Crooked Timber has me thinking a lot at the moment. This recent post on, basically, the etiquette of Philosophers, is not just nicely played but, it occurs to me, should be something I give to any potential friend or partner. I’m very guilty of the ‘sin’ of attacking the first premise in causal conversation and it’s a habit that is hard to break.

3 Replies to “Manners”

  1. Thanks for the link. Some years ago I spent a lot of time with a friend whose field is pure mathematics, and who would switch into that very mode of questioning in all kinds of social situations: one-on-one, at one person in a group, and even addressing a whole group. At the time I couldn’t figure it out: stripped of its disciplinary context, it seemed needlessly interrogatory. However, a few years down the line, I understand a bit more about how our disciplinary habits can get encoded into all kinds of every day activity, especially if (as in the case I think of some or many mathematicians, hard scientists and philosophers) we are intellectually convinced that our methods of questioning and inquiry lead to–shall we say truthiness?

  2. Ah, truthiness… I’m more a plausibility person myself, but yes, most disciplines think their methods are veristic.

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