In Defense of Boring and Derivative Philosophy (guest post)
“Even if you prefer the sexiness of radicalism or the glory of revolution: you need boring, work-a-day normal conservative philosophy.” (more…)
Moral Dumbfounding and Philosophical Humility (guest post)
“I need to have the humility to recognize that, in this case, I have not found that truth, and that I may not ever find it. And it has also shown me that I need to be more generous to people who are dumbfounded by cases where I happen to have clear and consistent intuitions.” (more…)
Philosophers, Concepts, and Cognitive Biases
“We found some evidence of differences in conceptual competence between philosophers and laypeople, and documented a difference in linguistic diet; but these differences did not translate into different susceptibility to even the most pertinent cognitive bias, or render philosophers’ judgments appreciably more accurate.” (more…)
Which Questions Can’t Philosophy Answer By Itself?
In an interview in The Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Australasia, Thomas Spiteri asks Peter Godfrey-Smith (Sydney) about “how best to make epistemic progress” answering philosophical questions about minds and consciousness. (more…)
Philosophy that “Tries to Get You to See Something”
At the beginning of his interviews of philosophers, Richard Marshall asks his subjects, “What made you become a philosopher?” (more…)
In Defense of the Details (guest post)
Are today’s younger philosophers “focusing too much on detailed investigations of individual things and not enough on the big picture”? (more…)
An Empirical Approach to the Analytic-Continental Divide
What’s the difference between analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy? In a new paper, a pair of researchers use a computer analysis of the content of different journals to test one way the distinction is sometimes characterized. (more…)
Evidence for a Probabilistic Turn in Philosophy (guest post)
“If our data is representative of the philosophy literature, then the use of formal methods in philosophy changed starkly over the course of just a single decade.” (more…)
Shaping the AI Revolution In Philosophy (guest post)
“Despite the great promise of AI, we maintain that unless philosophers theorize about and help develop philosophy-specific AI, it is likely that AI will not be as philosophically useful.” (more…)
Optimism about Metaphysics (and Philosophy in General)
Is there reason to be optimistic about progress in metaphysics? Jessica Wilson (Toronto) thinks so. (more…)
Computer Simulation as “Core Philosophical Method”
“Modeling and computer simulations, we claim, should be considered core philosophical methods.” (more…)
The Origins of Analytic Philosophy
“I find the usual story exaggerated, incomplete, and mistaken in various ways.” (more…)
Intuitions, Common Sense, and “Earning the Right” to Judgments about Philosophy
“Intuitions and common sense are not, I claim, a good basis on which to reach philosophical conclusions.” (more…)
Common Sense and Philosophical Method
What’s the relationship between common sense and philosophy?
How Do I Figure Out What To Think? (guest post by Martin Lenz)
“Picking a side helps you to play the game. But it doesn’t help you in figuring out what you should think. In other words, in order to work out what to think, you don’t have to pick a side at all.” (more…)
The Current State of Early Modern Philosophy
“While no one was looking, contextualism replaced rational reconstructionism (also known as ‘appropriationism,’ ‘presentism,’ and ‘collegialism’) as the dominant methodology among English-speaking early modern historians of philosophy.” (more…)
Agnes Callard’s List of “views that are considered controversial that shouldn’t be”
“There’s no such thing as being good or bad at philosophy.” (more…)
When Scientists Read Philosophy, Are They Reading The “Wrong Philosophers”?
“The trouble with physicists who denigrate philosophy is that they read the wrong philosophers, which sad to say is most philosophers.”
That’s Clark Glymour (Carnegie Mellon) in an interview with Richard Marshall at 3:AM Magazine. (more…)
The Apologetics Charge Against Philosophy of Religion
Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers) and Paul Draper (Purdue) discuss their views on the relationship between philosophy of religion and religious apologetics in a pair of recent posts at Philosophy of Religion.
A Call for Higher Standards in Philosophy
We ought hold ourselves to stricter argumentative standards than we often do, in our philosophical research manuscripts or public-forum presentations. (more…)
Analytic Philosophy’s Egalitarianism and Standpoint Epistemology’s Privileging
“My views about how to do metaphysics as a feminist are undergoing a radical transformation… chiefly because of the Hypatia affair.” (more…)
Philosopher Drops Some Bombs
There’s a fun interview with University of Waterloo’s John Turri at 3:AM Magazine in which he blithely drops a few philosophy bombs:
Quality Control, Methodological Bias, and Persistent Disagreement in Philosophy
Recently, mainstream philosophy journals have tended to implement more and more stringent forms of peer review (e.g., from double-anonymous to triple-anonymous), probably in an attempt to prevent editorial decisions that are based on factors other than quality. Against this trend, we propose that journals should relax their standards of acceptance, as well as be les..
What Are Philosophers Supposed To Do?
The summer issue of The Hedgehog Review is out and features a symposium, “On the Business of Philosophy.” The main element of the symposium is Richard Rorty’s Page-Barbour Lectures at the University of Virginia, with responses from Susan Haack (Miami), Robert Pippin (Chicago), and Matthew Crawford (Virginia). (more…)
Intuitive Bedrock and the Philosophical Enterprise (guest post by Dale Dorsey)
The following guest post* is by Dale Dorsey (Kansas) and appears here via a special arrangement with Oxford University Press and the OUP Blog, at which it is also posted.
Intuitive Bedrock and the Philosophical Enterprise
by Dale Dorsey (more…)
Thought Experiments and Philosophical Method
In an interview at 3:am Magazine, Richard Marshall presses Philip Kitcher (Columbia) on his criticism of a priori, thought-experiment-driven approaches to philosophy. Marshall says that a criticism of Kitcher’s view is that it “would end much typical philosophical investigation.” Kitcher replies:
Thought experiments work when, and only when, they call into action..
Contrarian on Questions
Continuing with the recent theme of methodology, Robin Hanson, who holds an appointment in the Economics Department at George Mason University, writes often about rationality and decision theory, and is chief author at the Overcoming Bias site, has advice for contrarians. Observing that knowingly disagreeing is irrational or dishonest, he says contrarians should not..
Philosophy v. Common Sense
Speaking of philosophical methodologies (and there is of course a lot that falls under that heading), one longstanding issue is the extent to which philosophy must ultimately conform with common sense. Of course there have been countless counterintuitive theses defended in the history of philosophy, but the dominant view today seems to be that philosophy is indeed i..