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What is truth? On Ramsey, Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle | Aeon Essays
Philosophy must be useful
For Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, much of philosophy was mere nonsense. Then came Frank Ramsey’s pragmatic alternative
Cheryl Misak. Aeon. 23 January 2019



Ramsey was writing a new paper, ‘Facts and Propositions’. It was published in the 1927 Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, and was mentioned in the Manifesto as another of Ramsey’s sympathetic papers. In it, he utilised Wittgenstein’s conception of tautology in a novel way. Wittgenstein had argued (in Ramsey’s words) that a logical truth ‘excludes no possibility and so expresses no attitude of belief at all’. From here, Ramsey arrived at one of his most fruitful insights. Beliefs exclude possibilities, and that is how we can tell one belief from another. What it is to believe a proposition is, in large part, to behave in certain ways, and to take various possibilities as either alive or dead. It is of the essence of a belief that it has a causal impact on our actions, and we evaluate beliefs in terms of how well they work. In a paper written at the same time, ‘Truth and Probability’, he went on to argue that some habits are a better basis for action than others. Truth is linked to usefulness.



Cheryl Misak
is professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Cambridge Pragmatism: From Peirce and James to Ramsey and Wittgenstein (2016). Her biography of Frank Ramsey (Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers) will be published by Oxford University Press in 2019.

via
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https://twitter.com/BmillsBilly/status/1088386481062846464
Frank.Ramsey  pragmatism  Cheryl.Misak 
27 days ago by asfaltics
"Created Facts and the Flawed Ontology of Copyright Law" by Justin Hughes
It is black letter doctrine that facts are not copyrightable: facts are discovered, not created—so they will always lack the originality needed for copyright protection. As straightforward as this reasoning seems, it is fundamentally flawed. Using the “social facts” theory of philosopher John Searle, this Article explores a variety of “created facts” cases—designation systems, systematic evaluations, and privately written laws—in which original expression from private individuals is adopted by social convention and generates facts in our social reality. In the course of this discussion, the paper places facts in their historical and philosophical context, explores how courts conflate facts with expressions of fact, and explains the difference between social facts created by expression and the “facts” of literature and fiction. Having established that the copyrighted works discussed in these cases produce facts, the question arises whether copyright's merger doctrine eliminates the copyright protection—a result that is both seemingly harsh and seemingly necessary. This Article proposes a recalibration of the merger doctrine to acknowledge that “created facts” are a unique situation in which the incentive of copyright is needed not just to generate the expression, but also needed to generate the facts. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
law  pragmatism  philosophy  rather-interesting  to-understand 
7 weeks ago by Vaguery
Pragmatism and Inferentialism
Concise review of Robert Brandom's pragmatism. Summarizes the approach. Brandom has a response in the print edition of the book in which MacFarlane's essay appears.
john-macfarlane  robert-brandom  pragmatism  inferentialism  !N-🏺-information-geisteswissenschaften 
november 2018 by beyondseven
Between Saying and Doing - 3:AM Magazine
Interview with Robert Brandom. Has a wonderful aside "Indeed, the latter idea—that what one must do in order thereby to understand what someone is saying is keep track of how their utterances change what they and other people are committed and entitled to—is in fact the basis for the AI in one of the versions of “The Sims”."
the-sims  robert-brandom  pragmatism  philosophy  !N-🏺-information-geisteswissenschaften 
october 2018 by beyondseven
Deciphering Paul Krugman / by Tibor Machan (The Daily Bell, June 11, 2011)
“One thing all this implies is that when one reads Paul Krugman one cannot criticize him tellingly by pointing out that he is inconsistent – e.g., that his serious scholarly work doesn't jive with what he writes in his columns, or that last week's column contradicts this week's or last year's this morning's.

“That Krugman does not announce this to the readers of his columns in The New York Times and articles in other publications, such as The New York Review of Books, is perfectly understandable. Most readers tend to have respect for logic – it is one way people tend to judge others, trip up prevaricators in law courts and criticize the scientific and scholarly work of those who write and speak out on vital topics. On innumerable occasions many will find a political candidate, president, or international figure criticized for being inconsistent. But that assumes, for Krugman, an ideology of consistency which radical pragmatists see as entirely artificial.”
PaulKrugman  RichardRorty  Pragmatism  Rortesianism  Rortistry  Rorticia  RorticDisposition  TiborMachan 
september 2018 by cbearden
How feelings took over the world | Culture | The Guardian
I would quibble slightly and say that bodily feeling is a good guide to *action*, but the trends he is talking about mostly refer to things you can do sitting on your arse in which case it is much less helpful. Also, the Farage photo is interesting because of the weak-ass demo; there's only one British politician who turns out real crowds and it's not him
emotion  politics  twitter  pragmatism  farage  populistpapers 
september 2018 by yorksranter
Reconstructing Individualism
"America has a love-hate relationship with individualism. In Reconstructing Individualism, James Albrecht argues that our conceptions of individualism have remained trapped within the assumptions of classic liberalism. He traces an alternative genealogy of individualist ethics in four major American thinkers-Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, John Dewey, and Ralph Ellison. These writers' shared commitments to pluralism (metaphysical and cultural), experimentalism, and a melioristic stance toward value and reform led them to describe the self as inherently relational. Accordingly, they articulate models of selfhood that are socially engaged and ethically responsible, and they argue that a reconceived-or, in Dewey's term, "reconstructed"-individualism is not merely compatible with but necessary to democratic community. Conceiving selfhood and community as interrelated processes, they call for an ongoing reform of social conditions so as to educate and liberate individuality, and, conversely, they affirm the essential role individuality plays in vitalizing communal efforts at reform."
in_NB  books:noted  moral_philosophy  individualism  pragmatism  something_about_america  james.william  dewey.john  ellison.ralph 
august 2018 by cshalizi

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