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Philosophy

Quasi-empirical formalism and rationality

Note: I wrote this in May 2003. It's unfinished but still of some interest I think. 


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Philosophy of Maths seminar

I've been interested in the philosophy of maths for quite a long time. In the last year of my PhD I started writing a pair of seminars on the subject to be given at the Maths department at the University of Warwick. Unfortunately, writing up my thesis got in the way and I never got round to writing the second part.


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Critical review of Robert Nozick's "Anarchy, State and Utopia"

Robert Nozick's "Anarchy, State and Utopia" is undoubtedly a highly original and intelligent work. It has three major flaws though. Firstly, his idea of a minimal state requires not only that the state itself respects individual liberty to an unparalleled degree, but also that the population uniformly respects others' liberty to a high degree. Secondly, there is no discussion of power relations and the possibility of actually achieving a minimal state; the introduction of a minimal state today would not, and perhaps could not, have the effect Nozick desires, and there is little indication of what sequence of events could lead to a minimal state which would work. Thirdly, the "entitlement theory of justice" is inherently dualistic, a distribution of holdings is either just or unjust, but to defend it against the charge that a just distribution of holdings is impossible to achieve in practice, one would probably have to introduce a variable scale of justness, which would be antithetical to the spirit of the theory.

Philosophy

I'm interested in epistemology in general, and in particular the foundations and philosophy of mathematics. My major interests at the moment are Wittgenstein, Pragmatism (e.g.

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Epistemology without truth

The following essay is a work in progress. The [] symbols break up logically coherent sections which I have been moving around when writing this essay. Comments in brackets [like so] are reminders to me to think about or change something. I haven't yet written the last section, so for the moment it's just a tantalising header.


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