November 3, 2009

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.

Miraculous Early Modern Blogging!

As previously mentioned, I am currently working on a paper entitled "A Leibnizian Theory of Miracles". After a few more rounds of edits, I will post a draft, so stay tuned. In the meantime allow me to point you to a few miraculous instances of early modern blogging (both posted today, incidentally):

  • Brandon has a very interesting post on Malebranche and miracles. Malebranche is one of the main philosophers whose views Leibniz engages with in the Theodicy. The exact relationship between the views of Malebranche and Leibniz is not straightforward: sometimes Leibniz agrees with Malebranche, and sometimes he disagrees. Most importantly, Leibniz agrees with Malebranche in emphasizing the importance of the universal Order and God's general will (see Brandon's post), but finds Malebranches occasionalism objectionable because it supposedly amounts to "a perpetual miracle." (Incidentally, this is the same reason Leibniz finds Newton's theory of universal gravitation objectionable!)
  • At the Florida Student Philosophy Blog, Andrew Brennar discusses the goal of Hume's discussion of miracles. Many people express confusion as to whether Hume means to claim that the concept of miracle is incoherent, or simply that there could never be good evidence for the occurrence of a miracle. According to Andrew, Hume makes both arguments. The position I push in my Leibniz paper is that Hume's definition of miracle is deeply flawed: we shouldn't regard miracles as violations of natural laws. More on that later.
  • (Added 11/4/09, 9:00 AM) My USC colleague Lewis Powell, who is just finishing up a dissertation on Hume, responds to Andrew's discussion on his blog, Horseless Telegraph.
  • (Added 11/9/09 6:50 PM) Brandon Watson of Siris has now also weighed in, favoring an interpretation similar to Andrew's.
Posted by Kenny at November 3, 2009 8:31 PM
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"Just finishing up" might be overstating it somewhat

Posted by: Lewis Powell at November 5, 2009 8:48 PM

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