This is the new Apple Eaters blog. The name comes from a story by J.D. Salinger. There, “apple-eaters” are those individuals who think knowledge is best achieved through reason and experience. That’s us. The larger reference should be apparent.
This blog will (we hope) be a complement to all the other great blogs out there working to defend reason and healthy skepticism from the attacks of the irrational and thoughtless who make claims and argue for positions without proper justification or evidence. What is different about us is that, unlike most of the bloggers of our type, we are not scientists. We are philosophers. The lack of philosophers in the growing skeptical community, however, is something that should be remedied. Philosophy more than any other discipline requires one to examine the background assumptions and justifications for positions. In fact, that’s our whole game. With that in mind, we think we have something to contribute to the growing dialogue.
But we think we have something more to offer. Not only do we have the tools necessary for doing good conceptual analysis and the training to distinguish good arguments from bad, but we also have training in ethics, and this is something that seems to be less often addressed in other blogs. It turns out that there are moral consequences for the positions that people take, and believing something without proper justification is something that should not be done. That is, there is absolutely a moral imperative tied to beliefs, and it says we should only believe those things for which we have good reason. I expect an entire entry will be spent addressing that in more detail very soon.
That’s it. Hopefully those of you reading this will get something out of this blog.