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Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

A Treatise of Human Nature

A Treatise of Human Nature
David Hume

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It may seem like it should be easy to get college freshmen interested in Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature. I mean, here’s a fellow who was an ornery bastard in his day, and even as a relatively young man, was taking a philosophical piss at his elders, his church, the school system, and all of the dead white guys whose books he had to read. And, brilliantly, he did so by beating them at their own game — if he were a modern-day hip-hopper, he’d be laying down the harshest dis tracks Scotland and France had ever heard. And the shit would be tight. He’d have them beat on style and content, and would still have the good sense to put the mic down and buy everybody 40’s when he was through clowning them. I mean, this mother could M.C.
But for some reason, I was largely unsuccessful in convincing my freshmen of this bare, obvious fact. All they see are the big words and “connexion” spelled with an X, and they put the book down and give up. Isn’t this the same generation who watch the X-Games, play on the X-Box, and eat X-treme gorditas at Taco Bell? But throw some “X-treme necessary conneXion” into an argument against causality, and they don’t know what to do. Is that whack or what?
So yeah — Hume is an analytic ninja. He lays down logic so tight that if it were a boa constrictor, my brain would be dead by now. He sends Cartesians crying for their mommies and feels no remorse. Shit, he even plays backgammon. How cool is that?

Making Sense of Science Making Sense of the World

I am finished with my second semester of graduate school. I’ve completed my final paper for my Wittgenstein class, and have completed grading my students’ final exams, and I am now officially on vacation. Not sure yet what my winter plans will be, but they probably involve lots of scotch and drumming. Quite possibly in conjunction with one another.
Playing: The Misfits – TV Casualty

24/7 Ticklewuss

I’ve now converted the 24/7 Ticklewuss album to mp3 and uploaded it to the site. That should do it for the entire McViking solo catalog. I’ll be working on Mortal Wombat and other assorted material next…

Re-Populating Scientific Explanation

Yet another final paper complete. This one is my take on the frustratingly fruitless discussion in the philosophy of scientific explanation. It is the culmination of an entire semester of wondering why philosophy so consistently fails to solve problems that it completely fabricated in the first place.

Incommensurable Or Merely Incompatible?

I’ve finished the first of my final papers for the semester. It’s about comparative statistics and scientific inference, and is surprisingly long considering that I’ve nothing to actually say on the subject. Proving once again the sad axiom that eloquence can frequently substitute for lack of competence.