Forgive me for cliche scientism, but I recently realized that I can't think of any major philosophical developments in the last two centuries that occurred within academic philosophy. If I were to try to list major philosophical achievements since 1819, these would likely appear on my list, but none of them were from those trained in philosophy:

  • A convincing, simple explanation for the apparent design we find in the living world (Darwin and Wallace).
  • The unification of time and space into one fabric (Einstein)
  • A solid foundation for axiomatic mathematics
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3jacobjacob7d * The development of modern formal logic (predicate logic, modal logic, the equivalence of higher-order logics and set-theory, etc.), which is of course deeply related to Zermelo, Fraenkel, Turing and Church, but which involved philosophers like Quine, Putnam, Russell, Kripke, Lewis and others. * The model of scientific progress as proceeding via pre-paradigmatic, paradigmatic, and revolutionary stages (from Kuhn, who wrote as a philosopher, though trained as a physicist)
8TAG7d Wow! You left out the whole of analytical philosophy!

I'm not saying that I'm proud of this fact. It is mostly that I'm ignorant of it. :)

Matthew Barnett's Shortform

byMatthew Barnett 11d9th Aug 201978 comments


I intend to use my shortform feed for two purposes:

1. To post thoughts that I think are worth sharing that I can then reference in the future in order to explain some belief or opinion I have.

2. To post half-finished thoughts about the math or computer science thing I'm learning at the moment. These might be slightly boring and for that I apologize.