August can be dry month in the philosophy blogosphere. It's traditionally vacation month in Europe and a time when many academics must correct repeat exams and prepare classes for the new semester. But that doesn't seem to have dampened enthusiasm among the internet's diligent coterie of philosophical bloggers. As this month's host of the Philosophers' Carnival, I have the pleasure of collating and introducing some of the best posts from the past 30 days or so.
In no particular order:
- Terance Tomkow continues his impressive contributions to philosophy blogging with an excellent introduction to counterfactuals. Confused about possible worlds and the ways things could have turned out? Start here.
- Wolfgang Schwarz investigates the updating of beliefs based on evidence with a clever thought experiment involving a broken duplication machine.
- Richard Yetter Chappell defends consequentialism by developing an interesting distinction between criterial and ground-level explanations of moral facts.
- Barry Stocker, over at New APPS, considers Kierkegaard as a philosopher of the novel.
- Catarina Dutilh Novaes provides an illuminating historical introduction to the use of formal methods in philosophy. This one has a part two.
- Greg Frost-Arnold tells us why he is bothered by Quine's famous ontological dictum 'To be is be the value of a bound variable'.
- John Deigh presents a provocative history of metaethics in the 20th Century. Some good discussion going on in the comments section on this one.
- Peter Vickers makes the case for detailed historical studies in the debate about scientific realism. He illustrates using the example of John Meckel's prediction of gill slits in human embryo development. I found this quite interesting.
- Carlo Iarna looks at mechanisation as an explanatory strategy, focusing in particular on Brentano's descriptive psychology and the explanation of consciousness.
- André Carus informs us about Carnap's linguistic turn and PF Strawson's critique thereof. Good for anyone with an interest in Mid-20th century philosophy of language.
- Anke Noek, on Practical Ethics, provides a fascinating analysis of the role of identity in mental illness.
- And finally, if I may be so bold, I'd like to include a post I wrote last month on the argument from suffering and abandonment, which presented a new(ish) angle on the problem of evil.