Welcome to the November Carnival of Philosophy.
Australia (location being crucial to cogency of argument, after all). I note as well an unfortunate taste among some of our contributors for small white text on black backgrounds. Philosophy may be hard, but it should not for that be hard to read. All appear open for comments.
So, either straight shot or café corretto, enjoy!
The Better Than:
An essay on “what is possible and how possibility is formed.” I would suggest a different description –
possibility and epistemology, and, perhaps, a radical interpretation of
non-empirical factors in epistemology.
"A post on the nature of what is possible and how possibility is formed."
An essay on Boxilll’s Lockean derivation of a claim for reparations for African-Americans. Parableman, along the way, answers critics of Boxill.
"This post interrupts a series on affirmative action to consider an argument for reparations based on slavery from Bernard Boxill but based entirely on Locekan principles. The argument seems to go through even on the assumptions of politically conservative and moderate black thinkers such Thomas Sowell and John McWhorter, once a couple of objections are dealt with, but the kind of reparations required required by the argument need not be much more than many people (including McWorter) already want to do on other grounds."
The big history sciences – paleontology, geology, phylogenetics, e.g., -- work from a notion of knowledge unlike that addressed by Moore and Wittgenstein: they use a fallibilistic notion of knowledge. Wittgenstein put to pasture.
A brief meditation on the ways in which cognitive functions are malleable to quotidian political pressures.
"George Orwell worried that the "very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world." Hannah Arendt said that "even if he enlists the hlp of pcomputers" the liar can't help but eventually run into the fact that there is a reality in opposition to the lie. Who wins? The aftermath on the web of the Lancet study of mortality is an interesting study of the fragility and the tenacity of truth."
Blaugh Blog – Heaven’s Race
A short story premised on the thought that, if people were
to take Pascal’s wager, they would end up on the side opposite Blaise. Well, yes, certainly.
"My post is a dystopian story, based on the premise: what if people took Pascal's wager seriously?"
Metatome - Is Distance Education Too Distanced For Philosophy?
Chris Panza opens an interesting discussion of ‘distance learning’ in philosophy. Although his comments are limited, the following comments full in with intriguing additions.
“Chris Panza asks whether pure distance learning courses are really suitable for philosophical learning. Administrators love them, and academia is trending towards them, but do they do a disservice to philosophy students?”
Siris – More on Shepherd on Causation
An historical exposition of an anti-empirical account of causation, redolent of
“I suggest that the causal theory of Lady Mary Shepherd 1777-1847) can be seen as an account of the 'constitutive' causes of a system (changing or static, considered through time or at a time), and clarify what is involved in this.”
Philosophy et cetera -- The New Freedom
"I suggest a link between metaphysical and political libertarianism, and explore the consequences of adopting a more moderate, 'compatibilist' account of freedom which allows quantitative comparisons to be made. In particular, I suggest that this conception of freedom (1) aggravates the 'problem of evil' for theists, and (2) lends support to liberal political views."
A moderately technical discussion of aparticular version of welfare maximization principles. It is not entirely clear id this is a principle of justice or a moral principle. EIther way, something to mull. For myself, I can't see the point of the ideal-picking criterion. But then I'm a lawyer.
An invitation to discuss the degree to whcih Darwinian theory has elided siginificant portions of Darwin's own thinking, and wther that matters beyond historical curiosity. The follow-on discussion is very interesting.
Michael Blowhard -- Stephen Toulmin
A longish paen to Toulmin and the whole situated and contextual reasoning crew. Longer than most posts, by far, but the space is used to say something of real interest. The commentary is worth perusal as well. I should say, however, that usinig a case-method to teach medicine is an invitation to malpractice. On that, Blowhard seems to be sipping a bit of his own whisky.