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).
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)
Part 5 of a series adapted from my 2009 Bachelor's Thesis in philosophy. I discuss some examples of people expressing a quasi-mystical view of the self online. Read more (8 min, 2100 words)
A second and more to the point attempt at pinning down what ”erisology” (or ”the study of disagreement”) actually is and what other fields are relevant to it.Read more (1100 words)
Sometimes arguments and statements invites responses longer than themselves, often by making more things part of the conversation. So if we want to be thorough when arguing we risk starting a chain reaction that blows up in our faces. Read more (2000 words)