How Complex is too Complex? On the Accessibility of Analytic Philosophical Writing

by Joseph Shieber Recently I came across Jonathan Rose’s thesis that it was no accident that the literary tastes of the working classes in Britain lagged behind those of the educated classes. According to Rose, the educated classes adopted ever-more-complex literary forms (read: literary modernism) to distinguish themselves from the “great unwashed”. (H/t Matthew Wills at…

Self-portrait in a convex mirror: Signaling and the meaning of behavior

by Joseph Shieber 1. One of the descriptions often used by proponents of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web (henceforth IDW) to describe the views of the supposed shibboleths they’re critiquing is “virtue-signaling”. There are a few problems with the use of the term “virtue-signaling” as a critique. Indeed, a number of those problems have been…

The Search for Meaning in Jordan B. Peterson

by Joseph Shieber Few topics have captured the attention of the internet literati more than the topic of Jordan B. Peterson. Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, parlayed a protest against Canada’s transgender anti-discrimination protections, such as Federal Bill C-16, into a hugely popular YouTube channel, Patreon site, and bestselling book.…