Omission 
Wikipedia has no entry for "homeostatic property cluster".

Up until just a moment ago, it did not even list it as a possible interpretation of the acronym HPC.

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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.

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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.

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There's a reason they call that guy "Hacker" 
Following a link from Brian Leiter's blog, I happened upon an article in which Peter Hacker defends an old-school conception of philosophy.

As Hacker sees it, there are two things that philosophers might be doing:

The first is metaphysics, enquiry into "the essential, necessary features of all possible worlds."

The second is a priori conceptual investigation, "investigations into what makes sense and what does not."

On the former conception, metaphysics is supposed to be like the sciences in producing facts and findings. The difference is just in whether the findings are necessary (metaphysics) or contingent (empirical science). Yet, Hacker asks, where are the established results of metaphysics? All philosophers have to show for millennia of work is controversy and paradox.

So Hacker advocates the latter conception, on which there are no substantive facts to be gleaned from philosophy at all. Rather, what one learns is that some would-be facts turn out to be nonsense. Yet, I ask, where are the pseudoproblems condemned forever to the dustbin? All philosophers of Hackers' stripe have to show for centuries of work is disagreement and dismissive hand waving.

Hacker's disjunction is plausibly associated with analytic philosophy so called. Claiming that would-be problems are dissolved by criteria of meaning was the method shared by logical positivists and Wittgensteinians, and conceptual analysis is perhaps what gives us the term 'analytic'. And the conception of metaphysics as fundamental ontology and the science of necessity is typically billed as 'analytic metaphysics'.

My rejection of the disjunction is one reason I do not self-identify as an analytic philosopher.

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2013 as the blog flies 
The hour is late, and it's time to review the year. The traditional method takes the first sentence from the first post of every month in order to generate a summary of the year's blogging; cf. 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

I: In a recent item at 3 Quarks Daily under the title The Problems of Philosophy, philosophers Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse lament that (according to them) contemporary professional philosophers are too worried about what's wrong with professional philosophy and pay too little attention to genuine philosophical problems.

II: My paper on cover songs, coauthored with Cristyn Magnus and Christy Mag Uidhir, was recently accepted at The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

III: I posted an updated version of my paper on Mill on natural kinds, in advance of giving a talk at Middlebury College tomorrow.

IV: I was an invited speaker last week at DIY Publishing and the University, an event held by the NorthEast Regional Computing Program.

V: My paper with Heather Douglas, "Why novel prediction matters", has now made it into the limbo of things published online, waiting in the queue to appear in print.

VI: Via Leiter, I was led to Gerald Dworkin's recent Kindle e-book Philosophy: A Commonplace Book.

VII: I wrote in a recent post that I like the kind of book review which "offers a critical view of the issue and situates the book in recent discussions" and which also "treats the book as a bit of philosophy worthy of criticism."

VIII: I just read Bradford Skow's "Are There Non-Causal Explanations (of Particular Events)?", which is due to be published in BJPS.

IX: I am puttering around today and thinking about scientific realism.

X: Today marks the end of this blog's year eight.

XI: I have written several papers recently which have turned out to be a bit under 3,000 words each.

XII: The hour is late, and it's time to review the year.

There was blog activity for every month this year, although this month was thin.

Extrapolating from this sample, this year has been about what I've been reading, what I've written, what I'm talking about.


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