Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Heideggerianism about propositions

I've never figured out whether to be a Fregean or a Russellian about propositions, but Heidegger's view doesn't seem like a good alternative: "Let not propositions and ideas be the rules of your being. The Führer alone is the present and future German reality and its law." I have the standard empiricist worries about abstracta, but they're better than Hitler.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Amazing X(ϕ)-Men!

Thanks to Jessica Berry for setting up my talk at Georgia State on Friday. It was wonderful talking with everyone about the psychology of moral judgment!

While I was hanging out with the grad students, we came up with a nickname for Stephen Stich and all his co-authors in experimental philosophy (like Nichols, Machery, Weinberg, and Nado): the X-Men. While Stich has to be Professor X, discussions of who is Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Magneto, etc., can now begin.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Resemblance and Representation by Ben Blumson, available for free!

My colleague Ben Blumson's book on depiction, Resemblance and Representation: An Essay in the Philosophy of Pictures, has just come out. He published it with OpenBook Publishers, an open-access press, so anyone who wants to read it can do so for free on the internet here. You can also buy a pdf copy or a hard copy if you like.

I'm optimistic that this will become the standard way to publish things by the time I'm an old guy. The internet exists, and it's the best way to share information. People should use it instead of shipping chunky pieces of processed wood pulp from continent to continent. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Aaiiieeeedentity theory

I see why many philosophers seek alternatives to mind-body dualism. But the behaviorist view that being in pain is nothing more than exhibiting pain-behavior is a terribly implausible form of moanism.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My NDPR review of "The Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche": It's good!

It's up at NDPR now. First paragraph:

Containing 32 essays and weighing 3.5 pounds, this volume is in every sense a massive contribution to Nietzsche scholarship. Ken Gemes and John Richardson deserve congratulations for lining up many good essays, thanks for their clear and helpful introduction, and admiration for coming as close to complete coverage of Nietzsche-related topics as any book could. The essays offer original arguments while remaining accessible to readers who are unfamiliar with the facets of Nietzsche scholarship they address. They're generally of high quality, especially considering the challenges of contributing to a collection organized for breadth and accessibility, as well as originality. I'll devote one paragraph to each of the 32 essays.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

High Table for the Joint Session

The elevated "High Table" at Cambridge offends my egalitarian sensibilities, but I wish we could've eaten there during dinners for the big UK conference. And rolled and smoked some marijuana. It'd be nice to have High Table for the Joint Session. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My laptop tastes like aluminum

If people who lick a computer think it's human, it has passed the Turing Taste Test.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


If Galadriel had said "What I'm saying now is not true" in The Fellowship of the Ring, it would've created a paradox of elf-reference.

See you at the Joint Session!

I've signed up for the Joint Session of the Mind Association / Aristotelian Society at Cambridge, and also for the philosophy of science and ethics conferences before and after. As I registered, I didn't have enough willpower to choose the title "Dr" when "Wing Commander" was available.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Faculty Fellowship at Murphy Institute

From late August 2014 to April 2015, I'll be a Faculty Fellow at Tulane's Murphy Institute! This will be an awesome opportunity to meet people doing cool stuff in ethics.

If you want me to come by and give a talk at your place in the US or Canada when I'm not busy Fellowing it up in New Orleans, let me know and I'll try to make it happen.

(The Murphy Institute, as far as I know, has no connection with Murphy's Irish Stout.)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

No form of decision theory suggests biting the Predictor's ear

It'd be neat to present Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, and Floyd Mayweather with Newcomb's problem. If Tyson didn't disqualify himself by biting the lid off the opaque box, we might discover that one boxer is a one-boxer and two boxers are two-boxers.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Mary sees red;
Hume fancies blue.
Possible sweethearts 
Love all of you. 

If p and not p
Entails every q,
All impossibilia
Are now kissing you!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Come to Singapore, eat delicious Asian food, and be Full!

Have you done many heroic philosophical deeds? Would you like to hang out with over 30 philosophy professors on our tropical island, eat amazing food, and enjoy the warmth of neverending summer? If so, you should apply for a job as Full Professor at the National University of Singapore!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Life in the Academy

My university's tenure procedures are based on Plato's Theory of Forms. To submit their tenure paperwork, philosophers must grasp and fill out an infinite hierarchy of abstract Forms.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

mmmodal distinctions

If there are scientific laws about what humans will find tasty, they tell us what is nomnomnomologically possible.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Eppur si muove

Which reference to early modern science is the best term for the emergence of running quarterbacks in the NFL: "Newtonian mechanics" or "the Kaepernickan Revolution"?