Thursday, June 29, 2006


1) Remember to submit a post to the Philosophers' Carnival by the end of this week.

2) If anyone reading this is going to be in Canberra next Tuesday morning, feel free to come along to ANU for my AAP talk on why the actual world is not a possible world. (It's less crazy than it sounds.) It's scheduled to be in room "Moran G009" from 10-10:55am. Kim Sterelny's talk is in a competing stream, so I don't expect too large an audience for my one. Being my first conference presentation, that may well be a good thing. Enter at your own risk ;-)

(Hmm, I wish that were purely a joke. Blogging's okay, since I can just pretend I'm talking to a general audience, and there's plenty that can fruitfully be said there. No-one expects much from the medium anyway. But claiming to have something worth saying to philosophers, who all know far more than I do? It suddenly seems awfully presumptuous...)


  1. "philosophers, who all know far more than I do? "

    Imagine them all in their "intellectual birthday suits" and regain your speaking confidence!

    Besides not everyone knows more than you do and if you specialize enough it isn’t long before no one knows more than you do.

  2. Don't worry too much - just remember that despite how hard it is to do it, answering a question with "Oh neat - that really destroys my position. What sort of account follows from that?" (1) makes you look like the greatest guy ever in terms of philosophic temperament, (2) actually sends the question right back into the audience (expect at least one person to disagree with you on accepting the criticism and start defending your position), and (3) sends a clear signal to anyone else who thinks they've got a clever objection that they'll get put in the hot seat if they try it out.

    Whatever you do, though, do not imagine your audience of professional philosophers in their birthday suits, intellectual or not. My god, I don't think I'd be able to speak for a week if I imagined what some of my professors looked like naked.

    Wait, crap. Too late.

  3. I agree with Dr. P. Peter Singer was once "interrogated" by a few talking heads on BBC Radio and he pretty much fielded all of the questions with "yes, but what follows from that?". Once the objector's positions are fully fleshed out, they become a lot easier to reply to.

  4. Haha sorry DP,
    and I agree your suggestion is quite a good one, although possibly with a little more sarcasm than would be required in most situations.

  5. I thought genuine philosophers knew nothing other than that they knew nothing! If you believe Plato that is.

    Seriously, you've probably given your issue a lot more thought than most philosophers, so you'll really just be clarifying your position. If you get caught out, great, you learned something.

  6. (Thanks for all the tips!)


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