Category Archive: Bad philosophy

Jun 01 2014

Clearly, the only reasonable diagnosis is that Libertarians are mentally ill

As long as we’re diagnosing mental illness from angry manifestos on the internet, that is. This rant from Stefan Molyneux is NSFW, but apparently the Rodger mental state is widespread among the leaders of Libertarianism.

Mar 07 2014

More like the Dork Enlightenment, am I right?

I am told I’m supposed to take The Dark Enlightenment seriously. I can’t. I just can’t. What it is is mostly a bunch of pretentious white dudebro computer programmers with a fascist ideology who write tortuous long-winded screeds off the top of their heads, with most of their ‘data’ coming from pop culture movies like …

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Feb 17 2014


I should pay more attention to the Digital Cuttlefish — apparently, the recent rash of “Plantinga!” in my in-box might be because Plantinga has an interview on the NY Times Opinionator, and it’s making the same stupid argument my correspondent gabbled at me. DC has taken care of the gist. Let me point out one …

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Feb 12 2014

I shall not even try to list all the things science has failed to anticipate

Help me wrap my brain around this tweet. I can’t grok it. Philosophers' historic failure to anticipate Darwin is a severe indictment of philosophy. Happy Darwin Day! — Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) February 12, 2014 Philosophers’ historic failure to anticipate Darwin is a severe indictment of philosophy. Happy Darwin Day! John Wilkins isn’t helping. @pzmyers @RichardDawkins …

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Jan 24 2014


I have seen scientism, and it’s usually not us. The most blatant example recently was Pinker’s appalling essay in which he suggested that Hume could have used some instruction in molecular biology; I’ve seen people like Hawking and Krauss claim that philosophy is dead, killed by science. But usually the prominent atheists manage to step …

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Dec 07 2013

Another attempt to rationalize religion by equating it with philosophy

Salon has published another of those articles — you know, the ones where some clueless ignoramus presents his biased interpretation of what atheism means and then proceeds to flog the New Atheists for their imagined sins. This time, it’s Sean McElwee bashing away at What Hitchens got wrong: Abolishing religion won’t fix anything. And here’s …

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Sep 01 2013

On the upside, maybe I could start beating students with a stick

It’s the end of summer, and it’s a slow news time, so the newspapers are dredging the bottom of the fecal lake for material, but this is ridiculous. How about Syria? Come on, that’s important stuff. Instead, though, we get op-eds like this one in the Globe and Mail from Zander Sherman, proposing a solution …

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Aug 08 2013

Repudiating scientism, rather than surrendering to it

When I heard that Steven Pinker had written a new piece decrying the accusations of scientism, I was anxious to read it. “Scientism” is a blunt instrument that gets swung in my direction often enough; I consider it entirely inappropriate in almost every case I hear it used. Here’s the thing: when I say that …

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Jul 14 2013

Some conversations don’t deserve to be furthered

Oh, christ. It’s the philosopher’s version of the Courtier’s Reply. There’s been some back and forth about Christopher Hitchens on Salon, with the first hack at Hitchens by Curtis White (and a ghastly bafflegab it was), followed by a defense by Dellora, and now Joe Winkler charges in, arguing that Hitchens wasn’t a philosopher. All …

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Jun 09 2013

Oh, let’s pile on a little more

Colin McGinn may be pompous and privileged, but he also writes philosophy papers. Philosophy papers that get reviewed. Philosophy papers that get scathingly hilarious reviews (pdf). An excerpt from Strohminger, in Emotion Review: Another property of McGinn’s text, of which potential readers should be aware, is its unintentional hilarity. The humor derives less from the …

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