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Matias Slavov

Postdoctoral researcher, Tampere University

Matias Slavov is a postdoctoral researcher in philosophy at Tampere University in Finland. He is interested in the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of David Hume, and the philosophy of time.

Written by Matias Slavov



Recent Comments

MS

Metaphysics of metamorphosis

Matias Slavov

Thank you for the excellent post. I agree with Lee Talbert that this is “a welcome respite from the world of 140/280 character expressions” :) I also found the idea that science and metaphysics are in a dialectical relationship very interesting.

One critical issue with the process-view is whether it is consistent with special relativity (SR). Usually SR is interpreted to vindicate the static block universe theory. Because of the relativity of simultaneity, the past, present and future events all equably real. This suggests that the world is not dynamic, fading away and becoming. In our experience there is of course a remarkable difference between different temporal notions (to me i...

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MS

Peak ellipsis

Matias Slavov

Thanks for this, Sam.

I have a comment on a detail, not on the main topic of your essay. You assimilate Carnap/Vienna Circle/principle of verifiability and Hume. There are important similarities between logical positivism and Hume’s radical empiricism. Hume’s fork is close to the analytic/synthetic divide, and I think Hume does anticipate the denial of synthetic a priori knowledge. The difference is that Carnap (as well as other members of the circle like Schlick and Ayer) wanted to eliminate metaphysics. Hume criticizes large parts of metaphysics, including Descartes’ substance of the mind in which our mental states putatively inhere, Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason, and ...

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MS

Is great philosophy, by its nature, difficult and obscure?

Matias Slavov

I think great philosophy is difficult but not obscure! It takes a lot of effort and time to carefully peruse a classical work or a cutting-edge research paper. One cannot sharply distinguish argumentation and rhetoric, because argumentation is social activity in which we try to persuade others.

“In most cases, obscurity is a defect, not a virtue, and undue concern with interpretation puts the focus on people rather than problems. It is not easy to write clearly, especially on philosophical topics, and it is risky. Clear writers stand naked before their critics, with all their argumentative blemishes visible; but they are braver, more honest and more respectful of the true aims of i...

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MS

The tyranny of work

Matias Slavov

I agree that the kind of work ethic as discussed here is undesirable. Especially if one is forced to work excessively long hours for a petty salary. As the author writes toward the end, changing this situation requires something politically quite radical.

I still remain unconvinced about many aspects of this essay. The workers’ income is taxed, and this is used to pay for great many valuable things, including unemployement payments, pension, education, health care and whatnot. If the amount of work is drastically reduced, also the tax revenue will decrease. Here in Finland the government pays a lot for us. Maintaining a welffare-state model demands relatively high employement rate....

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MS

The problem of now

Matias Slavov

I think, and I assume I thus agree with the author, that the ‘now’ is significant for mental well-being. Yet metaphysically the present is not special. In this essay, it is shown with a comparison to spatial indexicals. I agree that the ‘now’ is analogous to ‘here’. Different times and locations are equally real. Moreover, relativity indicates that spacelike separated events like ‘Eating lunch on Earth’ and ‘Curiosity takes a picture on Mars’ cannot be both said to occur ‘now’. There is no unique way to foliate spacetime with simultaneity slices. The existence of the present moment is perspectival in nature (I have argued for this point in here: READ MORE→ See comment

MS

The ABC of time

Matias Slavov

The B-theory of time is consistent with timelike and lightlike separation in special relativity. If light (or other EM spectrum frequency) from an earlier event reaches a later event, we have an immutable earlier/later relation. All observers agree with this. Cause and effect might partly overlap but the cause begins before the effect (a challenge for this view is whether causation is fundamental or folk physics).

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MS

A Letter from Nigel Warburton

Matias Slavov

Thanks for the writing tips, Nigel. I think many of them are applicable to academic writing as well. Using shorter and simpler sentences over long and complicated is usually a good thing to do. Also, giving concrete examples to explicate abstract theories is important. I think essays at Aeon differ from academic articles in that they are structured differently. They do not include an abstract, intro and subsections, among others. They are quite often sensationalist and provocative.

To answer the main question, I very much enjoyed reading the following essays:

“What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists” by Sabine Hossenfelder

“Before, now, and next”...

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MS

Why philosophy is so important in science education

Matias Slavov

Many thanks for the relevant and interesting post.

I’m also in a somewhat analogous situation, as my work and teaching deals both with philosophy and science. I’ve taught contemporary phil-sci and now I’m teaching the history and philosophy of physics.

The first thing I have in mind when entering the common territory btw philosophy and the sciences is this: mutual respect. We philosophers should not give the scientists the impression that we know better what science is, especially if we are not trained in the specific discipline we are addressing. Likewise, scientists should be careful on commenting philosophical matters if they lack appropriate philosophical education. Nowa...

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MS

Before, now, and next

Matias Slavov

Thanks for the many-sided essay.

Not so serious comment: Have you ever noted the resemblance between John McTaggart and John Taggart, the cop in Beverly Hills Cop https://www4.tornadomovies.co/character/john-taggart-epnqGVvLxX ?

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Lies and honest mistakes

Matias Slavov

I agree with the author and I found this to be a nice essay.

Ilkka Niiniluoto has written a lot about the concept of truthlikeness.

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MS

Armchair science

Matias Slavov

I would answer no, we do not know about the world solely through intuition or by thinking. History of physics provides many examples that are super-counter-intuitive. It seems evident that a parent cannot be younger than her child, and that I can never walk through a concrete wall. These are both false intuitions, as experimentally confirmed time dilation and tunnel effect show.

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MS

Privacy is power

Matias Slavov

This was a beautifully written and read essay. So far, I have found the lack of privacy annoying. I didn’t know how pervasive and powerful the big tech companies and governments are. It’s a grim reality :(

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