On Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development

If you’ve ever struggled with researching or teaching questions of globalization, development, imperialism, and Kant’s and Mill’s conceptions of human development, civilization, and race, you might wish to check out the Symposia for Gender, Race and Philosophy (SGRP), which has posted its Winter 2012 Symposium.

The Symposium is on Thomas McCarthy’s Race, Empire and the Idea of Human Development (Cambrige 2009). For really fascinating (short, free!) commentary, see SGRP’s posted pieces by Matthias Fritsch, Ladelle McWhorter, David Scott, Lorenzo Simpson and Jack Turner, along with Thomas McCarthy’s response.

Asking about childcare

A reader writes:

I will be presenting at a major week-long philosophy conference when my baby is six months old. I don’t see anything on the conference website about childcare so I’m assuming there won’t be any. My question is what would it be okay for me to ask for without sounding like I want special treatment? I’d like to ask for them to set aside a room that my husband (not a participant at the conference) and I could have access to so I can feed my baby in private without leaving the conference. Would a request like that be appropriate? Has anyone had success making requests like this in the past? Thanks!

Does second language use reduce bias in decision making?

Of interest to feminist philosophers…I haven’t read this but I’m intrigued. I’m curious as to whether the foreign language effect applies to the kind of biases feminists and others have been concerned about in academic life. Should we conducting hiring committee meetings in German, for example?

“The Foreign-Language Effect: Thinking in a Foreign Tongue Reduces Decision Biases”


Would you make the same decisions in a foreign language as you would in your native tongue? It may be intuitive that people would make the same choices regardless of the language they are using, or that the difficulty of using a foreign language would make decisions less systematic. We discovered, however, that the opposite is true: Using a foreign language reduces decision-making biases. Four experiments show that the framing effect disappears when choices are presented in a foreign tongue. Whereas people were risk averse for gains and risk seeking for losses when choices were presented in their native tongue, they were not influenced by this framing manipulation in a foreign language. Two additional experiments show that using a foreign language reduces loss aversion, increasing the acceptance of both hypothetical and real bets with positive expected value. We propose that these effects arise because a foreign language provides greater cognitive and emotional distance than a native tongue does.

Boaz Keysar,
Sayuri L. Hayakawa and
Sun Gyu An

The University of Chicago

Published online before print April 18, 2012, doi: 10.1177/0956797611432178 Psychological Science April 18, 2012 0956797611432178

APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy

Call for Papers

New deadline: May 15, 2012

Globalizing Feminist Philosophy

All papers on globalizing feminist philosophy–e.g., transnational feminism, globalization and feminism, comparative feminist philosophy–are welcome. Submissions may address scholarship, the discipline of academic philosophy, teaching, institutional factors, or any other relevant issue. Syllabi of courses that globalize feminist philosophy, with sufficient commentary, are also welcome.

Send email submissions of papers to mcrouch@emich.edu.

Call for Book Reviewers:

The Cosmetic Gaze: Body Modification and the Construction of Beauty by Bernadette Wegenstein (MIT Press, 2012).

Ethics, Aging, and Society: The Critical Turn. Edited by Martha B. Holstein, Jennifer A Parks, and Mark H. Waymack (Springer Publishing Company, 2011)

Send C.V. and a paragraph explaining your qualifications for reviewing the book and your reasons for wishing to do so to mcrouch@emich.edu.

Margaret A. Crouch
Professor of Philosophy
Department of History and Philosophy
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197