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3QD Philosophy prize

The 3QuarksDaily website is running its second Prize in Philosophy which has a convenient wrap up of some good philosophy posts. Most of them, though, are your usual deep ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, which is too deep for the likes of me. Still, you may find them worth reading and voting for. One of our frequent flyers here, Siris, has a piece for consideration, the one discussing PZ Myers, whoever he is, and Pascal’s Wager. If you read it and liked it, go vote for it.

Another is by another frequent flyer, u n d e r v e r s e, which discusses free will.

Now I note that none of you thought to nominate one of mine, and I want you all to be assured that I only hate you a little bit. But vote for one of these, if not both (Chicago voting rules), or someone else.


  1. Neil Neil

    One of them is by that famed philosopher Levy. Vote for him – he could use the boost right now.

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      Which one, Neil?

  2. Neil Neil

    John’s comment seems to indicate that I did not pay close enough attention to the election campaign. I did not get my message across. Vote for me and turn back the boats! An elephant in every pot and vice-versa! Vote for me because consciousness matters! Plus the costings of the others are all dodgy.

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      I still don’t know which one is yours. Are you grandfathered in under a preferences deal?

  3. Actually, I myself wouldn’t recommend voting for mine; it’s a slapped-together post rather than a properly developed argument.

    If it’s any consolation, I didn’t nominate anyone at all. But you’re at the top of the list of people I didn’t nominate!

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      Then I hate you a lot less. Well, a little less… At least Chris mentioned me in his post.

  4. Neil Neil

    I do think preferences are my best hope. I am the second ‘Flickers of Freedom’ post. Why do people who vote for my opponents hate freedom?

  5. Neil Neil

    I would have mentioned you in my post, John, but I was unsure whether you are conscious or free.

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      Depends on whether you measure me by nerve impulses or self-reporting. But as I said in my post that Chris referenced, I don’t believe in uncaused freedom, just the normal moral variety. Damian Cox was explaining to me that the best view is a virtue ethics account of character, not actions, or something…

  6. I’m not convinced number 9 counts as philosophy. Or as remotely intelligible. But it’s a great pitch for a science fiction series.

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      There’s an old joke about mystery novels requiring royalty, sex, religion, and detective problems. In a short story exercise one person offered:

      “MyGod!” said the duchess. “I’m pregnant! Who did it?”

      Quantum mechanics is one of those elements that you just have to bring into play if you want to get people interested. Like Gödel’s Theorem in earlier days, it doesn’t matter if you understand it, so long as you mention it.

      “Entanglement!” said the duchess…

  7. OK, I’ve finished Round One, wherein I take a cursory look at everything on offer and decide which are worth having a closer look at later.

    Three articles have survived my first round of eliminations. These are: #12 (non-western philosophy), #14 (Leibniz’s theories of matter), and #22 (rules and creativity).

    I have not read any of these from beginning to end yet, so none of this implies endorsement, but given that if I vote at all I will vote for one of these three, would you like to add anything before I do?

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      I found the Leibniz one superficial on the aspects I knew. But hell, it’s a blog post, not a doctoral dissertation.

    • I’m not sure I want to vote for anything. I couldn’t find a single article that gave me any significant sense of being enriched through exposure to new ideas. Judged by the discussion it has the potential to initiate, #12 (non-western philosophy) is probably my favourite, but judged as a self-contained entity, it too proved disappointing in the end. It leaves its most crucial claims unsubstantiated and its most crucial conclusions undefined.

  8. Neil Neil

    Yes, I want to add something. I know a spell to banish dragons whence they came. Don’t make me use it.

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      Why, and so can we all. But do they go when you do banish them?

  9. Neil Neil

    D’oh! A flaw in my plan!

  10. Neil Neil

    I have tried it. I am relieved to say it works. At least, I can’t find a single dragon anywhere in my office.

    • John S. Wilkins John S. Wilkins

      Can I interest you in some elephant repellent?

      • Neil Neil

        Why would I want to repel elephants? Now if you have elephant attractor you might be have a sale.

  11. Now I note that none of you thought to nominate one of mine…

    I didn’t wish to demean you by nominating one of your first class posts for a third rate bun fight.

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