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Eric Winsberg
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Another terrific reflection on affairs in Pakistan that should be of interest to philosophers of race by philosopher Saba Fatima here. Continue reading
(Philosophical Aesthetics' answer to Philosophers’ Annual) has just been announced. A panel of seven judges were asked to nominate work in Aesthetics or Philosophy of Art published in 2014 they found to be particularly outstanding. From those initial nominations, the panel further deliberated and selected a final five works. Here's... Continue reading
that's how I heard it at first, too--before it occured to me that "should" was just the subjunctive conditional of "shall". but I think its interesting that we can hear it that way when there is no longer expression it is short for that we find acceptable except the pedantic sounding "If I were you, it would be the case that I should," or something it cant be short for "If I were you it would behoove me to." The only way "If I were you I should.." is acceptable and parsable is if we leave the normative interpretation aside.
Right. Good. Once I start hearing "should" as just another (less emphatic) form of "would" I of course have no trouble at all with "If I were you I should" I still think there an interesting phenomenon here, but I admit its now much more buried in conjecture: when I, an american who never uses or hears "shall" hears the expression "_I_ should" I hear it as an acceptable contraction of (what is to me) an unacceptable longer construction, and I take it to mean something like "if I were in your place, it would behoove me to do so." But i might be the only such person, in which case its not a very interesting find.
Anon: if you watch and listen, its pretty obvious that's not it. The emphasis is on the _I_, as in, I don't know about _you_, but _I_ should. Its pretty clearly some kind of "If I were you" construction. Michael: fascinating. But if Charles and Simon are right, then how do we know if that's a normative "should" or just the subjunctive conditional form of "shall"? I think what makes me hear "If I were you, I should" as so wrong is because I can only hear "should" as the normative construction.
and for an example of how it reverses in the second person, there is Tolkien's "You shall not pass" (which is definitely meant to convey emphasis!)
indeed, I was confused by Charles' own example, as it seemed to show the opposite of what he claimed.
Haha. Ok, first of all, my apologies for using the word "decent." I've only seen five episodes so far. I do think there are one or two things that keep it from being great, but I'm happy to go much higher than "decent." @Charles: I hadn't thought of that, since the word "shall" is just not even in my vocabulary. But I guess you are right. (and now I'm a bit disappointed.)
I've been watching a few episodes of the BBC drama series "Foyle's War." Its a decent show, but what interests me right now is just an expression that the main character, Christopher Foyle, often uses that I had never heard before. It works like this: someone will ask him if... Continue reading
I guess I'm not sure what to make of a line of response like that. It strikes me as question begging. In other words, if the response to any purported example of SDCMR is to define it away as a temporary radical subgroup, I don't see why the thesis in question is deserving of the letter "D" in it. Its not a descriptive thesis unless I have some thesis-independent way of identifying a genuine culture and of identifying "what they regard as morally right." ISIS looks to me like a cohesive enough group with a coherent enough belief system to count as a data point. (that's why I linked to this article, because i think it makes just that point.) If what disqualifies them is that they are "radical" then the thesis is just true by definition, and it no longer sounds like a descriptive thesis.
What do you make of these folks:
Put another way: the claim of SDCMR was never that cultures vary radically with respect to what some of their members can conceive as being morally right and wrong.
I'm not so sure its such a retreat. The claim is that " cultures vary radically in what they regard as morally right and wrong." Suppose you fell asleep for a hundred years and when you woke up you found that the people around you held that it was equally morally wrong to destroy someone's online avatar as it was to kill them IRL. (And let's stipulate that this only due to a change in culture, not due to changes in the underlying properties of online avatars.) I don't know about you, but I would think "Wow, our two cultures vary radically with regard to the moral status of online avatars. Where I come from, destroying someone else's avatar makes you kind of a douche, but that's about it." And I don't think I would change my opinion about this _just because I found out that back in 2015, there were some 'weirdos' arguing for the claim that online avatars had the same moral status as humans._
Wouldnt the proponent of SDCMR reply as follows: yes, there is always a diversity of opinion in every culture about what is morally right, but the ways in which cultures vary is with regard to what of those views is hegemonic. Sure, there were opponents of slavery in ancient rome, but they held a minority view that held no sway, or at least insufficient sway to make a difference, such that its appropriate to say that -slavery was taken to be morally acceptable in ancient rome-. this doesnt mean that no one opposed that view. Similarly, there are people in this society who think it is morally unacceptable to vaccinate your own child.
Hi David, First of all, no. Absolultely not. But to approve it is to endorse its "in-the-bounds-of-discussion-ness". That comment wasn't such. And more importantly, Brian virtually admitted that the comment was out of bounds but that he was going to allow it for ulterior reasons. And he then went on to make other inappropriate comments of his own. Finally, this is not any blog. This is a blog which continues, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, to enjoy a special status in the profession via the cooperation of many eminent professionals. If some other blog had done this, I probably would have tut tut-ed on facebook and moved along.
Shawn Miller, a graduate student at the University of California, Davis, has been kind enough to create a philosophy of physics grad program wiki in the mold of, which you can find at He wanted me to be sure to note that the wiki uses, with permission, Christian... Continue reading
I once read someone refer to some task or other as a "dolly" for him. Took me forever to figure that one out.
OK. I can see that I really should have read the piece. The Tyrant IS a madman. I was assuming that the Tyrant was a "normal" person, and killed all the non-madmen so that his pain would become non-pain, while still having the causal role of what WE call pain. But now I gather that the Tyrant kills all the non-madmen so that his pain becomes non-pain, all the while maintaining whatever "nonstandard" causal role it had all along. That all makes sense. I had it backwards. But now the question is: why would the tyrant want to get rid of his pain if he was never kvetching about it? Wouldn't _wanting to get rid of it_ also be part of the typical causal role of pain? As much as kvetching is?
Hmmm. I dont see why he woudn't kvetch. According to Lewis, the "madman" in present society _has_ PAIN despite the fact that his behavior is a tendency to do math problems. I'm assuming what the dictator does is to kill everyone but the "madmen" in his society so that C-fiber stimulation (or whatever) becomes TENDENCY TO DO MATH PROBLEMS. But just as the madman used to exhibit their PAIN by doing math problems, the dictator will now exhibit his TENDENCY TO DO MATH PROBLEMS by kvetching. What am I missing?
I guess I should pony up for the journal and read the story/article. But off the top of my head I'm not seeing how the dictator can help himself. Even if Lewis is right, and he manages to kill enough people so that the state he is in is no longer PAIN it will still be a state that has the same functional role as PAIN did before he killed everyone. He cant change the functional role of the state he has by killing other people. In fact, arguably he will be worse off, because now he will have a state that is just as unpleasant to him as PAIN was but it will be an instance of THE TENDENCY TO DO MATH PROBLEMS, and everyone will call him a madman and wonder why he kvetches so much about his TENDENCY TO DO MATH PROBLEMS.
Leo Kadanoff making an argument directed at Bob Wald using the example of Dumb Holes that Radin Dardashti, Karim Thebault and I had just presented on. I wonder if Wald and Kadanoff have such rich conversations very often in the hallways of their own department. Who says philosophers and scientists... Continue reading
The following is a guest post by Shelley Tremain: As deadlines for philosophy faculty positions approach and pass, members of search committees should bear in mind how structural, institutional, disciplinary, material, and other factors have marginalized many philosophers, reproducing the profession and discipline as homogeneous and conformist along axes of... Continue reading
New blog post: "Jessica Wilson compares PGR to torture"! Seriously though: great points. Arguments from being the least flawed existing system are a bit weak. Especially when we recall that the whole recent "fracas" started from the perception that Brian Leiter was using the power that being editor of the PGR gives him to attack folks who were trying to create less flawed alternatives.
This is a guest post by Mitchell Aboulafia. It's a bit long, but it's worth reading in its entirety. I don't necessarily endorse any particular part of it, but I think it makes some excellent points, especially about lack of transparency. This feature in particular is, in my view, not... Continue reading