Aboutness

¬(The cosmos is a mathematical illusion.
Some complex expression = 0) &&
My opinion is often wrong…

Shawn C.

Why Public Philosophy?

Spreading philosophical education is one of my primary professional goals.

Philosophy is an activity for all.

The ivory tower of our minds should not hide philosophy within its walls by its supercilious attitude; philosophy belongs to persons of all intellectual backgrounds, and for philosophical activity to spread and flourish, it must be free. The utter dismissal of public philosophy is an act of sheltering philosophy behind ivory walls, a dark and unenlightened place; it is a disservice to humanity. Therefore, I do public philosophy.

Public philosophy as a blog is merely an instant of philosophical activity and a fight for liberation. While rigor is different between academic and public philosophy, the latter nevertheless elicits ideas, understanding, connections, and new avenues of inquiry. Academic philosophy often demands specialized language, conceptual frameworks, and familiarity with specific philosophical traditions. Those can act as barriers to entry for the average person. Public philosophy aims to make complex ideas accessible and digestible. It can provide a stepping-stone for those who may later delve deeper into philosophical study, and I welcome anyone to participate in philosophy as an activity.

Who am I?

My name is Shawn, and I am a graduate student in philosophy. I focus on epistemology and philosophy of science, but I am also interested in the intersection of ethics and epistemology.

Aboutness Author Image
I will get a better pic sooner or later.

I will not write in this blog with academic rigor but explore ideas, arguments, and philosophical possibilities; it is a playground for my somewhat organized thoughts. A portion of the blog post will be about my thoughts on whatever books or academic journals I will be reading at the time. I will write about concepts beyond my specialization for my self-interest, so please keep that in mind.

  • Regarding ethics, I’m biased toward neo-Kantism, deontology, and virtue ethics.
  • Politically, I’m a cosmopolitan and a liberal relational egalitarian.
  • Religiously, I am not convinced of theism. I’m open to the possibility of God (deity), but I’m doubtful that we can derive any moral content from the concept of God or know anything about its nature.

On Ads:

Currently, this blog is free of advertisements.
(I may add non-invasive monetization methods if it helps grow this blog).

More importantly, I want my visitors to contribute to fundraising for persons in need. I have chosen a few effective ones: World Central Kitchen, ShareAMeal by UN, and Mental Health of America. You may support my work through BuyMeACoffee, but this is secondary. Thanks!

Blog Categories: Aboutness

For simplicity, there are only two blog categories: “Philosophy Papers” and “Speculative Philosophy.”
I will not discuss the history of philosophy, philosophical figures, or stand-alone logic papers.

“Philosophy Papers” Category

The “Philosophy Papers” category consists of diverse academic articles focusing on the core disciplines of analytic philosophy (epistemology, metaphysics, logic, and ethics). They are targeted mainly at a general readership that ranges from novices to those with some undergraduate exposure to philosophy; the papers in this section tackle questions about knowledge, the nature of reality, and ethical behavior, frequently examining the interplay between these areas. Philosophy of mind, language, philosophy of science, etc, are interdisciplinary topics that fall under the umbrella of the core disciplines.

Articles featured in this section aim to deepen our grasp of critical philosophical topics. This category presents thoughts intended to question, enlighten, and engage the reader. While the history of philosophy, specific philosophical traditions, or philosophical figures are significant, those are outside this blog’s scope.

Metaphysics

Papers focusing on metaphysics grapple with questions about the fundamental nature of reality. Whether discussing the existence of God, the nature of time and space, or ontology, these works aim to illuminate the underlying structures and principles that govern existence.

Since metaphysics is confusing and misunderstood, here is a brief answer to “What is Metaphysics?”

  1. Type of Questions: Metaphysics tackles questions that scientific disciplines do not fully answer. For example, “Do we have free will?” may touch upon physics or neuroscience but also involves conceptual analysis, delving into what we mean by “free will.”
  2. Methodology: While scientific disciplines rely on empirical research and experiments, metaphysics often operates “from the armchair,” interpreting empirical findings and analyzing concepts. It focuses not only on conceptual questions but also on questions of ontology—what kinds of things exist and their properties.

Epistemology

In this subcategory, you’ll find papers on the nature of knowledge. Topics include but are not limited to, the source of knowledge, epistemic justification, the concept of truth, and the role of language in shaping our understanding of the world. I may discuss classical theories like empiricism and rationalism or venture into contemporary debates surrounding internalism vs. externalism, relativism, skepticism, or social epistemology.

Ethics

Ethical inquiries constitute the third pillar of this category. Papers in this section engage with a foundation of morality, normative ethics, and ethical theory; I may examine how they apply in various practical contexts like medicine or politics. I may focus on classical theories, such as utilitarianism and deontology, or address contemporary ethical issues like bioethics, environmental ethics, and social justice. However, I am more interested in metaethics or normative ethics than applied ethics.

Ethics is also misunderstood, so what is ethics?

  1. The most common misunderstanding is the following: It is to equate Ethics with Morality.
  2. Ethics is the study of how to live the best life.
  3. Ethics is often divided into two: Duties and Aspiration.
  4. Ethics is not morality; many ethical systems presuppose or argue for morality for the best life.

Logic

I will not discuss papers specifically about logic. However, logic is a central part of philosophy. In coarse terms, logic concerns the study of arguments and inference. It asks what makes specific arguments better than others and how to infer a claim from some facts, information, or statements. Here, I want to focus on a specific type of logic, deductive logic. This is truth-value-preserving (true or false, possibly indeterminate) relations between sentences or symbols with truth values. Deductive logic studies deductive reasoning, distinguishing sound reasoning from lousy ones according to the rule of truth-value-preservation.

“Speculative Philosophy” Category

This category is an intellectual playground that stimulates creative dialogues. This section aims to captivate a diverse audience of thinkers by offering novel angles and thoughts on philosophical issues. Through audacious intellectual exploration, I aim to enlighten, inspire, and incite, paving the way for fresh interpretations of the intricacies of understanding knowledge, the nature of existence, and ethical considerations.

Here are some speculative posts:

“Other” Category

Anything else will be in the “Other” Category for now


I also write at Allen’s English in Japanese.