If you missed the first installment of my NYU Diaries, it’s here.
It’s coming to three weeks since I arrived, and I’ve barely had a breather. It’s not because I go out on a couple of nights each week, try to write several papers at the same time, attend seminars, or run record weekly mileage. But when you put all these things together, there’s not an awful lot of time to rest.
So, where to begin… Well, I’m probably running too much given other time constraints. This week I managed 70+ miles, or 113km, which is a new record for me. That included some speed work and double sessions, and also a little bit of cycling and core work at the gym. I got a good deal with the NYU gym, paying just over $100 for three month access. The facilities are much better than the ones in Helsinki and there’s even a pool at the gym (although I haven’t been swimming here — I really need to learn a proper technique first). As you’ll have noticed if you follow the blog, I also ran a 5k race recently. Today was dedicated to running-related matters as well; first I photographed the NYC half marathon, which was an awesome race with a great sprint finish from Mo Farah to win it. Then I explored the Hudson Riverside on a long 22 mile run, catching my first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty on the way.
Regarding work, I had a good chat with Kit Fine this week and I’ve been slowly developing some crazy ideas that I have about the reduction of modality into essence. I’ve also been re-reading papers by Fabrice Correia and David Oderberg on these matters. I hesitate to go into the details as I’ve still got a lot to do, but I may do a dedicated post on this stuff at some point.
NYU has Spring break this week, so there isn’t anything going on there, but I did attend a talk on the Mathematics of Abstraction by Roy Cook at the City College. He was basically defending neo-Logicism. It was interesting, if a bit too technical for me. I did buy Kit Fine’s Limits of Abstraction recently though, and I hope that by reading it I might get some more insight into abstraction principles.
I’ve continued to attend Kripke’s seminar on the contingent a priori. It’s a bit hit and miss and requires a lot of patience, but I think it’s worthwhile. If nothing else, I’ve started to collect some Kripke anecdotes. Perhaps I’ll share one: Kripke walks into the Kripke Center at CUNY where a few of us are checking the list of speakers for this Lewis conference (an impressive list, but I don’t think I can make it). We note that Kripke’s title is ‘TBA’ (although so is Hawthrone’s). Kripke’s comment: ‘Oh damn’. He had seemingly forgotten about the whole troublesome affair of being the keynote speaker.
One more work-related update: I’ve accepted an invitation to contribute to a special issue of the journal Humana.Mente. I’ve been asked to produce a commentary of Kathrin Koslicki’s 2008 OUP book, The Structure of Objects. The issue is called ‘Composition, Counterfactuals and Causation’ and edited by Roberto Ciuni, Massimiliano Carrara and Giorgio Lando. There is a call for papers for that issue, so if you have anything related to these topics, consider submitting! The deadline is July 30th 2011, and other invited contributors include Ned Hall, Ralf Busse, Henry Laycock, Andrea Bottani, Andrea Borghini and Giuliano Torrengo. The issue is mainly devoted to David Lewis’ work (a lot of Lewis stuff happening now), but the editors (very wisely) wanted to include something on Koslicki’s alternative, Aristotelian view on composition, which is where my commentary comes in. I look forward to working out the details of Koslicki’s view!
What else, huh? I’ve dived into NYC’s psy-trance scene and attended a party in Brooklyn last weekend. The music was good, the venue less so, but the people were very friendly, so I look forward to another party on the coming weekend. I also had the chance to sample NYC’s famous jazz scene the other day with a bunch of philosophers, at a club called Smalls. We arrived quite late, but just in time for the rather impressive improvisation session by random musicians who happened to be at the club. I’d love to catch another set some time, perhaps some fusion if I can find some, but these events are very expensive here.
I haven’t been eating out so much in order to save money, but I have discovered where the delicious vegan cakes available in a few places in NYC come from: Vegan Treats. I’ve heard that their vegan donuts are excellent as well, so I guess I need to keep running!
Ok, that’s too much text already, so I’ll sign off for now, but expect further updates soon! Next week a trip to Boston, and in just a few weeks the 13.1 NYC half marathon where I can finally test my fitness!