[Link] 'Something feels wrong with the state of philosophy today.'

post by alanog · 2012-12-20T13:48:25.271Z · score: 8 (11 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 5 comments

http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=6424

Some interesting thoughts on the current state of philosophy, and Less Wrong gets cited a couple of times.

Something feels wrong with the state of philosophy today. From whence hast this sense of ill-boding come?

For this month’s Carnival, we shall survey a selection of recent posts that are loosely arranged around the theme of existential threats to contemporary philosophy. I focus on four. Pre-theoretic intuitions seem a little less credible as sources of evidence. Talk about possible worlds seems just a bit less scientific. The very idea of rationality looks as though it is being taken over by cognate disciplines, like cognitive science and psychology. And some of the most talented philosophers of the last generation have taken up arms against a scientific theory that enjoys a strong consensus.

5 comments

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comment by Pablo_Stafforini · 2012-12-20T16:40:09.503Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for posting this. In the future, please consider adding a paragraph that provides a summary, or at least a snapshot, of the article's contents. In this case, you could have included this one:

For this month’s Carnival, we shall survey a selection of recent posts that are loosely arranged around the theme of existential threats to contemporary philosophy. I focus on four. Pre-theoretic intuitions seem a little less credible as sources of evidence. Talk about possible worlds seems just a bit less scientific. The very idea of rationality looks as though it is being taken over by cognate disciplines, like cognitive science and psychology. And some of the most talented philosophers of the last generation have taken up arms against a scientific theory that enjoys a strong consensus. Some of these threats are disturbing, while others are eminently solvable. All of them deserve wider attention.

comment by betterthanwell · 2012-12-21T12:35:17.751Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

In the future, please consider adding a paragraph that provides a summary, or at least a snapshot, of the article's contents.

Yes. However, I would suggest not to wait for next time to do it right. Do it right, now.

I will downvote the top post, but I promise to upvote it, if and when benthamite's suggestion is followed.

Sorry for the carrot and stick, but doing so shouldn't take more than a minute.
(Which would be less than was spent on writing this.)

comment by alanog · 2012-12-21T12:52:36.242Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

done now, forgot you could edit these things.

comment by betterthanwell · 2012-12-21T13:42:44.904Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Neat. Upvote delivered, as promised.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2012-12-20T20:46:48.867Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

8 There are necessary truths that apply to all possible worlds. Natural alternative: recognize that it is hard enough to figure out what is true in this world, and there is no reliable way of establishing what is true in all possible worlds, so abandon the concept of necessity.

All possible, given what? That's what I find lacking. All possible just becomes all thinkable, which then becomes an argument over semantic commitments.

I believe EY is thinking of Pearl's do(x) action on a causal model, so that the "given what" is well defined as the causal model and associated state. Given everything else in the model except for the event changed by the intervention do(x) and it's causal effects.