More Book Advice from a Nonexistent Bookstore

So, if last round was the Greatest Hits, this time’s for the album tracks and rarities—not everything here will be to everybody’s taste, some of these will be to almost nobody’s taste (well, except maybe yours, Asher), and at least a few of them should be loved by none. Continue reading

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Science Isn’t Objective

The title’s clickbait, but I mean it: science, even physics, isn’t objective, and, more to the point, it can’t be.

There are a lot of assumptions to unpack there (for instance, why do people think physics is the most objective science?), but let’s start with the obvious one: the assumption science, whatever it is, is, in fact, objective, whatever that is. Continue reading

High Art, Good Art, & Bad Ideas

Context, if you want it: a recent article in The Stone, the NYT’s philosophy blog that Brian Leiter likes to mock. The position, if you want it: some forms of art/music/etc. are superior to others, with classical music, for instance, being superior to pop music.

My views, if you want them: sure, there’s good art and bad art. There’s also a whole lot of complications that philosophers of art, especially those who think you can make simple divisions between high culture (the kind academics like and participate in) and low culture (the kind they look down on, or study in “studies” departments) with impunity. Continue reading

The Complete History of Philosophy, Abridged

This, perhaps more than anything else, may be my biggest scholarly disagreement with how philosophy is practiced today.  Sure, I have much bigger gripes on a personal and professional level—the casual sexism for starters—but this is less depressing.

Philosophy has a history, and its history shapes how we do things.  The problem is that each side of the philosophical turf war has its own narrative, and these narratives . . . well, they’ve got issues. Continue reading

More Google Penance!

Google Penance—in which I atone for all the strange things I wrote that lead people here.

“Medieval Marginalia/Yves Klein X, W, and V:” yup, this is how most people find me.  Boy I’m glad I can claim fair use for those images—I mean, I’m pretty sure none of them are under an actionable copyright, but . . .

“Brian Leiter is an Ass(hole):” a near-universal sentiment, it seems.  There are others who say it more articulately than me, others who can use more rage, but one understands the feeling.  Sure the PGR’s a sham with more unwarranted assumptions and obvious biases than you can shake a stick at, sure the man can, by all accounts, be just a bit nasty, sure philosophical naturalism’s a joke, especially in law, but hey.  I’m sure there’s something nice that someone could/should say about him, even if I can’t think of it.

“Are Philosophers Weird People?”  Have you read anything I’ve written?  Have you ever met a philosopher?  Are bears Catholic?  Does the Pope . . . well, okay.  Yes.  We’re weird.

Why the Intern Liked Your Book

Okay, enough with the snark, it’s been done already.  I’m pretty sure a goodly number of the people who read this and aren’t looking for insightful commentary on Yves Klein’s monochromes (which accounts for a shocking amount of the traffic ’round these here parts) will have to publish academic books at some part of their tenured lives.  What follows is a short list of things, from my standpoint as The First Person Who Reads Your Proposal, that you might want to know. Continue reading