This is my blog where I may sometimes talk about philosophy or beer or post some music that catches my ear.

I am a grad student in philosophy which means I do a lot of reading and my enjoyment comes from thinking about stuff that you probably don’t find too important but which I find pretty interesting. Most of what is here is personal thoughts about current events or the topics which interest me, such as design (viz. UX/UI and human computer interactions) and design in nature, the craft of writing, bits and pieces about social and political topics by way of my philosophical training, and other miscellany as the mood strikes.

How do I get in touch with you

I’m not sure why you’d want to but I hang out on some social media sometimes so maybe you can find me there. There are no comments on this blog because I think that commenting on blogs or social media posts is not a good way to conduct discussions in a non-ironic way.

I am much less active on these sites than I once was due to a chronic and only slightly irrational fear of the Panopticon.

Why don’t you have a picture up and why is your picture of the devil

My Gravatar is a Gustave DorĂ© print of Lucifer being cast out of Heaven in Paradise Lost. It is a cool piece of art which I also find thematically interesting and relevant. I cut my teeth on ’90s Internet which means that I am averse to putting my entire life on display and am far more security- and privacy-conscious than modern internetters. I try to keep my social media footprint as small as possible on the grounds that if it isn’t online, it can’t be obsessively hoarded by over-reaching spy agencies and over-zealous Big Data marketing engines. I am not camera shy. I just won’t want to be in pictures on the greater online interwebs.

I don’t know what a ein Bild is can you tell me

It is a quotation from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations 115:

Ein Bild hielt uns gefangen. Und heraus konnten wir nicht, denn es lag in unsrer Sprache, und sie schien es uns nur unerbittlich zu wiederholen.

In English: “A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.”

The picture he speaks of is a way of thinking about philosophy and philosophical questions. We are tempted to take the way we speak far too seriously, and that bewitchment tempts us to give far too much weight to certain ways that of using language — say, to pick out nearby objects, or symbolize a part of reality. This leads us to irreconcilable difficulties, the exact sorts of confusions that pervade philosophy.

Dissolving philosophical confusions by looking to the way we think about them, and investigating the way that we can think of thinking about philosophical confusions, is a preoccupation of mine (to put it mildly). I am interested in the background that makes our thought and language intelligible and which constitutes the frameworks within which we think.


[Revised and Updated for 2018]
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Written by Matt Perryman, a rather strange writer at Perryman Publishing.