Metaphysics

Assembly– Fragments of a Thought

In In Defense of Things, Bjørnar Olsen notes that the word “thing” comes from the Old English term þing, meaning assembly or gathering.  Things are that which gather or assemble.  They are both assembled and assemble.  But what is it that things assemble?  We are accustomed to thinking of things as assemblages; especially technical things.  The tree assembles sunshine, water, and nutrients from the earth in forming itself to sing its hymn to the sky and the land.  Yet it also gathers all sorts of insects, birds, squirrels and other creatures aside that make their life in and around the earth.  Indeed, in dropping its leaves, the tree contributes to the creation of the soil upon which it depends to persist.  But it is not just that the tree gathers and contributes to the creation of the materials it requires to form itself and endure, it is also that the tree is a gathering, an assembly for forms of life beyond itself such as the birds that nest in its branches, the insects that hunt among its leaves, and the squirrels that take refuge high in its canopy to escape our dog.  Our dog’s activities of bounding and jumping are also gathered or assembled by the tree and the squirrel.  There is a folding of materiality and activity here that draws a variety of beings together. ¶ In Entangled, Ian Hodder gives the example of the car to illustrate the idea of things as assemblies.  The parts of a... -

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Fragmentary thoughts on politics

People analyze Trump supporters as though they’re hanging on his every word and willing to defend his every lie, but that describes only a small hardcore faction that spends too much time on line. In reality, most of them are just not paying close attention and don’t need to do much more than deploy the standard “liberal media bias” narrative — wherein anything that sounds too “extreme” must be made up because it can’t possibly be that bad — to keep the cognitive dissonance levels down. It’s not about consciously buying lies, it’s about maintaining plausible deniability through ignorance — and that may be a tougher problem. It’s not even about convincing them of the truth, it’s about convincing them that they could potentially... -

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Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language

2018.07.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews ¶ Andrea Iacona, Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language, Springer, 2018, 133pp., $89.99, ISBN 9783319741536. ¶ Reviewed by Gilad Nir, University of LeipzigGilad Nir, University of Leipzig The notion of logical form plays various roles in contemporary... -

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Facing Death, Facing Life

(repost from 2011)His father had always been a stranger, an irritable stranger with exceptional powers of intervention and comment, and an air of being disappointed about his offspring. It was shocking to lose him, it was like an unexpected hole in the universe, and the writing of “Death” upon the... -

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Rob Haskell Today marks the death of my chum Rob Haskell. With hindsight, so much of what Rob told me in his last two years (in person and telephonically) reveals just how profoundly hurt he was: a hurt perpetrated not just by departmental bullies but also by a cowardly lack of gumption in coming to his defence… Man Without Qualities -


Assembly– Fragments of a Thought In In Defense of Things, Bjørnar Olsen notes that the word “thing” comes from the Old English term þing, meaning assembly or gathering.  Things are that which gather or assemble.  They are both assembled and assemble.  But what is it that things assemble?  We are accustomed to thinking of things as assemblages; especially technical things.  The tree assembles sunshine, water, and nutrients from the earth in forming itself to sing its hymn to the sky... Larval Subjects -


Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language 2018.07.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrea Iacona, Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language, Springer, 2018, 133pp., $89.99, ISBN 9783319741536. Reviewed by Gilad Nir, University of LeipzigGilad Nir, University of Leipzig The notion of logical form plays various roles in contemporary philosophy. It is appealed to when we evaluate the validity of arguments; it is said to underlie the structure of sentences; it forms part of theories of meaning;... Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews -


Facing Death, Facing Life (repost from 2011)His father had always been a stranger, an irritable stranger with exceptional powers of intervention and comment, and an air of being disappointed about his offspring. It was shocking to lose him, it was like an unexpected hole in the universe, and the writing of “Death” upon the sky, but it did not tear Mr. Polly’s heartstrings at first so much as rouse him to a pitch of vivid attention.(The History of Mr.... Ombhurbhuva -


Philosophy Books for Non-Philosophers: Your Recommendations The father of a student who is about to embark on his PhD in philosophy needs some assistance. But he’s probably not the only one. The student describes the problem: “My loving father seems to have come to the realization that he’ll be stuck listening to me yammer on about philosophy for the long haul.” Rather than ask for earplugs, or for Advil, or for his son to reconsider, “today he asked me if I... Daily Nous -


Formal Epistemology in the most recent BJPS The most recent BJPS, hot off the presses, includes several articles that should be of special interest to formal epistemologists. These include: Charles T Sebens and Sean M Carroll, “Self-locating Uncertainty and the Origin of Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics” Nicholaos Jones, “Inference to the More Robust Explanation” Jan Sprenger, “Two Impossibility Results for Measures of […] Choice and Inference -


Now published: “Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning” My article “Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning” is now out in the most recent issue of BJPS. Free access for a limited time via this link! I’m especially proud of this article! Here’s the abstract: When scientists seek further confirmation of their results, they often attempt to duplicate the results using diverse means. To the […] Choice and Inference -


Formal Epistemology of Science in the most recent Phil Review For some top-notch formal epistemology of science, check out Conor Mayo-Wilson‘s “Epistemic Closure in Science”, featured in the newest Phil Review – hot off the presses. Choice and Inference -


Now available: McCain and Poston, Best Explanations! This brand new collection of original work on IBE is out and available to order through OUP’s website! Several of the pieces, including one by yours truly, should be of particular interest to formal epistemologists. Table of contents: “Best Explanations: An Introduction”, Kevin McCain & Ted Poston “Inference to the Best Explanation: What is It? And […] Choice and Inference -


The Reasoner 12(2) available Here. Includes an interview with formal epistemologist Julia Staffel! Choice and Inference -


Workshop on Mathematical Reasoning in Stanford February 9-10, 2018. Website here. Choice and Inference -


CfA: 2nd International Rationality Summer Institute CfA and website is up here for the 2nd International Rationality Summer Institute (IRSI2), to be held in Kloster Irsee, Germany, September 2-14, 2018. Choice and Inference -


Philosophy of Science 85, 1 now available Here. Featuring several articles of interest to formal epistemologists, including: Jessi Cisewski, Joseph B. Kadane, Mark J. Schervish, Teddy Seidenfeld, Rafael Stern, “Standards for Modest Bayesian Credences” Thomas F. Icard, “Bayes, Bounds, and Rational Analysis” Benjamin H. Feintzeig, “On the Choice of Algebra for Quantization” Molly Kao, “Old Evidence in the Development of Quantum Theory” Choice and Inference -


Cfp: SEP 2018 Storrs The 46th annual meeting of the Society for Exact Philosophy will be will be hosted by the UConn Logic Group and held at the University of Connecticut (Storrs CT, USA), 18-20 May 2018. Conference website / cfp here. Choice and Inference -


Fragmentary thoughts on politics People analyze Trump supporters as though they’re hanging on his every word and willing to defend his every lie, but that describes only a small hardcore faction that spends too much time on line. In reality, most of them are just not paying close attention and don’t need to do much more than deploy the standard “liberal media bias” narrative — wherein anything that sounds too “extreme” must be made up because it can’t possibly... An und für sich -


Aristotelianism, classical theism and presentism A fundamental commitment of Aristotelianism seems to be that all reality supervenes on substances and accidents. If according to worlds w1 and w2 there are the same substances and accidents, then w1 = w2. But this seems incompatible with presentism. For given indeterminism, there is a world just like the actual one but which tomorrow will diverge from ours. The fact that tomorrow the other world will diverge from ours, however, does not make any difference as... Alexander Pruss -


What's It Like to Be a Dinosaur? Guest blogger Ross Barham writes …  There’s a scene in Terrence Malick’s 2011 film, The Tree of Life, that depicts a brief interaction between two dinosaurs of different species. One of the dinos, which looks to be predatory, comes across the other more herbivorous-looking one, lying vulnerable on the rocks of a riverbed. The first roughly stands on the head of the other, pushing it against the rocks, but then gently lifts its foot as if... Extinct Blog -


Raising My Child in a Doomed World Some would say the mistake was having our daughter in the first place. The Stone -


Daniela Vallega-Neu on the changes from Contributions to Event. In The Event [Heidegger] criticizes the notion of Da-sein in Contributions, and says, "Da-sein is certainly thought essentially out of the event, and yet it is thought too one-sidely with reference to the human being" (GA 71: 5). This and the fact that Dasein in Being and Time designates primarily human being so much that it invited a misinterpretation of Dasein as subject, are the reasons that... Enowning -


JERRY FRESIA AND ME My exchange with Jerry Fresia has now become much more serious than a dispute between two old lefties.  Since I think his latest extended comment must be read, I will reproduce it at the end of these remarks, rather than simply suggest that you hunt it up in the comments section.Jerry’s statement is a cry from the heart, a cri de coeur, as the French say, and it takes precedence over everything I wrote in... The Philosopher’s Stone -