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Showing posts from November, 2019

Truth in the Culture War

One claim that I have seen crop up lately is the idea that somehow the present culture war turns upon what one thinks of the correspondence theory of truth. Now, I think the nature of truth is a deep and fascinating topic of philosophical inquiry, so I absolutely welcome more interest in it, and encourage people to delve deeper into what I think is an important topic. However, as is always the way, truth has been a casualty of war. In this case in particular the claims being made on behalf of truth's role in the culture war seem to me simply confused. So I am going to try and spell out what is being said, what I take to be wrong with this, and instead indicate some more productive lines of inquiry re philosophy in general, theory of truth in particular, and our present cultural moment.

(I think the whole discussion goes back to an argument Rachel McKinney had on twitter, so blame her! In all seriousness also thanks to her for doing much serious thinking on this and being willing t…

Just a Humble Philosopher

What are we trying to do when we teach philosophy? This question was broached recently at a conference I took part in on the role of formal methods in philosophy. It was maybe one of the most Very Extremely Online philosophy conferences the world has yet seen, being announced in advance on one blog, livetweeted by twodifferent philosophers, with questions from twitter being asked at a roundtable at the end - which is now going to be blogged about here! (Just want to include a note of thanks to Samuel Fletcher, not only for his role in organising the conference but also for offering helpful feedback on this very blog post!) This isn’t the last time I am going to blog about the conference, but right now I want to focus on a rather curious element of the conference and reflect on what it means for those who engage with students of philosophy.

The conference had us all thinking about what we hope formal methods can do for various people who interact with the philosophy world. But first an…