Suppose a baseball team deliberately refrains from putting the best players from its roster on the field so that it will lose more games, finish at the bottom of the standings, and get the best draft picks for the following season as a result. Many people consider this to be a form of bad sportsmanship. But according to this story, the Houston Astros did something quite similar over the last several years: they traded away their veteran players, with the predictable result that they endured three consecutive years as one of the worst teams in baseball, enjoyed a number of high draft picks as a result, and used those picks to produce the core of the team that won this year’s World Series. If what the team does in the first case is an instance of bad sportsmanship, does this mean the Astros won the World Series through bad sportsmanship, too?
— David Boonin
Department of Philosophy
University of Colorado
Fresh from this morning’s newspaper:
DEAR ABBY: A few days ago, my daughter had a sleepover at a friend’s house, and the girl’s dad broke my daughter’s eyeglasses by accidentally stepping on them. He said he would pay for them. In the meantime, I glued them together.
Fast forward to two days later, and our dog finished the job and broke the side that was still OK. Is the dad still responsible for paying or is he not, since my dog used the glasses as his chew toy? — BLIND AS BATS IN FLORIDA
Story about the controversy surrounding a not-yet-published Young Adult novel is here.
Readers of What’s Wrong? may be interested in this CFP from the incoming Editor of Public Affairs Quarterly:
Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Public Affairs Quarterly on
“Race and Public Policy”
This special issue will feature articles that bring philosophical analysis to bear on issues involving race and public policy. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: affirmative action, racial profiling, the Black Lives Matter movement, hate speech, hate crimes, reparations for slavery and other historical injustices, implicit bias, race and health, race and medicine, race and technology, race and the criminal justice system, race and the environment, race and education, race and sports, race and ethnicity, race and immigration, race and identity, and race and inequality.
Submissions on any philosophical topic concerning race and public policy will be considered. Submissions should be in Microsoft Word format and should be double-spaced and prepared for blind review. The journal prefers manuscripts of 6,000-9,000 words in length but articles outside these limits may still be considered. Articles intended for consideration for inclusion in this issue should be submitted by December 31, 2018 via the journal’s online submission process at http://ojs.press.illinois.edu/index.php/paq/. Questions about potential submissions should be directed to the Editor, David Boonin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special guest post by Philosopher Michael Huemer (University of Colorado)
I think the practice of soliciting letters of recommendation for academic positions is both foolish and immoral.