Sesardić’s conjecture: preliminary evidence in favor

In Making sense of Heritability (2005), Sesardić wrote: On the less obvious side, a nasty campaign against H could have the unintended effect of strengthening H [hereditarianism] epistemically, and making the criticism of H look less convincing. Simply, if you happen to believe that H is true and if you also know that opponents of…

Continue Reading

Paige-Harden, Turkheimer and the psychometric left

Kathryn Paige Harden is professor of psychology who belongs to the Turkheimerian ‘left psychometrics’ school. I’ve discussed the odd behavior of Eric Turkheimer before, but since then I found a rather amazing essay: The Search for a Psychometric Left 1997 (the journal seems to no longer exist). It’s definitely worth reading in its entirely, but…

Continue Reading

It works in practice, but does it work in (my) theory?

There’s a certain type of person that doesn’t produce any empirical contribution to “Reducing the heredity-environment uncertainty”. Instead, they contribute various theoretical arguments which they take to undermine the empirical data others give. Usually, these people have a background in philosophy or some other theoretical field. A recent example of this pattern is seen on…

Continue Reading

Animal cross-fostering, race and IQ, and the deductivist’s fallacy

I wish to coin a fallacy I’ve seen a number of times, exemplified in this paper: Kempthorne, O. (1978). A BIOMETRICS INVITED PAPER: Logical, epistemological and statistical aspects of nature-nurture data interpretation. Biometrics, 1-23. Abstract: In this paper the nature of the reasoning processes applied to the nature-nurture question is discussed in general and with…

Continue Reading

Chomsky on postmodernism [repost]

This text used to be hosted at Shalizi‘s university website, but it was recently taken down for unknown reasons. However, Internet Archive saves us, and I repost it here because it’s interesting and so it doesn’t get lost. This text has circulated quite a number of times on Usenet, and so far as I know…

Continue Reading