Tag Archives: IU Bloomington

(Humorous) Anecdote from within the Walls of a Department of History and Philosophy of Science

One of the fascinating things about the discipline of history and philosophy of science is that, while it is, in some respects, truly an integrated discipline, there are other respects in which it is not.  In fact, I would call the process of integrating history of science and philosophy of science a kind of “tension,” which bears the seeds of incredible fruit and creativity.  I love this aspect of the discipline.  Continue reading

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Filed under Education, History and Philosophy of Science, Personal

Why Are Narratives So Moral?

This question’s answer seems very, very obvious and without a doubt, for me at least: Why are narratives so moral?  The question was posed to me in an e-mail, which served as a call for responses to be presented at IU Bloomington’s conference, a conference that is thematically in line with our “Themester.”  Fall 2012’s theme is “Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality.”  The “molecules to morality” part is the part I don’t like about the theme’s title, primarily because I think the proposal of an ought from an is is silly.  There is some limited sense in which I think an ought can come from an is, but that is beyond the scope of this post. Anyway, my answer to the above posed question is —surprise!  surprise!— Kantian in flavor.  If you are in cognitive science, psychology, or neuroscience, and actually know a thing or two about the philosophical founding of your science, then this will, on the contrary, not surprise you. Continue reading

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Filed under Kantian Philosophy, Literature, Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

My Journey from Physics to the History and Philosophy of Science (a.k.a. HPS)

Recently, at a reception for the incoming grad students of IU Bloomington’s HPS Department, I was faced with a question, but it was a more specific question than had previously been posed to me.  Typically, I am asked, “How did you move from physics into philosophy of physics?”  The question my host, Dr. Sandy Gliboff asked me, with the hint of a smirk and a sense of humor, “What made you decide to go into HPS, rather than be a real scientist?”  I gave him my answer to the former question, which I will give presently; but I did not give him the answer to his question.  Given that so many people ask so regularly, and given that there are so few physicists that go into philosophy, I will take this time to answer publically; and so I begin with the answer to the former. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal