Metaphysics

Civilisation Retreats, Wildness Persists

We are reposting this text in fragments (as is our nature) in relation to resurgent theorytwitter buzz for the essay. Read the original in full: here. All comments and discussion welcome. *** Desert, by Anonymous 5. Civilisation Retreats, Wildness Persists I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert… Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away. — Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1817 Empires spread deserts which they cannot survive Read it in the ruins of Ur and Mu Us, the desertified fields of Wadi Faynan [78] and the Techuacan Valley. [79] Empires spread deserts which they cannot survive. Raids, insurrections and desertion often mark the fall of civilisations but the real ground work for their destruction has always been done by their own leaders, workers and zeks. We are all working towards the destruction of our civilisations. [80] “Civilised man has marched across the face of the earth and left a desert in his footprints.” [81] The extent to which global heating will cause the... -

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Burke's Prejudice

Perhaps a little Burke to balance all that Enlightenment individualism. The term ‘prejudice’ is being used ironically. Burke considers the slow accretion of many moments of of widely distributed wisdom to be the bank of ‘prejudice’ that we draw on.You see, Sir, that in this enlightened age I am bold enough to confess that we are generally men of untaught feelings: that, instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree; and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted, and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private... -

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MEMORIES

I just watched the third in my series of video lectures on Ideological Critique as a refresher for a forthcoming lecture on Mannheim in my Columbia course.  I watched my discourse on Mannheim’s ideological analysis of time consciousness, and then my attempt at an extension of it to the case... -

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Formal and computational model of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand

Recent paper in IEEE Adam Smithcomputational intelligenceemergent orderinvisible handNeural NetworksoptimizationParticle SwarmRobert NozickSpontaneous orderTuring test -

Read More @ Man Without Qualities

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Burke's Prejudice Perhaps a little Burke to balance all that Enlightenment individualism. The term ‘prejudice’ is being used ironically. Burke considers the slow accretion of many moments of of widely distributed wisdom to be the bank of ‘prejudice’ that we draw on.You see, Sir, that in this enlightened age I am bold enough to confess that we are generally men of untaught feelings: that, instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a... Ombhurbhuva -


With help from Hugo, GitHub, Netlify, Working Copy and Shortcuts, I might update this website more frequently If you’ve been following my travels, you’ll get some sense that this has been a busy year. I’ve done lots of writing on my book, and I’ve managed to give lots of talks, both in the US and in Argentina, as well as at home. I haven’t posted here for nearly a year–writing elsewhere has been a higher priority. However, this weekend, I’ve made a few changes to the website which means that I might... Consequently.org -


Yoko Ono at Mori Art Museum If you're in Tokyo (lucky you!) and you happen to be in or near Roppongi, do stop by the art museum to witness their very creative and thoughtful exhibition on catastrophe.If you've read my stuff you'll know I think catastrophe is better than disaster (they're different!) and at the very least we should turn global warming into a catastrophe (there are witnesses) not a disaster (no witnesses).Anyway, the exhibition closes with a chance to write... Ecology Without Nature -


Yoko Ono in Being Ecological Have you ever read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki?If you haven't do so at once lol...it gives you the best best best mediation instruction, no matter what contemplative lineage you're in (or not).And somewhere in the middle is the most wonderful mysterious thing: two blank pages, with a life-size drawing of a fly on the upper right hand corner of the double-page spread.That's the moment of mind transmission right there! I'm not spoiling... Ecology Without Nature -


Civilisation Retreats, Wildness Persists We are reposting this text in fragments (as is our nature) in relation to resurgent theorytwitter buzz for the essay. Read the original in full: here. All comments and discussion welcome. *** Desert, by Anonymous 5. Civilisation Retreats, Wildness Persists I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert… Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip,... Synthetic Zero -


MEMORIES I just watched the third in my series of video lectures on Ideological Critique as a refresher for a forthcoming lecture on Mannheim in my Columbia course.  I watched my discourse on Mannheim’s ideological analysis of time consciousness, and then my attempt at an extension of it to the case of  space consciousness.  I wrap that up with an ideological analysis of the revolutionary orientation toward space, which concludes with my story about a Columbia... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Formal and computational model of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand Recent paper in IEEE Adam Smithcomputational intelligenceemergent orderinvisible handNeural NetworksoptimizationParticle SwarmRobert NozickSpontaneous orderTuring test Man Without Qualities -


Materiality revisited I’ve long been puzzled by materiality. Here’s a thought: What if materiality isn’t characterized by anything deeply metaphysical, but by a physical quality? Perhaps to be material just is to have something like inertia, or mass, or energy? (I think that to have zero of some quality like mass is still to have mass. A mass of x is a determinate of the determinable mass even if x = 0. Photons have mass, while numbers don’t.) Alexander Pruss -


Accommodation, Inference, Generics and Pejoratives Abstract: In this talk, I aim to give an account of norms governing our uses of generic judgements (like “kangaroos have long tails”, “birds lay eggs”, or “logic talks are boring”), norms governing inference, and the relationship between generics and inference. This connection goes some way to explain why generics exhibit some very strange behaviour: Why is it, for example, that “birds lay eggs” seems true, while “birds are female” seems false, despite the fact... Consequently.org -


Accommodation, Inference, Generics and Pejoratives Abstract: In this talk, I aim to give an account of norms governing our uses of generic judgements (like “kangaroos have long tails”, “birds lay eggs”, or “logic talks are boring”), norms governing inference, and the relationship between generics and inference. This connection goes some way to explain why generics exhibit some very strange behaviour: Why is it, for example, that “birds lay eggs” seems true, while “birds are female” seems false, despite the fact... Consequently.org -


Negation on the Australian Plan We present and defend the Australian Plan semantics for negation. This is a comprehensive account, suitable for a variety of different logics. It is based on two ideas. The first is that negation is an exclusion-expressing device: we utter negations to express incompatibilities. The second is that, because incompatibility is modal, negation is a modal operator as well. It can, then, be modelled as a quantifier over points in frames, restricted by accessibility relations representing... Consequently.org -


Proof Theory, Rules and Meaning — an introduction Abstract: I introduce the key themes from my book-in-progress, Proof Theory, Rules and Meaning. This is a talk for the symposium on the manuscript held at the Argentinean Society of Philosophical Analysis (SADAF) in Buenos Aires, in July 2018. The slides for the talk are available here. Consequently.org -


PHIL20030: Meaning, Possibility and Paradox PHIL20030: Meaning, Possibility and Paradox is a University of Melbourne undergraduate subject. The idea that the meaning of a sentence depends on the meanings of its parts is fundamental to the way we understand logic, language and the mind. In this subject, we look at the different ways that this idea has been applied in logic throughout the 20th Century and into the present day. In the first part of the subject, our focus is... Consequently.org -


Truth Tellers in Bradwardine's Theory of Truth Stephen Read’s work on Bradwardine’s theory of truth is some of the most exciting work on truth and insolubilia in recent years. Read brings together modern tools of formal logic and Bradwardine’s theory of signification to show that medieval distinctions can give great insight into the behaviour of semantic concepts such as truth. In a number of papers, I have developed a model theory for Bradwardine’s account of truth. This model theory has distinctive features:... Consequently.org -


Accommodation, Inference, Generics and Pejoratives Abstract: In this talk, I aim to give an account of norms governing our uses of generic judgements (like “kangaroos have long tails”, “birds lay eggs”, or “logic talks are boring”), norms governing inference, and the relationship between generics and inference. This connection goes some way to explain why generics exhibit some very strange behaviour: Why is it, for example, that “birds lay eggs” seems true, while “birds are female” seems false, despite the fact... Consequently.org -


Accommodation, Inference, Generics and Pejoratives Abstract: In this talk, I aim to give an account of norms governing our uses of generic judgements (like “kangaroos have long tails”, “birds lay eggs”, or “logic talks are boring”), norms governing inference, and the relationship between generics and inference. This connection goes some way to explain why generics exhibit some very strange behaviour: Why is it, for example, that “birds lay eggs” seems true, while “birds are female” seems false, despite the fact... Consequently.org -


Accommodation, Inference, Generics and Pejoratives Abstract: In this talk, I aim to give an account of norms governing our uses of generic judgements (like “kangaroos have long tails”, “birds lay eggs”, or “logic talks are boring”), norms governing inference, and the relationship between generics and inference. This connection goes some way to explain why generics exhibit some very strange behaviour: Why is it, for example, that “birds lay eggs” seems true, while “birds are female” seems false, despite the fact... Consequently.org -


Accommodation, Inference, Generics and Pejoratives Abstract: In this talk, I aim to give an account of norms governing our uses of generic judgements (like “kangaroos have long tails”, “birds lay eggs”, or “logic talks are boring”), norms governing inference, and the relationship between generics and inference. This connection goes some way to explain why generics exhibit some very strange behaviour: Why is it, for example, that “birds lay eggs” seems true, while “birds are female” seems false, despite the fact... Consequently.org -


Accommodation, Inference, Generics and Pejoratives Abstract: In this talk, I aim to give an account of norms governing our uses of generic judgements (like “kangaroos have long tails”, “birds lay eggs”, or “logic talks are boring”), norms governing inference, and the relationship between generics and inference. This connection goes some way to explain why generics exhibit some very strange behaviour: Why is it, for example, that “birds lay eggs” seems true, while “birds are female” seems false, despite the fact... Consequently.org -


Generality and Existence I: Quantification and Free Logic In this paper, I motivate a cut free sequent calculus for classical logic with first order quantification, allowing for singular terms free of existential import. Along the way, I motivate a criterion for rules designed to answer Prior’s question about what distinguishes rules for logical concepts, like ‘conjunction’ from apparently similar rules for putative concepts like ‘tonk’, and I show that the rules for the quantifiers—and the existence predicate—satisfy that condition. Consequently.org -