I just discussed with a friend the merits of a multi-national discussion group in which we both participate: 1. It’s hard to gauge what is trendy, universally, making cheap signalling much harder. 2. To aid linguistic clarity, people avoided jargon, which aided overall clarity.
Philosophy Smell #3: “Definition at a Distance”—Using or insisting upon the use of novel definitions for words in discussion. Theoretically, you can use any word for any thing, but definition at distance is slower and more open to slight of hand than using the common meaning.
Philosophy Smell #2: “Cargo Critique”—deploying a critique by going through the motions of a popular philosophy without a true feel for its workings. A key tell is fill-in-the-blank philosophizing which, like a “cargo cult” plane, looks the part from afar, but won’t fly.
Philosophy Smell #1: “Drive-By Syllogism”—barraging people with rapid-fire logic on controversial topics, often demanding immediate “yes/no” answers; apparent victories often come, merely, from confusion. Common among Christian apologists, Anarchists. I suffer from the habit.
New term: “Philosophy Smell” — I believe I’m the first to use it. It’s “Code Smell” as in programming, but for philosophy. Code smells are not bugs/don’t break the program; rather, they show design weaknesses that may slow development or increase the risk of bugs in the future.
Dear Max, it was wonderful to meet you last week. It bears repeating that I felt as though talking for the first time to a hidden collaborator.
We need to settle our differences, but we need to settle them within a system of decency and good faith, one that prioritizes solutions over allegiance.
The other day, I caught myself about to say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Putting aside how absurd it is to think that a just God, or Karma, would take Mozart at 35 and Stalin at 74, what could it possibly mean for a non-believer to say it?
Affectations, such as of speech, are mires for those trying to live well; this labelling takes a fraction of the work you need to do your own thinking, and of the time you need to move others. You can live a good life even if everyone else disagrees, or if no one knows or cares.