The 106th Philosophers’ Carnival: Philosophical Gourmet

05 Apr
April 5, 2010

Welcome the 106th edition of Philosophers’ Carnival — a gourmet selection of philosophy related blog posts from around the blogosphere.

The menu selections for tonight are arranged as follows:

The Hors D’œuvres: Moral Philosophy to be consumed before setting down at the table.
The Entrées: Some sautéed Epistemology.
The Main Courses: Slowly cooked Metaphysics.
The Desserts: A rather special mix of glazed Logic & Language.
The Digestives: Some Philosophy of Mind & Action to help with the digestion.
The Wine List: A true connoisseur’s take on wine with some Philosophy of Science.

Hors D’œuvres: Moral Philosophy

  • Thom Brooks at The Brooks Blog wets our appetite with his paper ‘Punishment and British Idealism’, which discusses the work of philosophers such as Bernard Bosanquet, F. H. Bradley, and T. H. Green, and particularly their views on punishment — we are being told that there is an important overlap here between the views of these philosophers and other idealists. Comments on the paper are invited!
  • Richard Chappell at Philosophy, et cetera discusses The Limits of Moral Theory over some appetiser drinks. And make those drinks strong, because he tells us that there is no moral theory which manages to guarantee the best possible outcomes even if its requirements are satisfied!
  • Eric Michael Johnson at The Primate Diaries entertains us with a pre-dinner talk with the intriguing title ‘Why I Am Not A Humanist’, taking his cue from Bertrand Russell’s essay ‘Why I Am Not A Christian’. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I’ll let you know that it has something to do with apes…

Entrées: Epistemology

Main Courses: Metaphysics

  • Andrew Brenner at The Florida Student Philosophy Blog starts off our main meal options with some seafood straight from The Ship of Theseus. He discusses two arguments in favour of mereological nihilism — which would suggest that we can avoid the Ship of Theseus problem — and then responds to three objections to mereological nihilism.
  • Massimo Pigliucci at Rationally Speaking offers another possibility for the main course, even though he thinks that not quite everything is possible: “Anything is possible.” No, not really. The gist is that an omnipotent god is logically impossible, but there is some very interesting discussion on the varieties of modality as well. A lively discussion is also going on in the comments section.
  • Your host for tonight right here at ttahko.net would like to continue on the same note and offer a supplement on the Varieties of Modality. I invite comments to a draft paper of the same name, which is a survey of our options in interpreting varieties of modality, especially metaphysical, conceptual, and logical modality.
  • Ross Cameron at metaphysical values changes the flavour towards abstract objects and offers An argument against Platonism. Interestingly, the argument relies heavily on certain supposed conceptual possibilities, such as ‘For everything that exists, it is conceptually possible that it not exist’.
  • Martin Cooke at Enigmania offers another maths related dish with a post on Resolving Lévy’s paradox. The paradox concerns the logical possibility of arbitrarily selected real numbers and the upshot is that standard mathematics may be in trouble.
  • Kenny Pearce at blog.kennypearce.net finishes the main course options with a post on How reductive theories of mental representation lead to phenomenalism, considering the plausibility of the argument according to which mental representation can be reduced to phenomenal content.

Desserts: Logic and Language

Digestives: Philosophy of Mind & Action

  • Avery Archer at The Space of Reasons starts off our digestive drinks with a discussion of Burge’s Alternative to M-rationalism. M-rationalism, which is short for ‘Motivational Rationalism’ suggests that ‘a psychological transition is rational only if the agent is motivated to complete the transition by her belief that it accords with a rational principle’ and this post suggests that Tyler Burge’s alternative to M-rationalism bears some similarity to R. J. Wallace’s M-rationalist account.
  • David Chalmers at fragments of consciousness invites comments on his new paper The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis while we finish off our drinks. The paper discusses the supposed intelligence explosion that could happen if and when machines become more intelligent than humans.

Wine List: Philosophy of Science

There you have it, some fine choices for your philosophical gourmet dining experience! Apologies to those whose entries were not included — there’s only so much one can eat. The next Philosophers’ Carnival will be hosted at Brains on April 26th. Submit your entry here. In the meanwhile, you’re always welcome to come back to ttahko.net!

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3 replies
  1. C. Bosco says:

    I appreciate your inclusion of my post in this issue. cheers

  2. Robert Seddon says:

    I never expected to see you adopt ethics as first philosophy… or is that purely in a gastronomic context?

  3. Tuomas says:

    Haha, good point Robert! That didn’t really even occur to me, I was just thinking of metaphysics as the main course!

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