Keith Burgess-Jackson

More philosophers with blogs. Burgess-Jackson’s is called AnalPhilosopher. Given the amount he’s posted in the last week I guess that’s meant to mean expressive not retentive. (There’s an interesting question for Freudian linguistics there: when did ‘anal’, as used in a pop-Freudian sense, come to unambiguously mean ‘anal-retentive’ rather than ‘anal-expressive’?)

I should warn that a large chunk of it doesn’t seem to be that good, but I’ll leave most more precise judgments up to your discretion. Partially that’s because permalinks are Bloggered, so I can’t link to the specific irksome entries. And partially it’s because I’d rather watch the replay of France v Ireland that I still haven’t seen from last weekend, and/or sleep, than get into blog wars. But let me mention two oddities.

Anyone who is “inclined to say” that Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman are part of the “far left” has some rather large gaps in their memory, e.g., of Dowd during Monicagate or Krugman during the early Clinton years, or a very distorted sense of reality. (There’s an interesting post to be written here about how Americans don’t seem to have the concept of a moderate partisan. Krugman’s political views are barely distinguishable from Paul Keating’s, and Keating is a moderate by any reasonable standard, so it follows Krugman is a moderate. But over here once it is clear that you hate the other side, and are prepared to say so and say why, you are labelled an extremist.) I’d almost be prepared to say that this is a sign Burgess-Jackson just has a very narrow view of the middle ground, but when he goes on to describe Andrew Sullivan as a source for “hope that our discourse may once again become civilized” I have to give up even that charitable interpretation.

On the good side, the philosophical posts are better than the political posts, and anyone who quotes Jack Smart at length can’t be all bad. (Although attributing the Curry paradox to an Arizona grad student in the mid-80s seems a little strange to me. And it’s not a very good version of the paradox, since it assumes that conditionals are material implications, and that is really not necessary for the argument. Indeed, it’s because it isn’t necessary that the Curry is interesting. But that’s another post altogether.)

Thanks to Harry Brighouse for the link. That link is to an interesting thread on tenure. Given recent goings-on I probably shouldn’t get into that debate right now, so head over to CT if you want to argue the pros (or cons) of tenure.