50th Anniversary of the Southern Journal of Philosophy

The Southern Journal of Philosophy is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012! To commemorate this milestone and to honor all of those who have sustained this distinctive forum for the past half-century, each of the issues in this year’s volume has been specially commissioned, guest-edited, and dedicated to a timely topic from one of the areas in which the SJP regularly publishes (analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and history of philosophy):

Together, these issues will offer a “state of the discipline” look at key debates in contemporary philosophy.To be alerted when new issues publish, visit the SJP homepage and click “Get New Content Alerts” from the top left Journal Tools menu.

Advertisements

The value of an Olympic medal

The Royal Canadian Mint has a neat website about the medals from the Vancouver games.  It helps drive home the huge variety of perspectives from which an Olympic medal can be valued.  Wacky goldbugs are focused on the exchange value of the underlying metals.  For the artists who designed them, they’re the fruits of creative labor.  For the mint workers who solved a series of technical problems to realize the artists’ vision, they represent the height of their craft.  For the athletes who win them, the enduring proof that grueling years of training left them the best in the world at what they do.  For people who attended the games, a short-hand reminder of a rare experience.

Quickly and crudely, anti-realist views about value are a family of views that maintain that, at the end of the day, things are valuable just because we value them.  Contrast with realism about value, which holds that when we value something appropriately, we are responding to something valuable– valuableness is something that exists independently of us.

Back to gold, silver, and bronze medals:  the huge variety of ways to value Olympic medals makes them a nice illustration of the kinds of intuitions that drive anti-realists about value.  It sure looks like the artist, the minter, the athlete, the spectator, and the goldbug are projecting different values onto the same object.

Related articles:

Four Faces of Moral Realism
By Stephen Finlay, USC (October 2007)
Philosophy Compass

One Last Toast… To ‘Pointless’ Research?

ToastA recent article on the Guardian’s website claims that new proposals concerning government funding for research are set to ‘weed out pointless university studies’. The new proposed Research Excellence Framework (REF) from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce – bear with me here!) is designed to reward academic research which is of ‘quantifiable value’. A key criterion Continue reading “One Last Toast… To ‘Pointless’ Research?”

Golf, Happiness, and Morality

Stuart Cink golf_2won the 2009 British Open at Turnberry last Sunday, his first major championship. However, the new highpoint in the 36 year-old Cink’s professional golf career came at the expense of Tom Watson’s happiness and the happiness of (nearly all) golf fans world-wide who desperately wanted to see Watson do the impossible: win golf’s most storied major at the not-so-tender age of 59, eleven years older than any previous major winner. Continue reading “Golf, Happiness, and Morality”

FREE Syllabus: Some Questions in Hume’s Aesthetics

FREE PDFTeaching & Learning Guide for: Some Questions in Hume’s Aesthetics
By Christopher Williams, University of Nevada, Reno (December 2008)

Keywords:

Sections: Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art, History of Philosophy
Subjects:
Philosophy, Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
People: Hume, David
Key Topics: subjective, normativity, value

(See all Philosophy Compass Teaching & Learning Guides‘)

FREE Syllabus: The Aesthetics of Nature

FREE PDFTeaching & Learning Guide for: The Aesthetics of Nature
By Glenn Parsons, Ryerson University (July 2008)


Keywords:

Section: Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art
Subjects:
Philosophy, Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
Key Topic: value

(See all Philosophy Compass Teaching & Learning Guides‘)

FREE Syllabus: Moral Realism and Moral Nonnaturalism

FREE PDFTeaching & Learning Guide for: Moral Realism and Moral Nonnaturalism
By Stephen Finlay and Terence Cuneo, University of Southern California Calvin College (April 2008)

Keywords:

Sections: Ethics
Subjects:
Theoretical Ethics, Philosophy, Ethics
Period:
2000 – present
Key Topics: normativity, naturalism, pragmatism, good, value, morality

(See all Philosophy Compass Teaching & Learning Guides‘)