David Chalmers and David Bourget are conducting a Philosophical Survey on philosophers’ views on philosophical issues, and a Philosophical Metasurvey in which respondents predict the results of the Philosophical Survey. They’ve extended the deadline to Tuesday December 3. Do take the survey if you are interested.

Ethics Etc Goes Mobile
By S. Matthew Liao

This weekend I upgraded the engine running Ethics Etc. The site was working fine, but I wanted to take advantage of some features that are better supported by a new engine. A number of these features are security features, so they should be imperceptible. But one feature that might be of interest is that Ethics Etc now has a mobile version, consisting of primarily the posts! This should make accessing and reading Ethics Etc on your iPhone, Blackberry, etc., easier. Owing to the upgrade, there may be some glitches generally. If you do find some, please do let me know. Thanks!

Welcome David Owens!
By S. Matthew Liao

We are very pleased that Dr. David Owens has joined us as a Contributor. David is a Reader at the University of Sheffield. He has published extensively in metaphysics and epistemology, and more recently, he has turned his attention towards ethics. David has published a number of papers on promissory obligation, published in Mind, Philosophical Review, etc., and he has also written on lying, and on the nature of obligation. Welcome aboard, David!

Professor Sally Haslanger (MIT) is conducting a survey on publishing in philosophy. All professional philosophers are invited to participate. It should take about 10 minutes. It will be useful to have your CV handy as you complete the survey. You can find the survey here.

If all goes well, Professor Haslanger will to report on the results at the December APA in the symposium on philosophy publishing (Wednesday December 30th, 11:15-1:15).

April 12-13th, 2010
Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
Abstract Deadline: November 23rd, 2009
Opening Lecture: Simon Caney, University of Oxford

The purpose of the conference is to invite experts in the fields of philosophy, ethics, applied economics, environmental economics and innovation studies. The focus will be on those aspects of uncertainty and the discount rate relevant to these disciplines. Uncertainties are of particular importance in innovation projects, where both costs and benefits are hard to assess. A crucial question is how uncertainty can be taken into account in cost-benefit analysis, even if imperfectly, and what kinds of alternative methodologies exist that may deal more effectively with decision-making in uncertain environments. The workshop also aims to expose and analyse the ethical assumptions at work in the choice of a discount rate. Importantly, while some of the reasons for discounting future benefits and costs are economic, some are ethical. The choice of discount rate is therefore an interdisciplinary issue.

Professor Ralph Wedgwood (Oxford University) will be giving a talk today at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled ‘Instrumental Rationality.’ A copy of Ralph’s talk can be found here and a handout for his talk is here. Ralph would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

Continuum Ethics
A series of books exploring key topics in contemporary ethics and moral philosophy.

Continuum Ethics presents a series of books that will bridge the gap between new research work and undergraduate textbooks. They will provide close examination of key concepts in contemporary moral philosophy. Aimed largely at upper-level undergraduates and research students, they will also appeal to researchers in the field. Authors will be expected to combine philosophical sophistication with an accessible style that can engage the educated reader.

Announcing two new book series with Edinburgh University Press:

Series Editor: Thom Brooks

“Global justice and human rights” is perhaps the hottest topic today. Studies in Global Justice and Human Rights is a new book series published by Edinburgh University Press. The series aims to publish groundbreaking work in this increasingly popular field. This series will publish leading monographs and edited collections on key topics in the area of global justice and human rights that will be of broad interest to theorists working in politics, international relations, philosophy, and related disciplines.

Date: July 3-4 2010
Location: The Informatics Conference Centre, George Square, Edinburgh

Talbot Brewer (University of Virginia)
John Cottingham (University of Reading)
Jonathan Dancy (University of Reading/ Texas)
Brad Hooker (University of Reading)
Edward Harcourt (Keble College, Oxford)
James Lenman (University of Sheffield)
Tim Mulgan (University of St Andrews)
Michael Ridge (University of Edinburgh) & Sean McKeever (Davidson College, NC, USA)
Tom Sorell (University of Birmingham)
Sergio Tenenbaum (University of Toronto)
Alan Thomas (University of Kent)

Jointly organised by the Philosophy Departments, The Open University and The University of Edinburgh, with support from The Mind Association, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, and The Scots Philosophical Club

Professor Torbjörn Tännsjö (Stockholm University) will be giving a talk next Monday at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled ‘In Defence of Moral Realism.’ A copy of Torbjörn’s talk can be found here and he would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

I will present some ideas from a forthcoming book, “From Reasons to Norms: On the Basic Question in Ethics (Springer, forthcoming). I will argue that there is a unique and objective answer to the question what we ought to do, simpliciter. I will rebut Mackie’s arguments from queerness and relativity, and Harman’s empiricist argument in defence of moral nihilism, and following Ewing, Nagel, and Dworkin, I will argue that we are allowed to turn the content of our moral beliefs against the nihilist thesis.

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