NYC Area Philosophy Calendar Update

I’ve updated my NYC Area Philosophy Calendar, a listing of the philosophy lectures, conferences and events in the NYC metro area. As per usual, if one were to attend the huge amount of lectures and events, they would have a very good academic philosophy education for the price of a Metrocard and some late fees at the public library. Please leave me any comments and suggestions, especially if you know of events and venues that […]

Free Speech and Spying

I used to think that there was little chance the government would be spying on me. But then I realized that I correspond with people all over the world by email. Moreover, people all over the world come to this site. Take a look at my website hits from the last day or so: This is pretty typical. A recent breakdown is just over half of the visitors are USA citizens, leaving over 40% to […]

Site Update

After running this blog for over 6 years, I’m thinking it is time for a site update. I’d like to give a thanks to the WordPress.org community for making great blogging software freely available, and NearlyFreeSpeech.net for providing site hosting at a reasonable price. That said, there is a good chance I am going to mess something up. The site has been running on the same underlying (MySql) process, perhaps from the start, without any […]

So Prisoners Don’t Follow the Dilemma

Prisoners and their dilemma: We report insights into the behavior of prisoners in dilemma situations that so famously carry their name. We compare female inmates and students in a simultaneous and a sequential Prisoner’s Dilemma. In the simultaneous Prisoner’s Dilemma, the cooperation rate among inmates exceeds the rate of cooperating students. Relative to the simultaneous dilemma, cooperation among first-movers in the sequential Prisoner’s Dilemma increases for students, but not for inmates. Students and inmates behave […]

Cynic Argumentation

Many arguments are called ‘cynical,’ but is there anything that is common to them? Is there a general form of cynical argument? One type of cynical argument is a kind of reductio ad absurdem, a proof by contradiction, to discredit a premise. The first step is to take the premise and associate it with some worldview. Assume P. (premise) P holds under worldviews W.  (Cynical Generalization) Then, the cynic discredits those worldviews. Worldviews W are […]

On Philosophy Publishing

There has been some discussion in the philosophy blogosphere on citation rates in academic philosophy journals. Since I recently decided that I was going to try to get my work published, I have spent a bit of time thinking about this. When John Protevi at NewAPPS asked about citation patters,  I left a comment, but the topic really warrants a longer treatment. Here are some thoughts: Let me postulate, for this discussion, that doing philosophy […]

Fifty Shades of Late Capitalism

Something fun to read: “…What Fifty Shades of Grey offers is an extreme vision of late-capitalist deliverance, the American (wet) dream on performance-enhancing drugs. Just as magazines such as Penthouse, Playboy, Chic, and Oui (speaking of aspirational names) have effectively equated the moment of erotic indulgence with the ultimate consumer release, a totem of the final elevation into amoral privilege, James’s trilogy represents the latest installment in the commodified sex genre. The money shot is […]

An Introduction to the Game Theoretic Semantics view of Scientific Theory

What is a scientific theory?  In an abstract sense, a scientific theory is a group of statements about the world.  For instance the Special Theory of Relativity has, “The speed of light in a vacuum is invariant,” as a core statement, among others, about the world.  This statement is scientific because, in part, it is meant to hold in a ‘law-like’ fashion: it holds across time, space and observer. The Popperian view is that we […]

You think this has nothing to do with you.

Philosophy is disparaged often enough, and by people who ought to know better.  As of late, every time this happens I think of this scene — but with the text (something like) below….. Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your desk and you select, I don’t know, some statistical mathematical model, for instance, because you’re trying to show the world that you take science seriously […]

Risky Kakanomics

Gloria Origgi writes: This is an application of the theory of kakonomics, that is, the study of the rational preferences for lower-quality or mediocre outcomes, to the apparently weird results of Italian elections. The apparent irrationality of 30% of the electorate who decided to vote for Berlusconi again is explained as a perfectly rational strategy of maintaining a system of mediocre exchanges in which politicians don’t do what they have promised to do and citizens […]