On devilering philosophy papers

January 23, 2008

When American philosophers come to Europe and read their papers as if they were delivering a 19th century lecture, us Europeans are never very impressed – and often half asleep. There are very good reasons for doing something other than reading your talk: engaging with the audience; clarity; the very lefty – but not very philosophical – disregard for formalism; demonstrating confidence to the crowd (and yourself).

Therefore it’s a real shame that the European answer to this poor American practice is reading off your power point slides, word by word. The same objection applies to both methods: you could have sent me the bloody thing! Much more environmentally friendly than flying over from the States, for sure.


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