Mini-Heap


Recent additions to the Heap of Links…

  1. “Beyond its role in policing deductive arguments, logic discerns patterns in reality of the most abstract, structural kind” — Timothy Williamson (Oxford) on the wonderful world of logic—a good piece to share with beginning logic students
  2. Existential Comics celebrates its first decade — with a joke 10 years in the making
  3. Did Kripke scoop Jackson’s knowledge argument against physicalism? — Adriana Renero (CUNY) presents a deafness-based example from Kripke’s 1979 Lectures on the Philosophy of Mind that’s similar to Jackson’s Mary example, published in 1982
  4. LLMs are “fundamentally limited by language itself” while “human intelligence draws upon a panoply of ways of knowing and being” — critiques of current “AI” drawn from a philosopher ahead of her time: Susanne Langer
  5. “The obscurity with which the empirical interpretation of IIT [integrated information theory] is shrouded makes it very hard not to think of it as closer to metaphysics than to an empirical theory” — Felipe De Brigard (Duke) has started a new Substack, and his first post is on why he signed the “IIT is pseudoscience” letter
  6. Can the abortion debate be resolved by Immanuel Kant? — yes, argues Helga Varden (Illinois)
  7. “Painful feelings of loneliness” may arise “even though the individuals undergoing such experiences have a loving network of friends, family and colleagues who support them and recognise their unconditional value” — this suggests something is missing from standard conceptions of loneliness, argues Kaitlyn Creasy (CSU San Bernadino)

Discussion welcome.

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Samantha Brennan
Samantha Brennan
6 months ago

Adding to the mini-heap. Philosopher Tracy Isaacs starts a new blog, Vegan. Practically, https://veganpractically.com/

“My name is Tracy Isaacs. I am a philosopher, author, and practicing vegan. I offer this blog as an invitation to all who are curious, considering, or already committed to a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons. Here you will find philosophical, practical, and strategic reflections on veganism as an ethical practice.
I have been vegan since 2011, but as I say in my welcome post, I am not always perfect. I think there are really compelling ethical and environmental reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle, not just with respect to food choices, but also more generally. And at the same time I recognize that even people who feel the weight of ethical and environmental reasons struggle with the prospect of becoming vegan.
There is no question that it’s a challenging undertaking in an omnivorous world where non-human animals are considered fair game for human use. This sense of entitlement, we might even think of it as a sense of humans’ “dominion” over non-human animals, functions as an unquestioned ideology, mostly unnoticed because it’s so normal.
From both a harm perspective (vast animal suffering in industrial agriculture, not just limited to non-human animals) and from a sustainability/environmental perspective, it’s almost incredible that it goes mostly unquestioned. But such is the world we live in.
Some years back, I started to wonder whether strategically, for the good of the non-human animals and the planet, there might be a way to offer veganism as an approachable undertaking that recognizes that even if it is supported by compelling reasons, it’s a big ask.
I started Vegan. Practically. as a companion project to a book I’m writing (working title: The Imperfect Vegan: Ethical Eating as a Practice). The blog will be a place for me to explore possible book material in no particular order. So you’ll find information (such as my post about vegan cheese) interspersed with philosophical reflections and reflections on my experiences “out in the field” (i.e. life as a vegan). I’m an academic, and sometimes I’ll be putting on my “ethics professor” hat. But I’m not really planning to teach or preach. I can’t promise that I’ll never rant.
And though I do think the subject matter is of great consequence, we don’t have to be joyless and we don’t have to be mean. I’m happy to have you with me and I hope you find something useful here — something to chew on that doesn’t taste like cardboard.”

David Chalmers
David Chalmers
6 months ago

adriana renero’s paper on kripke’s knowledge argument is wonderful. her thorough analysis of kripke’s version of the argument (which was previously rumored but little known) is important and intriguing both for the philosophy of mind and for the history of analytic philosophy. i’m proud to have been an advisor on the project. it wouldn’t be correct to say that kripke “scooped” jackson, and renero doesn’t say that. at least, if kripke scooped jackson, then both were scooped 50+ years earlier by c.d. broad, who had a version of the knowledge argument (involving a mathematical archangel who doesn’t know the smell of ammonia) in his 1925 book “the mind and its place in nature”. but each version of the argument is different and each makes a contribution, as renero’s article helps to bring out.