The Orlando Project: an addition

What is the Orlando Project?

Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present is a highly dynamic and rich resource for researchers, students, and readers with an interest in literature, women’s writing, or cultural history more generally. With about five and a half million words of text, it is full of factual, critical, and interpreted material. This first release of Orlando includes biographical and writing career entries on over a thousand writers, more than eight hundred and fifty of them British women. It also includes selected non-British or international women writers, and British and international men, whose writing was an important, sometimes a shaping, element in a particular writing climate. Orlando also includes more than thirty thousand dated items representing events and processes (in the accounts of these writers, but also in the areas of history, science, medicine, economics, the law, and other contexts). In all of these categories, Orlando will grow over time, as it is incrementally enlarged by scheduled updates.

It is a massive project and we can get free access for March, 2012. Go here to find out how.

Looking for her email address, I came across a video clip of some very brief remarks by one of the Orlando project editors. It is just pleasant to watch, I think:

The third reviewer

This video has had an inconsistent presence on youtube, so I was surprised to find it up again.  In some ways it is about data driven scientific work, but I don’t have any problems imagining analogous situations for work in philosophy that it more qualitative.




Institutional Loyalty among faculty is declining

What a surprise! The Chronicle of Higher Ed reports on a study to be discussed at the National Education Association conference on Higher Ed. The data was collected in 1992 and 2007. In the US the percentage of faculty reporting moderate to strong loyalty to their institution has dropped from 90% to 61%. And the trend seems to be wide-spread:

Among other nations examined, the proportion of faculty members expressing moderate or strong loyalty to their institutions declined from 87 percent to 51 percent in Australia, from 80 percent to 63 percent in Japan, from 97 to 74 in South Korea, and from 84 to 38 percent in the Britain.

Since the figures are pre-recession figures, one can only suppose the decline is increasing. There is little indication of why this is so. One commenter on the CHE article suggests that it is due to all the faculty brought over from the former Soviet Union. That doesn’t seem to me quite right. Another suggests that administrators no longer know or care about higher education. If that’s what it seems like to faculty then the figures might even be moderate, with the exception of the British, possibly once again in the lead on higher ed issues.

As I was thinking about this, I followed Kate Norlock’s suggestion of buying Margaret Walker’s Moral Repair; I got the immediate gratification version for Kindle for under $15. Walker discusses the repair that harmful wrong doing requires. While she starts with a stark case of torture in Chile under Pinochet, she also includes these: Spouses and lovers are unfaithful, children selfish, associates unfair, friends deceitful; there are slights, insults, lies, acts of indifference, betrayal, aggression or violence among us… . Given the clichés that productive faculty face a lot of negative feed-back (“It’s always the third reviewer“) and that university political life is vicious, I wonder how many faculty feel instinctively that they have been injured.

In this context, the following passage struck me as possibly related to the issue of institutional loyalty:

Communities also can be harmed by serious wrongdoing, because it may shatter individual members’ sense of security and call into question the authority of standards and the effectiveness of protective institutions.

So let me asked about the extent to which faculty feel besieged by demands from unknowing administrators who are largely clueless about how to sustain some moral order.

What do you think?

And finally let me clarify that the reflections are not about my own institution; rather, I’ve been looking at what seem to me rather horrific developments in post-tenure review at the University of Texas, linked to on Leiter’s blog.

Consciousness and Moral Cognition

Mark Phelan writes:

I wanted to let readers of Feminist Philosophers know that the slate of invited authors for the special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology on Consciousness and Moral Cognition has expanded. Here is the current list of invited authors:

Kurt Gray (Maryland) and Chelsea Schein (Maryland)
Anthony I. Jack (Case Western Reserve) and Philip Robbins (Missouri)
Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh) and Justin Sytsma (East Tennessee State)
Liane Young (Boston College).

I invite readers of this blog to submit papers to the issue. Submissions are due March 31, 2012.

The full CFP, including relevant dates and submission details, is available on RPP’s website:

Here is an abbreviated CFP: When people regard other entities as objects of ethical concern whose interests must be taken into account in moral deliberations, does the attribution of consciousness to these entities play an essential role in the process? In recent years, philosophers and psychologists have begun to sketch limited answers to this general question. However, much progress remains to be made. We invite contributions to a special issue of The Review of Philosophy and Psychology on the role of consciousness attribution in moral cognition from researchers working in fields including developmental, evolutionary, perceptual, and social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy.