We all remember “the Sokal affair”, when Alan Sokal, a New York University physicist, wrote a piece of total bullshit, peppered with fashionable postmodernist terminology, and managed to publish it in a leading cultural studies journal. Many people think that this is the best possible way to expose the pretentious and irritating nonsense so widespread … More Žižek, the irresistible
FIRST LAW: Question everything! SECOND LAW: . . . except for the victimhood of women, racial minorities, LGBT, etc. THIRD LAW: Never, ever mention the second law!
Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote: A tautology . . . says nothing. (Tractatus, 5,142) He further clarified: The logical product of a tautology and a proposition says the same thing as the proposition. This product, therefore, is identical with the proposition. (Tractatus, 4,465) Basically, Wittgenstein is saying that if T is a tautology and p is any proposition, … More Wittgenstein was wrong—and Stalin was right—about tautologies
Almost 8 years ago I published on my Facebook a post about Carnap’s well-known criticism of Heidegger. I reproduce it here (in blue font). Carnap famously claimed that some of Heidegger’s allegedly deep philosophical thoughts are in fact just pseudo-statements in which he committed elementary logical fallacies, like treating the word “nothing” as a name … More Carnap – Heidegger 1-0 (certified)
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is, in my opinion, one of the most overrated “public intellectuals” today. Exhibit A is his awful book The bed of Procrustes: philosophical and practical aphorisms (Random House, 2010). Here are some examples, with my brief comments: Pharmaceutical companies are better at inventing diseases that match existing drugs, rather than inventing drugs … More Taleb and the art of bad aphorism
John Searle says “Yes”. I say “Perhaps not”. Here is Searle: Well, Bernard was a very good friend of mine… I think Bernard was as intelligent as any human being I’ve ever met. He had a kind of quickness which was stunning. Now one consequence of that is there’s a sense in which people who … More Was Bernard Williams potentially a great philosopher?
A few years before her death Kurt Gödel’s mother asked her son whether they would see each other in a hereafter. He answered affirmatively and provided the following proof in a letter of July 23, 1961: About that I can only say the following: If the world is rationally organized and has a sense, then … More A mistake in Gödel’s proof