Tag Archives: philosophy

UJSS Accepting Submissions until May 7th

Get that grade, get that award, get that article published! Off you go to graddd schooooooool. What? Elizabeth “Lizzie Tyrone” Williams ’13 hollers at you, girl:

The deadline for the spring publication for The Undergraduate Journal of Social Studies (UJSS, click here to access) is fast approaching! Please feel free to submit essays on any social science topic to ujsswesleyan(at)gmail(dot)com by May 7th.

Good god, I need that caffeine right up in here.

Engineering Metaphors for Experience: Info Session

Partners-in-crime/blood brothers/occasional roommates Anastasis Germanidis ’13 and Shivan Bhavnani ’13 have been planning this student forum for a while, and finally it’s happening. Consciousness Club and Wesleyan Transhumanists alumni particularly welcome to come:

Engineering Metaphors for Experience (PHIL420) is a student forum about concepts: the ways we consume them, the ways we produce them, the things they do to us, the things we can do with them. We will read texts from fields as diverse as the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, anthropology, media studies, comparative mythology, linguistics, the history of science, and user interface design. In addition, we will experiment with techniques of imparting information that may not have been tried before.

The forum will be worth one full credit. We will meet on Monday nights from 7 to 8:30 PM. If you’re interested or vaguely intrigued, come to our informational meeting this Monday in PAC 002.

Date: Monday, Jan. 30
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Place: PAC 02
Cost: tsoC

Ethan Kleinberg on Jacques Derrida

The “In Theory” lecture concludes with Ethan Kleinberg’s discussion of Derrida tomorrow (Wednesday). Be sure to get your Derrieres to Derridowney House at 4:15:

In the last installment of this semester’s “In Theory” lecture series, Professor Ethan Kleinberg (COL/History) will introduce the thought of deconstructive philosopher Jacques Derrida. After the lecture, there will be a reception in Downey Lounge.

For a Wikipedia-style Disambiguation of Derrida, click here (bottom left). For Michael Roth’s thoughts about the “In Theory” lecture series (and admirable mastery of the obvious puns involved), click here.

Date: Wednesday, December 7
Time: 4:15 – 5:15 PM
Place: Downey House 113

Experimental Philosophy with Felipe de Brigard

From that club that brought you Experimental Philosophy with Josh Knobe now comes Felipe de Brigard, a post-doc at Harvard who works in experimental philosophy and cognitive science. This Thursday, he will be presenting a talk entitled “Responsibility and the Principle of Alternative Future Possibilities.” The Principle of Alternative Possibilities states that a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise.

Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Place: Downey 113
Cost: the endless and infinite psychological torture that may or may not accompany full knowledge of the alternative future possibilities of your daily moral choices.

Wesleyan Transhumanists First Meeting

Transhumanism meatspace cognitive enhancement Anastasis Germanidis ’13 sensory augmentation nanotechnology wearable computing:

Let’s cherish our last few decades in meatspace by becoming located in the same room and by transmitting feelings of comprehension to one another while we map out and reflect upon our insane technological future.

If you are interested in things like

  • life extension,
  • artificial general intelligence,
  • simulated realities,
  • wearable computing,
  • the end of suffering,
  • nanotechnology,
  • brain-computer interfaces,
  • cognitive enhancement,
  • genetic engineering,
  • neurotechnology,
  • 3D printing,
  • sensory augmentation,

Philosophy is Useful in the Real World

Philosophy seems to be making a comeback as an increasingly popular major in American colleges, which might be of some consolation to the approximately 13.5 PHIL majors per year that Wes processes (statistic quoted from Professor Stephen Angle).

Many students say they find the subject increasingly relevant in our fast-paced society, especially with a fluctuating job market that can reward well-honed analytical and argumentative skills. Others find more practical applications:

Jenna Schaal-O’Connor, a 20-year-old sophomore who is majoring in cognitive science and linguistics, said philosophy had other perks. She said she found many male philosophy majors interesting and sensitive.

“That whole deep existential torment,” she said. “It’s good for getting girlfriends.”

Hey, whatever works!

Full article: In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined