De-cluttering is not effective altruism: review of Jeff Shinabarger’s More or Less

When my contact at Patheos forwarded me an e-mail about the book club Patheos was going to be doing on Jeff Shinabarger’s book More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity, I was excited. It may have been just the subtitle that did it; if not the subtitle, then the book’s website with its [Read More…]


This is a brief “throwing an idea out there” post: I’d like to coin the term “semi-consequentialism,” for the view that the consequences of our actions on people’s well-being is of central moral importance, without being committed to the theses often associated with consequentialism that (1) maximizing well-being is obligatory or even that (2) it’s [Read More…]

Against worrying about what kind of person would do that

Scott Alexander is on a virtue ethics kick at his blog. One comment that really stuck at me: [Read more…]

New on LessWrong: Willing gamblers, spherical cows, and AIs

Philosophy buffs will want to check out this post I just made on LessWrong: Willing gamblers, spherical cows, and AIs. The main focus is on probability theory and Dutch Book Arguments. Please leave your comments over there. Angry e-mails that you hate the commenting system on LessWrong can go to challquist at Google mail. [Read more…]

Food: the challenge of balancing health, ethics, and cost

For awhile now, I’ve been meaning to learn more about nutrition and health in general. In the past few days, I’ve made a start on it… but it turns out to be really hard to sort these issues out, especially if you’re (1) concerned about eating ethically (2) a starving artist like me. [Read more…]

Philosophy of religion without apologetics?

Recently, in an exercise in thinking about things that are way too far off in the future to be really thinking about, I wondered: “If I do eventually get a Ph.D. in philosophy, and end up on the philosophy job market, will I list philosophy of religion as an AoC?” (AoC stands for Area of [Read More…]

How much trouble is Plantinga’s Free Will Defense in?

I’ve spent a fair amount of time arguing that the claim that Plantinga conclusively showed popular versions of the argument from evil do not work is problematic because (1) Plantinga assumes libertarian free will and (2) even if Plantinga showed that the existence of God is compatible with some bad choices, that doesn’t at all [Read More…]

Introducing Bayes blogging: a review of Richard Carrier’s Proving History, part 1

I mean to be doing a lot of thinking about probability theory, Bayesianism, etc. over the course of the next few months, perhaps longer. And I’ll be blogging it. Thus begins a (probably irregular) series of posts that I’m going to dub “Bayes blogging,” because it sounds better than “probability blogging.” [Read more…]

PZ Myers on scientists vs. technicians (with philosophy!)

PZ Myers has a fascinating post up about a fiasco involving ENCODE, which PZ describes as “a body of very well funded, high ranking scientists working at prestigious institutions who are actively and obviously fitting the data to a set of unworkable theoretical presuppositions, and completely ignoring the rebuttals that are appearing at a rapid [Read More…]