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 […]

Bleg: Short Video Lectures by Philosophers

January 23, 2017
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Our friend Ted Shear (Queensland) is hoping to organize a collection of short video lectures by philosophers aimed at a general audience. This seems like a great idea, and if you’re at all interested, read on. UPDATE: We want to make it very clear that an important part of this project will to be to keep […]

Teaching as a Grad Student: Logic Week One

January 22, 2017
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I have just started teaching my first course as instructor of record (i.e. I’m lecturing, not TAing), and I thought that this would be a good opportunity to start an occasional series on teaching as a graduate student. What follows are my thoughts after finishing my first (and now second) week of teaching. I plan […]