Entries by admin

Logical Positivism

“Logical Positivism”   That’s an odd label for the view it purports to describe. The most conspicuous feature of the doctrine in question is its negative attitude toward traditional metaphysics: it is a form of philosophical “negativism” i.e. metaphysics is meaningless and should be abandoned. And what is with the adjective “logical” here? Doesn’t every philosophical doctrine […]

The Origin of Ideas

The Origin of Ideas Where do our ideas come from? What gives ideas their content? There is an old and natural story about this: call it the “exemplar theory”. Consider the idea of blue (the concept blue, the meaning of “blue”): it arises in the mind by virtue of perceptual contact with exemplary blue things—this contact […]

Hitch 22

Hitchens   I’ve just finished reading Christopher Hitchens’ Hitch 22, a sad but stimulating experience. Among many sage observations, he tells us how much he values a sense of the absurd and an ironic mind, as well as linguistic playfulness. Despotisms always seem to be literal-minded, pedestrian, humorless, and linguistically repressive—as well as fanatical and violent. […]

Knowing and Necessity

KNOWING AND NECESSITY   I hope that some people see no connection between the two topics in the title.[1] In any case, the absence of any connection will be developed in the course of the paper—a complete and clean separation. The way I think about these matters is, in some ways, quite different from what people […]

A Paper

The Science of Philosophy What is the nature of philosophy? Two views have been influential. One view is that philosophy is “continuous with science”–a kind of proto science or a commentary on the sciences or a synthesis of them.1 According to this view, philosophy is an empirical discipline, though more removed from the data than typical […]

Andy Wins!

I have thought for a couple of years now that Andy Murray’s best tennis is better than anyone else’s best tennis, but so far he has been unable to find his best tennis consisently. Today was a magnificent performance: his best tennis on the biggest occasion. If he keeps this up he will be the […]