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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Some reflections, comments and elaborations on my appearance on the Intellectual Explorers Club Podcast. Read more (9 min, 3200 words).
We have a tendency to feel that ideas are mutually exclusive even when they aren't. Sometimes this is because their indirect implications clash with each other, giving us the impression that they clash themselves. Read more (7 min, 2000 words).
I pick apart the concept of racism and find out that it's a self-driving cycle, a knot in idea-space, a bag of unrelated phenomena and an ideology that shares important properties with consciousness, intelligence and explosives. Read more (32 mins, 10700 words.)
I use pretty pictures to illustrate how we can use many partially overlapping belief systems to get a better image of reality than any one model can offer. Read more (4 min, 1100 words).
It's common to hear "postmodernism" used as a snarl word against an ill-defined lump of ideas and attitudes hostile to the idea of objective truth and standards. I sympathize with this but also recognize that this is an inadequate conception of postmodernism. In this article I talk about what it is, what it's often used to mean, and how we need words to refer to vulgarized academic ideas. Read more (17 min, 4200 words).