Friday, March 28, 2008

A retraction

Last year, I attacked a paper by David Chalmers because I thought it was a silly paper and found it shocking that such a thing could be published as serious academic work. I would like to retract that statement. While the paper is definitely sily, I do not think it is much sillier than other things that get published in philosophy, and it is much shorter than these other things. The shortness is good in and of itself, but it also makes the silliness obvious, and I figure if you're going to be silly, it is important not to pretend you're doing something serious.

4 comments:

M said...

Yes, I remember your reaction, Chris.

I too read some papers in journals and think:

"Gosh, I could have written this!"

or,

"Man, how did the referees and editors of Philosophical Quarterly let this one through?"

Nonetheless, I should direct you to the April issue of Analysis (as you well know, available on Blackwell-Synergy.com). I am 100% sure that Madison's library subscribes to it, so you'll have no trouble finding it within 30 seconds of reading this (if one is so enterprising).

Cf.:

Barnett, David. 2008. "Ramsey + Moore ≠ God," Analysis, 68:298 (April), pp. 168-174.

Best,

A future colleague

Hallq said...

Yeah, I noticed that paper and made a brief comment here:

http://uncrediblehallq.blogspot.com/2007/12/glad-that-thats-over-with.html

The Inoculated Mind said...

It has to be tongue-in-cheek. I just read the article, and it sounds like one of those funny pseudo-logical jokes I would make to people when they asked me a dumb question. Like when I was once challenged to "Lead a perfect life" (The challenge was made because I was admittedly not religious), and I responded thus:
1. There exists a "perfect life" for me.
2. The person that I am depends upon my experiences and how they shape my mind.
3. (From 2) If I were to lead any life other than the one I am leading, I would be a different person.
4. Therefore, (From 3) there is only one life that would have "me" in it.
5. Therefore (From 1 and 4), the life I am leading is the "perfect life" for me.

Does that mean that I'm leading a perfect life by my standards? No! I'm just being clever and manifesting things out of thin air. That's why I think the paper has to be tongue-in-cheek.

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