Physicists, sex differences, and a new inquisition

When a book entitled 100 authors against Einstein came out in Germany in 1931, Einstein allegedly exclaimed: “If I were wrong, then one [author] would have been enough!” Unlike Einstein, many contemporary physicists apparently believe that—even in discussions about science—there is strength in numbers. So when several months ago Italian physicist Alessandro Strumia gave a … More Physicists, sex differences, and a new inquisition

PPR and the ethics of peer review

It happened again! I worked hard on a philosophical article and it was quickly rejected—this time after being submitted to Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (PPR), which is often ranked among the top 5 philosophy journals. Don’t worry, dear reader, this won’t be yet another of those boring occasions where a whiny author complains about his work … More PPR and the ethics of peer review

Philosophers falsely advertise themselves, again

Two days ago British Philosophical Association (BPA) issued an open letter expressing a worry over the future of philosophy programs at the University of Hull. The letter received support from heads of philosophy departments at King’s College London, St Andrews, Birkbeck, Durham, Reading, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Warwick, Aberdeen, Sheffield, etc. Here is the most problematic … More Philosophers falsely advertise themselves, again

Wittgenstein’s overlooked insight

Sometimes it seems there can no longer be any low-hanging fruit in the Wittgenstein scholarship. After so many extensive commentaries on his work by prominent philosophers, can we still hope to discover in his opus easily derivable but new and striking insights? Yes. The demonstration follows. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. … More Wittgenstein’s overlooked insight

Timothy Williamson and Simon Blackburn criticize Tony Blair—and miss

          In his new book Timothy Williamson, the Wykeham Professor of Logc at Oxford, writes: Descartes’ starting point for reconstructing knowledge was his knowledge of his own inner thought. That too still has strange echoes. In March 2003 the United States under President George W. Bush and the United Kingdom under … More Timothy Williamson and Simon Blackburn criticize Tony Blair—and miss

Kripke proposes a language reform to advance world peace

          Many regard Saul Kripke as the world’s greatest living philosopher. He is also routinely described as a genius. In an article recently published in a leading philosophy journal Kripke spells out advantages of the view he calls “affirmativism”, i.e. adopting a language that doesn’t contain the word “false”: More important, … More Kripke proposes a language reform to advance world peace

Sounds of (philosophers’) silence

More than a year ago I published an article, Study Philosophy to Improve Thinking—A Case of False Advertising?, in which I defended the following claim: the world’s leading philosophy departments try to attract students by announcing, without offering any evidence, that studying philosophy improves thinking and builds skills that are useful in all kinds of jobs. … More Sounds of (philosophers’) silence