Berkeleyfest 


I was at Cornell last weekend for the Berkeley Bonanza, organized by Andrew Chignell and Melissa Frankel. I have worked on Reid and taught Berkeley, but I was surprised at the extent to which I had things to say about Berkeley once I was in a room full of Berkeley scholars.

I was invited to comment on a paper by Alex Klein addressing the concept of empiricism, the relation between psychology and philosophy, and Berkeley's account of abstract ideas. I accepted knowing that I would at least have things to say about the first two of these. In preparing my comments, however, I had as much to say about how we should read Berkeley.

(The above picture is a composite I made from two photos that I took with the cheap camera in my cellphone. There was, in the actual room, a door in the middle of the far wall. It wasn't in either photograph, so it doesn't appear.)

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Historical echoes, part 3 
This is the third part of William Leue's history of the UAlbany Philosophy Department. For context, see part I and part II.

Leue mentions offhand that the philosopher of science John Winnie got his undergrad degree from UAlbany. For some reason, I like this bit of trivia.

In this installment, Leue provides a poem from Old Bill - a pseudonymous poet who wrote in an underground student newspaper. The poem describes UAlbany's move from its original downtown campus to the then-new uptown campus as Cinderella's change from drudge to belle of the ball. Leue had already used the metaphor when he suggested that we might, in thinking about the history of the department, come across "shreds of pumpkin" (in part I).

Leue includes further poems by Old Bill in later installments. Although it took me several readings to catch on, it is obvious that Old Bill is Leue himself. He was William, after all, and an older contributor than the students who (one presumes) were running the paper.

This installment is from Phib v 1 (1972-1973), n 14, pp 58-60.
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Historical echoes, part 2 
This is the second part of William Leue's history of the UAlbany Philosophy Department. For context, see part I.

This installment is from Phib v 1 (1972-1973), n 13, pp 55-6.
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Historical echoes, part 1 
A few weeks ago, I posted about back issues of the department bulletin which I discovered while moving furniture into a department storeroom. In them, William Leue wrote a series of articles on the history of the SUNY Albany Philosophy Department. The articles are of interest to me personally, as a philosopher at UAlbany, because I feel an irrational connection with this place and its philosophers. Of course, the events described have no more direct effect on my life than ones that occurred to other philosophers at other institutions. The final installments, discussing student revolution, may be of more general interest - but in offering it here I will begin at the beginning.

I had the department's work study type up the whole series, and I am now making a cursory effort to correct errors in transcription. Other than transforming Leue's underlining into italic emphasis, I've confined my comments and changes to square brackets.

This first installment is from Phib v 1 (1972-1973), n 8, pp 29-30.
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Further indeterminate fallout 
Thinking more about indistinguishable spacetimes has led me to think about the contrast between underdetermination and indeterminacy. Somehow, I wrote a dissertation on the former without clearly thinking through the latter.
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