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October 4, 2006

Emulating Aristotle

Posted by David Corfield

That’s step 2 of the attempted Renaissance man emulation over. On Monday night, Nick Read and I discussed our books, Sick and Tired and Why Do People Get Ill? at the Ilkley Literature Festival. It’s excellent that such a small town can attract high-selling writers (Jeremy Paxman, John Simpson, Andrew Motion,…).

Now for step 3, which has changed since I last reported. I offered to speak to my research group about information geometry, but instead they voted for me to give an ‘Epistemology for Dummies’ talk. In revenge my first slide will contain the quotation:

…if the Thomist is faithful to the intentions of Aristotle and Aquinas, he or she will not be engaged, except perhaps incidently, in an epistemological enterprise… (Alasdair MacIntyre, ‘The Tasks of Philosophy’ CUP, 2006: 148)

As for Information Geometry, inference as projection along geodesics within a statistical manifold, I’ll post again (#, #) about it, now that I’ve learned how Gaussian Process classification fits neatly within the framework. Information geometry might even be relevant to physics and Perelman.

Perhaps it’s Aristotle I really want to emulate. Who these days can discuss being qua being (Metaphysics) while advising pregnant women to walk daily to the shrine where the gods of childbirth are worshipped (Politics)?

Posted at October 4, 2006 2:12 PM UTC

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Re: Emulating Aristotle

What’s the scratched-out word on the cover of your book? And why the white scribbling?

Posted by: John Baez on October 4, 2006 8:13 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Emulating Aristotle

I believe the word is ‘we’. Not too sure about the scribbling. A well-regarded British artist designed it. My wife reckons that we ought to apply the Harry Potter trick of different covers for different readerships, adult and children’s versions in that case.

Posted by: David Corfield on October 4, 2006 10:09 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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