Science & Logic

MICROCOSMIC HOAX: a phallic storm in a conceptual teapot

CONFIRMATION BIAS ¶ We do not have any statistics on how many “Sokal” hoaxes have so far been attempted and failed. To evaluate one publicised “success” however flimsy we would need to know what proportion of the the attempts at intellectual hacking it represents. Given the venom, the spite, the sugness, and the blind trumpeting, I think that there are probably many such attempts that we do not hear about precisely because they failed. ¶ ACADEMIA’S SHADOW ¶ I do not condone shoddy scholarship or shady business strategies. There are many shady “intellectuals” in the Continental field. There are also shady intellectuals in the scientistic vulgarisation of a supposedly scientific worldview, trading their academic credentials for editorial validation as layman’s philosopher. ¶ INCOHERENT PEJORATION ¶ The authors of the “conceptual penis” hoax claim incoherently that it is false, absurd, and meaningless, affirming that even they can find no sense in it. A false or silly claim that is accepted because it confirms a bias is not the same as pure nonsense. The article does in fact have a sense, even if it reads like a sophomoric exaggerated, provocatively phrased, fundamentalist version of some familiar Continental ideas. ¶ THE SYMBOLIC PHALLUS ¶ The distinction between the phallus (symbolic) and penis (real) is both elementary and well-known, and I conjecture that the authors came across this distinction (they seem incapable of inventing it) in their reading and merely reformulated it, extrapolating to the extreme the consequences. So this part of the...

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A LAZY AFTERNOON

I just spent several hours watching this lecture by Noam Chomsky on Linguistics at the science branch of the University of Paris, which is just next to the Institut de Monde Arabe near my Paris Apartment in the 5th Arrondissement.  The session was two hours long, recorded four years ago, and Noam spoke for about an hour and twenty minutes.  He was, as you might expect, quiet, reserved, precise, and intelligent.  It is always a delight to spend time with a clear, powerful mind.  I already was familiar with much that he was saying because I recently read a book he co-authored [which is now packed away, so I cannot pull it off my shelves and tell you the title.]  I remember him almost sixty years ago when...

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Walker Percy Wednesday 137

I will not try to decide here whether what the word apple conjures up in your mind, its signifié, is a percept or a concept, because it is somewhere in between, A percept refers to an individual apple. A concept is an abstraction from all apples, a definition of apple....

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Peter Augustine Lawler

Sorry to learn of the death of Peter Lawler. Here are a couple of obits here and here and his wiki page. Alexis de TocquevilleCatholicismpeter lawlerPolitical philosophyWalker Percy

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Walker Percy Wednesday 137 I will not try to decide here whether what the word apple conjures up in your mind, its signifié, is a percept or a concept, because it is somewhere in between, A percept refers to an individual apple. A concept is an abstraction from all apples, a definition of apple. But the signifié of apple…


Compositionality [Revised entry by Zoltán Gendler Szabó on May 24, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Anything that deserves to be called a language must contain meaningful expressions built up from other meaningful expressions. How are their complexity and meaning related? The traditional view is that the relationship is fairly tight: the meaning of a complex expression is fully determined by its structure and the meanings of its constituents - once we fix what the...


Teaching as a Grad Student: Logic End of Semester This is the 5th post in this series, and the third about my experience teaching for the first time (see parts one, and two). As of a couple of weeks ago, I finally managed to submit the final marks for the Logic I course I had been teaching, marking the end of my responsibilities for […]


Cocaine and Chicken Fricassee John “Papa” Gros’ latest video. To learn more about funkmeister JPG check out Keith Spera’s article from last year. americanafunkJohn “Papa” GrosKeith Speramusicnew orleanspsychedelic funk


‘Are Pre-distribution and Property-owning Democracy Mutually Compatible’ by Alan Thomas MANCEPT September 11–13.   Convenor: Professor Mark Reiff New Ideas in Economic Justice Abstract Recent egalitarianism challenges the orthodox model of welfare state capitalism to argue that our focus ought to be on fair access to capital and not redressing income inequality.[1] There are two ways of presenting this novel focus: as pre-distributive as opposed to re-distributive and as committed to the realization of a property-owning democracy. Are these two commitments mutually compatible? The argument that they are...


Sources of Knowledge: On the Concept of a Rational Capacity for Knowledge 2017.05.23 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Andrea Kern, Sources of Knowledge: On the Concept of a Rational Capacity for Knowledge, Daniel Smyth (tr.), Harvard University Press, 2017, 295pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780674416116. Reviewed by Allan Hazlett, University of New Mexico In this impressive book, Andrea Kern offers a response to philosophical skepticism and an account of the nature of knowledge. Her leading idea is that knowledge is an act of...


How to be a stoic Skye Cleary in 3:AM Magazine: 3AM: I understand that your book grew out of a New York Times opinion piece by the same name: How to Be a Stoic? Why did you decide to write the book? Or was it more about riding the wave of Fate? Massimo Pigliucci: In a sense, it was about Fate. But in another sense, it was a very deliberate project. Fate entered into it because The New York Times...


Open Letter of support for Rachel McKinnon Public philosophy is an important part of what we do, and how we can make a difference. It is thankless work that is not weighted as much as is should in tenure and promotion dossiers. Yet, through it, we can provide a valuable voice in debates and offer our expertise. Rachel McKinnon, Assistant Professor at College of Charleston, is a publicly engaged philosopher whose YouTube videos have attracted hate speech and harassment. In particular, this...


Ad Hoc (Daily Nous Philosophy Comics) Ad Hoc by Rachel Katler can you decode these philosemojis? (scroll down for answers) ↓ Other Daily Nous Comics / More Info about DN Comics / Rachel Katler on Twitter (a little further) ↓ answer key: The post Ad Hoc (Daily Nous Philosophy Comics) appeared first on Daily Nous.


Peter Augustine Lawler Sorry to learn of the death of Peter Lawler. Here are a couple of obits here and here and his wiki page. Alexis de TocquevilleCatholicismpeter lawlerPolitical philosophyWalker Percy


MICROCOSMIC HOAX: a phallic storm in a conceptual teapot CONFIRMATION BIAS We do not have any statistics on how many “Sokal” hoaxes have so far been attempted and failed. To evaluate one publicised “success” however flimsy we would need to know what proportion of the the attempts at intellectual hacking it represents. Given the venom, the spite, the sugness, and the blind trumpeting, I think that there are probably many such attempts that we do not hear about precisely because they failed. ACADEMIA’S SHADOW...


A LAZY AFTERNOON I just spent several hours watching this lecture by Noam Chomsky on Linguistics at the science branch of the University of Paris, which is just next to the Institut de Monde Arabe near my Paris Apartment in the 5th Arrondissement.  The session was two hours long, recorded four years ago, and Noam spoke for about an hour and twenty minutes.  He was, as you might expect, quiet, reserved, precise, and intelligent.  It is always a delight to spend...


Open letter to the U of St. Thomas (Houston) Administration from some philosophers at the University of Notre Dame I was asked to share this open letter from colleagues at Notre Dame, and am happy to do so: May 23, 2017 Open Letter To President Ivany, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Aquila, Dean Evans, and the University...


Student Loans for Graduate Study in Philosophy: a Poll Don’t get a PhD in philosophy if you have to pay for it. That is standard advice for those considering doctoral study in philosophy. An inability to obtain a funded position as a PhD student might be evidence (early and incomplete evidence, of course) of one’s later prospects; jobs are hard to come by, and even if you end up employed in a way directly related to your degree—typically as a professor—it is not as if...


Former longtime CEO of Kaiser Permanente, George Halvorson, on the state of US healthcare and other things Video length: 58:06


Socially Extended Epistemology: Introduction I guess Hayek, the granddaddy of modern extended- and distributed- knowledge and cognition theorizing, is persona non grata — at least here. active externalismdistributed cognitiondistributed knowledgeFriedrich Hayeksocial epistemology


An ontology of ice cream humourmetaphysicsOntologyphilosophical humorPhilosophy


David Hartley [Revised entry by Richard Allen on May 23, 2017. Changes to: Bibliography] David Hartley (1705 - 57) is the author of Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749) - a wide-ranging synthesis of neurology, moral psychology, and spirituality (i.e., our "frame," "duty," and "expectations"). The Observations gained dedicated advocates in Britain, America, and Continental Europe, who appreciated it both for its science and its spirituality. As science,...


Blatti from Memphis to Maryland Stephan Blatti (metaphysics), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis, has accepted appointment as Associate Director of the Honors College at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he will also be Affiliate Associate Professor of Philosophy.


New Resource: The Deviant Philosopher There’s a new resource for philosophy teachers called The Deviant Philosopher.  The site is developed by a team from the University of Oklahoma, which includes Amy Olberding, Wayne Riggs, Kelly Epley, and Seth Robertson.  From the site: The Deviant Philosopher is a teaching resource created by a group of scholars who believe that there is value in deviating from the traditional Anglo-American philosophical canon. Both we and our students benefit from thinking about diverse philosophical traditions and...