The World

[as I find it]

Archive for May 2006

A first analysis of a phrase: ‘building a road’

We use the phrase “building a road.” It seems odd, at first: roads are not so much built as left behind. To make a road, one clears away the trees and the rocks and whatever else is in the way. It isn’t a constructive process. A road is where we have removed some obstacles. (I am thinking of “roads” that are simply made of dirt. It is more obvious that “streets,” “highways,” “avenues,” and so forth must be built. These are roads, but they are not roads in so unqualified a sense.)

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Written by whereofwecannotspeak

May 27, 2006 at 11:55 pm

“Observability and Scientific Practice”

Well, the semester is finally over, after a rather crammed final three days. To commemorate the event, I have compiled my term paper for my Scientific Realism class in LaTeX and posted it on the Philosophy Writing page. It’s called ‘Observability and Scientific Practice’, and it argues that, though there may be a principled distinction between ‘observable’ and ‘unobservable’ things, that distinction does not require either scientists or philosophers to be anti-realists about unobservable things. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by whereofwecannotspeak

May 8, 2006 at 10:07 pm