequate and appropriate political and policy decisions regarding them, we need to reflect on the ethical aspects of their development, the moral acceptability of their application, and their contribution to the quality of life and well-being. It is now widely recognized that technologies must be developed and used responsibly, as many choices are involved with major implications for health and safety, environmental quality, civil liberties, social justice, and the quality of life.

The 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology (www.ethicsandtechnology.eu<http://www.ethicsandtechnology.eu/>) is a cooperation of the philosophy departments of the three technical universities in the Netherlands (Delft and Eindhoven Universities of Technology and the University of Twente). The bundling of forces in the field of ethics and technology in the 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology accommodates the increasing need for balanced, high quality and comprehensive reflection and judgment on moral, political and policy issues associated with science and technology.

The 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology is one of the eight Centres of Excellence of the 3TU.Federation (http://www.3tu.nl/en/). It currently comprises more than sixty researchers. It has a PhD programme with currently 15 PhD students enrolled. The Centre has a Scientific Director, Managing Director and Coordinator, joinly comprising the Daily Board of the Centre, a Management Team, consisting of two representatives of each of the three philosophy departments, and a Board of Deans, consisting of the deans of the respective faculties. The philosophy department of the Universityof Twente is responsible for the daily management of the research centre and houses the Daily Board.


Together with the Scientific Director and the Managing Director, the coordinator(who also carries the title Assistant Director) forms the daily board of the Centre.

The primary task of the coordinator is to coordinate the activities of the 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology and the Centre’s PhD programme. The coordinator carries out the daily practical management of Centre, and works in close consultation with the Scientific Director and the Managing Director of the Centre. The coordinator is responsible for implementing the policy as outlined by the daily board. This includes the following tasks:

–       Daily management of the Centre, preparing meetings with the Centre’s Management Team and Board; coordination with other Centres of Excellence of the 3TU.Federation; communication with the secretary of the 3TU.Federation.

–       Coordination of the PhD programme, which includes course organization, administration, and evaluation; coordination with other Dutch graduate schools; evaluation of the graduate programme in relation to funding organizations; promotion of the graduate school and recruitment of new PhD students.

–       Organization of 3TU.Ethics events, including the annual research day, workshops, lectures, and conferences.

–       Coordination with international partner institutions in ethics and philosophy (among others, The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) in Australia).

–       Promotion of the Centre’s visibility and development and execution of communication plan, which includes website maintenance, promotion of the Centre on electronic mailing lists, developing outreach materials.

–       Finances, which include the administration of budget requests and declarations, support with attracting external money from funding organizations, coordination joint research proposals (KP7, Horizon2020, NWO).

Your office will be located at the University of Twente, where the daily board meetings will also take place. If at any point in the future the directorate of the Centre were to move to one of the other two universities, your office will move there as well.

Your profile

We are looking for an enthusiastic, results-oriented, and proactive colleague. Requirements:

–       PhD in philosophy (or related discipline), with an interest in technology and engineering and ethical aspects of technology. We will also consider outstanding candidates without a PhD.

–       Excellent social and organizational skills, professional disposition, responsible, accurate, independent, and a positive attitude.

–       Ability to communicate effectively in English. Mastery of Dutch is a pro.

–       Managerial experience is a pro.

–       Knowledge of the Dutch university system is a pro


We offer an appointment for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal, depending on performance and availability of funds. The preferred starting date is December 1st. The appointment initially offered is for 32 hours a week (0,84fte). Depending on your expertise and interests, we may be able to add to this a 0,1 research or teaching appointment and/or support you in attracting research funding. The gross monthly salary is between € 3.324 and €4.551 (fulltime, scale 11 CAO-NU), and the annual (full-time) salary is between € 46.389 and € 63.513. The University of Twente has excellent terms of employment.

Information and application

Further information about the Centre can be found on the website, www.ethicsandtechnology.eu<http://www.ethicsandtechnology.eu/>. For questions about the vacancy, please contact Prof. dr. Philip Brey, Scientific Director of the Centre (p.a.e.brey@utwente.nl<mailto:p.a.e.brey@utwente.nl>).

Your application, including your CV and a letter of application, should be sent no later than September 16th, 2015. Applications should be uploaded via www.utwente.nl/vacatures/en<http://www.utwente.nl/vacatures/en> (using the button “apply here”). A limited number of suitable candidates will be invited for a job interview (Skype is a possibility). Interviews will take place in the week of September 20th.


Getting Acquainted with PhilPapers

  • Posted by: Nikolaus Fogle
  • Posted Date: August 20, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

PhilPapers logo



Since its creation in 2009, PhilPapers has quietly become a leading research tool for scholars and students in philosophy. In essence it is a research database, and the main competitor for The Philosopher’s Index, but it’s also an open access archive and a discussion forum for the philosophical community. Since absorbing the content from the Philosophy Research Index back in April it also claims to be the largest research database in philosophy, with more than 1.7 million entries from some 4,600 journals. Much of its content is sourced by crawling the sites of journals and open-access archives, as well as member submissions.

PhilPapers grew out of MindPapers, a philosophy of mind bibliography created by David Chalmers in the mid 1990s. Today it is edited by Chalmers and David Bourget, along with an array of area editors, and is operated by the Philosophy Documentation Center and the Center for Digital Philosophy. It has been sponsored by a number of institutes and organizations, including the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the philosophical profession’s main scholarly society, the APA.

Built with internet-based research in mind, PhilPapers is less clunky and more connected than most databases. The search function is complemented by the ability to browse a finely articulated taxonomy of philosophical topics and areas, each portion of which is curated by scholars with appropriate expertise. Navigating from the general area “History of Western Philosophy” to “Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy,” for instance, one finds a brief overview of the topic along with a list of key works before being presented with a breakdown of further subcategories.

medieval overview










The PhilPapers platform includes an array of useful features, including the ability to set up content alerts for the topics and subtopics that interest you, as well as specific searches. Users can follow authors, save articles to bibliographies and reading lists, and export citations to citation management tools like Zotero and Mendeley. Other features, like links to an article’s Google Scholar page, or to cheap copies of a book on Amazon, help to integrate common next-steps in the researcher’s workflow.

monitor this page

Available on most pages

Each article record includes a number of download options, including a direct download (if the article is part of PhilPapers’ open access archive), as well as proxied and unproxied links to journals and full text databases. Users who create accounts with PhilPapers can have it store Villanova’s proxy and link resolver information for quick access to content via Falvey Library. Follow these directions to set it up:

Go to Preferences -> Off campus access, and enter this proxy schema:


Under Preferences -> At my library, enter this as your link resolver URL:


Once that’s set up, you’ll have the option to “Find it @ Villanova University.”

find it at vu



To learn more about PhilPapers, or if you have questions, please contact the Philosophy Liaison Librarian Nikolaus Fogle (nikolaus.fogle@villanova.edu, 610-519-5182).


Steve Fuller at Villanova March 23-24

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: March 13, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

The internationally renowned philosopher and sociologist Prof. Steve Fuller (University of Warwick, UK) will visit Villanova later this month, March 23-24.

Steve Fuller is the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick, and a Fellow of the European Academy of Social Sciences. His numerous writings have been translated into more than twenty languages. Major areas of his research are the future of the University and critical intellectuals, the emergence of intellectual property in the information society, the interdisciplinary challenges in the natural and social sciences, the political and epistemological consequences of the new biology.

Homepage: www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/staff/academicstaff/sfuller/

There are two scheduled events during his visit, which is co-sponsored and organized by the Ethics Program, the Department of Philosophy, and the Villanova Center for Liberal Education.

[1] On Monday, March 23, 4:30-6:00pm, Prof. Fuller will give an ACS-approved public lecture on “Transhumanism as an Updated Version of Humanity’s Divine Image” (CEER 001). Please find attached the flyer for his talk, as well as a short précis of his trilogy on Humanity 2.0. Here are the title and abstract of his lecture:


For about ten years now, I have been developing a version of transhumanism (or ‘Humanity 2.0’) that is continuous with aspirations common to both Christian theology and modern science. These are traceable to the exceptional status of our species as having been created ‘in the image and likeness of God’. To be sure, there have many well-voiced objections to this project, not least coming from theologians who regard such literal readings of the imago dei doctrine as blasphemous. But there are also objections from the transhumanists, most of whom see themselves as pro-science but anti-religion. In addition, there is a growing number of ‘posthumanists’, who while generally sympathetic to both religious and scientific matters, nevertheless see the continued privileging of the human as the source of much of the world’s problems. In this talk I plan to define and defend my position in the face of these challenges, which together point to the need for a more open and frank discussion about the value of being ‘human’ in our times.

[2] In addition, there will be a more informal roundtable discussion with Prof. Fuller on his recent work on “Humanity 2.0: What It Means to be Human – Past, Present Future.” The roundtable will take place on Tuesday, March 24, 10am-12 noon in SAC 400 (Fedigan Room).

***Due to limited seating, please RSVP to Georg Theiner (Department of Philosophy, Villanova) at your earliest convenience if you plan to attend the roundtable: georg.theiner@villanova.edu ***

A brief synopsis of Prof. Fuller’s views on Humanity 2.0 can be found online:

Steve Fuller – TEDxWarwick – 2/28/09: Humanity 2.0: A 21st Century View of the ‘Two Cultures’ Problem’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmfrmYkFsBA

Steve Fuller – Humanity 2.0 – Part 1/4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o38VKLawEVA

Steve Fuller – Humanity 2.0 – Part 2/4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-rQYyjE3MQ

Steve Fuller – Humanity 2.0 – Part 3/4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncupmaaUfe4

Steve Fuller – Humanity 2.0 – Part 4/4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huLLBVEOzLA




Library Trial to Bloomsbury Collections

  • Posted by: Nikolaus Fogle
  • Posted Date: February 16, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

BLM-Coll-logo-1-1Until March 27 the library has a trial subscription to Bloomsbury Collections. This is a collection of e-books from Bloomsbury Publishing, which incorporates the previous Continuum, Methuen, and Berg imprints, among others. The collection is strong across a wide range of humanities and social science disciplines, including classical studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, political science and religious studies.

Click here to access the collections.


Some highlights: The Philosophy collection contains titles of particular interest in critical theory, postmodernism, political philosophy and aesthetics, as well as a number of excellent series, including Bloomsbury Studies in Continental Philosophy, Key Thinkers, and Ancient Commentators on Aristotle. The Literature collection contains the Arden Shakespeare, and the History collection has a large number of titles on ancient, medieval and early modern topics.

The collection is easily searchable and can be browsed by subject, so it’s simple to find book chapters on your topic of research. It also features a particularly clear interface. Most titles include a book summary/abstract, and individual chapters can be read as HTML, or downloaded and printed as PDF files.

Please contact Nikolaus Fogle (nikolaus.fogle@villanova.edu) with any questions or comments.


Hypatia Author Interviews and Virtual Bibliographies

  • Posted by: Nikolaus Fogle
  • Posted Date: July 30, 2014
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

In addition to preparing for the upcoming pinkcoveronline symposium, Hypatia has recently announced two new resources for the feminist philosopher. The new virtual bibliographies are a composition of Hypatia articles discussing important topics in politics and culture. The first bibliography covers Immigration and Citizenship, providing a distinctly feminist philosophical outlook on highly discussed issue. Hypatia also offers author interviews, which provide authors’ commentary on their own works, as well as their thoughts to current and future feminists. These two new features can both be valuable resources for teaching or research, and can be found on the journal’s website at the links below.




Hypatia Special Issue and Symposium on Climate Change

  • Posted by: Nikolaus Fogle
  • Posted Date: July 9, 2014
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

pinkcoverIn Hypatia 29.3, a special issue on Climate Change, feminist philosophers Chris Cuomo (author of Feminism and Ecological Communities: An Ethic of Flourishing) and Nancy Tuana (author of Feminism and Science) focus critical attention on one of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our day. Policy makers have recently begun to acknowledge the disproportionate impacts of climate change on women and disadvantaged communities, but feminist analyses of the complex epistemic and political dimensions of climate change, as well as its causes and effects, are urgently needed. This special issue initiates a necessary conversation that will deepen our understanding and help identify promising opportunities for positive change. Co-editors Cuomo and Tuana have invited scholars and activists working at the forefront of feminist climate justice to share their perspectives. Watch the interviews online, and join the co-editors in an open forum on issues on August 19-23, 2014.

For more information, please visit the Hypatia website (http://hypatiaphilosophy.org), or the Philosopher’s Eye (http://thephilosopherseye.com/phileye/online-events/hypatia-symposium-2/).


Call for Papers: Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy – Topic: Continental Philosophy of Religion and the New Metaphysics

  • Posted by: Nikolaus Fogle
  • Posted Date: May 5, 2014
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

Call for Papers: Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy

Topic: “Continental Philosophy of Religion and the New Metaphysics” (featuring seminars on the work of Quentin Meillassoux, Ray Brassier, Bruno Latour, and Catherine Malabou)

Seminar Leader: John Caputo

When and where:

Saturday, August 9th, 2014; 9am-4:30pm

Campus of Immaculata University

Malvern, Pennsylvania


Topic: Continental Philosophy of Religion and the New Metaphysics

John Caputo will be leading two one hour seminars with catered lunch in between: one seminar on Quentin Meillassoux and Ray Brassier; one seminar on Bruno Latour and Catherine Malabou.  Select attendees will present their research during the morning and afternoon flanking the Caputo seminars.

Attendees are encouraged to purchase The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion (Indiana University Press, 2014) and The Insistence of God (Indiana University Press, 2014).   A reading list featuring works by Meillassoux, Brassier, Latour, and Malabou will be provided.

Location: Immaculata University, Malvern, Pennsylvania

Organizers: Leon Niemoczynski (Immaculata University) & Stephanie Theodorou (Immaculata University)

Cost: $70.00 faculty; $45.00 student or other (seating is limited, pre-registration required.  Cost includes catered lunch)


Immaculata University is pleased to announce the”Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy,” a one day seminar style “summer school” and workshop that, this year – its first – features John Caputo as its seminar leader.  The event will be organized with two new books as a backdrop: The Insistence of God and The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion (both Indiana University Press, 2014), although a formal reading list including works by Meillassoux, Brassier, Latour, and Malabou (for the seminars) will be provided.  John Caputo will lead two one hour seminars/classes flanked by morning and afternoon mini-research presentations where researchers present 2000 word abstracts/summaries of their work and engage other participants in query designed to further research goals and enhance the nature of research projects through mutual dialogue.


The theme of this year’s summer school will explore the relationship between the future of Continental philosophy of religion and new schools of thought emerging in contemporary Continental metaphysics, identifying possible routes of exploration as well as areas of influence, cross-over, or challenge.

Topics such as materialist approaches to theology and religion, speculative materialism and non-theology, environmental aesthetics and theology, political theology and ecology, the speculative theologies of German idealism, process-relational philosophy and theology, phenomenology and contemporary French theory and theology/religion, as well as questions of atheism’s relationship to contemporary Continental philosophy of religion will be of central importance for the school. The “new metaphysics” in its most contemporary forms will be a major point of discussion as it bleeds into its Continental philosophical antecedents, especially vis-a-vis thinking about religion, theology, and the Absolute.

Philosophical naturalism (Ray Brassier), the divine inexistence (Quentin Meillassoux), non-philosophy and theology (Francois Laruelle), the Absolute (Iain Hamilton Grant), plasticity (Malabou), or the factish gods (Bruno Latour) are some possible starting points, but one could also see discussion of historical figures as well: whether Bergson, Deleuze, Schelling, Hegel, Kant, Whitehead, Heidegger, or Derrida for example, as participants explore those figures’ importance for the future of Continental philosophy of religion and corresponding areas of realism, materialism, and metaphysics.  Those who have an interest in contemporary French philosophy (Badiou, Meillassoux, Kacem, Laruelle, Malabou) should certainly apply.

How to Apply: Those interested should send a summary of a current research project (no more than 2000 words, fit for a 15 minute presentation) to: lniemocz@mail.immaculata.edu by May 30th, 2014.

Those accepted into the summer school will be notified by June 10th, 2014.

Please attach research statements/summaries as .rtf or MS Word .doc files.


Library Trial to Maney Publishing Journals

Until June 7, Falvey has a trial subscription to Maney Publishing’s Philosophy, Religion and Theology journal collection. We have access to current issues and backfiles of nineteen journals:


Black Theology

Comparative and Continental Philosophy

Critical Horizons

Journal of Adult Theological Education

Journal of Critical Realism

Journal for the Study of Spirituality

Medieval Mystical Theology

The New Bioethics

Political Theology

Practical Theology


Reformation & Renaissance Review

Rural Theology

Theology & Sexuality

Journal of Chinese Religions


The Linacre Quarterly

Medieval Sermon Studies

Palestine Exploration Quarterly


I’d greatly appreciate any feedback you might have about these. Please send any comments to: nikolaus.fogle@villanova.edu. I’ll also send around a survey at the end of the trial.


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Last Modified: April 23, 2014