|Bruce Umbaugh at Webster.edu|
|Philosophy on the Web|
By Bruce Umbaugh
Monday, March 18, 2002
You want links? Here are links:
look at advice and follow links for parents concerned about their children and the Net
let John Cleese explain just what it is that philosophers do
learn about the X-Ray Net mailing list on cyberspace, its infrastructures, their educational, ethical, and cultural import, and related stuff that interests me, leap to the latest version of the X-Ray Net Web log, or search the X-Ray Net Web log, or view my Salon weblog, A blog doesn't need a clever name
peruse my home page as it was before this redesign in spring 2002.
Among my projects and activities
One aspect of puzzling out all that cyberspace stuff is making sense of property in cyberspace. One aspect of worrying about infrastructures is thinking about the prospects for designing for freedom, privacy, or fair use. I gave a presentation at the joint meeting of the American and Candian Library Associations in Toronto, in June 2003 (during the SARS scare), titled, "Programming Aside: Fiar Use By Design."
I gave a talk on "Privacy, Technology, and Care" for the meeting of the Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World at the Central Division APA meetings in 2002. A paper developed from that talk is under review.
I was invited to participate in the Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research in Cyberspace Workshop by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and National Institutes of Health Office for Protection from Research Risks, Washington, D.C., 1999. That led to a paper "People as Subjects and Objects: Contrasting Market and Academic Research" (In the Proceedings of the Tenth Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy: challenging the assumptions, available online as part of the ACM Digital Library.)
I was on a panel on "philosophy and the televisual" at the Eastern APA meetings in 1999, speaking to the question when video is a philosophical medium. On a later trip to the philosophy convention, No Dogs or Philosophers Allowed shot video of me in Times Square, talking with Ken Knisely about my book on George Berkeley, and why avoiding being run over by taxicabs near to New Year's Eve doesn't contradict the tenets of idealism. (I hope for a clip of this to be online soon.)
Of course, I've been teaching
- via the Net: Philosophical Problems in Technology (several terms, and now with its own course number: PHIL 2330), and Introduction to Critical Thinking
- a Freshman Seminar titled Where We Live
- Ethics in Social Research
- Formal Logic
- Intro to Philosophy
- PHIL 4050: Topics in the History of Philosophy
- Mind, Matter, and Space
- Thomas Kuhn
- Senior Overview
- Daniel Dennett
- William James
- and loads of cyberspace and technology stuff
- a Freshman Seminar titled, "The Culture and Ethics of Cyberspace" (The students in 1995 generated web pages about legal, ethical, and cultural aspects of cyberspace. These used to be the most viewed pages on Webster's Web site. You can see them, still, though a lot of the links are broken now and they're reeeaaaaaaly old-fashioned looking.)
- Ethics for Cyberspace
- Philosophy for the Web: A lab
- Philosophy and Film: Visions of Technology
- Philosophical Problems in Technology
syllabi and information on some other courses is available
I'm still working on a consequentialist treatment of human rationality and thinking about social authority and knowledge.
I've also been trying to make sense of the notion of virtual community, as I run a conferencing system used by members of the Webster community and others around the world. I was on a panel: Building a Virtual Teaching/Learning Community (HTMLified slides from a presentation by Andrew W. Davis, Art Sandler, Emily E. Thompson, Bruce Umbaugh, and Keith E. Welsh tell a little of the story, but don't give the feel of the presentation, I'm afraid) at the Council of independent Colleges National Conference, June 1999). I gave a talk on "Virtual Community and the Stream of Computer-mediated Communication," at the Twenty-third Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Toronto, Canada, March, 1996.
My first "big-time cyberspace talk" was "Pseudonymity and Anonymity as Threats to USENET Identity," at the Ninetieth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, Atlanta, December, 1993. It's not online right now.
Guest Co-editor, special issue of The Information Society on recent and international developments relating to computers, freedom, and privacy. Forthcoming.Leading discussion with Peter Ludlow, editor of Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias, and with Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs, on The Well's publically accessible Inkwell.vue conference.
I serve on the Human Subjects Committee for the Washington University School of Medicine.
And I'm working on a new book, on cyberspace ethics and so on.
Bruce Umbaugh is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Webster University and "The Man" for this Web site.
I earned a BA in Philosophy from the Honors Tutorial College of Ohio University, and an MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Maryland, College Park. I've been at Webster since 1994, and live in St. Louis, Missouri.
I drink coffee, and I have brewed beer (though not as often as I would prefer, other things being equal). At various times, I belong to the American Philosphical Association, the Philosophy of Science Association, the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, the American Library Association, and the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. I regularly attend Computers, Freedom, and Privacy. I serve on the advisory board for No Dogs or Philosophers Allowed, the world's foremost philosophy talk show. I have taught critical thinking at CollegeTown MOO, and spent time at MediaMOO, too. You might find me on The WELL, where I am a host of the Inkwell. I administer the College of Arts and Sciences Web conferencing system. My recent book, On Berkeley, is about the thought of the British empiricist and idealist philosopher George Berkeley. It would make a great gift for your thinking friends and family members.