Monday November 18, 2013
Lately I have been doing research on expertise, from a philosophical perspective. It is debated whether expertise is a form of knowledge, as expertise encompasses both propositional knowledge (i.e. you know that
such and such is the case) and practical knowledge (i.e. you know-how
to perform certain tasks, but would not be able to recap such an ability solely into verbal terms).
But, if expertise is not knowledge, than what is knowledge? This line of thinking prompted me not only to write an article
on expertise, but also to write short pieces explaining other important varieties of knowledge and their shortcomings: knowledge by evidence
, knowledge by testimony
, and the Cartesian conception of self-knowledge
. Enjoy them.
Thursday October 31, 2013
It's always striking to me to think about the power of conventions
. Things such as organic foods, steaks, marriages, currencies, and probably also chemical compounds such as water molecules or physical entities such as electrons are all but the product of some form of conventionalism. But, what is conventionalism
? How is it that people get to do things with words
(and with gestures)? Is such a thing as common knowledge
possible and how to best understand it? And, is this discussion related to being unconventional
in any way? To those, and cognate, questions are devoted my five new pieces. Enjoy them and stay tuned for upcoming ones.
Sunday September 22, 2013
A reader asked me whether it is acceptable, or just, or good of a human being cynical
. This seems an interesting question to be entertained. I hence decided to write on the topic. Ancient Greek cynics
established a reputation for holding unreasonable views towards the usefulness of social conventions and the extent within which one ought to follow them. To many, cynicism is indeed a seemingly unreasonable attitude. However, cynicism has several aspects in common with one of the main philosophical perspectives of nineteenth century, pessimism
. Pessimist philosophers such as Leopardi, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche took as their target the optimistic
philosophies of positivists and those defending the remnants of enlightenment creeds. Thus, reflecting on cynicism can help us wrap our opinions concerning some classical disputes in Western philosophy. Finally, cynicism invites us to reflect on the distinction between philosophy and lifestyle
: to many, Ancient Greek cynics did not really comprise a philosophical school in that their teachings were not carried out in an official location. Moreover, cynicism and pessimism seems to differ precisely on a similar respect: pessimism has been turned into a philosophy, with a coherent worldview, while cynicism is more simply an attitude.
Saturday August 31, 2013
Western civilization has harbored and cultivated a prejudice against the body, by now deeply rooted into our culture. Whether such prejudice is well-founded or not, reflecting on it can spark unusual comparisons between five areas of philosophy, the ones where the prejudice is most felt: ethics
, philosophy of language
, and aesthetics
. Find a sample of the possible comparisons in the latest five articles I've written, which I hope you'll enjoy!