But then it was back to preparing for the talk I'd give at ANU the next day. I had originally planned on talking about the problems facing the species-as-individuals (SAI) metaphysic (something I’ve been thinking about for a good while now); specifically, addressing the move that my friend Matt Haber suggested to me back in Utah and why it didn’t look very promising to me. But on the plane ride over, I started thinking about the issue from a methodological perspective (inspired by the discussion at MPSC2011) and wrote out a different talk where I said a bit about the worries for SAI, a bit about my (supposed-to-be non-worrisome) alternative view, and concentrated on the status of SAI as a piece of “naturalized metaphysics”. It seems like an interesting case to me, since (if I’m right about it) we have some scientists reading off metaphysical conclusions from the science which I think decisively run afoul of considerations from analytic metaphysics. So it’s a case where naturalizing metaphysics goes wrong — or better, where you can't just read off the metaphysics without doing significant work in the very domain that the philosophers of science often find themselves decrying. After writing out all this and what to think of it, I managed to leave my notebook on the plane. Damn! The only consolation was that it was a brand-new notebook and I didn’t lose any other bright ideas.
|Post-pre-talk, pre-seminar tea.|
|Korman is not convinced by my gesturing. . . .|
|More skeptical looks.|
Back in Sydney now, I have to put off processing all this in order to prepare for my next talk on the 1st on a completely different topic (expanding something else from my paper on SPC kinds). My walk over to Darling Harbour will have to wait.