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05/16/2012

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Marcus Arvan

Ahh!! I'm *so* glad you just posted this. I am literally working with my wife while I'm writing this comment. We've been driving each other completely batty, and she's sitting over my shoulder watching as I type this. Anyway, she's editing a 78 page paper of mine, both for form and content (an *awesome* wife, isn't she!), and we've been going back and forth, annoying one another to no end. She pesters me about an awkward turn-of-phrase or thought-experiment, and I reply with exasperation that, yes, philosophers really do write this way and take these thought-experiments seriously.

Anyway, although we drive each other up a wall, I can state with no hesitation that I owe so much to her, and that two minds are definitely better than one. Although she does psychology, she really gets philosophy and has helped me work through a bunch of tough problems. Plus, I'm such a poor editor that I don't think any of my papers would get past the handling editors' desks at journals without her! I, in turn, do my best to listen to her psychology presentations -- though, if I'm being completely honest, I'm pretty sure I get the better end of the deal! (She just laughed as I wrote that)

Finally, yes, it does bring us closer together, in the sense that we not only help each other with work; it gives each of us a fresh perspective and insight into the other's intellectual life!

Andreas Wolkenstein

Marcus, what you write sounds very familiar to me! And it's also great to see that philosophy and psychology seem to fit together very well...
I can really say that in philosophical matters I gained a lot of profit from the clear style of my wife's scientific thinking. Indeed, I would say that I came to analytic philosophy mainly through her.
Before I met her, I was interested in this post-modern stuff, always thinking that there must be some deeper truth in it. But as my wife started to question the post-modern theories - "my" theories because I thought that everybody could have his or her own post-modern theory - I realized that there is no real truth in it. (Sorry for maybe being a bit imprecise here, although in general I think that that is what characterizes post-modernism; however, it would need a post on its own.) And I gained new trust in my thinking because I saw that you can commit to some premises and to some conclusion, and I saw that justification is possible as well as progress in science and philosophy as well. That may sound a bit weird, but post-modernism really made me somewhat stuck in "you cannot have a position because anything goes". (Apart from my wife, there was a teacher at university who also gave me this trust.)
Now, given all this I am pretty happy to have found the way to analytic and experimental philosophy.

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