The freewheeling use of the word “induction” is a pet peeve of mine. Sometimes it is used to mean any legitimate, non-deductive inference. Sometimes it is used narrowly be mean the inference from Observed Fs are G to All Fs are G. Sometimes it is carelessly used to mean both and other things besides. While I was sorting through old documents, I found this list of importantly different things that get paraded around under the banner of induction.Continue reading “Induction in general”
How it might have ended
I’m sorting through some old documents, and I came across an unused draft for the Epilogue of my book A Philosophy of Cover Songs.1 This draft was a bit ponderous, but I still like the last line.Continue reading “How it might have ended”
Art-interpretive injustice and the missing bit about street art
Earlier drafts of my paper with Evan Malone, “Popular music and art-interpretive injustice“, were not just about popular music. Although referees convinced us to drop it, we originally gestured at further examples of art-interpretive injustice arising in relation to street art.Continue reading “Art-interpretive injustice and the missing bit about street art”
My paper “Popular music and Art-interpretive Injustice”, co-authored with Evan Malone, is now accepted and forthcoming in Inquiry.Continue reading “Art-interpretive injustice”
In the journal Popular Music, Andrew Davis reviews my book A Philosophy of Cover Songs. He says some positive things: The book provides “a perfectly reasonable argument.” It has “quite a few moments of useful insight.”Continue reading “😐”
I’m happy to announce that our search for a Philosopher of AI has concluded and that Alessandra Buccella will be starting at UAlbany Philosophy in the Fall.
The moving targets
Updates behind the scenes and new competitors make the conversations I’ve had before with LLMs yesterday’s news. Today’s topic is what today’s chatbots can say about books that I’ve written.Continue reading “The moving targets”
What pragmatism is today
Every time I teach pragmatism, I reread some of the canonical sources and rethink what “pragmatism” means. Several years ago, I suggested that the term might just be a mistake— that there is too much difference between the so-called pragmatists, making the word more confusing than helpful. Some years later, I softened this view. Now I find myself thinking that there are a few core commitments which can be definitive of pragmatism.1Continue reading “What pragmatism is today”
Pragmatism and current events
On Wednesday in my pragmatism class, we discussed Jane Addams’ Democracy and Social Ethics. In one chapter, Addams’ central example is the Pullman strike of 1894. Writing circa 1900, she relies on readers remembering how that went down. She writes, “Let us recall the facts, not as they have been investigated and printed, but as they remain in our memories.”
So I asked the class whether there were any current events that might have a similar structure. I suggested Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, from a certain point of view. Insofar as Musk was motivated by thoughts about how this locus of public discourse could be better, he was motivated by his own personal conception of what’s good. He was not concerned with what Twitter users might actually want or with their actual lived situations.
It is not a perfect parallel, I conceded. Addams’ example works especially because Pullman owned the whole town. Twitter, even for its most avid users, is just one corner of their lives.
Yesterday, I woke to headlines like Elon Musk Is Planning a ‘Utopian’ Company Town. It’s the 1890s all over again, man.
In which I am almost Wittgenstein
I am teaching pragmatism this semester, and we are just getting to Quine. So I had cause to open my old file cabinet and take out the hanging file full of Quine related notes and articles.1 In it was a scrap of paper, ripped from the corner of the program for a non-philosophical event I attended. I had scribbled in the corner,
Consider the difference b/n ‘p does not mean q’ if p and q are or are not homophones— correcting usage vs. discussing a language
Readers familiar with Quine can probably reconstruct what I had in mind, but whatever. Imagine this zettel joined with a hundred others like it, passed around as grainy scans and acquiring a moniker like The Taupe Book.2