Help to Young Authors

I just rediscovered a very amusing essay that had been shown to me at Oxford by my friend Guy Calvert (D.Phil. in high falutin’ mathematical physics, poker champion, and gambling theorist, who is now helping to make capital markets more efficient in Manhattan). It’s by David Stove, the late curmudgeonly and quite clever Australian philosopher. His tongue-in-cheek advice is based on the philosophies of science of Imre Lakatos, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and Paul Feyerabend. So, to all you authors who want to incorporate high level philosophy into your every-day writing, enjoy “Helps to Young Authors.”

One Response to “Help to Young Authors”

  1. I’ve read some of Stove’s work. He can be quite good, but sometimes his sarcastic puns are based on mistakes. His treatment of Popper, for example, reveals a misunderstanding of Popper’s work. Stove portrays Popper as an evil relativistic postmodernist a la Kuhn. Popper, however, tried to salvage a pre-Kantian ‘common sense’ understanding of the world from the consequences of Kant’s insights. I think Popper succeeded at this. Also, Popper himself, privately -i.e. not in his capacity as a philosopher- never doubted that Reality was much as we perceive it (so testifies his friend Bryan Magee).