Monday, May 28, 2012


I'm slowly adding links with resources for students (both undergraduate and graduate) to the side-bars of this blog.  If you know of any particularly good pages, please let me know.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Does eating a healthy diet cost more?

A number of studies about the cost of food and nutrition have been conducted recently.  A recent article in the Huffington Post discussed some interesting results:

"The government says it all depends on how you measure the price. If you compare the price per calorie – as some previous researchers have done – then higher-calorie pastries and processed snacks might seem like a bargain compared with fruits and vegetables. 

But comparing the cost of foods by weight or portion size shows that grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy foods are less expensive than most meats or foods high in saturated fat, added sugars or salt."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Frequency of posts

As you might imagine, the frequency at which I'll be posting will likely taper a bit over the summer.  I'm in the midst of preparing for a move to Wisconsin and my wife will be having our first child any week now.  I will post as often as I'm able and will likely start posting more regularly in August when I get settled in Madison. 

Training in Causal Reasoning

I'm working on a paper with my father and one of his colleagues.  Here's an abstract of the paper:

Recent calls for competency-based training and credentialing of mental health professionals focus heavily on instilling knowledge and skills needed for conducting evidence-based assessment and treatment. We propose the content of a companion training curriculum in clinical decision-making that reflects the pervasive and indispensable role of causal reasoning in clinical practice. Module contents of the proposed curriculum include review and discussion of: (1) domains in which practitioners are routinely required to make and evaluate causal inferences; (2) definitions of key concepts related to causality; (3) common errors in causal reasoning; (4) guidelines for evaluating the generalizability and applicability of causal findings in empirical studies to specific clients; (5) guidelines for formulating and evaluating working theories of the origin and/or maintenance of client presenting problems, especially as these pertain to the need for further assessment and treatment planning; and (6) methods for planning, targeting, and evaluating interventions. These modules are designed to help mental health practitioners employ causal modeling to enhance case conceptualization, develop intervention objectives, and prioritize and target foci of interventions that utilize evidence-based treatments or practice elements. Practitioners who use causal modeling diagrams to guide clinical practice are in effect deliberately generating causal hypotheses, implementing causal experiments, and evaluating outcomes as they monitor client responses to intervention. Causal reasoning competencies may be enhanced through the use of causal modeling diagrams, application of causal modeling diagrams to clinical case examples, problem-based learning strategies, and the Socratic method of systematic questioning.

I'm not aware of much work by philosophers having to do with training folks in causal reasoning (other than in the form of logic textbooks).  If anyone is aware of work by philosophers having to do with the above, I'd be keen on reading it.  Please send me references via email or post a comment on this post.


Do you need a doctorate to create art?

This is an interesting piece on whether an advanced degree is necessary for artists.

An interesting set of questions are raised in the article...

"Meanwhile, critics of arts doctorates raise economic, philosophical, and ethical concerns about the degree. Many of the concerns are similar to those raised in other academic fields: Is it acceptable to enroll students in graduate programs with uncertain futures and employment prospects? What is the real value of a doctorate? What is the nature of advanced study in a practical discipline? And how wise is it for American universities to duplicate the programs of foreign universities, which operate under different economic models?" 

What do you think about this discussion?