Philosophy: A Dialogue

by Jeroen Bouterse “…And now to introduce our second panelist: Martha. Martha does believe that academic philosophy is worth pursuing, and she has – of course – written a book about it. Martha, can you briefly summarize your argument?” M: “Thank you. Yes, well, you can imagine that, though I told my publisher that my…

Bad Arguments On Bad Arguments: the Sokal Squared Hoax as an Unfortunate Cliché

by Jeroen Bouterse What do you prove by fooling somebody? What did Alan Sokal prove when he got his bogus paper on ‘quantum hermeneutics’ published in Social Text? What did Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian prove when they got several bogus papers published in several different journals? Earlier this month three authors (to…

A ‘Gulf of Misunderstanding’: Steven Pinker and the Two Cultures

by Jeroen Bouterse Steven Pinker’s 2018 book Enlightenment Now is a reasoned defense of the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress. Pinker uses most of his space to demonstrate, positively, how the attitudes and institutions associated with Enlightenment thought have done good in the world. However, he has also woven through…