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, […]

On Philosophy With An Emancipatory Intent

July 9, 2017 Mbeljac 0

For those who hold that intellectual endeavour with an emancipatory intent requires adherence to this or that polysyllabic babble, and that analytic philosophy somehow necessarily entails conservative, at best, or reactionary, at worst, social and political dispositions and positions might want to consider a good interview with Noam Chomsky at […]

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, […]

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 […]

The Rationalist Manifesto of Colin McGinn

March 13, 2017 Mbeljac 0

Colin McGinn, Inborn Knowledge: The Mystery Within, (Cambridge MA, MIT Press, 2015) Colin McGinn writes a nifty little book on rationalism, which I found to be a pleasurable and insightful read. McGinn mounts a strong case for rationalism, and being a rationalist I confess not to needing of conversion. The […]

Steven Weinberg On The Trouble With Quantum Mechanics

January 5, 2017 Mbeljac 0

Steven Weinberg has an interesting article to appear in the forthcoming edition of the New York Review of Books on the foundations of, indeed the trouble with, quantum mechanics. Weinberg declares himself to be “not so sure about the future of quantum mechanics,” that is he is not so sure […]