The Harvard Business Review APP

The app itself is free, and I think it is worth getting.

The full version of the HBR is not free, but when you open the app, you can choose to get just the free content.

Why read it? It’s full of ideas about how groups work. And about how individuals overcome work problems to excel. There’s lots that can be applied to classes and departments, along with universities and oneself. And they are often enough relevant to our problems. For example, there was a lot of talk at the APA about how the discipline seems more and more bound by recently created canon. Perhaps in addressing the issue of ‘group think’, the HBR is saying something obvious to those engaged already with the problem. Still, I can imagine lots of uses of this passage, which provides an interesting foundation for an argument for diversity:

We all prize “thinking outside the box.” But let’s be honest: we rarely do it. One reason for our inaction is the people we surround ourselves with. We talk to the same colleagues, correspond with like-minded people, and seek out the same experts again and again. The result, of course, is groupthink. So how can we prevent this from happening? Instead of being more social, we should try to be more curious.

The downside is that you start to understand the mistakes that degrade the quality of universities. Good leaders, for example, tend not to put themselves first. They don’t leave people affected by a situation out of the relevant decision making. Wow!

Help needed with Women in Logic Lists!

A guest post, by Catarina Dutilh-Novaes.

In June 2009, it finally dawned on me that the (typically) absurdly skewed gender balance at conferences in my area of expertise, logic and philosophy of logic, was a real problem. I then decided to create a list with names of women working in the area to be made available on the internet; the goal was to serve as a source of ideas for conference organizers, and more generally to increase the visibility of women working on logic and related areas. I sent a message to Philos-L, asking for people to send me names, and these suggestions were the basis for the first versions of the list. Loriweb then kindly offered to host the list permanently, also so that I could update it regularly. It can be found here.

Some years later, it became clear that the list would serve its purpose even more adequately if, besides names and affiliations, it also listed areas of expertise. This gave me the idea of an online list which everyone could contribute to and update (an open excel sheet), the rationale being that each person is ideally placed to list her own interests and expertise. This can be found here. I had assumed that people would eagerly flock to add themselves to the list, and that in no time the new list would surpass the old list in all respects. In the meantime, the old list would stay online. Unfortunately, this is not what happened; it turns out that people are not that eager to put themselves on lists, and therefore the newer, presumably better list (better because it contains more information) remains rather meager in terms of numbers. This is why the old list remains online.

The ideal scenario would be for the new list to contain all the names on the old list and much more, so that the old list could be taken down. So I urge you all to add yourselves to it, if you are a woman working in logic and related areas. If you are not, then do tell your friends and colleagues fitting this description to add themselves to the list. Such lists are invaluable resources to improve the position of women in the profession, so please do get involved! Although the situation in logic improved since this list came into being more than 4 years ago, it is still far from ideal, as attested for example by a recent conference in Bochum, with 13 male and 0 female speakers. So yes, we are not nearly there yet…

So, gentle readers, please add yourselves to the new list!!

Men doing abstraction (UPDATE: Not just men)

UPDATE: A longer list of speakers is now available, and it is not all male. (Good news!)

CONF/CFP: Abstraction: Philosophy and Mathematics
Summer school and workshop
University of Oslo, 21 – 23 May 2014


According to Frege, the notion of abstraction has a central role to play in a philosophical
account of classical mathematics. For instance, Frege regarded the direction of a line as
somehow “abstracted from” the line in question, governed by the principle that the
direction of one line is identical with the direction of another just in case the former line is
parallel with the latter. Principles of this form are known as “abstraction principles” and
play a central role in the neo-Fregean abstractionist programme initiated by Bob Hale and
Crispin Wright.
This combined summer school and workshop aims to take stock of the abstractionist
programme after three decades of intensive philosophical and technical study, as well as
to make progress on some questions that have recently received much attention, such as
the metaontology of abstraction and the variety of responses to the bad company
problem, including the possibility of a more “dynamic” approach to abstraction (recently
advocated by Øystein Linnebo, James Studd, and others), which sees abstraction as a
process whereby ever greater domains of abstracta are “generated”.


Matti Eklund, Bob Hale, Øystein Linnebo, Agustín Rayo, Stewart Shapiro, Crispin Wright

Why are we talking about this? Have a look here.

A Year of Remarkable Women

“Since early January 2013, my friend Maria Popova and I have collaborated on a project called The Recontructionists. Each Monday we have posted a drawing and an essay about a woman we admire, — a woman who has changed the face of history. Yesterday, the final Reconstructionist of the year, Simone de Beauvoir, went up on our blog. Working on this project with Maria has been a fantastic experience. I have learned so much, and I hope our readers have too.”

See more remarkable women at:


Thanks GF.