Philosophy

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Philosophy

Dennis Overbye at the NYTimes somewhat unintentionally answers the “what is science’s rightful place?” question in his column. He emphasizes the similarity and symbiosis between science and democracy: And indeed there is no leader, no grand plan, for this hive. It is in many ways utopian anarchy, a virtual community that lives as much on…

Will Wilkinson takes anarchist Crispin Sartwell over the proposition that an illegitimate state is therefore a morally indefensible state: The point is: Showing that the state is not legitimate does not deliver anarchy because “If the state is not legitimate, then it is not morally defensible” is a false premise. The existence of a moral…

Hypothesis-Free Research?

Steven Wiley, writing in the Scientist, discusses the contradiction of the recent fad for “hypothesis-free” research: Following a recent computational biology meeting, a group of us got together for dinner, during which the subject of our individual research projects came up. After I described my efforts to model signaling pathways, the young scientist next to…

Recently, there were a set of posts arguing for different models of the effects of the minimum wage on employment. Megan McArdle argues that perfect competition models of the effects of minimum wage on the labor market implies that increases in the minimum wage will raise unemployment. Kathy G at Crooked Timber disagrees. She argues…

This Kant attack ad is awesome:

On the superfluity of nations

Who knew anybody, much less the Economist had an opinion on whether or not Belgium should exist? One question: if Belgium goes through a ‘velvet’ divorce, who gets custody of the chocolate?

In response to my earlier post on the limits of utilitarianism Ezra Klein, blogger and journalist at The American Prospect, had this to say: Reading this perfectly serious attempt to lay out Ayn Rand’s objections to utilitarianism, I’m reminded of how utterly astonishing I find it that anyone takes her seriously. Listen to this stuff:…

Interesting Conversation on Weber

Here is your philosophical conversation to ponder over for the day. (I am cleaning out links, and this is the sort of stuff you get when I am cleaning out links.) I recently read an interesting interchange on about Weber’s idea that a state is defined by a monolopy on the legitimate use of force…