art, language, literature

Tonal Consistency in Fantasy Writing

Today I'm going to discuss a topic that ranges from extreme, blatant violations to subtle, accidental slip-ups and why they matter. The language of fantasy writing is much harder to get right than many "literary fiction" writers give it credit for. In fact, I'd say it is much, much harder than novels set in modern… Continue reading Tonal Consistency in Fantasy Writing

art, language, literature, philosophy

Replies to Against Theory, Part 2

Continuing on with the responses to "Against Theory," I was kind of excited to see that Richard Rorty wrote one. I've written about him on the blog, and he is one of my favorite philosophers. Here are my notes on Rorty's "Philosophy Without Principles." Recall that the original Knapp-Michaels piece tried to take out E.D.… Continue reading Replies to Against Theory, Part 2


That vs Which: examples that compare apples to apples, which will help you out.

Many people take the loose view that grammar and language evolves over time, and therefore you should go with whatever sounds right. Others argue the that/which distinction has basically disappeared. I want to do a comparison to prove once and for all the distinction is necessary. It isn't preference. They aren't interchangeable. The meaning of… Continue reading That vs Which: examples that compare apples to apples, which will help you out.

art, language, literature, philosophy, writing

Validity in Interpretation Chapter 5

You know the drill by now. These are just notes from my reading of E.D. Hirsch, Jr.'s Validity in Interpretation. We have finally reached the last chapter. The main thrust of this last chapter is on how to tell whether our interpretation is valid. It rehashes a lot of stuff we've already covered, and it… Continue reading Validity in Interpretation Chapter 5

language, math


I've decided to start reading Chomsky's pivotal book Syntactic Structures, since I'm into the phil language thing and it was a really important work. This post is going to be sillyness, but it was something I couldn't get out of my head while attempting to read past the first couple sentences. "Each language has a… Continue reading Chomsky


The Pernicious Influence

According to Gian-Carlo Rota, mathematics has had a pernicious influence on philosophy (in The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics on Philosophy). I agree with the overall theme of the essay, yet most of the details I take issue with. First off, I think subjective phrases such "This confused state of affairs makes philosophical reasoning more difficult… Continue reading The Pernicious Influence