On the Dangers of Running the PGR

Something that caught my eye in the recent PGR debate was a compliment of the anti-PGR faction’s organizational skills that was stated right along side an insult to their actions. Specifically: “I really do not understand what is going on. You [did x]…  The response has been a well-organized attempt to force you to [do y]. But [doing x] had exactly nothing to do with [doing y].” This well-organization stands in contrast to: “I would […]

Guidelines for Submitting to Philosophy Journals

Based on recent reviewers’ reports, I’ve come up with some quick guidelines to reference when submitting to philosophy journals: 1. Do not make an argument in your paper. If you do, it will be ignored, and hence is a waste of everyone’s time. Do not fear, though: The reviewer will tell you what argument should have been written and how you failed to provide sufficient supporting justifications for that argument. 2. Building and supporting the […]

Site Update 2014

After running this site for 7 years, I have done a comprehensive update of the systems that run it, namely migrating it to a brand new database. This has increased the site speed, noticeable in page loading times especially on the calendar. The calendar is going strong, with many talks and events for the Fall of 2014. Please check it out if you are in the New York City metropolitan area.

On the defense of ‘Evolutionary and Newtonian Forces’

Dr. Ellen Clark, a.k.a. Philosomama, has written a good review of Velasco & Hitchcock’s Evolutionary and Newtonian Forces [no paywall], one of the first papers to appear in the new open access journal Ergo. She points out that although V&H are trying to show how evolutionary forces are well described by analogy to classical causal Newtonian forces, they very nearly prove their opponent’s — the statisticalist — position. However, she comes to their defense. Briefly, […]

On Metaphysical Proficiency

Are you good at metaphysics? How good are you at metaphysics? When I consider these questions, the only sure thing is that there is no objective measure of metaphysical proficiency. I can’t even imagine standards by which we could judge it. It would be at least as hard to estimate as intelligence, and anyway, I doubt smarts correlates with metaphysical skill. Lots of smart people have said a lot of ridiculous things. I like to […]

Shaking the Tree

Life often results in situations such that no strategy suggests any further moves. We just don’t know what to do next. In a game of perfect information, where each player knows all the previous moves, this can signal stalemate. Take chess: given both sides know everything that has transpired and have no reason to believe that the opponent will make a mistake, there can come a time when both sides will realize that there are […]

More on Philosophy Publishing: Cartels and Rhetoric

Here is a selection three reviewers’ comments from two well-ranked journals about a paper of mine: “Be that as it may, there really isn’t a recognizable philosophical project here that would merit consideration by [Misspelled Journal Name].” “I do not see how the author can improve the paper, since its motivation is ungrounded.” “This paper makes interesting, important claims and it should with improvements appeal to a broad and diverse audience.” It would be one […]

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 […]