Spitballing and iron men

A few months back, Rob Talisse and I introduced the notion of spitballing.  Here’s the rough version of how the notion works: At its core, spitballing works as follows: One makes multiple contributions to a discussion, often as fast as one can think them up (and certainly faster than one can think them through). Some … Continue reading Spitballing and iron men

Mill’s Maxim on Philosophy15

Talisse and I have been thinking about the famous maxim from John Stewart Mill’s On Liberty that He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons … Continue reading Mill’s Maxim on Philosophy15

The debriefing paradigm

Readers will be familiar with this weekend’s POTUS tweet accusing former President Obama of authorizing wiretaps of Trump Tower. The controversy surrounding these tweets regarded the apparent baselessness of the claim (or its apparent base in Brietbart news). As of this AM (as far as I know) the POTUS has refused to offer clarification on … Continue reading The debriefing paradigm

Philosophy15 – What’s a Metalanguage?

The distinction between first-order languages, or object languages, and metalanguages is a familiar one to readers of the NS.  However, over at Philosophy15, Rob Talisse and I try to explain how once we have the distinction, a unique kind of phenomenon occurs within arguments. In effect, the point of the metalanguage is to have a … Continue reading Philosophy15 – What’s a Metalanguage?

Philosophy15 – Why Argument Must Be Dialectical

Over at Philosophy15, Talisse and I have a short bit on why argument must not only have the core relation between premises and conclusions, but also must have a dialectical element to it.  A familiar point for those who are regular NS readers, but worth a  quick posting. A consequent point is that it looks … Continue reading Philosophy15 – Why Argument Must Be Dialectical

The Clearing the Decks Fallacy

Talisse and I have a short bit at Philosophy15 on a new fallacy we’ve been seeing in philosophy.  Well, really, it’s not a new phenomenon, we’ve just started noticing it. One reason is that we’ve become particularly interested in how dialectical standards change over extended philosophical work. Here’s the basic setup. Stage 1: Hold one’s … Continue reading The Clearing the Decks Fallacy

More on Alternative Facts

Talisse and I have a short piece over at 3QuarksDaily on the heat/light ratio in the ‘Alternative Facts’ reaction.   In many ways, it’s a follow-up to John’s earlier observation that Conway, on a more charitable interpretation, should have used a term like ‘rebutting’ or ‘complicating’ facts, since she’s talking about the evidence for the attendance … Continue reading More on Alternative Facts

Fallacy theory and democracy

Instead of writing something myself today, I thought I’d post a link to this interesting piece by Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse on Democracy and the Owl of Minerva Problem. A critical graph: We argue in our natural languages, and so often when we argue, we argue over economies, animals, environments, poverty, and so on. … Continue reading Fallacy theory and democracy