Tag Archives: philosophy

I Myself Am A Scientismist

I. “Science can tell you about rocks and molecules and stars. But what kind of science can tell you about the deepest recesses of the human soul?” I hear this a lot, and I want to answer “Psychology! It’s this … Continue reading

The What-You’d-Implicitly-Heard-Before Telling Thing

G. K. Chesterton, whom I praised yesterday, is also famous for the argument of the “truth-telling thing”: ‚ÄúThis, therefore, is, in conclusion, my reason for accepting the religion and not merely the scattered and secular truths out of the religion. … Continue reading


The statement “Mozart’s music is better than Beethoven’s” is usually considered a subjective opinion. But this statement has the same form as “Mozart’s music is better than the music of the three-year old girl who lives upstairs from me and … Continue reading

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Utilitarianism for Engineers, Part II

You know how it’s impossible even in principle to compare people’s utilities and so utilitarianism is a pipe dream that can never possibly work? Well, I just learned Tufts has a searchable public database of utilities for various health outcomes. … Continue reading

Proving Too Much

The fallacy of Proving Too Much is when you challenge an argument because, in addition to proving its intended conclusion, it also proves obviously false conclusions. For example, if someone says “You can’t be an atheist, because it’s impossible to … Continue reading

Last Thoughts On Virtue Ethics

The discussion on the other posts has sort of degenerated into people pointing out that our intuitive moral sense is a whole lot more useful most of the time than the speculations of moral philosophers, therefore virtue ethics. I have … Continue reading

Read History Of Philosophy Backwards

I disagreed with the specific presentation of history of philosophy in After Virtue, but not with its decision to present history of philosophy. This is new for me. Back when I was in college, my chief complaint about my philosophy … Continue reading

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Book Review: After Virtue

A few weeks ago the blogosphere discovered Ayn Rand’s margin notes on a C.S. Lewis book. They were everything I expected and more. Lewis would make an argument, and then Rand would write a stream of invective in the margin … Continue reading

Whose Utilitarianism?

[Trigger warning: attempt to ground morality] God help me, I’m starting to have doubts about utilitarianism. Whose Superstructure? The first doubt is something like this. Utilitarianism requires a complicated superstructure – a set of meta-rules about how to determine utilitarian … Continue reading

My Thoughts On The First 40 Pages Of Alastair MacIntyre’s “After Virtue”, Expressed In The Form Of A Slightly Modified XKCD Comic