May 22, 2007

This Post is Old!

The post you are reading is years old and may not represent my current views. I started blogging around the time I first began to study philosophy, age 17. In my view, the point of philosophy is to expose our beliefs to rational scrutiny so we can revise them and get better beliefs that are more likely to be true. That's what I've been up to all these years, and this blog has been part of that process. For my latest thoughts, please see the front page.

Kenneth L. Pearce, BA BAS

You may have noticed that posting has been extremely light lately. I haven't been busy so much as disoriented. Graduation was last week (whence the title of this post!), my assorted housemates have been moving out, I've done some moving myself already, and am going to finish moving this evening. However, I'm not starting work for another few weeks, so once I get settled down in my new place and my head stops spinning, I expect there to be a flurry of postings. Here are some things you can look for over the next few weeks:

  • I've already started writing a rather substantial post entitled "Libertarianism Under Uncertainty and Prohibiting Abortion."

  • The U.S. Supreme Court has granted cert for the Washington primary system case. Arguments will be heard in the upcoming season. With luck the modified blanket primary could be reinstated in time for the '08 election. The State's brief and the Grange's brief are available online (so far I've read the State's, but not the Grange's), and I expect the political parties will have responses soon, so I will hopefully be writing some analysis of these arguments soon.

  • I'm hoping to actually write down the blogging rules that I've been making exceptions to. That doesn't mean I'll stop making exceptions to them, but at least they'll be written down so visitors can find out what ordinarily goes on on this blog. Besides, I have to have rules in order to break rules!

  • It's been brought to my attention that my analysis of Carl Trueman's comments on gender attitudes in "Reformed church culture" as applied to the Christian community at Penn was overly simplistic. This resulted from my only accounting for people's stated considered positions on moral and spiritual obligations with regard to gender roles, and ignoring gut reactions, jokes, etc. I may try to correct the analysis, because I'm curious about the etiology of radically conservative views on gender roles (I consider myself a moderate), and whether the anecdotal evidence I can provide from here lines up with what people have seen elsewhere.

  • Lauren studies physics, math, and philosophy. I'm hoping to get her set up for a little guest blogging in the near future (now that we're all official and stuff!). I intend to try to convince her not to run too far afield of the normal subject matter of this blog, but hopefully she will be able to apply her physics knowledge to some of the issues that are discussed here. (She's been correcting my erroneous statements about physics on this blog for two years now!) In particular, I'm hoping that she'll be writing on something along the lines of "the argument for indeteminism from physics," and that this will be comprehensible to those of us who don't do abstract algebra or similar fancy math whiz stuff.

Additionally, I'd like to give you all a little more information about what I'm going to be doing for the next year as it will effect blogging. (This is not an exception to my blogging rules, because of the "as it will effect blogging" qualification - but my blogging rules, which I have yet to write down, are purely arbitrary anyway, so I suppose it doesn't really matter.)

I'll be remaining in Philadelphia this year, writing software. As I previously mentioned, I'm not working right now. I'll be working a few weeks in June, then going on vacation, then starting for real on August 1. The effect of work on my blogging habits is unpredictable: on the one hand, when I'm not in school, I don't have any other outlet for my thoughts, nor am I required to read or write anything (well, I have to write things in Java, but not in English). On the other hand, when I am working 40 hours a week programming, I typically don't much feel like sitting in front of a computer screen any more when I get home. I think that in the past the net result has been that I am less likely to keep up with reading other blogs and responding to them, but more likely to blog on philosophy or other books I am reading.

Lauren has another year at Penn (which is high on my list of reasons for hanging around). We're planning the wedding for summer of 2008. I'll be applying to begin a Ph.D. program in philosophy in the fall of 2008. Lauren will be applying to programs in physics, also beginning in fall of 2008.

In the intervening year, I will most certainly be continuing to study philosophy, because I don't know what I would do if I stopped. I also will probably have more time for biblical studies and such, and so I'll probably be posting on both philosophy and theology, as before. Here is a partial reading list in philosophy that I hope to get through in the coming year:

First, I hope to finish the following books that I have already begun:

  • Peter van Inwagen, Material Beings

  • Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana

  • David Lewis, On the Plurality of Worlds

I also hope to get to the following books (some of which I am rather embarrassed not to have read yet):

  • G.W.F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit

  • John Locke, Second Treatise on Government

  • Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity

  • Augustine, Confessions

  • Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Volume 2

  • Peter van Inwagen, An Essay on Free Will

  • George Berkeley, Siris

Those aren't in any particular order, and I may change my mind about which books to read in my time away from the university here, but these should give you some taste of what I expect to be blogging about in the next year here. I will also consider requests for blogging topics, or suggestions for books to add to the list.

Posted by Kenny at May 22, 2007 4:48 PM
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