Friday, December 31, 2010


Wishing readers a very, very happy new year!

New Year's Honour's 2011

Not much announced today in wake of the cuts of 100% to the teaching budget in arts, humanities, and social sciences except a Knighthood for David Butler (Nuffield College, Oxford) for services to Political Science . . . and for fellow fans of Poirot, David Suchet has been awarded a very well-deserved CBE.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The travel blues

Well, I have finally arrived in the United States. This was after flight cancellations, being re-routed via Amsterdam and Paris, several delays for various items, sitting on a tarmac for 5 hours after landing, and still I don't have my luggage. No wonder I'm not going to make it to this year's APA, right? Anyway, I feel sorry for the many graduate students who will be doing everything short of making the trip on foot to ensure they attend whatever interviews they can achieve in what appears to be the most difficult market I have seen yet. I certainly wish everyone the best of luck -- and warmly encourage search committees to offer Skype or phone interviews to candidates who could not make it to interview in person. This year has been exceptional in many ways.

I'd be interested to hear of search committees that do short list candidates who were unable to make the Eastern...

Monday, December 27, 2010

APA travel woes

Writing now in Amsterdam waiting for my connection flight to Paris CDG onto the US as flights continue to be cancelled: my travel has already been delayed by cancelled flights. It's looking highly unlikely I'll make it to the APA-Eastern this year....and, from anecdotal evidence, it appears quite a few others will miss the conference as well. I suspect this may be the least well attended APA in many years. And the snow continues to fall....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy holidays!

I will be travelling over the next several days, including arriving in Boston next week for the annual American Philosophical Association--Eastern Division meeting. Posting will be light in the meantime although I may offer a few postings "live" from the conference. Otherwise, I wish everyone a very happy holidays!

APA-Eastern events worth noting

A brief announcement of a few panels that may be of interest to some readers:

Tuesday, 28th December 2010 - 5.15-7.15pm
Association of Philosophy Journal Editors (APJE)
Roundtable on electronic publishing
Chair: Thom Brooks
Speakers: Jeff Dean, Julia Driver, Gary Gutting

Wednesday, 29th December 2010 - 11.15am-1.15pm
Nussbaum's From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orietnation and Constitutional Law: Author Meets Critics
Chair: Thom Brooks
Commentators: Helga Varden, Suzanne Goldberg, Yoel Inbar
Respondent: Martha Nussbaum

Thursday, 30th December 2010 - 9.00-10.00am
Hegel, forgiveness, and liberalism
Speaker: Shannon Hoff
Respondent: Thom Brooks

Hope to see many of you there!

NOTE: The exact locations for these meetings will not be announced until the conference starts (and, thus, not known in advance).

North Korea ready for a "holy war"?

The BBC report here does not make for comfortable reading as tensions appear to increase.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where is the best place to research philosophy?

I would be interested to know from readers which they suspect is the best database for conducting research in philosophy:

A. Philosopher's Index

B. Philosophy Research Index

C. PhilPapers

D. Social Science Citation Index (Web of Science)

E. Westlaw

F. Other

CFP: Death - Its Meaning, Metaphysics, and Morality

Call for Papers:

Death: Its Meaning, Metaphysics, and Morality Newcastle University (UK) July 6-7, 2011

Keynote speakers:

Ben Bradley (Syracuse University, USA)
Mary Midgley (Newcastle University, UK)

This conference focuses on the meaning, metaphysics, and morality of death. We invite authors to submit abstracts on topics related to the conference theme, such as:

• Is death ‘bad’ for those who die?

• Is immortality desirable?

• What constitutes the end of a life?

• Is death a state of being or a process of extinction?

• In what, if any, sense might our death be a harm for us?

• May we posthumously harm the dead?

• Are rights for the living alone? Do the dead have rights?

• Do we have obligations to the dead?

• What is the relationship between death and existence?

• Does a life of integrity or authenticity require a certain kind of orientation toward one’s own death?
Abstracts should be between 150-300 words and submitted by Monday, February 28, 2011 to Thom Brooks ( Please contact Brooks if you have any questions.
This conference is sponsored by the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics at Georgia State University and the Newcastle Ethics, Legal, and Political Philosophy (NELPP) Group at Newcastle University.
This call is also posted to the conference website,, which in the coming months will include accepted abstracts, registration information, conference schedule, and notes about visiting Newcastle.

Google Labs -- fun, fun!

Readers may be interested in checking out Google Labs. This allows you to see by language over a long period of time how popular books have been. You really can find amazing things out, such as:

1. Fichte was sometimes far more popular than Hegel (in German).

2. Brian Barry far more popular than Rawls and many others (in US English) and UK English.

3. Although some things are too hard to believe... 

Should the APA-Eastern date change?

Vote early and often in this poll at Ethics Etc!

Further cuts in higher education

The BBC reports the following here:

"[. . .] Universities in England face a 6% cut to this year's teaching budget, before their incomes increase from raised tuition fees in 2012. Teaching grants will be cut from £4.9bn to £4.6bn for 2011-2012, ministers said in the annual letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The government said higher fees could mean 10% more investment by 2014. But the vice chancellors' body said it was very disappointed, and the cuts amounted to 8% in real terms.

Business Secretary Vince Cable and Universities Minister David Willetts said the government faced "extremely challenging public spending constraints". But Mr Willetts said universities were "well able to handle" the cuts and it was a "very solid cash settlement".
[. . .] The University and College Union said the cut was a "kick in the teeth" for the sector, which would fall behind international competitors. "The government seems to think that the sector will be able to deliver more for less and students will be happy to pay three times the price. That is absolute madness," said general secretary Sally Hunt. "By cutting funding and access to university, attacking staff pay and conditions and charging students record fees we are going to be left behind," she said.
The Russell Group of research-intensive universities said it was concerned that cuts to the capital budget would be "particularly detrimental", and the reduction of the teaching grant would be "really challenging" for universities to absorb. [. . .]"

I fear this may be further bad news for UK universities. They have already gone through a variety of "efficiency saving exercises": look at the rise in number of universities where departments have been brought together into "schools": it is unclear what more might be cut.

Some may argue that, look, the whole country is going through some pain and the universities must share this burden. Yet, universities seem to be taking the brunt with a massive reduction in funding --- including a 100% cut in all support for teaching arts, humanities, and social sciences --- from 2012. While it is claimed that universities might be able to make up this lost revenue by charging much higher fees, the government has given no firm response to any number of central questions such as whether quotas on student numbers for universities will be lifted. If lifting quotas is as unlikely as I suspect, then this may greatly limit how much cash universities might make up with higher fees. Plus, universities will be less able to prepare in advance for the rise in fees (where students may pay twice or even treble current fees) with this additional cut in funding.

Yes, we've heard this line before about doing the best in a tough economic climate. We might have thought the 100% cut in teaching for arts, humanities, and social sciences well beyond any sane threshold. Unfortunately, this seems only the beginning of cuts, not the conclusion. It is helpful to see the Russell Group now voicing concerns. Perhaps if we heard more (and a different line) before . . .

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Higher University Fees: an English problem?

It appears likely that Scotland will retain a policy that its students will pay 0 and students from elsewhere in the UK may pay about £6,000 per year. EU students would also be charged 0. Expect applications to rise? Details here.

Philosophers are best on GRE results

. . . and yet again. Analysis here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The House of Lord: Our Last Hope?

The House of Lords is set to debate the bill raising tuition fees at British universities from about £3,200 to as high as £9,000 today. Let us hope that they will vote against it. There are many good reasons. One particularly compelling reason whatever side readers may prefer is the lack of proper consultation. In mid-October, there was a review, the Browne Report, recommending several fundamental changes to the way that universities were funded. This included a rise in fees with a graduated levee for fees of £6000 or more. The coalition government had timetabled a vote on raising fees little more than a month after receiving the report. More worryingly, the proposals that the government is endorsing in this bill and subsequent bills differs in many significant respects from what the Browne Report had recommended. Subsequently, there has been precious little time to determine likely effects of the new proposals (it seems still being worked out) for the future of higher education.

Amongst a great many other things, there should be at least a White Paper reviewing the likely impact of relatively firm proposals that the government would like to implement. While one can understand their desire for swift reform, proper public policy making need not take too long but nor should it be done overnight. Let us hope that the House of Lords defeats this bill if only to permit more time for greater consideration of a suite of new measures the government is keen to introduce. Higher education is one of the true jewels in the crown of the British economy and (dare I say it) "brand": it would a travesty if this were to be damaged overnight by too hasty politicians with more concern for putting ideology ahead of sound public policy for the benefit of the common good.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Liberal Democrats suffer major loss of support

Ipsos-Mori has the details here. This loss includes a particularly dramatic loss of support in the North East where the Liberal Democrats did well at taking support from Labour in the previous general election. Since the election, their support in the region has dropped from 24% to a new low of 4%. We are watching a major political party against the ropes.

P.S. You know times are bad when party leaders beg their own side to stick with the party through the national media. (Details here.)

Nor is disatisfaction one-sided: many Tories are apparently unhappy with the coalition leadership. (Details here.)

The Philosophers' Carnival

. . . is here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thom Brooks on "Natural Law Internalism"

. . . can be found here on SSRN. The abstract:

"G. W. F. Hegel developed a new understanding of natural law that departs from both traditional and more contemporary accounts. Natural lawyers defend standards that are external to the law in order to survey the merits of law. Call these accounts theories of natural law externalism. Hegel offers a very different account where we survey the merits of law through a standard that is internal to law. This essay will explain Hegel’s natural law internalism and whether it marks an advance on existing natural law accounts. I will argue that Hegel offers us a novel understanding of natural law that is compelling, but ultimately unstable and problematic."

Comments most welcome!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Should politicans lead by example?

My thought of the day: if those in favour of today's trebling of fees genuinely believe "we're all in it together" and the current deal is so "progressive" and "a better deal for students," then how many will now voluntarily ask to begin making payments to the state to reimburse it for the free fees and grants they received as students. Lead by principled example, not spinelessly shifting debts to the next generation.

Let me expand on this briefly. The argument against today's vote on raising fees is that students will receive a worse deal. The government says that the deal is genuinely better than ever and necessary given the current financial situation. In reply, those against make many objections including one of standing: many of those in government supporting a trebling of fees had themselves paid nothing at all for their university educations. Indeed, many also received free grants to cover living expenses leaving universities with a degree and no debt. Now students will have from £18,000-27,000 worth of debt in fees alone that may raise to £40,000-50,000 including living expenses. This is seen as grossly unfair.

If those in government believe that we are in this together and all should contribute in the national interest to solving the country's financial problems, then it seems only fair that those who paid nothing at all for their university educations should now pay something back. This is perhaps especially true for those who support what they constantly say is a "fair deal" for all future students and yet they themselves will not be burdened with any of the debts that will be passed onto future students. If the deal is so good, then by all means let us see the Prime Minister agree to make the same kinds of payments he will have imposed on future students.

Moreover, this has also been sold to the public as necessary given current economic conditions. These conditions may change for the better. There seems no plans in place to ever return to greater public investment for teaching in higher education should the financial crises be overcome. This then suggests that proposals sold as a solution to a temporary problem is itself a permanent solution. There should be great concerns about a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Finally, why should the future generation be burdened by the sins of their fathers (and mothers)? Baby boomer MPs enjoyed free university education in many cases. They also had oversight over financial institutions, oversight that later proved problematic. The burdens for which they bare at least some responsibility might be thought to be left with them and perhaps their generation. Instead, there is a generational shift whereby burdens are shifted on the next generation. This is unfair.

If politicians in favour believe what they are arguing for today, then let us see them put their money where their mouths are and sign up to making their own payments themselves. If not, then they concede by their actions that they are proposing a permanent solution to a temporary problem to be imposed on a future generation to cover the debts incurred by a previous generation, a solution so fair that none who propose it have signed up to themselves and -- while students may take on debts of £40,000+ in these "fair" proposals -- they enjoyed debts of precisely £0.

Politicians should lead by principled example. I doubt this will happen today though.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Who benefits from higher education?

Today, in the House of Commons, PM David Cameron said that  plans to raise fees will mean that those who benefit from higher education will not be subsidised as heavily by those who do not.

The idea seems to be this. Students are the beneficiaries of higher education. Thus, they should pay the costs of higher education if they wish to receive the benefits. Furthermore, those who do not attend university should not subsidize those who do. The idea here is that those who do not benefit from higher education should not subsidize those who do.

Does this get the idea of "benefit" correct? No. Let me consider various scenarios to more closely analyze the sense of "those who benefit should be subsidized by those who do not benefit".

Students with university degrees may expect greater than average earnings. They may benefit from these higher earnings. The government claims that those who do not enjoy such benefits (e.g., higher than average earnings) should not subsidize those that do enjoy these benefits. Several thoughts on this:

1. A wealthy businessman without a degree did not enjoy the benefits that may have been likely had he attended university. However, he will also share in the benefit in question: higher than average earnings. If those who do not enjoy benefits (defined as higher incomes) should not subsidize those who do enjoy the benefits (defined as higher incomes), then the wealthy business does enjoy the same material benefits and, thus, he is not exempt from subsidizing university students through the tax system . . . even though he had not attended university himself.

2. The other scenario is this. Suppose that we understand "benefits" as in The university student benefits differently. Instead of "higher incomes" we now understand it as "higher incomes due to university study". The wealthy businessman lacking a degree may enjoy the benefit of earning a higher than average income, but he would not enjoy the specific benefit afforded to university students: his higher income was not due to university study. The wealthy businessman then does not enjoy the same benefit -- if we understand "benefit" in this different way -- as the university student. Thus, according to this principle, the wealthy businessman lacking a degree should not pay a penny to help defray university costs for students under any circumstances. BUT the government will use tax revenues to subsidize students in science subjects, as well as to help fund research councils.

3. Consider a different scenario of the student whose expected income for a course will be under £21,000 (the amount from which which she will be expected to pay off her student debts). Courses where students will likely earn under £21,000 will be fully subsidized by tax payers because students will not have passed the threshold by which they must pay off their debts. One way of looking at this is to say that the students have not received a (material) "benefit" from their education in the form of higher than average wages. If they lack the benefits, then they may be entitled to some subsidy. This, in turn, undermines the government aim of having students pay the costs of their course.

4. Let's return to the wealthy businessman lacking a degree. Does he benefit from university graduates? He may if their skilled labour is in demand at his place of work. Subsidizing universitry study through the general tax system allows him to support a wider system by which his pool of available talent for employment is increased. Thus, he is a direct beneficiary. If those who benefit should pay, he benefits and should pay.

5. What about the average citizen? Many of her local and national representatives who determine policies at home and abroad are university educated. They are also chosen by the citizenry in competitive elections. There is a case to be made that we all benefit from university graduates in the determination of public policies. We all benefit and, thus, should all pay. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a case where most citizens do not benefit in any substantive way from higher education.

The alternative is to say that this principle of those who benefit should pay is a matter of justice. If this is the case, then why should immigrants unable to receive welfare assistance pay taxes that contribute to the welfare assistance of otehrs if "those who benefit should pay"? Or why should the able bodied pay for the health care costs of those less healthy? Or why should council tax money from citizens who do not drive or use a car be used to pay for road repairs and snow removal? Or why have any state service? On the one hand, we all benefit in some sense from various public services. On the other hand, it may be possible to make cases like these hypothetical questions.

It then appears that the principle that "those who benefit should pay" sounds catchy, but yet wildly problematic and objectionable. In fact, it would seem no major policy adheres to the principle in any clear sense, not least higher education policy.

If only our politicians took their own stated principles more seriously . . . . . . . . .

UCU claims proposed changes to higher education funding puts many universities at risk

Details here.

Shovel your own streets . . .

The Conservative Party endorses the Idea of the Big Society. Briefly speaking, this is the view that citizens should become more reliant on (and helpful to) each other and less reliant on the state to satisfy various needs and wants. We are all in it together and should lend a helping hand where we can rather than wait for the state to do it for us.

Of course, there is much that is attractive about this view, but also much that is problematic. One attractive feature is we should all be encouraged to assist others where we can, all things considered. The problems include the major worry that certain services should not be left to the beneficience and good will of other (just in case these services are not honoured).

Enter the major snowstorm that has covered the UK. Many councils eventually cleared the major roads, but few (if any) cleared "minor" roads -- or, in other words, the roads where most people live. My own street and surrounding areas do not appear to have had any gritters or snow ploughs to clear the snow and ice despite more than a week of daily snow fall. My walk home continues upon icy sidewalks where no one has shovelled.

There are reasons why snow removal has been such a problem in the UK. One reason is that the snow rarely stays for long. Most snow storms leave only a dusting or 1-2" which begins to melt the next day. Why have expensive equipment for something so temporary? A second reason is that you may become liable for another's injury if your snow removal contributed to it. Thus, you may be on safer legal grounds against claims from persons walking past your property if you did not shovel the snow (because you would not be liable for any injuries on your property because of a fall).

One sign of the Big Society IN PRACTICE would be citizens digging each other out. As someone from Connecticut, I find it incredible how so little snow causes so much chaos.

It appears that the government has heard my anguish. We now have the Transport Secretary agreeing that citizens should help dig each other out. (Details here.) However, his plans go much further than American norms. It is common in the US to find sidewalks shovelled within 48 hours. Often this may be in keeping with local laws. The Transport Secretary wants us to help remove snow from our properties and neighbours in need but also our streets! Apparently, if you have trouble getting out of your property, then the problem is that you have failed to use your shovel to dig sufficient amounts of snow from your front door to a main road. Welcome to the Big Society. (I'd rather leave for a Small Island myself . . .)

Some say the attitude here is of the "stiff upper lip": better to "get on with things" than "whinge" about them. Perhaps. Nevertheless, I am at a loss as to why there is not greater pressure on councils to clear snow from all streets and public walkways, not just the main postal routes.

We shall see if the Big Society can deliver, although has any Tory MP or supporter shovelled their sidewalk or part of their street? If not, then perhaps we can do without the Big Society after all . . . .

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Earn your degree and then get out

It has been reported by the BBC here that student work visas for non-EU international students will be curtailed. The effect will be that students will not be permitted to seek work after completing their degrees (or at least without getting another visa). The move is aimed at forcing more students to leave the UK after completing their degrees so that the Tories can fulfil an election pledge to bring down the number of visas awarded.

This will surely come as more bad news for universities. Perhaps one attractive feature of paying to study at a British university (in addition to the degree) was the possibility of having a few months after graduation to find work, that might then lead to a more permanent work visa. Now higher university fees will be met with no post-graduation work opportunities generally for non-EU international students. Whether this will have an effect on international student recruitment awaits to be seen, but more reason to hold a review into the effects of proposed reforms before they are implemented without a thorough analysis later this week . . . . .

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, is arrested

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is arrested in London. Details here.

Government university scholarship scheme "unworkable and unfair"

The universities think tank Million+ has branded the coalition government's university scholarship scheme "unworkable and unfair". From the BBC:

"[. . . ] A scholarship scheme to part pay the university fees of students from the poorest homes has been branded "unworkable and unfair". University think tank Million+ claims the £150m funding for the scheme may not be enough to pay the fees of students who would qualify. It adds that making universities give a year's free tuition to poorer students could push fees up higher.

The government says it wants to open up universities to more people.  MPs will vote later this week on plans to raise fees to a maximum of £9,000. There are also plans to cut university teaching budgets which along with the fees rise have sparked widespread protests. Under its national scholarship scheme the government is proposing to fund a year's free tuition for students from the poorest backgrounds - those who were on free schools meals when they were at school. And universities charging more than £6,000 in fees would be required to give a second year free to poorer students. [. . .]"

Further evidence that the government should suspend a vote on these proposals until their full impact is examined more thoroughly. Will it do so? I fear it will plough on ahead regardless with potentially major future consequences for higher education in years to come . . .

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sheffield Philosophy petition

Details here - readers encouraged to support!

Write to your local newspaper opposing the rise in university fees

. . . to be vote on in the UK Parliament later this week. The link is here.

Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the US economy

A must watch speech from the floor of the US Senate.

Women in Philosophy Group workshop

The Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group would like to invite interested parties of any gender to attend a workshop aimed to explore some of the philosophical issues surrounding the under-representation of women in professional philosophy. The date is Friday 21st January 2011, in the Conference Room, David Hume Tower, George Square, Edinburgh. We have the following provisional program:

12.30pm: Welcome coffee
1pm – 2pm: ‘Particularity, Epistemic Responsibility, and the Ecological Imaginary’ - Lorraine Code, University of York
2pm – 3pm:‘False Consciousness and the Modern Woman’ - Elinor Mason, Edinburgh University
3pm – 3.30pm: Coffee break
3.30pm – 4.30pm: ‘Unconscious Influences and Women in Philosophy’ - Jennifer Saul, Sheffield University
4.30pm – 5.30pm: ‘Should sexual harassment law be used to address the operation of implicit bias in the workplace?’ - Jules Holroyd, Cardiff University
5.30pm – 6.30pm: Coffee and further discussion

Each paper will be of 40 – 45 minutes, followed by a 15 – 20 minute Q&A session. The discussion after all the talks is intended to develop and explore arising issues further and/or to identify common threads in the talks.
Attendance to the workshop is free, but numbers are limited. Please note that we won’t be providing lunch. After the workshop there will be a workshop dinner, and attendees are welcome to join us. Please let Ana Barandalla know if you plan to attend, and if so, whether you would like to come for dinner ( Please indicate if you require any special arrangement for access either to the workshop, or to the restaurant.

Deadline for registration for the workshop and for dinner is 10th January 2011.

The organisers wish to thank the Scots Philosophical Association, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Philosophy Department at Edinburgh University, for their generous support.

CFP: Graduate Conference in Political Theory

Graduate Conference in Political Theory
Princeton University
April 8-9, 2011

The Committee for the Graduate Conference in Political Theory at Princeton University welcomes papers concerning any period, methodological approach or topic in political theory, political philosophy, or the history of political thought. Approximately eight papers will be accepted.

Each session, led by a discussant from Princeton, will be focused exclusively on one paper and will feature an extensive question and answer period with Princeton faculty and students. Papers will be pre-circulated among conference participants.

The keynote address will be given by Professor Patchen Markell of the University of Chicago.

Submissions are due via email to by Monday, January 10th, 2011. Please limit your paper submission to 7500 words and format it for blind review (the text should include your paper's title but be free of other personal and institutional information). Only graduate students who will be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the time of the conference may submit papers; papers from post-doctoral students will not be accepted. Papers will be refereed by current graduate students in the Department of Politics at Princeton. Acceptance notices will be sent in February.

Assistance for invited participants' transportation, lodging, and meal expenses will be provided by the committee, which acknowledges the generous support of the Department of Politics, the University Center for Human Values, and the Graduate School of Princeton University.

More information is available at Questions and comments can be directed to:

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thom Brooks on "Guidelines on How to Referee"

At long last, I have completed a draft of "Guidelines on How to Referee." The guidelines offer practical advice on how to referee for academic journals and publishers. It is written in the same vein as my earlier "Publishing Advice for Graduate Students" that I know many have found useful. While there was little available on publishing advice when I wrote the earlier piece, there seems even less advice available on how to act as a referee. I hope this new set of guidelines fills a real gap and proves popular.

The abstract is:

"This essay offers clear practical advice on how to act as a referee when asked to review an article for an academic journal. The advice is also relevant for reviewing manuscript proposals for academic publishers. My advice is based on my experiences in editing an academic journal, the Journal of Moral Philosophy, and four book series. I will draw on these experiences throughout as illustrations. The structure of the advice is as follows. First, I will begin by saying a few words about the academic publishing industry. Secondly, I will discuss whether one should accept or decline an invitation to review. Thirdly, I will examine the question of what appropriate standard should be applied when reviewing submissions. Finally, I conclude with advice on how to draft a report before submitting it to an editor.

The essay is designed in much the same spirit as my earlier “Publishing Advice for Graduate Students” and my hope is that this new essay on refereeing advice will be found every bit as useful by colleagues and students."

The paper is available for free downloading here.

Comments and suggestions are most welcome! Please do share the link with others who may be interested in this topic.

UPDATE: My thanks to Larry Solum and his Legal Theory Blog for posting a link to this paper here!

Visiting academic fellowships at Newcastle University

Academics employed at other universities are welcome to become visiting academic fellows at Newcastle University. Academic visitors would be able to use many university facilities and it is unpaid. Anyone wishing to express interest should contact me.

Interested in applying for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Newcastle University?

Persons interested in this opportunity for projects in the area of political and legal philosophy should contact me. I woudl highly recommend taking a close look at the Leverhulme website (which will post materials from 4th January 2011).

All interested persons should contact me before 10th January 2011.

Mark White on "The Implications of Human Fallibility for the Future of Capital Punishment"

. . . can be found here and highly recommended.

9th December is the big day

. . . when the House of Commons will vote on proposed changes to higher education funding. The BBC has more here. I will be following developments very closely.