Teaching as a Grad Student: Logic mid-Semester

March 13, 2017
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This is the third installment of our occasional series: Teaching as a Grad Student. In the first installment, I discussed preparing to teach for the first time, as well as my first couple of weeks teaching logic. In the second installment, Alison discussed her experiences teaching philosophy of science. We’re just past the half-way point […]

Goldilocks, Bad Company and some Slippery Fish

February 28, 2017
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No this isn’t a terrible (amazing?) fairy tale. And no, the title isn’t (just) badly thought out clickbait. The Bad Company problem, the Goldilocks problem and the Problem of Fishiness are all problems I’m writing about in my dissertation. More specifically, the overarching idea is to look at ways of solving the Bad Company problem. […]

On Hope, Truth, and Lying

February 1, 2017
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The Trump administration is, for those of us concerned with improving our world, more disturbing than any I have encountered. It’s not that Trump will necessarily make things worse than G.W. Bush, who started two wars, or Ronald Reagan, who began our slide into a society of increasing inequality, or even Barack Obama, who persecuted […]

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Posted in: In the News, Philosophy

Eichmann at the Border

January 30, 2017
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TIME writer Charlotte Alter reported a brief exchange between an American citizen and a U.S. border patrol officer. When U.S Citizen asked a border patrol supervisor why they detained his fiancé, the answer was: “just following orders.” #muslimban — Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) January 29, 2017 Twitter is not a venue conducive to nuance, careful and […]

Posted in: Philosophy

How Many Lego Bricks to Build a Mind?

January 30, 2017
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How many Lego bricks would it take to build a conscious, rational mind? This may sound like an absurd question. Lego bricks don’t seem like the sort of thing that you could build a mind out of. (At least, I’m assuming that artificial intelligence researchers aren’t currently tinkering away in their state-of-the-art labs with a […]

Some Facts about Facts

January 26, 2017
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Facts about Facts Facts, and in particular “alternative facts”, have been in the news a lot this week, and for good reason (I toyed with calling this post “Facts: talking metaphysics to power”). I’ll have something to say about “alternative facts” later in the post, but first I’m going to talk about facts more generally, […]

Teaching as a Grad Student: Philosophy of Science

January 25, 2017
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Thanks to Aaron for starting this series. There are particular challenges that grad students might face as instructors, some of which I imagine are exclusive to grad students, whereas others could probably be generalized to new professors on the track. And perhaps in my case, grad students, new professors on the track, and maybe even […]