Links of possible interest to those interested in philosophy…


  1. “The mathematics we have today is the result of countless decisions, big and small, and, in that sense, I think it is best to think of mathematical concepts as being designed” — an informative and interesting interview with Jeremy Avigad (CMU)
  2. “If your go-to image of the theory involves internet anger, then you’re probably being over-influenced by personal memories of arguing with people who may or may not understand the theory themselves.” — Regina Rini (York) tries to figure out why some philosophical ideas become magnets for the belligerent and ignorant on social media
  3. A new fashion collection inspired by the ideas of ancient Greece — including “fringe dresses embroidered with blurring quotes by Socrates and Aristotle”
  4. “As is always the way, truth has been a casualty of war.” In this case, it’s a theory of truth and a culture war. — Liam Kofi Bright (LSE) kindly takes one of the culture warriors du jour seriously enough to share a useful philosophical distinction with him
  5. “I take the recent rise of public philosophy as an attempt by the neoliberal academy to claim for itself everything we do” — Justin E.H. Smith (Paris) is “against public philosophy”, and is also “not some jovial country vicar who, for the good of the parish, joins in for a bean-bag toss or a three-legged race at carnival time”
  6. “Features of everyday life are overwhelmingly transformed into expressions of political identity, and… this transformation undermines democracy itself” — Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt) discusses his new book on democracy with Carrie Figdor (Iowa)
  7. A special issue of Forma de Vida on the occasion of the centenary of Anscombe’s birth includes a postcard from her to a Portuguese philosopher — (via Pedro Ferrão)

Mini-Heap posts appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, the ever-growing collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the philosophical community, please send it in for consideration for the Heap. Thanks!


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4 years ago

Re #2: Dan Kaufman shows up on Rini’s thread (as does Jef Delvaux), and it is kind of perfect. Some excerpts, for those who find Twitter hard to follow:

Rini: “It’s arrogant to loudly mock a theory you haven’t had time to read up on.”
Kaufman: “Nah. The real arrogance — and self-importance — lies in assuming that those who don’t find the literature as compelling as you do actually haven’t read it. Indeed, that one has several varieties of arrogance and self-importance all mixed together!”
Rini: “So which papers/books on standpoint epistemology do you think are most important to that literature?”
Kaufman: “I’m not going to play games with you.”
Rini: “Okay then. Bluff called. I don’t think I’d learn much from your opinions on this topic.”
Kaufman: “Bluff. Lol. You never had any intention of having an honest engagement.”
Rini: “You said I was arrogant for assuming you didn’t know the literature. So I asked you to demonstrate that you know the literature. You were unable to do so.”
Kaufman: “That you are unable to differentiate “unable” from “unwilling to play juvenile games with random people on the internet” is unsurprising.”
Delvaux: “How is — between two academic philosophers — asking for the sources that one’s understanding of the field is based on ‘playing games’?”
Kaufman: “Ask yourself this: how is the question relevant to the dispute we were having?”
Delvaux: “*If* you believe that debate is systematically distorted, because people don’t engage with the literature, then it seems reasonable to ask what people base their impression on when they start voicing their scepticism about the field. Given that that presumption is a premise of the thread, I find the question reasonable.”
Kaufman: “Give it a rest.”