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…
- C. Bosco at Hammers of Flight starts our entrée assortment with a discussion of the Gettier cases and justification in the post Overlapping Arrows from Nowhere. He claims that the term ‘justification’ is problematic and that nothing is justified per se.
- Hans Bluedorn at the Fallacy Detective reminds us that something isn’t true simply because nobody has yet given any evidence to the contrary with this funny video: “Proof By Lack of Evidence” Fallacy.
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
- Edgar Aroutiounian at The Florida Student Philosophy Blog starts the dessert options with an amusing cartoon from xkcd.com on the explosiveness of classical logic: Boom, there goes Classical Logic. The problem is of course that of everything following from a contradiction, and some discussion of our options follows.
- Peter Smith at Logic Matters has been putting up his notes about the work of a philosopher who did not eat so well: Gödel Without (Too Many) Tears. I recommend this introduction to Gödel’s theorems to anyone who, like myself, is not very mathematically competent.
- Andrew Bacon at Possibly Philosophy concludes out dessert choices with some notes about Interpreting the third truth value in Kripke’s theory of truth. Contrary to Kripke and one common view, according to which the third truth value is not really a truth value at all, he suggests that we can indeed view the third truth value as a third truth status.
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
- Terrance Tomkow at Tomkow.com has a vintage on offer: Darwin and his Defenders. This is a discussion of Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini’s What Darwin Got Wrong.
- Eric Schliesser at It’s Only A Theory wonders if mathematical models can help in choosing our wine (or at least our philosophy) in a post on Mathematical models and philosophical progress.
- Bryan W. Roberts at Soul Physics offers the final choice for a wine to accompany our meal with some amusing clips about Constructing the Ultimate Machine.
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!