I decided to make a public philosophy page for my website, linked in last tweet. And to inaugurate it I am posting it with the very strange essay, wherein I try and outline my ethical perspective. First para explains more. I'm not an ethicist, sorry!

The origins of this essay is that @haicinnamon and I were thinking about how we would write if we had no journal constraints, and also what we wanted to get out of philosophy of science. I realised that for me philosophy of science is really just part of a broader ethical project
So I wrote up the result, and tried to make it clear both where I am coming from in general. It's somewhat personal. I don't think my views are very original but I will note that the essay is not actually that long - it's just a huge bibliography! Read if you have a moment spare.
Here's the public philosophy page in full. Maybe you'll find something that interests you there! Both in the essay and on this page a great many of yinz, people from here on twitter, feature. Thank you one and all for all the help you have given me.


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More from @lastpositivist

13 Sep
More than one person in the recent past has called me a "moderate" This perturbs me! I'm sceptical of representative democracy and the parliamentary road to socialism, I want to end private ownership of the means of production and democratise all facets of the economy...
... and I am at the least pretty sympathetic to pacifism, open borders, and prison abolition. It's extremely fair to say that I am a highly ineffective agent at actually generating radical change - I'm a comfy bourgeois academic! - so if people saying I'm a moderate meant...
... I'm functionally no threat to the powers that be, then, like, fair, stings a bit but I'd have to own that. (I think a great many self-described radicals are in this sense moderates, so I'm in good company!) But I think people rather meant that I was moderate in my opinions...
Read 6 tweets
25 Aug
Here are the current Teams in philosophy, as defined by me in a completely idiosyncratic way that I have no intention of trying to justify or even pretend is sociologically well founded in the slightest.
The LEMMings - once the ultra dominant group in Anglo American departments, developed a unified worldview out of work in the philosophy of language, epistemology, mind, and metaphysics. Will be remembered as the scholasticism of our age when it goes extinct in ~15 years time.
The Rearguard of the Vanguard of the Professional Middle Classes - up and coming youths of formerly excluded groups demand the right to enter and be taken seriously in elite cultural roles. Philosophers see what they say on Tumblr and develop elaborate post-hoc rationales for it.
Read 14 tweets
8 Aug
Ok for the sakes of organising things I am just gonna have one thread where I give all my White Fragility reaccs. First I'll gather the ones I have already done here, starting with...

Read 35 tweets
4 Aug
I think there's a fairly common (among mathematicians and theorists) understanding of mathematics wherein its truths are just something-like-definitional-consequences of choices we make when looking at axiom systems or measurement frameworks. ...
... so when someone says "2+2 always equals 4" it's natural to think this is something like saying "The symbols "2", "+", "=", and "4" are always such that "2+2 = 4" is a consequence of their proper application", in which case the natural thing to do is check other frameworks...
... and then it turns out that this is not true, since it turns out there are settings where we use these symbols in something-like-but-not-identical-with their typical use and "2+2 = 4" comes out false therein. Maths nerds then get excited about talking about these frameworks...
Read 7 tweets
31 Jul
Ok I've been thinking more about why it the culture war periodically generates heated disputes about, like, correspondence theory of truth or non-standard models of arithmetic - intensely abstract things related to formal science that don't seem to be of political relevance...
... one aspect of it (far from the only thing going on, but just what I am thinking about here) is surely the gap in expectations about what the pertinent questions are between people who work on those topics and IDW people who primarily experience them via online discourse...
... so, like, when as Enthusiastic Nerd you see suddenly everybody wants to talk about your weird pet topic, it's like: great! You're excited about all these surprising little known facts you can share, or to see people passionate about complex debates you find fascinating...
Read 10 tweets
26 Jul
One thing people say a lot which is just uncomplicatedly false is that philosophy of science makes no impact on actual science. With tolerable frequency ideas or concepts from philosophy of science make the leap over to scientific investigation. Some examples then a moral.
Sometimes it's because a philosopher does technical work which is followed up on by scientists. So Carnap seems to have been influential on early work in AI or machine learning by multiple paths, largely through his work in logic and probability.

Sometimes it's because disciplinary boundaries are porous and a philosopher is also directly working in the sciences. A rather illustrious example is Suppes en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_S… but this sort of thing still goes on. This is a lovely paper, for instance: cailinoconnor.com/wp-content/upl…
Read 7 tweets

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