Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers
Marshall (Richard)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Amazon Book Description

  1. The appeal of philosophy has always been its willingness to speak to those pressing questions that haunt us as we make our way through life. What is truth? Could we think without language? Is materialism everything?
  2. But in recent years, philosophy has been largely absent from mainstream cultural commentary. Many have come to believe that the field is excessively technical and inward-looking and that it has little to offer outsiders.
  3. The 25 interviews collected in this volume, all taken from a series of online interviews with leading philosophers published by the cultural magazine 3ammagazine.com, were carried out with the aim of confronting widespread ignorance about contemporary philosophy.
  4. Interviewer Richard Marshall's informed and enthusiastic questions help his subjects explain the meaning of their work in a way that is accessible to non-specialists. Contemporary philosophical issues are presented through engaging but serious dialogues that, taken together, offer a glimpse into key debates across the discipline.
  5. Alongside metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, political philosophy and ethics, discussed here are feminist philosophy, continental philosophy, pragmatism, philosophy of religion, experimental philosophy, bioethics, animal rights, and legal philosophy.
  6. Connections between philosophy and fields such as psychology, cognitive science, and theology are likewise examined.
  7. Marshall interviews philosophers both established and up-and coming. Engaging, thoughtful and thought-provoking, inviting anyone with a hunger for philosophical questions and answers to join in, Philosophy at 3:AM shows that contemporary philosophy can be relevant - and even fun.
  8. Review: Marshall has carved out an almost sui generis role in contemporary culture in doing highly intelligent interviews with a wide range of serious philosophers, and doing so in terms that are intelligible to those outside philosophy, indeed, intelligible in almost all cases to any educated person. No one is doing anything like this, and certainly not at the high-quality level that Marshall does it.
    … Brian Leiter, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the Center for Law, Philosophy & Human Values at the University of Chicago
  9. Richard Marshall has worked full time since 1983 in Secondary school state education in the UK. He has been a Head of English, a Head teacher, an educational consultant working on the Building Schools for the Future initiative and other projects. He holds a PhD in Philosophy of Education from the University of London and has been a contributing editor for 3ammagazine1 since 2001.



In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers")

Footnote 1: See Web Link and Web Link


BOOK COMMENT:

OUP USA (29 May 2014)



"Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Final Paragraph
    The interviews are stand-alone discussions and can be read in any order. Each is accompanied by a brief biographical note and bibliography of the books written. I believe that they offer a chance for readers to deepen their understanding of distinctive and various contemporary philosophical currents. I think they are a legitimate contribution to attempts to make the contemporary philosophical scene more accessible.

Links
  1. Some of the articles in the book are on-line via the Index at Web Link.
  2. Others can be found by using the formula from the article title.
  3. The others were found by using subtle1 variants of the formula from the article title.
  4. Other philosophers2, not in the book, include:-




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction")

Footnote 1: Including “casual” rather than “causal” in the Churchland interview!

Footnote 2: No doubt there are other philosophers I don’t recognize, and yet more that I might, but which aren’t indexed.



"Marshall (Richard) & Anderson (Elizabeth S.) - Elizabeth S. Anderson: The New Leveller"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Elizabeth Anderson philosophizes about various aspects of political philosophy in her interview. Like Lindemann, she reflects on the peculiarly poor place of women in professional philosophy compared to other disciplines. She then turns to discuss feminist epistemology and philosophy of science, elaborating her own position as a Deweyian pragmatist feminist empiricist. Dewey is introduced as a philosopher who approaches philosophical questions that are relevant to the problems people face in their lives. She then elaborates on a number of notions of freedom and egalitarianism. The aftermath of September 11 and the so-called war on terror are spoken about next, before turning to racism and the requirement of integration, which she considers "one of the most important social phenomena observed worldwide" and something that is particularly needed in the United States. She ends by explaining why she isn't a Marxist, despite being left-leaning politically, and examines the philosophical importance of the Occupy movements.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Anderson (Elizabeth S.) - Elizabeth S. Anderson: The New Leveller")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Callender (Craig) - Craig Callender: Time Lord"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
  1. Craig Callender is another metaphysician, and his interests are with the nature of time and the philosophical issues arising from science, in particular physics and cosmology.
  2. He speaks about the place of metaphysics and its relationship to science and suggests that there are dangers for both if they become disconnected from each other. Indeed he suggests that knowledge of the history of philosophy and of science would show that we would be hard-pressed to make a clear distinction on many issues.
  3. As well as discussing metaphysical implications about time, he also disputes the plausibility of the idea of a multiverse, as discussed by physicist Sean Carroll and of the fine- tuned universe as put forward by Stephen Hawking.
  4. He turns to issues concerning scientific methodology and how to distinguish science from pseudo-science, and to Schrodinger's cat and why it illustrates a conflict with our ordinary experiences and the implications of this conflict.


COMMENT:
  • This was really interesting, and is worth following up some time.
  • For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Callender (Craig) - Craig Callender: Time Lord")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Carruthers (Peter) - Peter Carruthers: Mind Reader"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
  1. Peter Carruthers is a naturalist philosopher working at the interface with cognitive science and psychology. He argues that we are systematically deceived about our own thoughts and draws on psychological experimentation to support his conclusions and to provide clues to the mechanisms causing the opacity of mind.
  2. He maintains that there is a single mindreading faculty that we use to perceive our own and other people's thoughts.
  3. He also talks about creativity, whether people change their minds to avoid cognitive dissonance or the feeling of having done something bad, and evidence suggesting that the self might be submerged from view, contrary to what many people believe.

Extracts2
  1. Many philosophers today allow that introspection is fallible, and is subject to errors resulting either from pathology or inattention. What I claim is that we make systematic errors about our own thoughts, and that the pattern of errors reveals something about the mechanisms that normally give us access to those thoughts. (Compare the way in which visual illusions are used by cognitive scientists to give us insight into the mechanisms involved in visual perception.) In particular, I claim that people make errors whenever they are provided with cues that would lead them to make a similar error about the thoughts of a third party. This suggests, I think, that they are using the same mental faculty for both (often now called the ‘mindreading’ faculty), relying upon the same sorts of cues.
  2. For example, people who are induced to nod their heads while listening to a message (ostensibly to test the headphones they are wearing for comfort and staying-power) express greater confidence in the message thereafter than those who have been induced to shake their heads while listening. This is just what we would think when observing other people: if they nod while they listen we assume they agree, and if they shake their heads while they listen we assume they disagree. Likewise, right-handed people who are induced to write statements with their left hands express lower confidence afterwards in the statements that they have written than people who write with their right hands. This is because the shaky writing makes the thoughts look hesitant. (And people who look at the written statements of others will make just the same judgments about the writers’ states of confidence.)
  3. People are completely unaware that they are always interpreting themselves in just the same way that they interpret others, however. Indeed, they think that they are directly introspecting their own thoughts. (I argue in my book, "Carruthers (Peter) - The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge", that there are reasons why the mindreading faculty should have been designed in such a way as to produce this illusion.) As a result, people will smoothly and unhesitatingly confabulate about their thoughts, telling of thoughts that we know they didn’t really have.
  4. For instance, in one study people were presented with pairs of pictures of female faces, and asked to pick the most attractive one. When they did so, the pictures were laid face down on the table for a moment, before the chosen picture was handed to subjects and they were asked to say why they had chosen it. However, in some trials, through the experimenter’s sleight of hand, the picture that they were then looking at was the one they had rejected, not the one they had chosen. The results were quite remarkable. First of all, hardly anyone noticed! Moreover, they went on to tell why they had chosen that picture, often citing factors that we can be quite sure were no part of the reason for their choice. (For example, saying, ‘I like her ear rings’, when the woman in the chosen picture hadn’t been wearing ear rings.) When people’s answers in the actual-choice and sleight-of-hand conditions were analyzed, the experimenters could discover no differences between the two. People’s reports had the same degree of emotional engagement, specificity, and so on, and were expressed with the same degree of confidence. I take this study, and many others like it, so show3 that people have no direct access to the factors that determine their liking for things.
  5. I argue that there is no introspection of our own thoughts (our judgments, beliefs, intentions, decisions, and so on). But what I argue is that there is a single ‘mindreading’ faculty that enables us the perceive our own thoughts as well as the thoughts of other people. This faculty4 evolved initially for social purposes, enabling us to anticipate (and sometimes to manipulate) the behavior of other people, as well as to better coordinate cooperative activities. But it can likewise be turned on the self, relying on the same channels of information that are used when interpreting the behavior of others. Sometimes we attribute thoughts to ourselves by literally perceiving our overt behavior. But often we rely on sensory cues that utilize the same perceptual channels, such as our own visual imagery, or our own inner speech.
  6. My work on creativity is much more tentative and exploratory than my work on self-knowledge. And it is a theory of just one component of creativity, namely, the ‘generative’ component. Thus it is common for theorists to distinguish between two phases in creative activity.
    1. One is generative, when new ideas are thrown up for consideration.
    2. The second is evaluative, then these ideas are considered, explored, developed, and (if they are judged worthy) expressed or implemented.
  7. There is quite a bit of work suggesting that the generative process is stochastic, or semi-random, in character. For example, the most creative individuals also tend to be the most productive individuals, and such people have more ‘duds5’ or failures than others, just as they have more successes. What I have done is to suggest that this process may co-opt and re-use much more ancient mechanisms for the stochastic generation of actions. For it is known that many species of animal can engage in so-called ‘protean’ behavior (especially when fleeing from a predator). A fleeing gazelle, for example, will execute an apparently random sequence of twists and turns and leaps in the course of its flight. There is a good reason for this: the best way to make your actions unpredictable to a predator are to make them as close to genuinely random as possible. (It is for this reason that the submarine commanders in the Second World War would throw dice to determine the pattern of their zig-zag patrols, to make themselves unpredictable to the submarine-hunting vessels up above.)
  8. Creativity doesn’t have to be deeply mysterious in order to be valuable. And much of the real work of the creative artist occurs downstream of the initial generative phase, when the ideas are evaluated and implemented, or upstream when knowledge is being acquired or skills are being developed and rehearsed.
  9. (Certain) data count powerfully against the existence of direct introspective access to our judgments and beliefs, in my view. But this will take a little while to explain. The basic finding is a long-standing one: people who have been induced to write what are called ‘counter-attitudinal’ essays (arguing against something they are known to believe) will thereafter shift their reported attitude in the direction that they have argued if (but only if) their freedom of choice in writing the essays is made salient to them. [ … ]
  10. The effects in experiments of this kind tend to be highly significant and quite robust, even about matters (such as fee levels for university students!) that subjects regard as of high importance. In a typical experiment ‘high choice’ subjects might shift their reported attitudes from ‘strongly opposed’ to the fee increase to only ‘slightly opposed’ or even ‘slightly in favor” (whereas ‘low choice’ subjects shift their reported attitudes not at all). We know that this has nothing to do with the quality of the arguments produced by the two groups, because there are no such differences. We also know that the ‘high choice’, but not the ‘low choice’, subjects are put in a bad mood by the end of the essay writing, and that once they have reported their change in attitude they are no longer in a bad mood.
  11. The traditional explanation of the finding is in terms of ‘cognitive dissonance’. The idea is that people sense the inconsistency between their freely undertaken advocacy of a fee increase and their underlying attitude, and this makes them feel uncomfortable. Since they cannot change what they have done, they thereafter change their attitude, thus removing the feeling of discomfort.
  12. But we now know that this explanation isn’t correct. For ‘high choice’ subjects will shift their reported attitude just as much even if they write a pro-attitude essay (arguing against a fee increase, for example), provided that they believe that their action will have bad effects. This was beautifully demonstrated in a study in which subjects were told of the recent [fictional] discovery of a so-called ‘boomerang effect’. They were told that the committee making the decision would be reading a significant number of essays before deciding. Essays read late in the sequence would persuade in the normal way. But essays read early in the sequence would boomerang: an essay arguing for a rise in fees would be apt to convince the readers not to raise fees, whereas an essay arguing against a rise in fees would be apt to persuade the readers to raise them. The subjects were only told about the order in which their essay would be read after writing their essays. Seemingly drawing a number out of a hat, subjects were told that their essay would either be read second, or second-to-last.
  13. In this experiment, ‘high choice’ subjects who wrote counter-attitudinal essays showed no change in attitude in the boomerang condition (whereas they showed the usual degree of change in the no-boomerang condition). In contrast, ‘high choice’ subjects who wrote pro-attitude essays in the boomerang condition shifted significantly. Although they had written essays arguing that fees should not be raised (which is what they believed), they thereafter reported thinking that it wouldn’t be bad if they were. The real cause of the phenomenon, then, is the sense that one has freely done something bad (since what one has done seems likely to cause fees to rise), not that one has freely done something inconsistent.
  14. Moreover, we also now know that subjects don’t change their underlying attitude in advance of being given the questionnaire on which to express it. For subjects will also use denials of responsibility to reduce dissonance, or they will deny that the issue is an important one. And if they are given a number of such options, they will use whichever one is offered to them first, without using any of the others.
  15. So the true explanation of the phenomenon, in my view, is this. Subjects are feeling bad because they see themselves as having freely done something bad (not necessarily on a conscious level, of course). When presented with the attitude questionnaire, they imagine responding in various ways: ‘Should I circle the 2 [on a 9-point scale, meaning ‘strongly oppose’], or the 3, or the 4, or the 5?’ Imagining themselves circling the 5 (the neutral point) presents their essay-writing action to them as being not bad (because the fee rise that they might have helped to cause would not then be thought to be bad). So they experience a little flash of pleasure at the thought of taking that action rather than the others, and so they go ahead and do it. Seeing themselves say that they aren’t opposed to a fee increase they believe that is what they think, and hence their negative mood disappears. This is because they are no longer appraising what they have done as bad.
  16. Note that this explanation only works if subjects don’t have introspective access to their real antecedent belief about the matter. For if they did, then at the same time that they circle the 5 they would be aware that they are lying, and this would make them feel worse, not better. Note, too, that a question about one’s attitude is precisely the sort of thing that ought to bring it to consciousness, if such a thing can ever happen. But plainly it doesn’t, since otherwise the effect wouldn’t occur. Hence these findings provide powerful evidence, in my view, that beliefs can never be directly introspected.
  17. Perhaps the main issue concerns the architecture of the mind as a whole, especially its ‘central’ portion that deals with abstract thoughts (non-perceptual judgments, decisions, and the rest). Philosophers are virtually united in believing that there is a sort of central arena in which these thoughts can become activated and interact directly with one another, and I think most people tacitly accept something similar. But there is a lot of work in cognitive science to suggest that this picture is radically mistaken. Granted, there is a central arena of sorts, but it is a sensory-based one, realized in the so-called ‘global broadcast’ of attended sensory information to many different areas of the brain. This attention-based global broadcasting mechanism has been co-opted in humans and some other animals6 to form the basis of a working memory system. Hence we can call up, sustain, and manipulate visual images in this workspace. And likewise we can generate items of inner speech7 that become globally accessible in the same sort of way. These sensory-based representations can carry conceptual content. So one can hear oneself as saying [to oneself] that one should make a trip to the supermarket, or whatever, just as we hear meaning in the words of other people. But an item in inner speech is not itself a judgment, or decision, or any other form of thought. Rather, at best, it expresses and is caused by such a thought (although in fact we know that the relationship between speech and the underlying attitudes is complex and pretty unreliable).
  18. Of course we hear ourselves as entertaining specific sorts of attitude, too, through the interpretive work of the mindreading faculty, just as we perceive other people as judging that it is about to rain (as they fumble with an umbrella while looking at the clouds), or as deciding that it is time to leave, or whatever. But on reflection, we should no more think that we have direct non-interpretive access to our own attitudes than we have such access to the attitudes of other people. What we really have access to is sensory-involving events of various sorts. And the only ‘arena’ in which all our attitudes can interact in a global way is indirect, through their contributions to the contents of sensory-based working memory.
  19. I think we intuitively identify ourselves with the conscious events that we experience as occurring in working memory, and we tend to believe that these events include such things as judgments and decisions. But in my view, they don’t, and these sensory-involving events are merely the effects of the activity of the self, rather than constituting the self. This occasions a radical change in perspective on ourselves. For the self and its attitudes is something completely submerged from view, directing and orchestrating the show of sensory events that parade before us in working memory.
  20. I haven’t really begun to explore the implications of my recent work on self-knowledge for human ethics. But the theory does suggest that our folk conception of ourselves is radically in error. This is because, outside of the broadly sensory domain (perception, imagery, inner speech, emotional and bodily feelings, and so on) none of our mental states is ever conscious. In particular, there are no such things as conscious non-perceptual judgments, no such things as conscious intentions, and no such things as conscious decisions. (And this holds, I argue, irrespective of what sort of theory of consciousness one endorses.) So our conception of ourselves as conscious agents is radically wrong. Rather, although there are many conscious events that contribute to agency, there is no such thing as conscious choice or conscious decision.


COMMENT:




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Carruthers (Peter) - Peter Carruthers: Mind Reader")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".

Footnote 2: Taken from the On-line version. It’s most of the text; omitting Richard Marshall’s questions, and some chatter.

Footnote 3:
  • This seems a very strong claim … are there other possible explanations?
  • In such a case it’s not surprising; there aren’t any reasons.
  • Better to ask without showing, and then see if there’s a match.
Footnote 4:
  • So, the mind-reading faculty evolved for social reasons, and then was applied reflexively, but using the same information channels.
  • This does seem likely, but I had the feeling that such an approach would undermine one of my pet theories – that the human language faculty derived from a prior language of thought shared with other non-linguistic animals.
  • The tension would be that a LOT would start off as private, and then become public.
  • It would be interesting to read Kripke’s take on Wittgenstein’s “no private language” argument (see "Kripke (Saul) - Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language") in this regard.
  • But, in any case, maybe a LOT could have arisen also for social reasons (though it would seem to be useful to solitary hunters, say).
  • Hold fire until I’ve read "Bermudez (Jose Luis) - Thinking Without Words".
Footnote 5: Maybe, but what about Bach or Mozart, who don’t seem to have produced any “duds”, despite being under continual pressure to churn stuff out?

Footnote 6: Note this – does “inner speech” apply to them, too (read on a bit …)

Footnote 7: See the previous footnote.



"Marshall (Richard) & Churchland (Patricia) - Patricia Churchland: Causal Machines"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Patricia Churchland is a major naturalist philosopher whose position contrasts with many of Kit Fine's. Where Fine criticizes the American philosopher Quine for thinking that some philosophical questions could be answered by science, Churchland is a Quinean in the sense that for her philosophy and science are continuous. She is combative on this point, and her naturalism is unambiguous. She outlines her work in neurophilosophy and neuroscience. The implications of developments in our understanding of the brain for the issue of free will is summarized before she moves on to explain the implications for morality, philosophy, and religion. She also takes time to reflect on the place of women in academic philosophy.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Churchland (Patricia) - Patricia Churchland: Causal Machines")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Cutting (Gary) - Gary Cutting: What Philosophers Know"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Gary Gutting begins by elaborating the scope of his skepticism, including the influence of Rorty on "skeptical challenges to philosophy itself." He then reflects on the divide between Analytic and Continental philosophers and believes that the divide is real and unbridgeable. He returns to this near the end of the interview when discussing the naturalistic bias in contemporary Analytic philosophy. He further considers the cognitive limits of science and in particular the focus Sellars gives to this issue. He goes on to talk about pragmatic liberalism, defending what he calls "the best of the Enlightenment" and seeing "Rorty, Taylor, and even Maclntyre as contributors to the Enlightenment project." He then introduces some thoughts on scientific realism before turning to some aspects of philosophy of religion and the ideas of Alvin Plantinga regarding arguments for the existence of God. He comments on his interest in Foucault and French philosophy, and in particular his defense of Sartre as an impressive and original thinker. He speaks about Derrida, and although he thinks we should take him seriously, that judgment comes with a health warning. He ends by reflecting on the role of the public intellectual and philosophy in the age of the internet.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Cutting (Gary) - Gary Cutting: What Philosophers Know")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Fabre (Cécile) - Cecile Fabre: On the Intrinsic Value of Each of Us"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Cecile Fabre's interview begins with a discussion of social rights and the constitution and the relationship between democracy and social rights. She places the philosophical ideas about constitutional rights in a context and contrasts them with other types of rights. She talks about whether autonomy matters to social constitutional rights, Rawls's "Theory of Justice" and egalitarian liberalism, and then surprising consequences arising from her view of distributive justice concerning prostitution, what rights we have over our own bodies, and connected topics such as organ transplants and surrogacy.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Fabre (Cécile) - Cecile Fabre: On the Intrinsic Value of Each of Us")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Fine (Kit) - Kit Fine: Metaphysical Kit"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Kit Fine is known to philosophers as one of the giants of current metaphysics. In the interview he first explains what he takes metaphysics to be. He then makes a key distinction between asking what there is and what is real, arguing that what there is is a something for science or common sense to answer, while what is real is a philosophical question. He then introduces mereology, which is the issue of how parts and wholes relate, followed by his rather negative views about the use of possible worlds in philosophy of language and metaphysics. He outlines his theory of "semantic relationism," defends the importance of philosophy, common sense thinking, queries some aspects of experimental philosophy, and believes that some questions, such as the mind- body dualism, the problem of free will, and skepticism, require more advanced tools than are available at present.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Fine (Kit) - Kit Fine: Metaphysical Kit")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Fodor (Jerry) - Jerry Fodor: Meaningful Words Without Sense, and Other Revolutions"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Jerry Fodor, a collaborator with Lepore, is one of the contemporary giants of philosophy. He explores his theory about the language of Thought, the work that has made him such a significant presence, reflecting on its philosophical roots and its influence. He talks about semantic holism and why he believes it is a hopeless theory, about materialist theories of consciousness, and his amazement that there are still behaviorists. He engages with issues arising from his book on David Hume and why he refuses to read Heidegger and then turns to the controversies surrounding his last book, which argued that Darwin's mechanism for natural selection was flawed. He ends by discussing a disagreement with Stephen Pinker about the scope of a modular theory of mind.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Fodor (Jerry) - Jerry Fodor: Meaningful Words Without Sense, and Other Revolutions")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Knobe (Joshua) - Joshua Knobe: Indie Rock Virtues"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Joshua Knobe is a philosopher working in both the philosophy and the cognitive science departments at Yale University and is one of the founders of experimental philosophy. He looks at the impact of people's moral judgments OD their intuitions, intentional action, moral responsibility, consciousness, causation, freedom, and happiness, along with the "Knobe Effect," which is an asymmetrical feature of judgment-making named after him.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Knobe (Joshua) - Joshua Knobe: Indie Rock Virtues")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Korsgaard (Christine) - Christine Korsgaard: Treating People as an End in Themselves"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Christine Korsgaard begins her interview explaining Kant's formula of humanity, which conceives of our humanity as a source of value. She argues that despite what many philosophers think, Kant is best regarded as a naturalistic philosopher. She also introduces Kant's theory of obligations, which is based "in autonomy, or rational self-government." She goes on to outline her ideas about self-constitution and action, arguing that "action is significant because people are their actions." She then argues that Hume's notion of the battle between passion and reason makes no sense, preferring to understand the two faculties as serving different functions. She talks about practical normative concepts and why she places practical reasoning at the heart of all discussions about justice. She uses an example from Derek Parfit to raise problems with taking a predictive attitude toward our future values. She ends by dismissing claims that her Kantian, rational approach to moral philosophy can't be done; discussing moral philosophy and metaphysics as well as the dangers of saying something meaningless; and reiterating her claim about the universality of Kantian reasoning.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Korsgaard (Christine) - Christine Korsgaard: Treating People as an End in Themselves")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Leiter (Brian) - Brian Leiter: Leiter Reports"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Brian Leiter opens the collection. A leading expert on the so-called Continental Philosophy tradition, Nietzsche, philosophical naturalism, and the philosophy of law, Leiter discusses these topics with customary deftness and combative aplomb. In the interview he engages with "the hermeneutics of suspicion," and analyzes the divide between continental and analytic philosophy, naturalism and realism, the dispute between Nietzsche and Marx, the current political and economic situation, legal realism, the importance of experimental philosophy, why we should tolerate religion, and the role of literature.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Leiter (Brian) - Brian Leiter: Leiter Reports")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & LePore (Ernie) - Ernie Lepore: Meaning, Truth, Language, Reality"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Ernie Lepore talks about his philosophy of language and his approach to semantic minimalism. He discusses his approach to philosophy and then moves on to the influence of Wittgenstein and semantic holism on philosophy of language generally. He also talks about the work, and his relationship, with Donald Davidson. Following this, he explains the development of speech act pluralism, the view that "we say indefinitely many things when we utter a single speech sentence," which he developed with Herman Cappelen. This leads to his ideas on the role of meaning theory in explaining belief formation and his work on quotation, which he considers a special feature of language. He then turns to the issue of what a word is, the role of collaboration in his work, the relationship of mind and language, and his belief that philosophy of language is going through a kind of second renaissance (following the first, which supposedly peaked in the 1970s).


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & LePore (Ernie) - Ernie Lepore: Meaning, Truth, Language, Reality")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Lindemann (Hilde) - Hilde Lindemann: No Ethics Without Feminism"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Hilde Lindemann is also concerned with philosophical issues around ethics. She introduces feminist ethics, describing it not as a branch of ethics but rather as "a way of doing ethics that uses gender as a central tool of analysis." She analyses notions of power and identity, the rather dismal state of women in professional philosophy and the relationship between gender and subdisciplinary status within the profession. She outlines strategies of resistance to sexism, including her idea of the "counterstory," and then talks about several approaches to issues from a feminist ethics perspective. She thinks about bio- ethics and the dangers of linking academic research with big business. Finally she discusses her being on board with experimental philosophy but her resistance to the tendency of giving privileged status to science within naturalized philosophy.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Lindemann (Hilde) - Hilde Lindemann: No Ethics Without Feminism")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Lynch (Michael) - Michael Lynch: Truth, Reason, and Democracy"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Michael Lynch's focus in his interview is the nature of truth and why truth matters. He gives an overview of the options that contemporary philosophers have and then goes on to say why he takes a pluralist rather than a monist view of truth, in other words, the view that there is more than one kind of truth. Having explained why he takes his position, he then criticizes deflationary theories about truth. He talks about the scope of his theory and why it is consistent with realist approaches. He speaks about moral and mathematical truth, which he considers "the two hardest test theories for any theory of truth," and about Timothy Williamson's remarks at a conference saying that many theories of truth were too imprecise to be good philosophy. Lynch goes on to briefly introduce William Alston, "a philosopher's philosopher," and then the role of reason, denying that there is any justification in thinking that reasons in the end always give way to something arbitrary. This leads to him talking about the relationship between democracy and the "space of reasons." Additionally, he criticizes experimental philosophy on the grounds that philosophy is revisionary, not merely descriptive. Finally he talks about the link between objectivity and politics and the divide between so-called Continental and Analytical philosophy.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Lynch (Michael) - Michael Lynch: Truth, Reason, and Democracy")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Mele (Alfred) - Alfred R. Mele: The $4 Million Philosopher"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Alfred R Mele appeared in Knobe and Nichols's book Experimental Philosophy and was awarded a $4.4 million research grant to research free will. In the interview he discusses this project and his own position regarding free will. He examines the role of scientific experimentation in this philosophical work and disputes that there are scientific data yielding the conclusion that free will doesn't exist. He defends his own position about what free will means. He argues against the idea that perhaps the unconscious brain makes the decisions, making free will an illusion. He finishes by reflecting on experimental philosophy and the phenomenon of self-deception.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Mele (Alfred) - Alfred R. Mele: The $4 Million Philosopher")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Olson (Eric) - Eric T. Olson: The Philosopher with No Hands"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
  1. Eric T. Olson is the proponent of "animalism," which argues that we are animals and that there is no metaphysical gulf between humans and the rest.
  2. He points out what this position commits him to accepting and rejecting and shows that it is a surprisingly rare position in the history of philosophy, and humankind generally.
  3. As part of this, he introduces the issue of personal identity, taking in thought experiments about brain transplants and computer-generated life and a paper he wrote entitled "Olson (Eric) - Why I Have No Hands" which is part of a discussion on "partism."
  4. He also discusses the relationship of philosophy to science and why philosophy is often neglected in contemporary culture.

Notes
  1. While this is an interview – and therefore informal – as it hails from 2012 it gives a fairly contemporary account of Olson’s views – or at least their public face.
  2. Olson is asked to justify why most philosophers deny that we are animals. Olson’s response is that:-
    • What separates us from other animals is our intelligence – and while this creates a gulf – of disputable size – it’s not a metaphysical2 gulf.
    • People thought that we could not be our bodies because they were convinced – at least up until the 1960s – that no matter – however sophisticated – could produce thought.
    • Another reason is that it seems odd to say – for example – that “Bertrand Russell’s body argued such-and-such”, so we might assume that we are not our bodies. Olson thinks this just sophistry – “a person’s body” are weasel words – but that it betrays a lot of crypto-dualism3 around in philosophy.
    • They also find it demeaning to be “nothing more than animals”.
  3. But, the real arguments against animalism arise from its disagreement with commonly-held ideas about our persistence-conditions.
    • Olson rehearses his usual comparison between liver and brain transplants – why does one preserve your identity while the other does not?
    • Why do (most) people describe a brain-transplant as a body-transplant? Because a psychological-continuity account of personal identity is current philosophical orthodoxy.
    • But this rules out our being animals, as an animal is not transplanted, just an organ4, when a brain is transplanted.
  4. He repeats the “fetus5 argument” for the irrelevance of psychological continuity for “our” identity.
  5. The motivation for maintaining animalism in the face of pressure from the PV is Olson’s Master (or Thinking Animal) argument – the usual stuff about there being twice as many thinkers if we are not identical to “our” animals, and us not knowing whether we are the person or the animal, if human persons are not identical to “their” animals.
  6. What is animalism? That the organism you see in the mirror is you. Only your “identity” in the popular sense has anything to do with psychological continuity – your continued existence across time does not.
  7. And what does animal identity consist in? An organism is a dynamic system and matter flows through it like water through a fountain. The organism continues to exist – despite interchange of matter – as long as its life-sustaining6 functions continue.
  8. What about “downloading consciousness” or cloning bodies?
    • Olson describes “Transhumanism7”. He points out how far off it is, practically-speaking, even if it makes sense.
    • He doubts Brain_State_Transfers8 are even possible, or that inorganic beings could be conscious or intelligent.
    • Copying obviously suffers from reduplication objections. All would be deluded.
    • Also – an analogy – you can’t copy and animal by copying its mental states any more than you can copy a computer by copying a file.
    • Scanning need not destroy your mental states, in which case you’d have a prior claim to be you over any recipient. So, why is a recipient “you” in the normal case9.
  9. Computer-generated life:
    • Could computer-programming not just simulate life (like it can simulate the weather) but create it?
    • Olson thinks this to be metaphysically impossible. Such attempts do not create anything like life, which requires organisms.
    • He asks rhetorical questions – where would such a life-form be, and how big? These questions are pertinent if the so-called artificial life is a computer-program, rather than the computer itself (else we would know the answers).
    • But – while he says he’s considered such questions – he doesn’t really do so here, and gives no references10.
  10. Artificial intelligence: Olson’s objections are the same as to artificial life – in that (he says) intelligence is the possession of a being, which requires location, etc. This has nothing to do with the sophistication of the programming, so may also be a metaphysical impossibility11.
  11. "Olson (Eric) - Why I Have No Hands":
    • Olson’s objections to the existence of (arbitrary) undetached12 parts are similar to the problems he raises in his Master Argument. It is effectively “The problem of the many13”, “Dion and Theon”, or “Tib and Tibbles”, so is nothing new. This is despite Olson claiming (doubtless correctly) that his paper was rejected as “frivolous” by half a dozen journals.
    • It’s important, though as a whole nexus of metaphysical issues associated with constitution and vagueness14 gets involved.
    • Olson admits that there are particles “arranged manually” but claims they don’t constitute anything larger (a hand) because – if they did – then there would be a hand-complement15 that could think, and again we’d have too many thinkers.
    • Of course, what goes for hands goes for other parts also – including my head16.
  12. Partism:
    • Hud Hudson’s view that “a thing can have different parts in different places17”.
    • Olson explains that – according to Hudson – my hand-complement is me. Things can have different parts at different times (as does Dion), but Hudson (it seems) says they can have different parts at different places.
    • So: The hand could be a part of both me and my hand-complement (which are the same thing) at the place where the hand is located, and not a part of either being at some other place. What appear to be two things with different parts are in some cases just one thing, made up of more than one set of parts at once.
    • Olson generalises this to the Ship of Theseus case – so that according to Hudson the repaired ship and the reconstructed ship are the very same ship, or at least there is only one ship with different parts in different places. The ship in the museum has, it seems, been at sea at the same time as it stayed dry.
    • Olson agrees that this is difficult to understand, yet alone believe. And, it seems, Hudson does think that they are two ships, but Olson doesn’t think he’s any principled reason for thinking so, nor an explanation of where Partism does and doesn’t apply18.
  13. Peter Van Inwagen: Olson is impressed by Van Inwagen – starting from "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Material Beings" – not by the strangeness of his views (there are no material things except elementary particles and living organisms) but by his arguments. He thinks everything is clear once Van Inwagen has finished. His critics just shroud things in mist again.
  14. Jason Stanley: likened philosophy to novel-writing19. Olson thinks this is because philosophers think of Plato as a deceased colleague (as a novelist thinks of Dickens), not as an object of study (as a historian of ideas does). He doesn’t see any greater connection, and the same point could be made by comparing philosophy with physics rather than the history of science, or pole vaulting and sports science.
  15. Philosophy and Science:
    • Science influences philosophy – eg. advances in cosmology have raised “fine tuning” arguments for the existence of God. Also (opaquely) the science of colour vision has demolished volumes of a priori philosophising .
    • But, science cannot eliminate philosophy, if only because deciding the appropriate methodology of science is a philosophical question.
  16. Is contemporary philosophy too dry and technical?
    • Olson does not think so. This compliant could be made against the great works of any period of philosophy; eg.
      … "Kant (Immanuel), Kemp Smith (Norman) - Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason",
      … "Hume (David), Mossner (Ernest) - A Treatise of Human Nature"
      … or, anything by Aristotle, Aquinas or Hegel.
    • Olson suspects the critics just find philosophy too hard – as it is. And no-one would expect to be able to tackle a serious work on physics – as distinct from a popularisation – without training.
    • Olson thinks that contemporary philosophy does address the questions ordinary people care about, though maybe not in Mind or Analysis.
    • He thinks academic philosophical writing may be less clear than it needs be – partly because it’s easier to get published if your writing isn’t so clear that the weak points of your arguments are plain for peer-reviewers to see!
  17. Experimental Philosophy:
    • This (says Olson) involves doing polls to check philosophical intuitions – e.g. in ethics. Relying on your own or your colleagues’ or students’ can skew the results as people’s responses depends on their background, and the way the questions are phrased or sequenced.
    • Olson isn’t interested, however, as he doesn’t rely on ordinary opinion, as this has nothing to say about the truth of those opinions. Maybe most people would support the brain transplant intuition. But they are probably wrong because the consequences of this belief are – to Olson – philosophically unacceptable. But he would be “interested” is a poll showed that most people didn’t support the psychological-continuity view.
    • Olson doesn’t mind going against the intuitions or ordinary folk but he does worry about going against those of his colleagues, who have as much right to hold them as he does.
    • He makes an interesting point that it’s the consequences of the intuitions that are critical in deciding the truth of the intuitions themselves, and it’s the structure of what follows from what, rather than the truth of the intuitions – that is the more solid. He gives his favourite example – if we are not animals, then it follows that the animal “you live in” cannot think, and so on. The controversy is about whether these20 consequences are acceptable.
  18. The on-line version of the interview (see Web Link) – in addition to the printed text – gives an account of Olson’s reasons for taking up Philosophy and lists his favourite books on metaphysics that he thinks 3:AM readers might enjoy. They are:-


COMMENT:
  • For the interview on-line, see Web Link,
  • The interview was undertaken in May 2012,
  • The on-line text contains some extra information, both biographical and "best books".




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Olson (Eric) - Eric T. Olson: The Philosopher with No Hands")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".

Footnote 2: So, Olson just brushes aside Baker’s claim – eg. in "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Big-Tent Metaphysics" - that it is a metaphysical gulf, but read on ….

Footnote 3: As David Papineau says in "Papineau (David) - The Importance of Philosophical Intuition", if we have doubts about the “explanatory gap” concerning consciousness, then we’re not really materialists at heart.

Footnote 4:
  • I think this is a mistake – in that a whole brain is a special organ because of its regulatory functions rather than its psychological ones.
  • Also, fitting a transplanted brain into another body has lots of issues other than engineering ones – it is tied to the PNS and the body it regulates.
  • But I’d probably agree with Olson if he stuck to cerebrum transplants (though some regulation is cerebral, I think).
Footnote 5: He actually says “embryo”, which is controversial because of twinning possibilities.

Footnote 6: This is another problem with WBTs for animalists.

Footnote 9:
  • Isn’t this Parfit’s “Branch Line” case?
  • Parfit concludes that “identity is not what matters”.
  • Olson doesn’t mention Parfit here – does he engage with his elsewhere?
Footnote 10: I have an unread paper – "Olson (Eric) - Computer-Generated Life" – that seems to fit the bill perfectly.

Footnote 11: Again, Olson gives no attention here to the possibility that the computer itself might be intelligent. Does he elsewhere?

Footnote 12: See also, on various sides of the debateFootnote 13: See Footnote 14: This shows that there must be something wrong with Olson’s Master Argument as, if sound, it implies that nothing exists other than simples – or that – unbeknownst to us – there is (at a time) some unique collection of particles that constitutes a human animal.

Footnote 15: Is there any mileage in claiming that, while hands exist, hand-complements don’t? Olson asks, but doesn’t answer, this question.

Footnote 16: Olson says that a “variant of the argument” applies to this case – it’s evidently different to the Thinking Animal (Master) argument, because the head-complement doesn’t do any thinking. Does this relate to "Mackie (David) - Going Topless"? Probably not, as this relates to brain transplants.

Footnote 17: This is Marshall’s definition, but it can’t be right, can it? Doesn’t anything that has parts have them in different places? This is spelled out later.

Footnote 18: Well, Partism sounds incoherent from this account, but presumably it’s best to read "Hudson (Hud) - A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person" (and probably "Hudson (Hud) - The Metaphysics of Hyperspace" as well) before deciding.

Footnote 19: Presumably in "Marshall (Richard) & Stanley (Jason) - Jason Stanley: Philosophy as the Great Naivete", though I missed it!

Footnote 20: Well, not quite. It’s whether the “too many thinkers” issue is a real one anyway, or whether it can be resolved linguistically (or otherwise).



"Marshall (Richard) & Price (Huw) - Huw Price: Without Mirrors"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Huw Price begins his interview by talking about facts and the function of truth and then goes on to elaborate his deflationary theory of truth, contrasting it with other varieties. He continues by analyzing time (whether it has a direction) and explains a dispute with Stephen Hawking about a related issue of cosmology, as well as his thoughts about the relationship between science and philosophy. What follows is a prolonged analysis of causation. He talks about why he isn't a metaphysician and what sort of a pragmatist he is. He explains expressivism and why he rejects any assumption of a bifurcation in language between expressivism and representationalism and how he can hold to both expressivism and deflationism. He ends by thinking about philosophy's relation to experimental enquiry and some observations about philosophers changing their minds.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Price (Huw) - Huw Price: Without Mirrors")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Priest (Graham) - Graham Priest: Logically Speaking"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Graham Priest discusses philosophical logic in his interview. He clarifies what philosophical logic is and why he thinks some key orthodox beliefs about truth and rationality are mistaken. He also outlines his own proposals for addressing this. He explains paraconsistent logic, which he proposes is required to address the mistaken belief that propositions are always either true or false. Dialetheism, his own species of paraconsistent logic, is explained, which allows for the existence of true contradictions. He talks about this and its relationship with Buddhism, Aristotle, its history, and its relation to science, false advertising, hypocrisy, Hegel, and Marx.


COMMENT:




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Priest (Graham) - Graham Priest: Logically Speaking")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Renz (Ursula) - Ursula Renz: After Spinoza: Wiser, Freer, Happier"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Ursula Renz is the only philosopher in the collection not working in either the United States or the United Kingdom. She explains where she works and what she takes to be the rewards of being a philosopher. She discusses philosophical issues regarding the "myth of the given" and connects the discussion to Kant's theory of experience and Spinoza's ethics via the work of Hermann Cohen and Sellars. She then introduces an aspect of testimonial knowledge for post-Gettier epistemology. However, the main subject of the interview is her original philosophical work on Spinoza's ethics. This gives insights into an important part of contemporary philosophical scholarship where an important historical philosopher is shown to have continued philosophical relevance.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Renz (Ursula) - Ursula Renz: After Spinoza: Wiser, Freer, Happier")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Rowlands (Mark) - Mark Rowlands: Hour of the Wolf"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Mark Rowlands begins with the curious case of Brenin, the wolf that inspired him to think about the relationship between other animals and humans and a shared heritage encapsulated in the "Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis." Separately, he discusses arguments for animal rights. He also looks at what a "mental process" might be and his version of the "extended mind" hypothesis. He claims intentionality as the cornerstone of everything he is arguing about, and how he doesn't think a naturalized account of it has yet been presented, even though he has tried.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Rowlands (Mark) - Mark Rowlands: Hour of the Wolf")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Schwitzgebel (Eric) - Eric Schwitzgebel: The Splintered Skeptic"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Eric Schwitzgebel is another young and emerging philosopher working in the field of rationality, thought, and metaphysics. He works with psychologists and cognitive scientists and uses experiments as part of his approach to some of the philosophical questions he raises. He is one of the most extreme skeptics about our ability to know ourselves, and his arguments and evidence are corrosive of a comfortable self-image that introspection gives us unique access to transparent knowledge. He talks about a curious state of "in between belief," which he argues is our common state. He is the inventor of the philosophical position of "crazyism" and draws attention to the strange relationship between common sense and metaphysics. He explains why the history of philosophy is important to him, the moral behavior of ethics professors, Chinese philosophy, and whether the United States is consciousness.


COMMENT:
  • This was really interesting, and is worth following up some time.
  • For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Schwitzgebel (Eric) - Eric Schwitzgebel: The Splintered Skeptic")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Setiya (Kieran) - Kieran Setiya: What Anscombe Intended and Other Puzzles"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
  1. Kieran Setiya introduces the philosophy of G. E. M. Anscombe, a major philosopher who was a friend and student of Wittgenstein and a woman.
  2. Setiya discusses her characterization of intentionality and his own work in this area, where he parts company with Anscombeans and argues that intention is a mental state.
  3. He talks about his approach to moral philosophy and the position of moral particularism that he develops.


COMMENT:




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Setiya (Kieran) - Kieran Setiya: What Anscombe Intended and Other Puzzles")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Stanley (Jason) - Jason Stanley: Philosophy as the Great Naivete"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Jason Stanley in Chapter 2 first talks about the place of philosophy in the humanities and whether philosophy is too inaccessible, before moving on to give an overview of where philosophy of language has developed. Given that this area of philosophy has now embedded linguistics, computer science alongside philosophy, it is a good example of how philosophy is continually changing, developing, and making progress. He comments on the "titanic influence" of Saul Kripke, a philosophical giant currently working in New York and strangely obscure to many. He reflects on his work in epistemology and how he understands Ryle's distinction between knowing that and knowing how, in particular how he disputes those who would argue that knowledge of meaning is a practical knowledge.


COMMENT:




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Stanley (Jason) - Jason Stanley: Philosophy as the Great Naivete")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Tiberius (Valerie) - Valerie Tiberius: Mostly Elephant, Ergo…"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Valerie Tiberius is another naturalist philosopher. She is interested in how we should live and, like Churchland, is involved in interdisciplinary work with psychologists and cognitive scientists as well as moral philosophers. This is more evidence that contemporary philosophy is much closer to old philosophical traditions that David Hume would recognize than many of its latter-day critics suggest. Tiberius introduces her naturalistic position before then going on to outline her theory of well-being. She offers some subtle thinking about the role of rational thinking in deciding how to live a reflectively endorsable life; she also argues that the threats of the relativism her position adopts are not as serious as many think and that because science is finding out things about ourselves this requires we change our self-image, but not to a fundamental degree.


COMMENT: For the interview on-line, see Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Tiberius (Valerie) - Valerie Tiberius: Mostly Elephant, Ergo…")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



"Marshall (Richard) & Williamson (Timothy) - Timothy Williamson: Classical lnvestigations"

Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers


Editor's Introduction1
    Timothy Williamson's interview took place in 2009 and so does not take into account work done recently, including his own new book. He takes up the issue about the Analytical-and-Continental divide in philosophy but leaves it until later in the interview to fully develop his thoughts about it. He outlines his controversial epistemic theory about vagueness, defending classical logic against attempts to construct alternatives such as those discussed earlier in the interview with Priest. He then turns to his theory of knowledge, which reverses the traditional view in epistemology that starts with belief and analyses knowledge in terms of it. So Williamson starts with knowledge, and belief is analyzed in terms of its failure to be knowledge. He reflects on practical application for his views before introducing the topics of the linguistic and conceptual mms in philosophy and the development of philosophy since then. It is here that he explains why he finds Analytic philosophy attractive and criticizes those critics who have failed to keep up with what Analytic philosophers are doing. He also judges that, by way of contrast, much of Continental philosophy is stagnating.


COMMENT:
  • For the interview on-line, see Web Link,
  • There's also a later one (from 2013) at Web Link.




In-Page Footnotes ("Marshall (Richard) & Williamson (Timothy) - Timothy Williamson: Classical lnvestigations")

Footnote 1: In "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Introduction".



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2017
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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