First: I have to write some comments for a session at the Central APA. The paper I’m commenting on is by a much smarter guy, but I’m pretty sure he’s wrong. So this puts me in a weird position: I confidently predict I’ll make my objections and then he’ll respond in a smart and convincing way. So at some future moment I’ll believe that he’s right. But I don’t know the content of his reply, so I’m stuck with my current belief that he’s wrong. I’m reminded of al-Ghazali’s discussion of taqlid (more or less beliefs held out of uncritical emulation rather than reasonable enquiry) in Deliverance from Error: it seems that continued belief is incompatible with the recognition that your belief is of this sort. And yet reading this guy’s paper, I can’t but think that he’s not correct. Ah, the epistemology of everyday life. (Fine, I know about the al-Ghazali discussion only because Gideon Rosen talks about it. Damn, my Islamist cred is slipping away, isn’t it?)

Second: I got a great referee report in the mail today. Refs one and two wrote up careful, thoughtful comments. Referee number three said only: “Interesting. I don’t agree with all of it, but that’s philosophy for you.”

Indeed.