This is Jon Cogburn's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Jon Cogburn's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Jon Cogburn
Interests: some
Recent Activity
By Jon Cogburn When BP Morton first did a post about the appalling rise in preventable deaths among working class white males in the United States I thought about posting something on it, but refrained. First and foremost, I'm probably too emotionally invested in this issue. I can easily count... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Philosophical Percolations
Emily and I are still soldiering through both shows. It's nice to have thirty minute shows that are funny sometimes and don't have laugh tracks and which are free on Hulu. The other thing I increasingly hate about both of them (and Blackish too) is that many of the scenarios are unnecessarily unrealistic. I hate to quote Alan Alda's character from Crimes and Misdemeanors, but he had a point with the "if it bends, it's funny; if it breaks it's not" nonsense.
By Jon Cogburn He was lying in the reeds, cushioned on the muddy earth. He was comfortable and not too cold, although his head felt like it was being crushed in an apple press. He watched a small red spider crawl along a broken reed. He thought about the story... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Philosophical Percolations
In addition to Rachel's point, many cisgender women are infertile and cannot get pregnant (and most are for most of their lives). So the claim that females are those who can get pregnant has to be modalized with a special sense of "can." Females are those who *can* get pregnant. I worry about these special senses of "can" first and foremost because they are used to argue against legalized abortion, masturbation (every sperm is sacred because a sperm can be a human), and gay marriage. Second, it never really seems to the work, as all good trans and posthumanists (paging David Roden!) emphasize, as we develop technologicaly and change culturally then what can be the case changes radically. Tristan Garcia writes that if a universal does not identify differences then it goes away. In this respect, I worry that if "female" *just* picks out certain reproductive facts, then there's no reason to have the category "female" since we could just talk about those reproductive facts. To the extent that it is doing it's normal work as a universal, it's got to lump in other facts besides the reproductive ones. Finally, to reiterate and echo Annabelle above, the standard story of sex = biology and gender = culture doesn't just do a bad job with the biology and the modals, but also does a bad job with the culture as it invariably overestimates the amount of contingency that goes along with culture (cf. late era Richard Rorty and Stanley Fish for the pinnacle of this sin). It's a recapitulation of Aristotle's hylomorphism, with culture playing the active male role and biology playing the passive female role. Part of respecting the fact that many trans women report being in the wrong sex since a young age (and many gay people reporting they knew they were gay from a young age) means being willing to not think of gender with the neo-Aristotelianism background.
By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn and Mona Rocha) The world stinks. The stench of cadavers and of fish blends together. A sense of failure, a hideous degeneration. The world stinks. There are no ghosts under the tumescent moon; there are only bloated cadavers, swollen and black, about to explode... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Philosophical Percolations
I actually hadn't thought that there might be a connection with akrasia. Is it something like this? - We want to be able to say, "You don't really want to stop smoking or you would already have done that" analogously to "You don't really believe that the Bible is the most important book in the world, or you would have read it." With the akrasia stuff there's a tendency to say then that the smoker desires that they desire not to smoke, which would be analogous to saying that one believes that they believe the Bible is really important, but doesn't really believe it. James Taylor has an account of autonomy more focused on higher order beliefs than desires which might be relevant here. I can't remember the details though! One thing I was thinking about was our self conceptions as kinds of people where you not only desire to be a certain kind of person but really start to see yourself as that kind of person, even when it's not yet true that you are. Aristotle says that you can't really possess a virtue unless you have exercised it. But maybe to get to that point you have to leapfrog over the indeterminacy between lacking and possessing the virtue. I'm not sure that gets us what I wanted though, as here we just have it being good for someone to have a false belief about themselves as a waystation towards to becoming the kind of person truly described by the belief. Here's another example. Nietzsche somewhere comments something to the effect that the person who hates herself for being a bad person at least has the virtue of realizing she is a bad person and responding accordingly. Perhaps some such cases are ones where one believes that one believes that one is a bad person, but one doesn't really believe that one is a bad person. I *do* think this happens with the kind of bad faith exhibited by the mock humble, but unfortunately though, so described, this doesn't seem like a good thing at all. Last try. You want to be the kind of person who has correct beliefs about right and wrong. For some important moral belief your behavior just doesn't substantiate the claim that you actually posses the moral belief. Yet you want to see yourself as morally correct so much that you end up believing that you have the belief. In believing that you have the belief you are at least recognizing that your behavior ought to correspond to the moral rule, even though it does not. Of course this is hypocrisy, but hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, as one is only hypocritical to the extent that one recognizes that one is mistaken. It's better to by hypocritical and fall short than radically vicious. But is this just akrasia? I don't know the literature well enough. I don't think that the belief that racism is wrong is the same as desiring the eradication of racism. This isn't because I think moral internalism is wrong. One can be a moral internalist without making any concessions to non-cognitivism.
Oops! You're absolutely right. I made a howlingly bad inference. I was thinking if KKP entails BBP and KKP entails KP and KP entails BP, then BBP would entail BP. But P --> Q, P --> R, and Q --> S clearly do not entail R --> S. Ouch. You do get that if KKP entails BBP (KKBB) and KP entails KKP (KK) that KP entails BBP. If you know that P, then you believe that you believe that P. But I'm not sure that that would advance any of the extant debates involving the KK thesis. I suspect that people who find it problematic might already be the same people who already find the KK thesis problematic, and for the same reasons. Anyhow, thanks tons for the input!
By Jon Cogburn 1. The Reverse BB Thesis In analytic epistemology there's a longstanding debate about whether or not knowing that a proposition is true entails knowing that one knows the proposition is true (henceforth, "the KK thesis"). I'm not up to date on this literature, so as far as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Jon Cogburn When a bachelor of philosophy from the Antilles refuses to apply for certification as a teacher on the grounds of his color I say that philosophy has never saved anyone. When someone else strives and strains to prove to me that black men are as intelligent as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn and John Fletcher) If you're lucky, at the right time you come across music that is not only "great," or interesting, or "incredible," or fun, but actually sustaining. Though some elusive but tangible process, a piece of music cuts through all defenses and makes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Jon Cogburn That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
From now on all of my blog posts will just be whatever my son's magic eightball spits out. YES DEFINITELY Shoot, there I am wasting a blog post by going on too long in the comments.
Ha! Foiled by the autoposting feature and innate sloth, but read two lovely poems as a result. Will have a second try later today.
By Jon Cogburn Kilimon sat upon his stool in the hall of prayer, eyes closed, trying to meditate. He wasn't having much luck. One of his legs was asleep and his back was sore. He shifted in his seat, but couldn't get comfortable. For the last two weeks he'd been... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn and John Fletcher) “And I — my head oppressed by horror — said: "Master, what is it that I hear? Who are those people so defeated by their pain?" And he to me: "This miserable way is taken by the sorry souls of those... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
Ha! What would a tale end be? A storied end? That's probably not what I meant. Anyhow, thanks for pointing that out. I fixed it.
By Jon Cogburn One of my fundamental life experiences happened right after high school when, over a few weeks in 1987, I helped to build a small church and medical clinic in the Dominican Republic. We stayed in a little compound and walked through the countryside to the building sites... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Jon Cogburn We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value.... If religion were true, its followers would not try... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
The Dadlez piece is “Literature, Ethical Thought Experiments, and Moral Knowledge,” Southwest Philosophy Review 29:1 (2013): 195-209.
Wonderful post. Eva Dadlez has a wonderful paper on what makes fictional texts immoral. If I remember right, she argues that the key factor has to do with whether in the fictional world the immoral view is treated as normal. I might be getting that wrong. Her big example is the racist futuristic novel "The Turner Diaries." I'm just rereading Lovecraft now for a class I'm teaching on Graham Harman and Lovecraft (check out Harman's "Weird Realism" if you haven't) next semester and was just reading the racist bits of Herbert West - Reanimator last night. It's not clear to me whether it passes the Dadlez test because it's so clearly the narrator's racism and the narrator is already presented as a horrible person. But I'm going to dig up Dadlez' paper and think through this as I go through the rest of the stories in the Library of America volume.
I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying this dialogue quite a bit and hope it continues. The recent (can I say speculative?) rethinking of Derrida (Malabou, Hagglund, and our own co-blogger Debbie Goldgaber) seems pretty productive to me and what Bensusan's doing strikes me as an interesting addition. But it's hard stuff for analytic philosophers to get, and the back and forth between both of you helps a lot.
Wow. Great stuff!
Cool. When you've got something ready to share please either do a guest post here or send it my way so I can do a post about it.
By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn, John Fletcher, BP Morton, and Duncan Richter) For whether there is progress or not, at all events there is change; and the changed minds of each generation will require a difference in what has to satisfy their intellect. Hence there sems as much need... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Jon Cogburn (apologies to Delmore Schwarz, in the hope that he is still with us) Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? - William S. Burroughs The stupid car that drags me round, A manifold breathing to spark the gas, Crummy and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations