Archive for October 18th, 2012

October 18th, 2012

The Epistemology Directory

by Max Andrews
Below is a collection of all my blog posts specifically related to epistemology.
  1. My Evidentialist Epistemology
  2. Onto-Relationships and Epistemology
  3. Why Plantinga’s Warrant Cannot Circumvent the Gettier Problem
  4. A General Rule for Gettier Cases
  5. Empiricism and Being in the Right Phenomenological Frame of Mind
  6. Meet Philosopher Linda Zagzebski
  7. The Connection Between Phenomenology and Existentialism
  8. A Response to Alvin Plantinga’s “The Reformed Objection to Natural Theology”
  9. Alex Rosenberg on Whether Philosophy Emerges from Science
  10. Steven Wykstra’s “Toward a Sensible Evidentialism: ‘On the Notion of Needing Evidence.'”
  11. Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Epistemology
  12. New Paper: “Epistemological Scientific Realism and the Onto-Relationship of Inferentially Justified and Non-Inferentially Justified Beliefs”
    read more »

October 18th, 2012

Ten Female Philosophers Who Should Be Studied More

by Max Andrews

Tullia d’Aragona

Hypatia of Alexandria, Hildegard von Bingen, Simone de Beauvoir, and Ayn Rand all enjoy comparative rock star status when it comes to women in the traditionally male-dominated philosophy sphere. But they definitely aren’t the only names when it comes to eking out a place for ladyfolk amongst practitioners. While the following female philosophers boast varying levels of popularity in the classroom, they still offer some amazing ideologies to contemplate, either for class or during personal inquiry. Use them as a starter kit to exploring even more women philosophers who deserve recognition.

  1. Themistoclea:

    One of Delphi’s priestesses earned historical cred as the alleged mentor of no less than Pythagoras himself! The Suda even claims she may have been his sister as well, though no evidence exists either supporting or disproving the statement. Little is known about Themistoclea, though the first mention as the seminal mathematician and philosopher’s educator comes from Diogenes Laertius’ Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. He talks of her as the one responsible for inspiring Pythagoras’ “moral doctrines,” though he doesn’t comment further on the priestess’ life. In this instance, students would peer more into Themistoclea’s overarching influence through time rather than the woman herself.

  2. Arete of Cyrene:

    Historians and philosophers debate over whether Arete of Cyrene’s father or son established the Cyrenaic school, though it’s entirely possible she herself may have done so and cultural mores pushed for a more patriarchal tale. This philosophy espoused hedonistic pleasures and the pursuit of the positive and avoidance of the negative. Legend has it the influential Arete of Cyrene spent 35 years as an educator and wrote more than 40 books, focusing largely on morals and earning the acclaim of her contemporaries.

October 18th, 2012

The Fine-Tuning of the Multiverse Audio Lecture

by Max Andrews

In honor of today’s lecture on fine-tuning and the multiverse I recorded the lecture and I’m posting it online here. I hope you enjoy it and make good use of it.

Audio lecture from 18 October 2012.

The fine-tuning argument argues that when the physics and the laws of nature are expressed mathematically their values are ever so balanced in a way that permits the existence of life.  This claim is made on the basis that existence of vital substances such as carbon, and the properties of objects such as stable long-lived stars, depend rather sensitively on the values of certain physical parameters, and on the cosmological initial conditions.[1]  I’m merely arguing that the universe/multiverse is fine-tuned for the essential building blocks and environments that life requires for cosmic and biological evolution to even occur.

  1. Given the fine-tuning evidence, a life permitting universe/multiverse (LPM) is very, very epistemically unlikely under the non-existence of a fine-tuner (~FT): that is, P(LPM|~FT & k’) ≪ 1.
  2. Given the fine-tuning evidence, LPM is not unlikely under FT (Fine-Tuner): that is, ~P(LPM|FT & k’) ≪ 1.
  3. Therefore, LPM strongly supports FT over ~FT. [2]

*Remember, k’ represents some appropriately chosen background information that does not include other arguments for the existence of God while merely k would encompass all background information, which would include the other arguments, and ≪ represents much, much less than (thus, making P(LPM|~FT & k’) close to zero).

October 18th, 2012

Research Funding

by Max Andrews

I am currently completing my MA in Philosophy and have been accepted to the University of Edinburgh’s PhD in Philosophy program. I’ve also applied to Oxford and Cambridge but won’t find out if I’ve been accepted for quite a while. My research is in the fine-tuning of nomic behavior in multiverse scenarios.

My wife and I will need to move to Edinburgh, Scotland next summer (2013). We are graciously seeking funds and donation from anyone who believes in the potential impact my research will have for philosophy, science, and theology. We have faced several trials with my Crohn’s disease, which hasn’t put us in a financial advantage for this endeavor. We need about $18,000 for the student visa application process and additional funding for tuition, travel, and setting up a new home. We’ll eventually need much more than what we are requesting here but we are hoping to work hard and earn as much money as we can to make it.

I would love to speak with anyone interested in helping us fund my PhD and contribute to academia. If you or anyone else know of anyone willing to help or even other programs or organizations that would be interested please let me know. There’s so much more I would love to discuss so please contact me at mlandrews@sententias.org. You can view my CV and present research at http://sententias.org/cv/. Thank you for your consideration. Anything would be a tremendous blessing.