Arne Naess’s statistical approach to philosophy

My article ‘The experimental and the empirical: Arne Naess’s statistical approach to philosophy’ is now published online by the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.

It will be included in a special issue of the journal on Experimental Philosophy and the History of Philosophy. My article considers both the similarities and the differences between Naess’s Empirical Semantics from the mid twentieth century, and experimental philosophy of the present day, and reflects on what these might tell us about attitudes to philosophical methodology.

There is a link to my article here, with free access to the full text for the first fifty clicks.

Discussion of Stebbing’s work on New APPS

Thank you to Richard Symonds and Paul Raymont who have both drawn my attention to a discussion of Stebbing’s work which has been taking place on the ‘New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science’ blog. Paul has also recently posted on Stebbing and Joad on his own blog.

The ‘New APPS’ discussion is a very interesting, and at times rather heated, series of exchanges that focus on Stebbing’s philosophical importance and the extent of her continuing philosophical relevance. It is really good to see Stebbing’s work at the centre of serious philosophical debate and evaluation.

My own book on Stebbing, Susan Stebbing and the Language of Common Sense, will be published next year in the Palgrave History of Analytic Philosophy series.

Russell: Analyzing Language

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Independent film makers Simply Charly have produced ‘Russell: Analyzing Language‘, which is well worth watching. The two-part film features Stephen Neale talking about Russell’s 1905 paper ‘On Denoting’ and its philosophical implications. The discussion is wide-ranging, and has much to say about developments in analytic philosophy over the last century. I particularly enjoyed the anecdote about Grice, who apparently commented that Strawson’s 1950 response to Russell, ‘On Referring’, was ‘a wonderful paper marred only by a completely unnecessary discussion of Russell’s theory of descriptions’. Neale even includes some tips on how to teach Russell’s theory humanely.