"I prefer honest argumentation to dishonest rhetoric." Do I mean that rhetoric is essentially dishonest, or am I talking about the kind of rhetoric that's dishonest? That's a cat coupling. Read more (7 min, 1800 words).
"The Elephant in the Brain" had an interesting effect on me, which made me think up a typology of ways reading can change the structure of your mind. Read more (10 min, 2500 words).
If all claims are mixtures of "is" and "ought", what does it mean to "believe" them? In practice it comes to mean endorsing models, while emphasizing the "is" aspect (and downplaying the "ought") for rhetorical purposes. Unfortunately this ruins the word for neutral, non-rhetorical use. Read more (8 min, 1900 words).
Our words' relationship to reality is far more complicated than we realize. Thus, when we say things we think we state facts but we also endorse certain uses of words. That has consequences, which causes public discourse to become a war zone where we fight for control over our common pool of mental and social equipment. Read more (13 min, 3300 words).
The truth often lies somewhere between two opposing views. But even among people whose opinions are moderate and balanced, it matters a great deal which of the two sides come first and which is simply a moderation of the other. Read more (15 min, 3800 words)
What sort of people would be considered weird if nerdiness was the norm? Read more (14 min, 3400 words)
An adaptation of my 2009 Bachelor's Thesis in philosophy about how scientific statements about the self and the will are interpreted differently inside and outside science, with dangerous consequences. Part 1 of 7. Read more (4 min, 900 words)
I take an article about the mechanics of intercultural communication and extend it, arguing most communication these days could be considered intercultural. Read more (6 min, 1500 words)
We pay lip service to the idea that people are different, but don't take it seriously enough. It needs to be something we keep in mind all the time. There are many ways people can be different and their thinking can be different, and we should learn to be aware of them all. Read more (5 min, 1300 words)
My experience studying sociology of science as an engineer was frustrating, and only later have I come to understand the fundamental differences between the sciences and the humanities and how they think of reality. Read more (16 min, 4100 words)