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A Dialogue on Occam’s Razor

Previously: Please Stop Misunderstanding Occam's Razor. What is Occam's Razor? It is an academic principle attributed to 14th Century English Franciscan William of Ockham (apparently we've all been butchering his name all this time, who knew?). It is stated thusly: Entities should not be multiplied without necessity. It's not very precise, like my "we decide… Continue reading A Dialogue on Occam’s Razor

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Please Stop Misunderstanding Occam’s Razor

It might be the case that everything you think you’re seeing is an illusion, a trick being played by some evil demon who has both malicious intent and perfect control over your experience. You could try to test things around you very carefully to see if you can find evidence of the demon’s trickery, but if they’re… Continue reading Please Stop Misunderstanding Occam’s Razor

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The True Story of Socrates

(1400 words, 5 minutes to read) Almost every introductory philosophy class reads a few of the Socratic Dialogues, written by Plato. These stories usually explore some deep philosophical concept like Love, Honor, or Morality, through a discussion between Socrates (the philosopher protagonist of the stories, and usually the winner of the argument) and some other… Continue reading The True Story of Socrates

The Real World

Should We Reward “Bad People” Who Unexpectedly Do Good Things?

(1100 words, 3 minutes to read) Big news this week: in Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, Mitt Romney voted to remove him from office. This is big news precisely because we live in such a tribal world, where everyone's well-justified expectation is for every Democrat to vote to remove, and every Republican to vote… Continue reading Should We Reward “Bad People” Who Unexpectedly Do Good Things?

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Bad Reasons to reject Bad Arguments

If we start accepting 'slippery slope' arguments, then who knows what other bad arguments we might be forced to accept in the future! 'Ad hominem'? People who make those arguments are jerks.If 'affirming the consequent' is a bad argument type, then it will have a conclusion. So since it has a conclusion, clearly it's a… Continue reading Bad Reasons to reject Bad Arguments