*PC accounts 
In a just-published article, Manolo Martínez tries to modify the Homeostatic Property Cluster (HPC) account so as to accommodate polymorphic species.* I have two comments about the relation between his discussion and my own work.
Read More...

[ add comment ] ( 870 views )   |  [ 0 trackbacks ]   |  permalink
D-cog reflux 
Leiter links to an interview with John Searle under the heading "The argument from vomit." Searle says:
I don't read much philosophy, it upsets me when I read the nonsense written by my contemporaries, the theory of extended mind makes me want to throw up...

When I was a visiting fellow at Pittsburgh, I gave a talk presenting what ultimately became the first part of my book on natural kinds. Jim Bogen came up afterwards to say that he very much liked the talk, except for my brief mention of distributed cognition as a natural kind. That part, he said, made him throw up a bit in his mouth.

Searle and Bogen are both esteemed elder philosophers who taught for many years in California (Searle at Berkeley, Bogen at Pitzer), but those facts alone are insufficient to explain the emetic power of the extended mind.

[ add comment ] ( 1402 views )   |  [ 0 trackbacks ]   |  permalink
Franceward 
I will be in Paris later this week for a workshop on causation and natural kinds.

The program looks great. I'm honored to be in that lineup, which includes some people I know and will be glad to see plus others which I don't know but will be glad to meet.

My talk will either be too ambitious or tiresomely obvious. Although it's prepared, I'm not sure which it will be yet! It draws connections between lots of other things I've written, and I'm curious to see what people think of it.

UPDATE: And now I am home. The workshop was great!

[ add comment ] ( 1128 views )   |  [ 0 trackbacks ]   |  permalink
It was about Samuel L Jackson 
I made a comment in class yesterday that was a passing reference to Pulp Fiction. Curious as to whether the reference would make any sense to students, I asked how many had seen the movie. About a third raised their hands.

The movie was 20 years ago, though, before some of them were even born. There's one for the mindset list.

[ add comment ] ( 859 views )   |  [ 0 trackbacks ]   |  permalink
What PhilArt can teach PhilSci 
In recent work, I have argued that, when thinking about natural kinds, we should distinguish the taxonomy question (which categories are natural kinds and which are not?) from the ontology question (what kind of being have natural kinds got?).

Familiar ways of posing the problem of natural kinds invite either ignoring one of the two questions or conflating the two. For example, finding natural kinds is described as carving the world at its joints. That answers both questions: A natural kind is a cut at the joints of nature, and its ontology is given by those joints.

Most approaches to the problem are guilty of this. Even some people who mark the distinction nevertheless argue that there is a single ontology to be given for all natural kinds.

I'm teaching a course on philosophy of art this semester, and we're just switching from talking about definitions of art to art ontology. And it occurred to me that the distinction which is rarely made about natural kinds is entirely standard in philosophy of art. The issue of definition is a question of what separates art from non-art. The issue of art ontology is a question of what kinds of objects art works are. Many authors pursue one but not the other. It is widely accepted that different art works might belong to different ontological categories even if there is a single, unified definition. Mutatis mutandis, this is just the taxonomy/ontology distinction.

It surprised me that, in this respect, philosophers of art have a clear and valuable distinction that parallels one philosophers of science need. I have written some papers in which I take lessons from philosophy of science and apply them to thinking about art, but I am happy to note that some traffic could go the other way.

I only came to distinguish the two questions in the course of struggling with Homeostatic Property Cluster accounts of natural kinds. As a result, I did not have the distinction clearly in mind when writing SENK. I came to realize its importance when writing the introduction and the conclusion to the book. As I'd put the point now: The first five chapters of the book are directed at the taxonomy question, but the final chapter is directed at the ontology question.

[ add comment ] ( 1532 views )   |  [ 0 trackbacks ]   |  permalink

<<First <Back | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | Next> Last>>