Skip to content

Belief and Knowledge Reconsidered

E. John Winner How did we ever come to use such an expression as “I believe . . . “?  Did we at some time become aware of a phenomenon (of belief)?  Did we observe ourselves and other people and so discover belief? — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1) §1. Recently, while reading Section 10 of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Part […]

Read More →

The Common Sense

Note from the author: this is a non-technical, impressionistic introduction to my PhD dissertation. It doesn’t contain a mountain of technical references or jargon, and is going to be developed much further and with more rigor, when I reach those stages of the project. Think of it as an extended “Provocations” piece for now. To that end, it is broad in […]

Read More →

Announcing: A Dissertation Introduction

Dear Readers, As you may know, I’m in the Philosophy Ph.D program at the University of Miami. Over the past year I’ve been developing the contours of my dissertation, and have written a non-technical, impressionistic introduction to it. It doesn’t contain a mountain of technical references or jargon, and is going to be developed much further and with more rigor, […]

Read More →

Language and Meaning

by Mark English The topic of eliminative materialism (or ‘eliminativism’ as its current manifestation is usually called) has been the focus of some recent debate. What prompted this piece, however, was a brief discussion in a comment thread about a very specific kind of eliminativism which applies to language and which is known as semantic (or meaning) eliminativism. My original […]

Read More →

Epithets in Philosophy

By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Do epithets have a place in philosophical disputes? Is it useful, productive, or even appropriate to call people “racist,” “misogynist,” or “transphobic,” when engaged in philosophical arguments about the ethics of affirmative action, or whether we are properly described as living in a “rape culture” or whether gender identity is such that trans-women are in […]

Read More →

Self-Expression, Knowledge and Value

by Mark English Attempts to express a comprehensive personal view of the world are doomed to failure. Each of us has a view of the world; some such views are more developed and plausible than others. But language (even supplemented with other modes of expression) is simply not equipped to articulate the complex and shifting set of values and beliefs […]

Read More →

Course Notes: A.J. Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/pdfs/ayerLTL.pdf It’s finals week, which means that the semester is at a close (and that I’m grading my ass off), and I thought it a good opportunity to get another Course Notes in, before summer break begins.  I’ll be talking about the final readings for my Introduction to Philosophy course, three chapters from A.J. Ayer’s Language, […]

Read More →

Brave New World, 1984, #MeToo, The New Journalism, and Paprikas Csirke

by Daniel A. Kaufman A remarkable IQ2 debate between novelist Wil Self and New Yorker essayist, Adam Gopnik, on the relative merits of Brave New World and 1984 in understanding our current world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31CcclqEiZw&index=11&t=0s&list=FLQzxHWvrODrO9oA35PHXsIQ Interesting reflections on the #MeToo movement and the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s. https://www.city-journal.org/html/sexual-revolutions-angry-children-15827.html Two of the best documentaries on Hunter S. Thompson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlAZV_EsSSE […]

Read More →

A Parkinson’s Playlist

by Mark English My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than a decade ago, and before that she had a series of other health problems. Old and very frail, she has lived in a care home for more than six years now. Her concentration span is limited and she finds speaking increasingly difficult. But music remains important to her. […]

Read More →