Friday, March 27, 2015

Getting Started in Indian Philosophy: Part 2

Over at the Indian Philosophy blog, Elisa Freschi has linked to an unfortunate set of notes on Indian philosophy that have been making the rounds on The author (whose name I'll omit to avoid it coming up in searches) wrote a paper as an attempt to learn about Indian philosophy. However, the result was an odd mishmash of unrepresentative views and mischaracterizations--and it is now getting bookmarked as if it were a useful resource.

I'd like to reflect on how things could have gone better for this person, since his heart was in the right place, even if the results were poor. We all start somewhere, and for those of us who are drawn to Indian philosophy from within the Western philosophical tradition, we may not have a good idea of how to address our misperceptions (or even to identify that we have them!). This post is meant to be read in conjunction with the post "Getting Started in Indian Philosophy," which lists some useful texts. In it, I note some methodological points for philosophers looking to expand their understanding.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Gendered Conference Campaign and Panel Organizing

Recently, we---Elisa Freschi and Malcolm Keating---set about organizing a panel for the upcoming ATINER panel. We aimed for a panel which would include significant numbers of women, using suggestions from the Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) published on the Feminist Philosophers website to achieve this goal. Not only is the result an exciting combination of global philosophical interests which can push back against stereotypes of philosophy as a Western activity, its gender ratio can push back against stereotypes of philosophy as a male activity. Our hope is that the more panels and conferences which work to include women, the more women's names will come to mind as experts in these topics. Further, hopefully younger generations of women will find it easier to find a path in academic philosophy. And finally, including more women who might otherwise be ignored due to implicit bias means better philosophy will be done

Below are reflections from both of us about the reasoning for this decision, the process of organizing, and the results.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spock, Star Trek, and Philosophy

Recently, Leonard Nimoy, an actor who was known primarily for playing Spock on Star Trek, died at 83. Usually I don't blog about popular culture, but inspired by Ethan Mills' post on the connections between Spock, Buddhism, and Stoicism, I thought I'd say a few words about Spock.