Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Finagel"

Professor Leiter is on this, but it's worth reporting here.  A new entry for the Philosophical Lexicon, in honor of a guy who has definitely jumped the shark... twice.  (Kudos to Gerald Dworkin!)

finagel, v.   To subject any scientific theory to the incredulity of common sense.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...


"spirious"

Adj. characterizing a form of criticism that substitutes anonymous expressions of contempt for argument.

Eg. He could not explain where Nagel had gone wrong, so he settled for a spirious online attack.

Anonymous said...

6:17, ftw.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting idiom for the lexicon: "Kudos to X!", where X is a famous philosopher whose attack on another philosopher has generated, or been part of, a playground gang-up. The sense is roughly "I would like to ingratiate myself with X by associating myself with this gang-up."

The target of the gang-up may have clearly accomplished more in philosophy in a decade than X will in a lifetime, as in this example from Spiros. But X may also be highly accomplished, as in an otherwise strikingly similar example from "Professor Leiter" on his blog from February 22nd 2010, in connection with the strikingly similar, indeed overlapping, gang-up against Fodor: "Kudos to Block and Kitcher for discharging the moral responsibilities of public intellectuals in exemplary fashion."

Anonymous said...

12:12, what are you smoking? Block and Kitcher write a substantive critique of Fodor's muddle, and that's called "ganging up"?

Grow up!

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Nagel bashers is that they all happen to be part of a fringe gang of prominent philosophers who don’t get why he was so great in the first place. Read the reviews – Sober, Blackburn, NDPR, et al – they all concede to not being too impressed with Nagel’s strong realist stuff about qualia or morals or both.

Either these neonaturalist reactionaries are right about him all along, and he didn’t jump the shark because he wasn’t Fonzie to begin with. Or they’re wrong, and so who are they to say whether he jumped the shark? They wouldn’t know a good Nagel argument if it bit them in the pineal gland.

hacker said...

Not so. Blackburn always liked Nagel's ethics. (And what makes him and sober "reactionaries"??)
Nagel never wrote much metaethics, and what he did write was (as far as I can tell) perfectly consistent with naturalism... until the whole shark incident, I mean.

I agree with 4:50. The criticisms you call "bashing" are substantive criticisms, and I haven't seen any answers to them.

Anonymous 12:12 said...

How sad, 4:50. My use of the word "generated" was a vain attempt to forestall precisely this opportunistic misinterpretation.

Anonymous said...

How sad, 9:25, falling back on a single word to try to deflect the natural reading of your idiotic comment.

lazer epilasyon said...

what are you smoking? Block and Kitcher write a substantive critique of Fodor's muddle, and that's called "ganging up"?Sagliklibirey