Photo by Riho Kroll on Unsplash

When I tell people that one of the things I work on is the philosophy of probability, they are usually surprised. ‘Probability? Isn’t that part of maths — what’s a philosopher studying it for?’ In part, this reaction betrays the misconception, shared by many people, that philosophy consists mostly of ethics and political philosophy (maybe with a bit of philosophy of religion thrown in). But there might be a more serious intellectual query behind the surprise. What, exactly, is of philosophical interest in what seems to be a purely mathematical theory?

When mathematicians look at probability theory, they see a…

The Federal Government yesterday announced a raft of changes to their financial support of undergraduate university places under the title ‘Job-ready graduates’. Undergraduate places in Australia are mostly government-subsidised, supported in part by a contribution from the student themselves (the student contribution) and in part by the government (the commonwealth contribution). The total funding a university receives to support teaching and associated activities for a student is determined by the total of these contributions. The levels of total funding for places is regulated, and varies by the topic (‘field of education’) of the courses the student is taking. The breakdown…

How philosophical accounts of the difference between what a sentence means, and what someone means by saying it, illuminate the controversy.

Poster outside Sarah Hanson-Young’s Adelaide electorate office (Twitter: Sarah Hanson-Young)

A couple of weeks ago, the Australian senate voted on a motion for the Senate to acknowledge that “it is a motion calling OK to be white”. The motion was moved by the populist right wing One Nation party, but the controversial aspect is that it gained the support of the governing conservative Coalition. The motion failed, but the damage was done. While the leader of the government in the Senate, Matthias Cormann, was quick to explain that their apparent support for the motion was due to ‘administrative error’, considerable opprobrium was directed at the government over this vote. …

Antony Eagle 🐜🦅

Philosopher in Adelaide.

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