Hiatus

Hi all,

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog, and it’s going to be a while before I update it again, at least with anything contentful. I’ve been massively oversubscribed at work, and now I’m fighting off an illness to boot.

I wanted to put up a post just to let everyone know that this blog and the projects on it have *not* been abandoned. I’ll get back to regular posts just as soon as I can.

The Thing I Love About Technology

…is how it makes our lives so much easier.

So, I think Dreamhost, or possibly WordPress, has done something that made my contact form stop sending me email. Problem is, I’m not sure *when* this happened; I have, at least, some hits on the contact form that didn’t result in my receiving any emails.

So:

  1. Best not to use the contact form for now. If you want to contact me, and you don’t want to do it via a comment, email me directly (see below).
  2. If you’ve already used the contact form to contact me, and you haven’t received a reply, I’m really, really sorry–I think your email got lost in the void. If it’s not wildly inconvenient, please resend, again by emailing me directly (see below).

My email address:  My first name <at> avromroyfaderman <dot> com. Again, my apologies.

A Sinking Feeling

Songwriters, I’m sure, know it well, that tweak of deja vu when they listen to their last hook. It seems familiar, they think to themselves. Does it just seem familiar because I’ve been playing it so much, or is it that it’s an advertising jingle I heard when I was three?

At any rate, I’ve been having that same sinking feeling when I read back over my last two posts on decision theory. The arguments seem somehow…familiar, and I’m not quite sure if it’s just that they seem natural and right to me, or that <shudder> I’ve seen the arguments somewhere before. I’ve been out of this game for ten years, and I worry that, if you know what I mean, I remember more than I remember that I remember. A cursory search, which is all I can really do as a non-academic, has turned up nothing, and I certainly can’t for the life of me place where I might have heard them, but, you know. I worry.

At any rate, this is a plea: If you believe that in either of those posts, or in any post in this blog, I’m using the ideas of others without properly crediting them, please let me know. You can comment on the post, or you can contact me directly. I have far, far less than no interest in plagiarizing anyone, and promise that I will never do so intentionally. If I do so unintentionally, I hope that, with your help, I can set the record straight and make amends.

At any rate, enough paranoia. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.

A Stronger Claim about Projectability

So, I recently wrote a post that was intended to be an attack on Quine’s argument for natural kinds. And tucked away in the very last paragraph, I think I put the most important statement of the post: It’s really not just an attack on Quine’s argument. It’s an attack on a much more general strategy for solving Goodman’s Paradox. I want to make a separate post to call that out–so here it is.

The real thrust of the arguent is that projectability is not a property of predicates. To give you an idea of how realatively broad that is, I’ll note that not only is it a refutation of Quine’s solution to Goodman’s Paradox, it’s also a refutation of Goodman’s own (radically different) solution. Whether the account of projectability is as realist as Quine’s “Projectable claims involve natural kinds” or as constructivist as Goodman’s “Projectable claims involve entrenched predicates,” if you think that you can pick out a unary property of predicates that allows them to participate in projectable claims, I think you’re going to run into trouble with my argument.

Site Changes

So, if you’ve been here before, you probably noticed the title change. And–maybe–the category reorganization. At any rate, this isn’t just a blog about random things any more. It’s a blog devoted to my old profession and my new hobby, analytic philosophy. With a few random things thrown in.

I haven’t taken anything down, and I don’t plan to. The philosophy stuff has just been called out a bit.