The Semester Begins

So the semester is starting up at the Graduate Center again (though not at LaGuardia, which though a CUNY school, is on a different schedule. Our semester starts March 1st…don’t ask). If everything goes according to plan this will technically be my last semester of graduate school! That is a very exciting prospect…though I am just begining to see how difficult it is to coordinate all of the people involved…I hope to defend in the first two weeks of September and I can see already that though it is nine months away it will br a challenge to get everyone that needs to be there there…not to mention finishing the actual dissertation and defending it!!!

The Colloquium series looks very interesting. I may go and check out Brandom’s talk talk tomorrow…though I am not sure…if anyone is interested the paper that the talk is based on is posted at the GC site I linked to above. These talks are open to the public and anyone who is the NYC area should come down, there is usually quite a turn out!

 Also interesting is Kripke’s class on philosophy of mathematics. It lookslike he will be talking about Quine’s indispensability argument which claims that mathematics is only interesting because it is useful (indispensable) to science and so its justification is ultimately empirical. There is a lot of support for that thesis at the GC (Rosenthal and Devitt spring to mind) and so it would be interesting to hear Kripke’s arguments on it. I may sit in on it here and there and if I do I will post some stuff about it. Sadly I will not be able to sit in on all of the other really interesting classes they are offering (like Devitt’s animal cognition one, or Armstrong’s ’empiricists metaphysics’ one…)

 Finally I want to also remind you of the CUNY CogSci symposium. The first talk is as follows

February 1: Michela Tacca
Philosophy and Social Sciences, Università di Siena
“The Structure of Vision: Systematicity of Visual Feature Binding”

All talks are Fridays 1-3 at the Graduate Center…drinks afterwards!!

And Another One…

Some of you may know about my penchant for writing utterly ridiculous philo-gangsta rap tunes…some of you may even have heard that I have been working on a new one on Descartes…well, it’s finally here! Go and check it out, if you dare…

In my previous attempts I have written the music myself and I was doing the same for this one, but then I realized that I had all of these Logical Form instrumentals lying around…Sorry guys 🙂

New Virtual Presentation!!

So, I just got a recording of my What is a Brain State? talk which I gave at the 2006 Towards a Science of Consciousness conference. I used that to record the narration to the powerpoint slides, and voila! A new virtual presentation. The conference uses a service called ‘conference recordings’ and it was easy to get the recording, but I think in the future I am going to try and record the narration as I am giving the talk…I think my mac laptop has a built in microphone…

This was by far the largest audience for a talk that I have had, and I was extremely nervous! So, I apologise in advance for all of the ‘um’s

More Good News!!!

 (Moving to the front; see update)

I just found out that it looks like I will be presenting my paper Language, Thought, Logic, and Existence at the APA Pacific Division meeting in March! Sweet! I say ‘looks like’ because I have not recieved my official letter of acceptance yet, but I have seen the preliminary program, and I am on it!! Remember, you can see the virtual version here, it’s almost like being there! Holy crap! That’s just three weeks before my consciousness presentation in Tucson! Looks like a busy spring ahead for me!!!

I remember as an undergraduate at San Francisco State University going to the APA meetings and thinking that there was no way I could do what they did…I guess that just goes to show what shape the APA is in, letting me present!!!!!! 🙂

UPDATE: Now they are playing with my emotions! They are saying that the official program will be delayed because of some “critical late changes to the program”…uh oh, they must have noticed that they included my paper by mistake!!!

UPDATE UPDATE: OK. They have the program up at the APA website now and I am still on it! Still no acceptance letter though…I wonder if I can use powerpoint? Did I get a student travel stipend? Oh well, back to celebrating…

The Connectome

Researchers at Harvard have develped a device that allows them to slice brain tissue ultra-thin and then scan it with an electron microscope in order to create a complete mapping of the cell kinds and connections in a mouse brain (wired story here). The resulting map is called a connectome…very cool. This kind of research is exactly what we need in order to move forward in our quest to fill in the theoretical place-holder term ‘brain state’.

On a related note it also brings us one step closer to being able to end our relience on real animals to do chemical manipulations/lesions in. If these can be simulated a lot of animal suffering could be stoped.

Music is Good

Ever wonder what I do what I am not teaching, writing, grading, or flitting about pedaling my philosophical wares? Mostly I like to play the drums…no, not in Rock Band; actual drums! 🙂 Anyways, I just updated some music stuff and so I thought I would share…

For a while I was playing with a group of NYC area philosophers called The Neural Correletes of David Chalmers, or NC/DC and The Devestating Objections as we were known when we had more than 5 guitarists!! Sadly, people graduated, got jobs, and NC/DC seems to have gone the way of the dinosour…It is immortalized in its myspace page…though there may be a possible NC/DC reunion in Tucson in April… or at least there is one is a close possible world 🙂

Lately I have been playing with a couple of NC/DC vets and Graduate Center cohorts going by the name of Logical Form or The CUNY Philoso-Funk All-Stars or some such; whatever you call it, we have been making some funky music! Check it out here (and strangely also here) and at my personal myspace page (disregard the pics of me from back when I was in college…:) ). Please keep in mind, these were all recorded in Dan’s living room without rehersal…hopefully more to come!!!!

To 10 Posts of 2007

 –Runner-Up– Reason and The Nature of Obligation

10. Does God Know about Quantuum Mechanics?

9. Bah Humbug!

8. Priming, Change Blindness, and the Function of Consciousness

7. Freedom and Evil

6. Stop your Quining!

5. A Simple Argument for Moral Realism

4. Why Must we Worship God?

3. There is No Santa

2. Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck

1. Why Does 1+1=2?


Top 10 Least Popular Posts of 2007

 –Runner-Up– That’s Not an Argument

10. Truth, Justification, and the Quasi-Realist Way 

9. Consciousness, Relational Properties, and Higher-Order Theories

8. 09/19/07 –Devitt on Meaning

7. Back to the Grind and Meta-Metaethics

6. Kripke, Consciousness, and the ‘Corn

5. HOT Fun in the Summertime I

4. Varities of Higher-Order Zombie

3. Applying Frigidity

2. 09/05– Devitt

1. 09/05 Devitt II

OK, OK! I’ll go grade papers now!!! 😉