Happy birthday, Philosophy Grandpa:
A student reminded me of something that got lost in the move to this new address. On pulling rabbits from hats.
This Saturday is the Pittsburgh Area Philosophy Colloquium, and I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of interesting papers. The act of giving a paper in a public forum can be nerve-wracking even in collegial settings (you’ve only been working on this most of your adult life, of course, so it’s not like rejection would hurt or anything). So it’s important for young and old philosophers alike to harness that feral panic of self-doubt and turn it into an engine of productivity for their work. That reminded me of something I wrote a few years back about getting ready for an impending Big Talk. The key is planning, people. Make yourself a schedule with all that nervous energy.
Below is a map of authors in the pragmatist tradition, with a lot of major authors, scientists and activists. The intent here was initially to create something that my student might use as a resource to think about how some big debates unfolded. Where one person contributed favorably to another’s work, a green line connects them. Where one author tended to clash with another, a red line connects them. The connections there are about the predominance of support/agreement or disagreement between the authors. If we were being totally honest, every author should be connected to every other by a variegated braid with more colors than your monitor would support, of course. This simply suggests predominant patterns on stuff for which we would remember their work.
This is a work in progress, as I am sure anyone who sees it can imagine. It might evolve into something else down the line, or it might not. To the degree that it helps others teach this material, feel free to use it.