Thursday, July 30, 2015

CFP (Reason Papers): Philosophy of Play

Reason Papers: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Normative Studies (of which I am a co-editor) is soliciting contributions for a Spring 2016 symposium on normative issues in play. The journal invites submissions that explore the nature of play; its developmental importance; and its role in human lives, values, and societies. We are also interested in explorations of the relationship between play and other human activities (such as other recreational activities, education, or work), structured vs. unstructured play, and children’s play vs. adult play.  Submissions are due by February 1, 2016.

The CFP at Reason Papers.

Information on Submitting.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an intriguing book. I wouldn't say I loved it but I am glad I read it. It is a slow book to get into; it builds as you read it. It is not boring, just takes some getting used to and gets better as you get more familiar with the world and the characters. As my friend Mike put it: it is a slow burn.

 Le Guin has created a unique and alien world. That's what is so intriguing about it, but also what makes it hard to get into. The world-building is subtle and slow; the concepts of this culture and the differences with our world are not baldly stated and taken for granted. They are meted out and hinted it; it takes a bit to get the feel for it. It feels, as it should, somewhat alien. Note: this is not a criticism of the work. Such a manner of storytelling can be quite rewarding. Nevertheless, I think this partially explains the slow-going of the story telling in the first half of the book. Also, the story-telling can be somewhat off putting as the narrative shifts around a bit between characters and between first and third person. It is not always clear, at first, who is talking or from whose point of view the story is being told. Except for the two main characters, there is not much characterization.

The secondary characters are quite sci-fi-y; that is, somewhat stereotypical characters with little eccentricities to serve to distinguish them from the other characters. They appear on the stage when needed and then disappear.

 It deals with some fascinating themes: the most famous is sex and gender and its socio-cultural role. She also plays with how we deal with culturally traditions and taboos. In a deeper way, the book is about the relation of people: friends, family, strangers, races, nations, worlds.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Reason Papers Announcement

As some of my readers are aware, I recently joined Reason Papers as co-editor. I’m very excited about this opportunity!

Here’s a little about the journal from Reason Papers’s website:
Reason Papers is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal appearing online twice a year. It features full-length Articles and Discussion Notes, along with Symposia, Book Reviews, and Review Essays. Our Fall 2011 issue inaugurates a new section of the journal, “Afterwords,” devoted to brief commentaries on contemporary issues, including original translations from non-English sources. 
As a “journal of interdisciplinary normative studies,” Reason Papers publishes work whose content is “normative in the philosophical sense.” As an interdisciplinary journal, Reason Papers’s mission is guided by an ideal of disciplinary integration that extends beyond philosophical reflection on normative concepts. We welcome work in any academic field, as long as it meets the relevant standards of rigor for the fields it discusses, and as long as its normative implications are clear or made explicit.
If you are interested in submitting to the journal, please read the Submissions information: 

We also have lots of opportunities for book reviews as well. See our list of books for which we are looking for reviewers: