Browsing All Posts filed under »Metaphysics«

Truth and meaning in the age of Trump

July 18, 2018 by

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I learned philosophy of language in the dogmatic antiquity of a couple of years ago. Many of my colleagues and senior philosophers seem still to cling to these dogmas, like “a sentence is made true by its disquotation.” In the now-times, though, it seems especially important to show where we went wrong in developing our […]

On Patches and Patterns: Local Knowledge and Scientific Success

May 3, 2018 by

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It’s often said that science strives towards generality, looking for laws and principles about reality that admit of no exceptions, or as few as possible. Some even go as far as saying that unity is a standard of scientific success, that an ideal scientific knowledge would be one simple, unifying, and universal theory of everything. […]

Metaphysics: The Good, The Bad, and The Harmful?

September 28, 2017 by

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Recently I began a postdoctoral research position at the University of Calgary with the project From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics.  I (along with Oliver Lean) was asked to present Amanda Bryant’s paper entitled, “Keep the chickens cooped: the epistemic inadequacy of free range metaphysics” (2017) as part of a graduate seminar taught by Ken […]

The “But you can’t do that!” gambit, rejected

August 14, 2017 by

Comments Off on The “But you can’t do that!” gambit, rejected

It is common enough to run across arguments talking about how certain sorts of philosophical positions have corrupted the modern academy, destroying an intellectual commitment to truth in favor of some other set of values. These claims have come up regularly in disputes over "the atheistic worldview," post-modernism, and moral relativism.

How Many Lego Bricks to Build a Mind?

January 30, 2017 by

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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 by

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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, […]

On Teaching Philosophy of Religion

December 11, 2016 by

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In his recent book, John Loftus argues that we ought to stop teaching philosophy of religion. This is not an extended review of the book; I might read it in the future and write a more fleshed out review, but rather a response to the excerpt (in the link above) that Hemant Mehta posted recently; it is […]