“Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes, and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer questions in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics, and leads the philosopher into complete darkness.”
Bla bla bla, 2020 was a big year for me. I started off doing philosophy of language and ended up at “strategic interaction.” For the uninitiated, think game theory meets microsociology, or check out a slide deck. Add a side plate of institutional theory, debt, and philosophy of science. Though our press, Not Nothing, was […]
One way I’ve found helpful to think about “culture,” at a more manageable scale, is through the metaphor of an unending variety show, with many theaters and stages (think music festivals—GovBall, Coachella). This neverending show presents a class of problems to any audience member attempting to grok an act, or to any act attempting to […]
x-post from Carcinisation In a recent paper, my collaborator Tom Rutten and I advanced a tentative theory of how contemporary visual artworks might interact with a predictive error minimization (or “predictive processing“) system in human viewers. The predictive processing model of cognition is a relatively recent figuration of the age-old problem of inference (how humans […]
1. Oscillation You can never really tell when James Murphy’s being sincere, whether he’s making fun of others or making fun of himself. “Pow Pow”’s his statement of philosophy—“from this position / I can totally see how the decision was reached”—which is a sort of pragmatist-PoMo enlightenment: acknowledge perspective’s providence on truth and then turn […]
Visual art — representational imagery — begins somewhere between fifty and one-hundred thousand years ago, overlapping with the Upper Paleolithic Transition. The period consists of rapid gains in tool technologies alongside the beginnings of modern symbolic thought, with human societies developing currency systems, dispersed social organizations, and increasingly sophisticated religious belief.
At 7:12 p.m. on a Saturday we convened at AJ’s apartment in Boerum Hill, a neighborhood long home to literary figures like “that one character from 10:04” and maybe Jonathan Safran Foer. I had come straight in a Juno from La Guardia off a Cape Air flight, just hours after meeting in Cambridge with K. […]
I do not watch baseball, though many of my favorite passages and anecdotes are inspired by the sport. There is DeLillo, of course, in his prologue to the monumental Underworld, whose opening line — He speaks in your voice, American, and there’s a shine in his eye that’s halfway hopeful. — remains one of the best ever written.¹