Today I attended the awkwardly named Joint Online Symposium presented by CVMST and SRPoiSE. It was a great event. I learned a lot, asked some questions, ranted a bit.Continue reading “Values in scientific communication at CVMST+SRPoiSE”
I just read a nice paper by Gabriele Contessa on the mitigation of inductive risk, cleverly titled On the Mitigation of Inductive Risk.1 His primary question is whether responsibly applying values in science should left be left to individuals or whether there ought to be community-level processes. He offers a number of arguments against the individualistic approach and briefly sketches what a socialized approach might look like.Continue reading “Mitigating epistemic risk”
Like many other professors, I started making video lectures last Fall. It was hard but unsatisfying work. Even so, 97% of the students in the section of Introduction to Logic that just concluded thought that my video lectures were at least somewhat clear and helpful.1Continue reading “Lectures in logic”
I taught 17th+18th Century Philosophy as a synchronous on-line course this semester. It’s a course I used to teach regularly but haven’t taught for about 8 years. Here are some reflections.Continue reading “Looking back at the semester, 17th+18th c. philosophy”
10 PRINT “Art concept pluralism undermines the definitional project is the title of forthcoming discussion note that I co-wrote with Christy Mag Uidhir. In it, we argue that…”
20 GOTO 10
It’s been a while since I’ve complained about the narrow understandings of open access that too many people have got, but I’ve been meaning to post about Keith Burgess-Jackson’s provacatively titled Why I Publish in “Predatory” Journals—and Why You Should, Too. He argues rightly that open-access journals have several advantages over traditional journals, but fails to imagine relevant alternatives. To summarize the advantages he discusses:
- Audience: More people will read a freely available article than one that’s only available to subscribers and pirates.
- Publication speed: Traditional journals can be slow both to review an article and to put it into print.
- Length: Traditional journals often won’t publish papers longer than 7-8,000 words.
- Ownership: Traditional journals often require authors to relinquish copyright.
- Referees: Journal referees often respond in obtuse ways. They either reject a paper for weird reasons or demand unnecessary changes.
On the basis of these reasons, he argues that (a) we should stop publishing in traditional journals and (b) we should start paying open-access journals to publish our papers.
This is the falsest of false dilemmas, and the recommendation he arrives at is pretty bad.Continue reading “Open access and the falsest of false dilemmas”
I’ve been thinking a lot about cover versions lately. A cover is typically the same song as the original version. Even if the words are changed a little, the broader meaning is the same. An example I’ve used before is Willie Nelson’s cover of Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” Where Simon sings about “a girl from New York City”, Nelson makes it “a girl from Austin Texas.”
Yet there are also cases in which the very same lyrics can mean something different, because of a change in who sings them. Consider some examples.Continue reading “Same words, different meaning”
In an earlier post, I overthought the Paul Simon line “I was living in London with the girl from the song before.” In an earlier draft of that post, I quoted more of the song.
Good intention: I copied and pasted from a lyrics site, to avoid making a typo.
Poor execution: The site I copied from had “the summer before” as the lyric!Continue reading “Footnote to an allusion”
I’ve been thinking about allusion recently, specifically the claim that “it is impossible to properly appreciate an allusion without considering what it is an allusion to.”1
Of course, it is impossible to understand an allusion in a semantic sense if you don’t know what it’s alluding to. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to properly appreciate it in an aesthetic or artistic sense.
Take this example, from the Paul Simon song “The Late Great Johnny Ace”:
Continue reading “The magic of allusion”
I was living in London
With the girl from the song before2
Over on Twitter, Helen de Cruz asked: “Can anyone give me examples of philosophers (preferably recently) who have argued that philosophy’s all about argument–that stuff like emotions, moods, the beauty of writing, doesn’t matter to philosophical work and might even be distracting?”
I suggested that this comes out more in teaching than in written philosophy. It’s almost— but not quite— something I say in the page of writing advice that I hand out along with the first paper assignment in courses that I teach.1Continue reading “Tips for writing a philosophy paper”