Category Archives: Philosophy

Good Reason: A Ouija Board?

There’s an essay by Randal Rauser at “Christian Post” offering what’s termed a rebuttal to a criticism of an earlier essay. Rauser seems to be a run-of-the-mill “intelligent design” creationism (IDC) cheerleader. Rauser defends Dembski’s ideas early on. Joseph H. Axell posted a long rebuttal in the comment section of my article “Unintelligent arguments against… Read More »

Petition for Synthese to Retract the Disclaimer

Just in case there’s any academics who haven’t gotten the word yet, there’s a petition going requesting four things of the Synthese Editors-in-Chief, including the retraction of the vague disclaimer that tarnishes the whole special issue on “Evolution and its rvials”. If you aren’t on board with one or more of the items, that can… Read More »

Some of My Best Friends Are Authors…

Over at New APPS, the comments continue. Jeff Shallit, my co-author on the paper in Synthese, weighed in with a brief comment: Apparently Prof. Laudan thinks it is justified, if editors have a problem with a single paper or two in a special issue, to issue a general disclaimer that potentially impugns the integrity of… Read More »

“New APPS” and Synthese Comments

Mark Lance makes an excellent point over at “New APPS” concerning the Synthese disclaimer flap. I think it deserves more notice than simply being part of a longish stream of comments. So, all in all, I’m still looking for anything that is remotely a candidate for exclusion on the grounds of unprofessional rudeness. Again, if… Read More »

The Synthese Editors-in-Chief Strike Back

The Synthese Editors-in-Chief issued a joint statement today about the disclaimer in the special issue. The closest approach to an apology was the following: Of course, there are lessons to be learnt from what happened regarding our internal procedures, and Synthese will do that. It’s a ‘Nothing to see here, move along’ sort of thing… Read More »

Is the Synthese Thing Just Business as Usual?

Chris Pincock at “Honest Toil” has a different take on the Synthese disclaimer issue. Pincock makes the argument that since the Editors-in-Chief have responsibility for the reputation of the journal, of course they would have to put a disclaimer on a special issue if they saw a problem. There’s nothing to do because the Editors-in-Chief… Read More »

Synthese Shenanigans

I had a co-authored paper published in the philosophy journal, Synthese. It appeared online back in 2009 and then in print in the January issue this year. But something else appeared in the January issue with my paper. It was a disclaimer from the chief editors saying that unspecified papers published in that special issue… Read More »

Grab the PDFs — Ends 12/31

The Synthese special issue on “Evolution and Its Rivals” allows downloads of the full PDFs for all the articles, but only through 12/31, so you have just a day left to download them for free. After that, they go back to being $35 each or something of the sort. Jeff Shallit and I have an… Read More »

The Turing Test as Gender Discrimination

I jumped into discussion of a comment by Greg Laden on Facebook that touched on the Turing test. There was a comment by Dan Fincke that got me interested: indeed, at this point I’m generally more impressed when I’m convinced a girl talking to me online is NOT a robot My reply: Dan, Ironically enough,… Read More »

Out of the Ashes?

Philip Clayton at “Religion Dispatches” has a post up about evolution/creationism issues and the yin/yang of the classes of antievolutionists and new atheists who agree that one must choose between religion and science, but just disagree on which way to jump. There’s a brief mention of “non-overlapping magisteria” (NOMA) (with a disclaimer that it isn’t… Read More »

Another Look at Law and Theory

There’s a lot of philosophical discussion about what, precisely, constitutes a law or a theory in scientific practice. There’s also a lot of usage of the terms that has come to us over several centuries of not-quite-consistent application of terms. What I’d like to offer here is not a scheme to try to make past… Read More »