Sunday, August 29, 2010

Philosophy bites, sociology sucks

I must be slow, because I've listened to the Philosophy Bites podcast for awhile now, and it just dawned on me that the name is a double entendre...their logo should have given it away:

I find it only sometimes of interest, but I appreciate the brevity, and it's a good test of a philosopher if they can make a sensible point in 15 minutes or so. The most recent episode (Joshua Knobe on experimental philosophy) was pretty good, particularly the "Knobe effect" which showed that people's models intentionality and of morality are all scrambled together in interesting ways. (My interpretation of the results is that people are just much more primed to assign blame, especially moral culpability, than they are to give credit).

I actually am kind of a fan of sociology these days, but there's an awful lot of fluff there, and the field has a bad reputation. Let's put it this way -- of any field, it has perhaps the highest gap between importance of subject matter and the intellectual tools available to grapple with it.

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