Most recent pages

Reasonable believings

The epistemological categories—truth, belief, inference—are richer, more complex, diverse, and nebulous than rationalism supposes.

January 8th, 2021

Now with Django!

Please let me know about web site problems; I've changed the underlying tech.

January 1st, 2021

How we refer

We accomplish reference by any means necessary: observable, improvised work that makes it clear what we are talking about in context.

January 1st, 2021

The purpose of meaning

Peculiar features of language make sense as tools to enable collaboration, rather than to express objective truths.

December 28th, 2020

Meaningful perception

We actively work to perceive aspects of the world as meaningful, in terms of our purposes, in context.

December 19th, 2020

Reasonableness is routine

Routine activity usually goes smoothly overall, despite frequent minor glitches, because we have methods for repairing trouble.

December 13th, 2020

You are accountable for reasonableness

Accountability is the key concept in understanding mere reasonableness, as contrasted with systematic rationality.

November 29th, 2020

Reasonableness is meaningful activity

Understanding concrete, purposeful activity is a prerequisite to understanding the formal rationality that depends on it.

November 28th, 2020

Aspects of reasonableness

A summary explanation of everyday reasonable activity, with a tabular guide and a concrete example.

November 21st, 2020

The ethnomethodological flip

A dramatic perspective shift: understanding rationality as dependent on mere reasonableness to connect it with reality.

November 19th, 2020

This is not cognitive science

The Eggplant is neither cognitive nor science, although it seeks a better understanding of some phenomena cognitive science has studied.

November 14th, 2020

Part Two: Taking reasonableness seriously

Everyday reasonableness is the foundation of technical, formal, and systematic rationality.

November 10th, 2020

Acting on the truth

Rationalist theories of action try to deduce optimal choices from true beliefs. This is rarely possible in practice.

October 25th, 2020

Statistics and the replication crisis

The mistaken belief that statistical methods can tell you what to believe drove the science replication crisis.

October 24th, 2020

The probability of green cheese

A thought experiment shows why probability theory and statistics cannot address uncertainty in general.

October 16th, 2020

What probability can’t do

If probability theory were an epistemology, we’d want it to tell us how confident to be in our beliefs. Unfortunately, it can’t do that.

October 10th, 2020

Leaving the casino

Probabilistic rationalism encourages you to view the whole world as a gigantic casino—but mostly it is not like that.

October 5th, 2020

Probabilism

Probability theory seems an attractive foundation for rationalism—but it is not up to the job.

October 2nd, 2020

The Spanish Inquisition

Unboundedly many issues may be relevant to any practical problem, so mathematical logic does not work as advertised.

September 30th, 2020

Where did you get that idea in the first place?

Rationalism does not explain where hypotheses, theories, discoveries, inventions, or other new ideas come from.

September 21st, 2020