My department has been posting Faculty Spotlights on its social media feeds. I was the target earlier this month, and here’s what I said about myself. To be clear, the hashtags were added by Marcus (who posted them) and were not part of what I originally wrote.Continue reading “What I said on the socials”
Recent updates to the department website have added a direct link to my CV and a list of representative publications, so it made sense to rewrite my bio as well. Here’s what it says now:
His areas of research include philosophy of science, the philosophy of art and music, the epistemology of technology (Wikipedia and AI), and pragmatism. His work in the philosophy of science, motivated by a falliblist but non-sceptical conception of scientific knowledge, has addressed topics like the underdetermination of theory by data, natural kinds, and values in science. He regularly teaches courses in philosophy of science, logic, epistemology, pragmatism, and philosophy of art.
I stopped using Twitter a while back, before it was an X website. The ongoing meltdown at that steaming crater in the connectivity graph where Twitter used to be illustrates why putting power in the hands of the super-rich is not a recipe for harmony. Contra economists’ assumptions, it’s not even a recipe for profit and economic progress.Continue reading “If you hadn’t nailed its tweets to the perch”
A recent exchange over on bookface:
Gary Hardcastle: Necessarily, there is no everything bagel. It would have to contain itself as an ingredient. But, I can buy one at the deli.
P.D. Magnus: A bagel always trivially includes itself.
GH: That way lies madness.
PDM: Take an empty bag. Put a bagel in it. There is nothing in the bag now that was not an ingredient of the bagel. Since the bagel is in the bag, it follows that the bagel too is an ingredient of the bagel.
I feel like I should drop a QED at the end of that, but I also feel like this is the kind of dispute which would get one of us excommunicated if we were medieval monks.
And that’s why I’d make a bad monk.
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”
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
In March 2014, I attended a workshop on natural kinds in Paris. Other attendees included Matt Slater, Muhammad Ali Khalidi, and Thomas Reydon. It seemed to me that, although we disagreed about many of the details, we shared a core conception of natural kinds.1 I mooted the idea of writing a consensus statement. We could give it a flashy name, refer to in our writing, and then maybe other people would start using the phrase too.
Today, while moving the last papers out of my old office, I came across an outline from the conference. Here I’ve quoted it exactly, including the all-caps title.2 Despite agreement from at least some of the others, nobody else assented to sign on.
THE SPRINGTIME in PARIS VIEW
- NKs should be understood by way of scientific classification
- they are natural to the extent that the world constrains classificatory categories3
- metaphysical depth is attained by starting superficially and, by considering evidence, making contingent a posteriori claims of greater depth
In the course of moving down the hall to my new office, I emptied some file cabinets today and found some undated outlines for things I never wrote.Continue reading “Outlook, the new office”
Q: What fruit is most like a pot of giraffe soup?