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Danny Frederick (1955-2021)

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Danny. Danny was a star example of the gentleman philosopher, beholden to no-one, following an existential calling that he saw through with absolute integrity and dignity to the bitter end. For more about Danny’s life see his autobiographical notes here. See a mutual friend of ours’…

Max Planck

Born on this date 160 years ago and almost 70 years ago a Nobel-Laureate. mathematicsmax planckPhilosophy of sciencePhysicsQuantum Theory

Walker Percy Wednesday 180

The Antinomy of Science Examples of the scientific assertion S is P: The square of the time of revolution of any planet is proportional to the cube of the mean distance from the sun. (Kepler’s third law of planetary orbits) The force of attraction between two bodies is in direct proportion to the product of…

Walker Percy Wednesday 176

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SYMBOLIC ASSERTION AND A SPACE-TIME EVENT If one examines the characteristic moments of the scientific method, one will discover that they are basically assertions. Even if one happens to be an operationalist and maintains that the business of science is defining the physical operations by which concepts are arrived at and…

Nicholas Rescher

A belated birthday greeting to Nick still going strong at eighty-nine. Nick is one of the most prolific, wide-ranging, insightful, eclectic and kindest philosophers I have known. See Michele Marsonet’s Internet Enclyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Nick. ConservatismEpistemologyIdealismmetaphysicsMichele Marsonetnicholas rescherphilosophical logicPhilosophyPhilosophy of sciencepragmatism

How Biology Shapes Philosophy

My chum David Livingstone Smith’s long awaited edited collection of essays by a top-notch lineup is now available. To get a better sense of the scope of the project check out the book’s homepage as well as David’s other writings here. For the past thirty years I been of the view that though Hume did not have…

Hilary Putnam 1926-2016

It is notable that the so-called “new atheists” never did take on Putnam. Shows how lily-livered they really are, picking on the usual easy targets. Ditto for his critique of scientism. Putnam’s Mind, Language and Reality. Philosophical Papers, vol. 2. remains one of my favorite books. The Guardian obit. Martha Nussbaum on Putnam. EpistemologyethicsfunctionalismHilary PutnamJewish PhilosophymetaphysicsPhilosophy of Languagephilosophy…