The 68th Philosophers’ Carnival

Welcome to the 68th edition of the Philosophers’ Carnival. To begin with a short apology for the late posting of this carnival edition, we had some minor errors moving the post from ‘private’ to ‘public’. We decided to theme this edition around the term ‘Open’ and its relationship with Philosophy. With the advent of the albeit rather ambiguous phenomena known as Web 2.0 the way we access and distribute information has undergone a fundamental change. Our choices in the way we access and contribute to various discourses, and perhaps more importantly the changing patterns of control these discourses have over those who participate in them, are contributing factors in this Web 2.0 phenomena.

One of the most obvious aspects contributing to Web 2.0 is the idea of Open Source. Open Source engages with both sides of the information spade. It provides previously unseen access to the production and distribution of information and also engages and challenges the power structures that exist between information and those who engage with it. This edition of the Philosophers’ Carnival (which itself is a great example of both Web 2.0 and Open Source) highlights but a subset of the multifarious philosophical issues that surround this change in the discourses associated with information.

Due to the large number of submissions, priority was given to those entries that were philosophical in nature and (ideally) related to the theme ‘Open’. Apologies to those who submitted articles for this edition and didn’t make it.


Well, given the whole blurb above we actually only received two posts that relate to the term ‘Open’.

Brad Frederiksen, a Philosophy student at Macquarie University (and a member of this blog), presents ‘The Massive Minority’, asking his readers ‘What is Open Source?‘. Brad seeks the answer through an exploration of the phenomena of the community.

As Brad’s was the only submission that related to Open Source I filled in the gaps with a ramble composed between assessment. My post looks at the phenomena of Open Source, presents some of Nietzsche’s ‘master & slave’ morality, and concludes with a couple of open ended questions looking at where Open Source is heading.

Richard Chappell, as you’ll likely know, a Philosophy student at Princeton, focuses upon Open Access Publishing and asks us what we think about the idea.

That’s all of the submissions relating to our carnival theme. It’s amazing how many people out there think that ‘The Secret’ has something to do with Open Source. At least 75% of carnival submissions were ‘The Secret’ related in some way and/or alchemy related in others! Anyhow, the following are the best of the submissions that didn’t relate to our theme.

Aaron Weingott, a Philosophy student at the University of Auckland, presents ‘On Happiness‘, an articulation of Happiness via a comparison with Kantian aesthetics.

Ole Hjortland, a Philosophy student at the University of St. Andrews, presents ‘On inferential rules for a strange connective‘, an interesting look at Prior’s tonk and formal logic.

Jeremy Burman from ‘Advances in the History of Psychology’ presents ‘Foucault’s Kantian critique‘, an ‘… important look back at a major influence on Michel Foucault’s historico-critical oeuvre: Immanuel Kant’.

Nathan Everson, philosophy student at Macquarie University (and a member of this blog), argues, in Refugee: The Sacred Spectacle, that the plight of refugees extends further than Homo Sacer.

Roman Altshuler, from The Ends of Thought, provides us with an interesting look into human consciousness with his post Neural Antecedents of Decision: Some Phenomenological Skepticism.

Andrew Bacon, a Philosophy student at Oxford University, presents ‘Fitch’s Paradox and True Believability‘, postulating whether truth is truly knowable; (or conversely, if unknown truths are knowable).

Anders Sandberg, James Martin Research Fellow at University of Oxford, confronts us with the challenge of “What are you allowed to do to plants?” in the post, The Dignity of Carrots‘.

Ashok Karra, graduate student at the University of Dallas, articulates Antisthenes plight in his post ‘Are Philosophers Tactless? Regarding Antisthenes, From Xenophon’s Symposium‘.

Avery Archer, of Tufts University Columbia University, presents Moral Odysseus Cases and McDowell’s Theory of Virtue, detailing the agents (justifiable) belief in imposing certain constraint in order to avoid temptation.

Thanks to all of those people who submitted posts for this fortnight’s carnival and thanks to Richard for making it happen. Those who submitted posts this time and didn’t get them featured than I encourage you to submit again for the next edition.

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9 Responses to “The 68th Philosophers’ Carnival”


  1. 1 Simon April 29, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Richard has drawn my attention to two Open Source related entries that didn’t make it to my inbox. I haven’t looked over them but the details are as follows:

    Open Source Philosophy – Chris Hallquist

    Open Source does not mean free – Adam Bales.

  2. 2 ashok April 29, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Just wanted to say thanks for hosting this carnival and blurbing the submissions well – looks like I have a lot to read this week.

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