Wednesday, July 30, 2008

RJPP Update

I mentioned when bringing news about my second publication that the RJPP unfortunately has a rather poor net presence. Things seem to have changed with this snazzy new site. You can browse tables of contents - it seems they actually managed two issues in volume 6, both in practice on the same subjects, though my paper is in issue 1 (which seems to be the 'official' special issue). It also seems as if they've already assembled volume 7! Good going!

Villareal 0-0 Liverpool

So debuts for two new strikers (Keane and Ngog), plus a return for Torres, and sadly another blank. Still we were playing decent opposition and the team are still gelling and returning to fitness so I suppose not much to complain about. The real shame is, that with the likes of Nemeth, Pacheco, Plessis and Darby playing here our reserves lost a cup final to Man Utd. Perhaps the most pleasing thing about the match was that it allowed Pepe Reina a hero's return to his old club.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Leiter Links

I guess what I should be doing, probably right now (though getting much done at home is difficult) and certainly over the next two years, is sending more stuff to journals. (Which will, unfortunately, require some substantial re-writing of bits of my thesis). Therefore this thread about single submissions and timeliness of reviews is of interest. (As is this Wiki).

Another, unrelated, thread on Leiter discusses whether senior professors have any obligations to retire to make room for 'new blood' is also very interesting. I didn't realise that tenure means no mandatory retirement age, as here in the UK. I wonder if anti-age discrimination laws mean that things will go the same way here?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hertha Berlin 0-0 Liverpool

I only have's not necessarily impartial report to go on, but it sounds like tonight's performance was one of those that stops us really challenging - not too bad, just without creating too much. You know Man Utd or Chelsea will probably nick a late 1-0 win, whereas we tend to puff and puff away without result. Apparently the new full backs contributed well going forward, but we still didn't create much. I'm really worried by our lack of cutting edge without Torres (and I think that would be true even if we signed Keane - we need an out and out striker should Torres be rested, suspended or - hope it doesn't happen - injured).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Publication

I have a piece on 'Acts of Self-Harming Protest and the Definition of Terrorism' in the lastest issue of the Review Journal of Political Philosophy. (Sadly, minimal online presence, though table of contents here). Congratulations to my friend Rob, who's also represented in this special issue on terrorism, torture and the use of violence. And thanks again to Thom Brooks for bringing the CFP to my attention.

UPDATE: They have a new website (see my subsequent post).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

PhD Studentship

It seems that I now get emails asking me to advertise stuff, so here it is:

*AHRC PhD Studentship in Political Philosophy at the University of Exeter*

We are looking to appoint to a fully-funded 3 year PhD studentship in Political Philosophy as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council project on luck-egalitarian and left-libertarian theories of justice. The project is being led by Dr. Keith Hyams and Dr. Robert Lamb in the Department of Politics, University of Exeter. It aims to investigate the moral foundations of luck-egalitarian and left-libertarian theories of justice, to consider their political implications, and to address questions about the nature of justice and moral justification in general.

The successful applicant will work on a doctoral thesis related to the project and will play a role in the organisation of annual workshops and a conference on these themes. Candidates should have:
- First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree in an appropriate discipline.
- Masters degree in Political Philosophy or a related field (desirable but not essential).
- Background in Anglo-American political philosophy, with knowledge of and interest in contemporary egalitarian theories of justice.

The studentship will begin in October 2008 and *the closing date for applications is August 4th 2008*.
For further details, please follow this link:<>

Terrible news

Cases of systematic bias can now be referred to as lotteries. So much for lotteries as a solution to such!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wislaw Krakow 1-1 Liverpool

This was Liverpool's sternest test of pre-season so far, against the current Polish champions (who, btw, played their first team and are only a week away from the start of their season proper).

It was pleasing to see a bit more of some fringe players, but I have to say that aside from Pacheco (and maybe Insua) none have really caught the eye while the new signings have yet to impress. Buying Cavalieri for £3m and selling Carson for £4m hardly strikes me as good business, even if the former will presumably be happier on the bench. Can't really comment on Dossena after one game (even Skrtel looked shaky at first), but with Degen ruled out tonight after a minor knock I think it was evident Derby and Hobbs offer less going forward but are more solid defensively. I wonder if Degen may get tried at right midfield, if we stick with 4-4-2 - or if Rafa is planning to try playing wingbacks again as we seem to have the players for it.

Leto's lack of final product is frustrating. Spending so much time on the sidelines probably hasn't helped his development but with his permit/passport problems apparently not yet solved I'd be tempted by the rumoured £1.3m offer from Olympiakos. I also hear that Voronin is attracting interest from Germany and, while he's looked quite good in pre-season (this his second goal), a bid of £3m for a player we signed on a free last summer does look good business - although we'll need another striker (at least) until Nemeth and Pacheco are ready to step up. The worrying thing is that players like Voronin and Benayoun have looked a class above most of those they're playing with so far, but they're not up to the standard we need.

So far, not too impressed with the summer's transfer business then, or on-going wrangling over Alonso, Barry and Keane, but there's still some time so room for hope I guess.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Computer Problems

Lastweek I had a working PC with no internet, now the internet's fixed and the computer's given up the ghost. It's not my PC, thankfully, but the 'family' one - so I still have my work, but my PC isn't online here at home. Guess my internet access will continue to be a bit scarce.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lucerne 1-2 Liverpool

I only got to see the first half, but things looked ok - Liverpool controlled the game, without quite carving the opposition open at will. Two good goals: one nice interplay from Pacheco and Leiva around the box and the second a sweet volley from Voronin. The goal conceded was disappointing, but I'll put it down to lack of communication between new teammates. Good to see Leto playing again after being sidelined by work permit problems too.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Parenting Incentives

I know a number of people who are advocates of basic incomes, whereby everyone would get paid something like a state pension, which would enable them to pursue whatever activities they wanted (whether it be working or education, care-giving, etc) without having to worry about covering basic needs. I've also proposed incentive payments for voting myself. Now it seems that in NYC they're paying disadvantaged parents to make sure they do basic parenting things, like taking children to the dentist.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tranmere 0-1 Liverpool

One advantage of being back home was I was able to watch this game live on TV. Good to see several young lads get a run out, although striking (pardon the pun) how short of strikers we are without Torres and Crouch. Mind you, Babel didn't feature (he's back in training I believe, but perhaps wasn't to be risked) and ditto Nemeth (playing in the U-19 Euros). I was planning a more detailed post on transfers, but for now I'll just leave it at we need another striker and a decent attacking midfield type.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Something's fouled up with our internet at home, so I won't be online much until we get it sorted.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Organ Sales on BBC 1

Long-running readers will probably remember the review I wrote of Fabre's Whose Body Is It Anyway? (see here). In the book, she tackles issues such as whether we have obligations of justice to donate organs and whether there are any objections to markets in organs. Readers interested in these issues, and with access to BBC 1, may be interested to know there's a documentary 'Buying Hope: Selling Illegal Organs' on BBC 1 at 22:45 (BST) tonight. Here's a link.

Markets, Stocks and Jobs

After yesterday's pointer to the ever-gloomy prospects of PhD candidates at the Philosophy Job Market Blog, I thought I should follow up by drawing attention to Brian Leiter's recent, equally pessimistic, forecast on the academic job market during recession.

Leiter predicts a market crash taking us to something like the early 1990s, when apparently there were 2.3 candidates per job advertised (as opposed to 1.4). His main piece of advice, for current PhDs, is to sit on their dissertation a bit longer and hope to wait out the recession, before going on the market later on when prospects are better. It's true that graduating can cut you off from support enjoyed at university, such as teaching opportunities offered to postgraduates, but this particular recommendation only really seems applicable in the US, where PhDs regularly take 5-7 years+ and involve considerable flexibility in when one actually finishes. Here in the UK, people are generally expected to finish in no more than 4 years, especially if they have funding bodies chasing up after them.

I'm not entirely sure economic recession will be as catastrophic here as Leiter predicts. Of course, that partly depends how bad it is, but universities aren't directly dependent on economic markets for much of their revenue and I'm not sure how many students would be put off going to university by recession - after all, for many it will probably seem more attractive to spend another three years studying and to hope that the economy improves in the meantime. Moreover, numerous people had told me this year that I was job-hunting at a bad time in the RAE cycle, so hopefully that means more UK universities will be looking for relatively junior hires over the next few years anyway, even if perhaps not quite as many as in more prosperous times.

I guess the best-case scenario, for me, is that in 18-24 months' time the signs of economic recovery and RAE cycle leave universities looking to hire, while house prices are still depressed enough to let me get on the property ladder. On the other hand, it could all go terribly wrong. One of the problems with the future is uncertainty, which makes temporary jobs all the more dangerous.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

Two Things from TV

I've previously gone on record as a fan of the Simpsons. Tonight's Channel 4 show (actually one I'd commented on before) was particularly educational - offering re-tellings of Homer's Odyssey, Joan of Arc and Hamlet. One glaring inaccuracy though, that needs to be pointed out, is groundskeeper Willie showing up in the Hundred Years War, between the French and English, and declaring himself a great English hero!

Afterwards, as I flicked through the channels - wondering what to watch without Wimbledon - I caught the end of the quiz show Eggheads, where the decisive final question was 'where was political theorist Machiavelli from? Florence, Rome or Milan'. Reminds me of the time I saw 'What was Wittgenstein's first name?' for £125,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionnaire? - if more quiz questions were about philosophers and political theorists, I could probably do them, but as it is I'd use up all my life-lines not knowing soap actors!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In Print

Ben Saunders 'The Equality of Lotteries' Philosophy, Volume 83, Issue 03, July 2008, pp 359-372.
doi:10.1017/S0031819108000727, Published online by Cambridge University Press 01 Jul 2008. Direct link here (subscription required).

Is it Art?

I've been thinking a bit about aesthetics lately. There was one piece - that I remember being told about in lectures and that recently came up in conversation with a friend - where Michael Craig-Martin turned a glass of water into an oak tree with the sensible properties of a glass of water. It's in the Tate Modern, and you can read more about it here.

Just yesterday I read about another new exhibit at the Tate Britain, featuring people running about. The press release quotes artist Martin Creed as saying “I like running. I like seeing people run and I like running myself… running is the opposite of being still. If you think about death as being completely still and movement as a sign of life, then the fastest movement possible is the biggest sign of life. So then running fast is like the exact opposite of death: it’s an example of aliveness” - which doesn't sound like quite the deep, intellectual justification you might expect from someone like Duchamp.

I remember a fairly standard exam question being 'could X be art?' where X might be, say, natural scenery, graffiti or a faulty lightswitch. I suppose the answer are fairly formulaic: a run through problems defining art, Wittgenstein on language games, the institutional theory, and a vague conclusions - perhaps it could be.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Brave New World

Today is the first day of the BNW conference in Manchester (blog here, schedule here). I'm not there, no longer being a grad student, and indeed I'm sorry to say I only ever went the once. I did have a really good time though, and heartily recommend it to any current grad students for next year.

I'd also like to point out that the annual Philosophy Faculty graduate conference in Oxford has a call for papers out.

Euro 2008

Because of yesterday's jaunt to Oxford, I still haven't got round to posting on Sunday's Euro 2008 final (which, thankfully, passed without further transmission breaks). Suffice to say, the better team - both on the night and throughout the tournament - won and I'm glad for the four Liverpool players involved, particularly Torres who rounded off a perhaps disappointing tournament with the goal that won it. Too bad they don't get much of a break - those players get 3 weeks, but Liverpool's first preseason friendly is on the 12th...

UPDATE: For more on Euro 2008, see Chris(!) and Thom.

To Oxford and Back

Yesterday I paid a flying visit back to Oxford, taking advantage of my last day of free rail travel. I hope - fingers crossed - that I now have both accommodation and employment for next year sorted out (more details to follow). I was also able to catch up with several friends, including wishing my former housemate Pavel a happy birthday and congratulating Miriam on passing her viva. Sorry to those I missed, but hope to see you in September!