Liberals prize inclusivity and tolerance. But liberals also criticize certain things — e.g., certain things that conservatives do. So liberals aren’t inclusive after all! Liberal hypocrites! Boo liberals! …or so the story goes.
Should liberals be inclusive and tolerant of everything? Are they hypocritical if they’re not? No. Of course not. For an explanation and context, here are five thoughts about liberals, hypocrisy, and tolerance. (Spoiler: I make multiple concessions to conservatives.)
Continue reading 5 Thoughts About “Liberal Hypocrites”
A public figure is accused of a sexual misdeed. You know nothing about the accused besides their name and their alleged crime. And you know nothing about the accuser except their name and their accusation. Can you believe the accuser? We often learn about such sexual harassment accusations. So it behooves us to find a principled response. The Acceptance Principle suggests that we can accept this kind of accusation. Why? I’ll explain in this post. Continue reading Sexual Harassment Accusations & The Acceptance Principle
I was just on the I Can’t Believe It’s Not News podcast talking about fake news, academic fake news (e.g., fake conferences, scam publishers), open access publishing, and what it’s like to look like Neil Patrick Harris. I had a great time. The hosts, Beth and Elizabeth, are very fun and resourceful. You can preview and listen to the podcast below.
You can listen to the podcast in the player below. (In case you care, I join the podcast somewhere around 4:10 and leave around 52:30.)
Continue reading Academic Fake News?
If the public discourse in the United States is any indication, then people in the US mean different things by ‘fake news’. Naturally, then, it is time to agree on a definition of ‘fake news’. While we’re at it, let’s distinguish ‘fake news’ from other terms.
1. Let’s Agree On Terms
As I see it, we will need to distinguish between at least three terms: fake news, conspiracy theory, and journalism.
A Definition of ‘Fake News’
Also known as “fictional news”. Characterized by outlandish stories — sometimes about paranormal and supernatural events. Any explicit claims to truth are obviously belied by their only semi-serious and comedic tone. Examples include many of the cover stories of the Weekly World News as well as some of the satirical punchlines of The Daily Show.
A Definition of ‘Conspiracy Theory’
Bad explanations designed to glorify their author and undermine the author’s perceived nemeses. Sometimes unfalsifiable. Alas, believed by many people. Examples are voluminous. Examples include certain explanations of the assignation of John F. Kennedy and InfoWars’ Alex Jones’s claims that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged.
A Definition of ‘Journalism’
Continue reading A Definition of ‘Fake News’ (and Related Terms)
Now that I’ve been admitted to candidacy for my PhD, I’ll be focusing my energy on writing a dissertation and on publishing hitherto unpublished projects. I will regularly post bits and pieces of that on the blog.1
I’ve also become more interested in how my reasoning research relates to politics — ergo the recent posts “Is post-fact reasoning redeemable?” and “Third Party Voting: A Wasted Vote?” So I might also write about how my research relates to US and international politics.
So if you’re interested in this stuff, then stay tuned. More specifically,
- subscribe to the blog (in the menu) to find out when new posts are published.
- follow me on social media to find out what I’m reading, thinking, and doing.
Here’s to the best possible 2017 — whatever that would be.
- I share my research on the blog for two reasons: First, to get your thoughts on it; Second, to make academic research available to more people.
As I look back on 2016, I also look back on the posts that received the most attention. Here are the top 5:
Top 5 Posts of 2016
- 30+ Online Resources For Studying & Teaching Philosophy | Dec 18, 2016
- 30+ Podcasts About Cognitive Science & Philosophy | Dec 21, 2016
- Voting Third Party: A Wasted Vote? | July 24, 2016
- Addiction vs. Habit: An Infographic | October 24, 2016
- 50+ Blogs About Cognitive Science and/of Philosophy | Dec 11, 2016
In the next post, I’ll talk about my plans for 2017.
You know how I do. When people make strong claims, I want evidence and arguments. So this US presidential campaign was a lot of work. A lot! (E.g., I read over 1000 pages about Clinton-related investigations alone). The problem is that people made loads of unsupported claims during the election. So I asked for loads of evidence. Curiously, people didn’t take kindly to my requests for evidence. As a reasoning researcher, this was fascinating. But as an aspiring reasoning teacher, it was thoroughly demoralizing. In this post, I’ll discuss my experience, some research that bears on my experience, and what this tells us about the redeem-ability of post-fact reasoning. Continue reading Is post-fact reasoning redeemable?