Archive | February 6, 2010

The APEEan Way Leads to Caesar’s Palace

The schedule is up for this coming April’s Las Vegas APEE conference at which Gary Chartier, Steve Horwitz, Charles Johnson, Sheldon Richman, and I will be holding forth at our panel on Free-Market Anti-Capitalism (whatever that is).

Caesar's Palace

Note that the venue has changed from Bally’s to Caesar’s. I don’t know the reason, but I’m glad of it, since I’ll probably be staying at the other end of the strip, and it’ll be easier to take the bus straight down the strip to Caesar’s rather than first taking it to Caesar’s, then taking the overpass to the other side of the street, and finally taking the boom tube to Bally’s. (Plus I confess I’m fond of the Forum Shops at Caesar’s, with their fake-sky ceilings perpetually cycling between day and night – boldly straddling, like so many things in Vegas, that treacherous line between the charming and the tacky.)

In related news, I see that they have a number of 7:40 a.m. sessions. I’m grateful that ours isn’t one of them.

A Slice of Ontology

Basic info for my department’s second annual philosophy conference is online. The topic is “The Ontology of Ordinary Objects.”

an extraordinary object

Here’s the idea behind the topic. There’s long been a dispute – going back to Aristotle versus his Presocratic and Platonic predecessors – as to whether ordinary objects such as tables and terriers are full realities in their own right or are instead mere constructs out of something more basic and less familiar: atomic triangles, sense-data, property clusters, four-dimensional time-slices, etc.

Most members of the Auburn department are firmly on the side of the ordinary objects – even if this image, the official icon of the conference, might suggest otherwise.

In related news (related to the topic of the conference, albeit not especially to the conference itself), check out Rupert Read’s Wittgensteinian critique of four-dimensional time-slices. (In order to understand his opening analogy, non-Brits may need to examine this photograph.)

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