Nick Byrd’s Blog

My Daily/Weekly Routine: 3 Rules Of Thumb

A handful of people have asked me about my daily and weekly work routine. Some people just want to know what philosophers do all day. Others — e.g., my fellow grad students — are looking for ways to impose structure on their work week. In this post, I will share three rules of thumb that have helped me be more productive and less stressed. I’ll organize the rules according to the (somewhat fictional) work/life distinction.

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Philosophy As Proto-Psychology

Philosophers are often trying to understand their intuitions about thought experiments. Traditionally, philosophers do this via introspection. But these days, some philosophers do it more scientifically: they survey people’s’ intuitions and use quantitative arguments for theories about the intuitions. In this post, I want to point out that one of philosophers’ traditional methods might be a kind of proto-psychology. And if that is right, you might wonder, “Is one method better than the other?” By the end of the post, you’ll know of at least one philosopher who argues that the more scientific approach is better.

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5 Thoughts About “Liberal Hypocrites”

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”

The Potential Benefits Of Not Believing In A Resurrection Of Jesus

Unsurprisingly, some Christians think it is important to believe that Jesus was resurrected. That seems intuitively plausible — for a Christian, at least. But in this post, I want to reflect on that intuition a bit. I will consider the possibility that everyone believed that Jesus never resurrected. Would that prevent the Christian religious, political, or social movement(s)? Would it undermine Christian faith? I don’t think that it’s obvious that it would. I explain why below. Continue reading The Potential Benefits Of Not Believing In A Resurrection Of Jesus

I Bought An Electric Height-adjustable Desk …and I love it.

I do not want to sit at a desk all day. Sometimes I want to stand. But for a long time, I was too cheap to buy an electric standing desk. Well, I finally bought one for around $200. I have used it for almost 9 months. And I love it. It has become one of the reasons that I look forward to going to the office: working at an electric height-adjustable desk is just really, really enjoyable. In this post, I will explain what I bought and why I like it. Continue reading I Bought An Electric Height-adjustable Desk …and I love it.

The Institute of Art and Ideas Podcast: Europe’s (Superior) Answer to TED

I first learned about the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI) a few years ago. I was watching one of the IAI’s debates about the limits of logic. The discussion was long form, but structured. And it included perspectives from multiple areas of expertise. For those reasons alone, the IAI had my attention. After all, you don’t typically get all that from American alternatives like TED or Talks at Google. In this post, I want to introduce the uninitiated to the IAI podcast by highlighting two of my favorite episodes. Continue reading The Institute of Art and Ideas Podcast: Europe’s (Superior) Answer to TED

How Arguments Work: The Basics

If you understand how arguments succeed and fail, then you can do some important stuff. You can construct a convincing argument, evaluate an argument, fix a broken argument, and — maybe most importantly — avoid being duped by a bullshit argument. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, then you’ll want to understand the basics of how arguments work. I’ll review those basics in the rest of this post.  Continue reading How Arguments Work: The Basics