Saturday, August 30, 2008

They forgot "conference attendance."

Piled Higher and Deeper turns its attention to professorial uses of time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ASPLP: Evolution and Morality

See you there! To join the ASPLP and subscribe to Nomos, see information here.

Annual Meeting of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy
August 28-29, 2008

In conjunction with the American Political Science Association
Hynes Convention Center/ Boston Marriott Copley Place/ Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, MA

Evolution and Morality

Conference co-chairs: Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair of Law and Professor of Government, University of Texas, and James Fleming, The Honorable Frank R. Kenison Distinguished Scholar in Law, Boston University

Thursday, August 28
4:15 PM: Panel 1. Hynes 105
Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy and James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization, Columbia University: "Naturalistic Ethics without Fallacies"
Jonathan Beckwith, American Cancer Society Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Robin B. Kar, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School
Chair: James Fleming

7:30 PM: Evening Reception, Sheraton Exeter

Friday, August 29
7:00 AM: Breakfast reception

7:50 AM: Annual business meeting, Sheraton Independence Ballroom West

8:00 AM: Panel 2. Sheraton Independence Ballroom West
Nita Farahany, Assistant Professor of Law and Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University: "Law and Behavioral Morality"
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Professor of Philosophy and Hardy Professor of Legal Studies, Dartmouth University
Jennifer Culbert, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Chair: Jacob T. Levy, Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory, McGill University

10:15 AM: Panel 3, Sheraton Independence Ballroom West
Larry Arnhart, Professor of Political Science, Northern Illinois University: "Deep History in Biopolitical Science"
Daniel Lord Smail, Professor of History, Harvard University
Richard Richards, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Alabama
Chair: Donald Horowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science, Duke University

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some conservatives in the APSA...

have decided to go for "cute and clever" instead of "principled." After this year's brawl over whether to change the location of the Annual Meeting scheduled to take place in New Orleans because of Lousiana's anti-gay mini-DOMA, some on the right are circulating a petition to keep the APSA from coming to Toronto nextyearbecause of the threat to freedom of speech posed by the Human Rights Act/ Human Rights Commissions. (On the merits of the academic freedom case, see Cliff Orwin. The HRCs are a blight, and free speech in Canada is on shakier ground than it is in the US< but there's even less evidence that any academics will be brought before the HRC for their APSA talks than there was that gay APSA members would be placed at dire legal-medical risk by setting foot in a state where their spouses weren't recognized.)

It's overtly payback, aimed to show that the right can politicize siting choice as much as the left.

The right answer remains, in this case as in the New Orleans case, the Weberian answer found in the APSA constitution:
2. The Association as such is nonpartisan. It will not support political parties or candidates. It will not commit its members on questions of public policy nor take positions not immediately concerned with its direct purpose as stated above. But the Association nonetheless actively encourages in its membership and its journals, research in and concern for significant contemporary political and social problems and policies, however controversial and subject to partisan discourse in the community at large these may be. The Association shall not be barred from adopting resolutions or taking such other action as it deems appropriate in support of academic freedom and of freedom of expression by and within the Association, the political science profession, and the university, when in its judgment such freedom has been clearly and seriously violated or is clearly and seriously threatened.

Yes, the Association is authorized to take action in support of academic freedom-- but the non-politiciziation norm is given great weight, and it's to be outweighted only when "such freedom has been clearly and seriously violated or is clearly and seriously threatened." The idea that scholarly freedom in Canada is in such a situation is absurd, false, and almost certainly being offered in bad faith just to score a cute point.

Monday, August 25, 2008

There's a limit to how much I care...

about Obama's Vice-Presidential pick; this year he could have picked even someone I really despise like Dick Gephardt or John Edwards and I'd probably have voted for him anyways. (I haven't entirely ruled out voting for Bob Barr, but it's not likely.)

That said, my short answer whenever anyone asks my thoughts on Biden: A professor can't love the choice of a plagiarist.