Economic Growth and the Doomsday Argument

November 13, 2017 Mbeljac 0

Say there are two lottery urns, one containing 1000 balls each numbered from 1 to 1000, and the other containing 10 balls each also numbered from 1 to 10. We have two individuals, one Alice the other Bob. Alice will reach into one of the lottery urns, out of sight […]

Why Only US? On The Very Idea of a Social Construction

October 27, 2017 Mbeljac 0

Albert Einstein never won the Nobel Prize for physics on account of relativity, even though it became a well accepted part of our understanding of nature and acquired empirical support well within his lifetime. It was considered too different, too weird for so august a prize although oddly quantum mechanics, […]

CERN and the Crisis of Big Science

June 23, 2017 Mbeljac 0

Dennis Overbye has a nice article on the LHC at CERN and the, so far failed, search for supersymmetry at the New York Times. One of the things that Overbye focuses on is what he calls the “nightmare” of the physics community, or better still the physics establishment, namely that […]

Logic and the Mechanisation of Reason

June 18, 2017 Mbeljac 0

Michael Shenefelt and Heidi White, If A Then B: How the World Discovered Logic, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014). This is a truly unique book. It is a history of logic, but it is not a normal history. Not too many existential quantifiers here nor barbers requiring a shave. […]

Algebra and A General Theory of Logic

June 12, 2017 Mbeljac 0

Michael Friedman’s Reconsidering Logical Positivism, which I have read before but recently got in the mail, is a very good and important book which argues, persuasively, that the dominant interpretation of logical positivism within the Anglo sphere is wrong. It’s not just the empiricists who have got logical positivism wrong, […]

Reconsidering Logical Positivism: The Question of Power.

May 12, 2017 Mbeljac 0

There is much that is useful to be learned from a study of intellectual history. Take, say, the question of positivism and its relation to systems of power, both political and economic. Michael Friedman wrote a great book on logical positivism, Reconsidering Logical Positivism, from an abstract philosophical perspective, but […]

Thought Experiments and Epistemological Naturalism

May 7, 2017 Mbeljac 0

We tend to forget that thought experiments have a rich history, and moreover that they played a critical role in the scientific revolution. In my opinion, a critical reason why their role in the scientific revolution has not been emphasised is because of the dominance of empiricism in Anglo-American philosophy […]

Incommensurability and the Structure of Scientific Unification

April 1, 2017 Mbeljac 0

The concept of incommensurability was introduced into the philosophy and historiography of science, independently, by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. The most well known, and discussed, application of the concept is due to Kuhn, given the role that it played in his work on the structure of scientific revolutions. His […]