Metaphysics

A Trumpian fallacy

This post is a week late to the party, but I haven’t seen this point made explicitly: Trump’s “shit-hole” comment egregiously conflates within-group and between-group differences. ¶ ¶ Donald Trump tweets things like “I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT.” In that context, he asks why the US should admit anyone from shit-hole countries.1 Instead, he says, he wants people from Norway. For lack of a better term, let’s call countries like Norway pie-hole countries.2 ¶ A merit-based immigration system should look at within-group difference: Of the people who applied for entry into the USA, who has more merit? I’m not clear on what ‘merit’ means here. Skill or money, maybe. I will suppose, for the sake of argument, that it doesn’t just mean whiteness. ¶ Any between-group difference between shit-hole and pie-hole countries is irrelevant. Even if we suppose that people in pie-hole countries have more merit on average than people from shit-hole countries, nothing follows about the pool of potential immigrants. ¶ To see why, imagine that the people from pie-hole countries who apply for immigration are not the rich, creamy filling of the country but just the burnt bits of crust from the edge. And imagine that lots of people from shit-hole countries, from doctors to hobos, apply for immigration. In this scenario, the most meritorious people in the pool of applicants will be... -

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How Not to Read Black Intellectuals

Lewis Gordon on how not to read black intellectuals: ¶ The aim of What Fanon Said is to offer a study of Fanon and his ideas in their own right. “What Fanon said,” then, pertains not only to the black letter words in his writings but also to their spirit, their meaning. This task also involves stepping outside of a tendency that often emerges in the study of intellectuals of African descent—namely, the reduction of their thought to the thinkers they study. For example, Jean-Paul Sartre was able to comment on black intellectuals such as Aimé Césaire, Fanon, and Léopold Sédar Senghor without becoming “Césairian,” “Fanonian,” or “Senghorian”; Simone de Beauvoir could comment on the thought of Richard Wright without becoming “Wrightian”; the German... -

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The Documentary "The Final Year" Shows What the Obama White House Was Doing While We Were Obsessing Over Donald Trump

Julia Felsenthal in Vogue: In early December of 2016, a childhood friend then working at the Department of Commerce invited me to Washington, D.C., to attend a holiday party at the White House. It was only a month or so after the election returns had come in, well, not quite the... -

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Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided?

Kevin Laland in Aeon: When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained mice to fear the smell of almonds (by pairing it with electric shocks), they found, to their consternation, that both the children and grandchildren of these mice were spontaneously afraid of the same smell. That is not supposed... -

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A Trumpian fallacy This post is a week late to the party, but I haven’t seen this point made explicitly: Trump’s “shit-hole” comment egregiously conflates within-group and between-group differences. Donald Trump tweets things like “I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT.” In that context, he asks why the US should admit anyone from shit-hole countries.1 Instead,... News For Wombats -


Walker Percy Weekend ’18 Still on Percy I was very disappointed that I missed last year’s shindig! So check out this brief trailer and to keep apprised of the weekend’s emerging details, I suggest one signup here. Louisiananew orleansphilosophical literaturePhilosophyWalker PercyWalker Percy Weekend Man Without Qualities -


How Not to Read Black Intellectuals Lewis Gordon on how not to read black intellectuals: The aim of What Fanon Said is to offer a study of Fanon and his ideas in their own right. “What Fanon said,” then, pertains not only to the black letter words in his writings but also to their spirit, their meaning. This task also involves stepping outside of a tendency that often emerges in the study of intellectuals of African descent—namely, the reduction of their... Omedi Ochieng -


The Documentary "The Final Year" Shows What the Obama White House Was Doing While We Were Obsessing Over Donald Trump Julia Felsenthal in Vogue: In early December of 2016, a childhood friend then working at the Department of Commerce invited me to Washington, D.C., to attend a holiday party at the White House. It was only a month or so after the election returns had come in, well, not quite the way we’d all anticipated. My friends in New York were still largely catatonic. Everyone I knew who wasn’t a white man was genuinely pretty afraid. Everyone... 3 Quarks Daily -


Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided? Kevin Laland in Aeon: When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained mice to fear the smell of almonds (by pairing it with electric shocks), they found, to their consternation, that both the children and grandchildren of these mice were spontaneously afraid of the same smell. That is not supposed to happen. Generations of schoolchildren have been taught that the inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible. A mouse should not be born with something its parents... 3 Quarks Daily -


Volpi on the ontologized πρᾶξις. To be sure, one must also add that in taking up again the Aristotelian determinations of πρᾶξις, Heidegger 'ontologizes' them and that this ontologization is the equivalent for him of a radicalization. For it permits him to grasp the fundamental unitary connection which upholds these determinations and which is, notoriously, temporality conceived in an originary way (Zeitlichkeit). At the end of all this, and once he has carried through his... Enowning -


Volpi Heidegger AristotleBraig offers incidental etymological reconstructions of the concepts examined, probably Heidegger's initiation to the etymologies that meander almost everywhere throughout his work, and in virtue of which he discovers in the originary etymology of key words of Western thought the seeds of deep metaphysical meanings. Enowning -


Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics [Revised entry by Øystein Linnebo on January 18, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Platonism about mathematics (or mathematical platonism) is the metaphysical view that there are abstract mathematical objects whose existence is independent of us and our language, thought, and practices. Just as electrons and planets exist independently of us, so do numbers and sets. And just as statements about electrons and planets are made true or false by the objects with which... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Axiomatic Theories of Truth [Revised entry by Volker Halbach and Graham E. Leigh on January 18, 2018. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] An axiomatic theory of truth is a deductive theory of truth as a primitive undefined predicate. Because of the liar and other paradoxes, the axioms and rules have to be chosen carefully in order to avoid inconsistency. Many axiom systems for the truth predicate have been discussed in the literature and their respective properties been analysed. Several... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Flying Free of the Deathbed, with Technological Help Today marks the third year since the death of my father, Kirkland Gable. (Some memories of him here.) I now better understand than I once did why the ancient Confucian tradition recommends three years' mourning for one's parents. To my surprise -- since we had only been in contact about once a month before his death -- I find myself almost every day still thinking about his absence. My father spent the final twenty years... Splintered Mind -


Mini-Heap Looking for interesting stuff around the web, philosophers? Here’s the latest Mini-Heap—10 recent items from the Heap of Links, the frequently updated list of links to material elsewhere you might want to check out. 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. Discussion welcome. “U.K.’s immigration officers have denied a Pakistani humanist’s application... Daily Nous -


God was dead: to begin with. God was dead: to begin with. And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead. Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. The book was dead. Modernism, postmodernism, realism and surrealism were all dead. Jazz was dead, pop music, disco, rap, classical music, dead. Culture was dead. Decency, society, family values were dead. The past was dead. History was dead. The welfare state... Synthetic Zero -


zionism and primordialism Ori Weisberg at The Forward: Indeed, today’s Zionists often view Israel not as a modern state, but as the rebirth of ancient sovereignty. And yet, this view is not absolutely historically accurate, either. While artifacts certainly substantiate the existence of a Jewish presence in ancient Israel, this view projects a modern nationalist movement onto a historical period that predates nationalism by four millennia. And just as Abbas’s comments hurt the chances of negotiations, the Jewish... 3 Quarks Daily -


The Decline of The New Criterion Daniel Zalkus at The Baffler: You see, The New Criterion was founded in 1982 to be a kind of National Redoubt of High Culture, an earthwork against, as the editors subtly put it in the first issue, “the insidious assault on mind that was one of the most repulsive features of the radical movement of the sixties.” It was the brainchild of pianist Samuel Lipman and New York’s crankiest critic, Hilton Kramer, who for many years thundered from his New... 3 Quarks Daily -


Philosopher Rebecca Kukla on Fat Shaming the President Philosopher Rebecca Kukla (Georgetown) has given What’s Wrong? permission to repost the following comments, which she initially posted on Facebook: Oy. We go around and around this. Stop fat shaming Donald Trump. Not because I give one rat’s ass how mean you are to Donald Trump, but because every time you fat shame Donald Trump you fat shame every fat person on Earth. Just stop it. And don’t tell me how the real issue for... What's Wrong? -


Electric Eels Inspire a New Type of Battery Emily Matchar in Smithsonian: Electric eels, which slither along the muddy bottoms of ponds and streams in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of South America, can cause a shock powerful enough to knock a horse off its feet. Their power comes from cells called electrocytes that discharge when the eel is hunting or feels threatened. Now, researchers are taking inspiration from these eels (not technically eels, as a matter of fact, but a type of fish)... 3 Quarks Daily -


Thursday Poem If You Would Read the Bible go tosome foreign place,Juarez, say,in Mexico,and listento a large woman,a powerfullaughing mother,talk abouther childrencrawling bare assedon the dirt floor,and about the wayroses growtrellised onan adobe wall,and thentry to write it downin a letter to a friend,in English –try to catchthe wordsas she said themuntil you recognizethere is no way- no way at all –to do itexcept to takeyour friend by the hand,returning to Juarez,and go to the woman,the laughing... 3 Quarks Daily -


CFA: Educating Character Through the Arts Educating Character Through the Arts University of Birmingham Conference Centre, 19th-21st July, 2018  Open Call for Abstracts From antiquity to the present, the virtues – construed in terms of such excellences of character as honesty, fairness, compassion and courage – have been widely regarded as integral to human moral life. But how might human agents – particularly the young – come to understand, or acquire, virtuous character? While many might nowadays look to empirical psychology or... Virtue Blog -


Did ṛṣis author the Veda? A Mīmāṃsā and Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta view about it In his Seśvaramīmāṃsā (ad 1.1.29), Veṅkaṭanātha discusses the problem of the authorship of the Veda while being a Mīmāṃsaka, but also trying to condede something to theism. For instance, he is less straightforward than Mīmāṃsā authors in ruling out the role of the ṛṣis. Mīmāṃsā authors spoke of the ṛṣis mentioned in connection with some Vedic parts as having just recited (and not authored) those parts in an excellent way. Veṅkaṭanātha does not deny his... The Indian Philosophy Blog -


How attention shapes consciousness There is a subjective way you experience the world. This is way it is like for you to listen to Jazz, to look around curiously, or to taste dark chocolate. It is hard to know about what it is like for you to experience these things simply by observing your behavior. This phenomenal consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem hard. Today and tomorrow, I will write about attention and phenomenal consciousness. Today’s post is... Brains Blog -