Blog Archives

Prove it! The burden of proof in science vs pseudoscience disputes

Footnotes to Plato

IMG_9677Time to look back at one of my technical papers, this one published in 2013 with my friend and collaborator Maarten Boudry in the journal Philosophia, and entitled “Prove it! The burden of proof in science vs Pseudoscience disputes.” (As with all my technical papers, they can be downloaded from my DropBox, by going to this link.)

The starting point for the paper is that the concept of burden of proof is used in a wide range of discourses, from philosophy to law, science, skepticism, and even in everyday reasoning. Maarten and I, then, provide an analysis of the proper deployment of burden of proof, focusing in particular on skeptical discussions of pseudoscience and the paranormal, where burden of proof assignments are most poignant and relatively clear-cut. We argue that burden of proof is often misapplied or used as a mere rhetorical gambit, with little appreciation of the underlying…

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June 6, 2017 · 1:48 am

Singing Pretty Songs – Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks

Trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso is on fire here.

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June 3, 2016 · 2:49 pm

Is Philosophy Dead?

Philosophy Professors Daniel Kaufman & Massimo Pigliucci discuss the value of philosophy in light of recent attacks from a few well-known scientists. They argue that such attacks on philosophy are expressions of sheer ignorance, and result in a certain kind of anti-intellectualism.

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December 24, 2014 · 5:15 pm

Russell on Wittgenstein


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December 22, 2014 · 11:33 am

Ministry of Silly Walks

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December 22, 2014 · 7:42 am

Searle on free will

What is Free Will? Our host Robert Lawrence Kuhn poses the question to Professor John Searle, in an interview from our series “Closer To Truth,”

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December 20, 2014 · 4:20 pm

Searle on consciousness

Philosopher Prof. John Searle lays out the case for studying human consciousness — and systematically shoots down some of the common objections to taking it seriously. As we learn more about the brain processes that cause awareness, accepting that consciousness is a biological phenomenon is an important first step. And no, he says, consciousness is not a massive computer simulation. (Filmed at TEDxCERN.)


December 19, 2014 · 7:29 am

How to Become a Vegetarian

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December 18, 2014 · 6:53 am

Searle’s Chinese Room

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December 15, 2014 · 4:55 pm

Peter Cook’s biased judge sketch

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December 14, 2014 · 5:01 pm