Authors picks, May 2019

Below, I provide a summary of my favorite posts from the month in the order they were published.

On passionate disagreement and self-identity argues that incorrigible disagreement fundamentally doesn’t arise from disagreement over present facts, but rather over disagreements about how present and past facts relate to a presently indeterminate future. Inasmuch as any individual’s sense of self is attached to a particular idea of and attitude towards the future in question, incorrigible disagreement always, albeit indirectly, involves an attack on identity, i.e. one’s understanding of oneself in light of an assumed trajectory.

A dilemma for a constitutionally protected, publicly funded right to abortion argues that based on the rationale presumed in current U. S. jurisprudence on the subject, abortion may be constitutionally protected or publicly funded. But it cannot be both.

On semantic ambiguity in St. Anselm of Canterbury’s argument for God’s existence examines St. Anselm’s famous ontological argument for the existence of God with an eye towards asking how many different interpretations of its key phrase ‘God is that than which nothing greater can be thought’, there are. I show that there are at least ten different interpretations of this phrase alone, and Anselm’s argument relies on at least two.

On logical fallacies employed in the philosophical use of the term ‘tautology’ shows that the term ‘tautology’ has two closely related uses. On one of these, a tautology is something that is true by definition. On the other, it is also grasped immediately. Philosophical tendency to regard tautologies as meaningless relies on the ambiguity between these two meanings.

Object-oriented objects aren’t objects is, at the time of this writing, now the most viewed post ever posted on this site. I argue that objects in object-oriented programming are closer to an obscure late 17th century theory of substance – Gottfried Leibniz’s theory of monads –  than they are to objects as commonly understood.

On the consequences of capital concentration and its addendum show how a wide variety of contemporary political problems are directly caused or otherwise conditioned by the concentration of capital according to class and location.

What non-cooperative games can tell us about suffering for a cause discusses a simple, real-world example of a non-cooperative game – a traffic jam – and draws from it the broader claim that even the possibility of obtaining the best, most harmonious outcome for any group considered as a whole requires some of its members to suffer gratuitously, so long as the ideal conditions sought after fail to obtain.

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