Go #Steady with a Philosopher

Ever wanted to know how you could support a philosopher? Be involved and go steady with a philosopher…

Read more here about how to go steady with a philosopher… Provide independence, be involved and help create a steady environment that allows for the silence necessary to think.

Steady is a team of developers, designers, journalists and founders in Berlin. They are motivated by the belief that good content should be well rewarded. With Steady, they make it possible. Continue reading “Go #Steady with a Philosopher”

Words&Statistics – “Fact” and post-truths

What happened in 1965? After that date, the word ‘fact’ has decreasingly been used in books. But how come? Did the ‘post-truth’ world start not with social media, but maybe with the rise of relativism and existentialism?

A reflection by Nicole des Bouvrie.

Philosophers deal with words, often in etymological sense, in that they try to understand the meaning of a concept by looking at the history of a word, how it was used, what roots it has. But there is another way in which words are interesting, also for a philosopher: quantitatively. Continue reading “Words&Statistics – “Fact” and post-truths”

On when to cause offence

There is something that has bothered me for years.

Different groups of people who live by the idea that doing their best is good enough, but who actually fail to be good enough. Teachers, family, bahá’ís, friends, co-workers, academics, authors, activists. Many people whose heart is in the right place.

If I’ve learned anything in 2016, travelling in the United States, in China, in Japan and in Europe, it is that people mean well, but expect that change comes about through intentions alone. Continue reading “On when to cause offence”

Affirmative action & the continuation of sexual difference

One of the fundamental errors in this method is that is continues the definition of members of the disadvantaged group based on them not-belonging to the norm.

One of the ways to overcome the inequality between men and women (and also regarding other minorities, but I will focus on gender here), is the idea of affirmative action – a type of discrimination that favors members of a disadvantaged group. The idea is that this would lead to a reality in which there will be more women in higher positions, in order to stop men from being promoted instead of women.

There are quite some problems with this approach. And one of the fundamental errors in this method is that is continues the definition of members of the disadvantaged group based on them not-belonging to the norm.  Continue reading “Affirmative action & the continuation of sexual difference”

Can women think?

Wednesday, November 30th 2016, I’ll give a talk at the University of Maryland about the question “Can women think?”

Why are there so few women philosophers? In most fields of the humanities there are about the same number of women as men, yet the number of women in philosophy looks more like those in mathematics and physics. Why is that? Is it because women cannot think? Is it simply because, as Hegel puts it: “Women can, of course, be educated, but their minds are not adapted to the higher sciences, philosophy, or certain of the arts …. The difference between man and woman is the same as between animal and plant.” (Hegel, Philosophy of Right, 1820, par. 166, note)

desbouvrie-flyer

Continue reading “Can women think?”

On Europe’s Future

I am part of the top-% of the highly educated people. Yet never have I taken one class or seminar on economics, leaving me in the dark about what macro & micro economics look like and how these processes are deeply connected to political history and our future. It was time to change that, so I started reading.

I am part of the top-% of the highly educated people. Yet never have I taken one class or seminar on economics, leaving me in the dark about what macro & micro economics look like and how these processes are deeply connected to political history and our future.

With the encroaching crisis of 2008, and the many attempts the media has made to explain this crisis to the ignorant mass to which I counted myself, I did realize something was wrong – why would governments and the European Union decide to lend money to bankrupt banks and countries, money that would instantly be used to pay off other loans of the same institutions that were so ‘generously’ offering the new loans? Why would they not invest these in the backbone of what makes a country – the people actually doing the work, trying to keep their jobs and feeding their family? (Let alone take care all those without work!) I didn’t understand, but these governments must know what they were doing, right? Or not? I had no idea. Continue reading “On Europe’s Future”

The Burden of the Freedom to Philosophise

“…freedom to philosophise can not only be granted without injury to Piety and the Peace of the Commonwealth, but that the Peace of the Commonwealth and Piety are endangered by the suppression of the freedom.”

The chairperson of the Dutch parliament has some books standing on her desk, an old Wikipedia article informed me. Three books that symbolize – well, something. An importance, a specific guidance, a reminder of the standards we set ourselves? The million-dollar-question is of course: which books are these? Continue reading “The Burden of the Freedom to Philosophise”