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A Few Notes

  1. I've uploaded the lecture notes for both today's class and tuesday's class. As usual, follow the Students Only link.
  2. I wanted to mention in class today that since we've got a full week's worth of materials for next week, but only one day in the classroom, that you should start with the #2 - 4 on the assignment sheet: the Pinker-Spelke debate, Summer's statement and the ASA response to Summers. If you're unaware of the controversy over Summers' remarks, you may want to read this short newspaper article as well. A quick summary:
    The president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, sparked an uproar at an academic conference Friday when he said that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. Summers also questioned how much of a role discrimination plays in the dearth of female professors in science and engineering at elite universities.

    Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, walked out on Summers' talk, saying later that if she hadn't left, ''I would've either blacked out or thrown up." Five other participants reached by the Globe, including Denice D. Denton, chancellor designate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, also said they were deeply offended, while four other attendees said they were not.

    After that, read chapter 18 first and then 19. If you can't get to 19 by Tuesday, that's fine. We'll pick up with that after break.

  3. Just a reminder that once we get back from break, you'll have less than two weeks until our in-class rough draft peer review. Your rough draft makes up 50% of your final paper grade, so do not procrastinate! If you want feedback on the ideas you have for the final paper, ask for it! Soon! If you can't make my office hours, I'm available by appointment - just email me and ask. On Tuesday, I will give out more details on the final paper.

  4. If you're interested in the research on moral intuitions I mentioned in class today, I was talking about Marc Hauser's work. His new book, Moral Minds, is a great read. You can also watch a video of a lecture he gave on the topic here: for slow or fast connections.* You can even take his Moral Sense Test online.

* I got these links from edge.org but since you have to scroll way down the page to find them, I put the direct links here. So yes, in case you were wondering, I am indeed willing to violate internet etiquette just to make your lives easier.