Are mental illnesses actual illnesses or are they unusual preferences? Or maybe this is a non-issue because it's only about words? Well, that's not so only. Read more (8 min, 1900 words).
The End of 2019
I try to sum up 2019, a year that started out well but took a weird turn about a third of the way through. Read more (6 min, 1400 words.)
Erisology, Round Three
Third attempt at a relatively user-friendly introduction to what "erisology" means. Read more (10 min, 2600 words).
"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).
Interpretation Matrix: Free Trade Benefits Everyone
Many disagreements are complicated by terms having several meanings. What if a claim is made up of more than one such term? How would we deal with that complexity? I look at an example about the benefits of free trade. Read more (7 min, 1800 words).
The Prince and the Figurehead
When we misrepresent other people, is it a mistake or do we do it on purpose? Neither explanation feels right to me. Rather, I think we should consider that we often perform "semitentional" actions, which is the result of our agency being more distributed than we think. Read more (6 min, 2900 words).
In Favor of Sometimes Sounding Like a Robot
If we want to sound friendly and appealing when presenting thoughts about human behavior we should avoid analytical, distancing language. But what if the value of an analytical and distancing perspective is part of what you want to communicate? Read more (11 min, 3500 words).
A Disagreement About Disagreement
I comment on a critical article and take the opportunity to further elaborate on decoupling, charity, bad faith motives and complex disagreements. Read more (17 min, 5800 words).
A Defense of Erisology
I respond at length to criticism against an article about erisology in The Atlantic, developing the concept further in the process. Read more (23 min, 7700 words).
The Tilted Political Compass, Part 1: Left and Right
I'm not a fan of the popular Political Compass. Here I explain why, list what makes a good 2-by-2 and rederive the meaning of the political left and right. Read more (10 min, 3300 words).