Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Top post-WWII philosophers

An over-opinionated law professor posts this poll:
Best Anglophone philosophers of science since 1945: ...

1. Rudolf Carnap (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Thomas S. Kuhn loses to Rudolf Carnap by 92–89
3. Carl G. Hempel loses to Rudolf Carnap by 106–64, loses to Thomas S. Kuhn by 99–74
4. Karl Popper loses to Rudolf Carnap by 99–64, loses to Carl G. Hempel by 94–73
I am surprised at this, because Rudolf Carnap and Hempel were a logical postivist, and today's philosophers say that was wrong. Popper was an anti-positivist, but people like him because they think he was a positivist. Kuhn was even more anti-positivist, and popularized denying objective truth.

Update: Here is a philosopher whining about philosophers not getting respect from a science popularist Bill Nye. For example, Pigliucci complains that Nye falls fort he fallacy that dropping a hammer on his foot convinces him that the hammer is real. I don't know, this seems as good an argument as anything else that the hammer is real. But I guess philosophers like to live in a pretend-world where nothing is real.


  1. Nothing any of them said was really original. I liked David Stove.

  2. There are more things in heaven and earth, Roger,
    Than are dreamt of in your positivist philosophy.

    Quite frankly, I'm not surprised philosophy has always been a highly debatable topic, I'm just surprised that people think philosophy shouldn't be a highly debatable topic.

    Humans have the nearly divine capacity for thought. They also have a pretty good capacity to act like base animals without useful instincts. The nature of choice has always been that you can choose through a myriad of ways to assert your individually chosen preferences or helpless herd-like proclivities. Do you wish to assert the will to power or do you desire to slouch your way through existence, ok, but just don't bitch and moan about the consequences (either way you choose) because there are always consequences...even if you don't want to be held accountable for them.

    Are there people who define themselves and those around them? Yes.
    Are there people who are defined and shaped like inert wet clay by others? Yes.

    Personally, I realize I will have most of eternity on either side of my existence to be insensate inanimate matter, so I really don't give a flying fig about people(s) or culture(s) that embrace their own inner pathetic victimization and overwhelming desire to be in competition with lifeless objects as they mewl about innate worth and dignity.