Evermore leans into the diaristic storytelling of Folklore, without adhering even to the demands of thematic unity or commercial sensibilities. Like Speak Now, it highlights Swift's talents as an innovative songwriter. Like Reputation, Evermore demonstrates Swift's willingness to take risks for the sake of her artistic vision.
The more that you say, the less I know
Fisher, Matthew & Keil, Frank C. (2016). The Curse of Expertise: When More Knowledge Leads to Miscalibrated Explanatory Insight. Cognitive Science 40 (5):1251-1269. (link)
Fisher and Keil write,
"Expertise increases confidence in the ability to explain a wide variety of phenomena. However, this confidence is unwarranted; after actually offering full explanations, people are surprised by the limitations in their understanding. For passive expertise, miscalibration is moderated by education; those with more education are accurate in their self-assessments. But when those with more education consider topics related to their area of concentrated study, they also display an illusion of understanding. This “curse of expertise” is explained by a failure to recognize the amount of detailed information that had been forgotten. While expertise can sometimes lead to accurate self-knowledge, it can also create illusions of competence."
Sometimes you just don't know the answer '
Til someone's on their knees and asks you
Barnes, Elizabeth (2015). What You Can Expect When You Don't Want to be Expecting. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):775-786. (Link)
Sometimes deciding not to do something can also be a transformative experience
At dinner parties, I call you out on your contrarian shit
Joshi, Hrishikesh. "Debunking creedal beliefs." Synthese 200, no. 6 (2022): 1-18. (link)
"Simply being a contrarian doesn’t automatically guarantee well-formed beliefs. Indeed, we can imagine a contrarian who merely wants to deny his group’s beliefs for whatever reason, and holds the contrary attitudes for all sorts of misguided reasons. His resulting worldview may thus be inaccurate and unjustified. Nonetheless, I want to claim, even this contrarian avoids the specific debunking challenge presented in this paper for the simple reason that his beliefs are not socially adaptive."
’tis the damn season
Time flies, messy as the mud on your truck tires
Now I'm missing your smile, hear me out
We could just ride around
And the road not taken looks real good now
Samuel Scheffler, "The Normativity of Tradition," in Equality and Tradition (Oxford, 2010)
"A person who regularly acts in accordance with traditional practices assimilates these routines as his own, and in so doing such a person comes to inhabit what amounts to a pre-established temporal structure. As a way of domesticating time, this offers certain advantages when compared with the development of purely personal routines. Traditions are public, collective enterprises, so the temporal structures they make available have a social dimension that many people find comforting and enriching, much as many people prefer living with others to living alone. In addition, traditions usually have at their disposal substantial resources of wisdom and experience, and to the extent that they are supported by and embodied in institutions they often have substantial material resources as well. This means that the temporal routines they have established are likely to be both more elaborate and better grounded in the lessons of the past than are the purely personal routines developed de novo by individual agents. Moreover, insofar as traditions extend beyond the normal human lifespan, they offer individuals temporal structures that are themselves more enduring and so temporally more expansive than any routine those individuals could construct for themselves."
Now I'm begging for footnotes in the story of your life
Mitchell, Margaret E. "‘Beautiful Creatures’: The Ethics of Female Beauty in Daphne du Maurier's Fiction." Women: a cultural review 20, no. 1 (2009): 25-41. (link)
I like to think that High Infidelity is the sequel to this song.
no body, no crime
I think he did it, but I just can't prove it
No, no body, no crime
But I ain't lettin' up until the day I die
Cocking, Dean, and Jeanette Kennett. "Friendship and moral danger." The Journal of Philosophy 97, no. 5 (2000): 278-296. (link)
Friends will help you move. Best friends will help you move a body.
All you want from me now is the green light of forgiveness
You haven't met the new me yet
And I think she'll give you that
Korsgaard, Christine M. "Creating the kingdom of ends: reciprocity and responsibility in personal relations." Philosophical perspectives 6 (1992): 305-332. (link)
" She cannot be married to the older man, later, unless she holds him responsible, and takes him at his word. She cannot be married to the younger one, now, because he has already abandoned her. And further than that: to the extent that it is important to this woman's sense of her own identity, morally and personally, that she is his wife, he leaves her without anything clear to be, and so without anything clear to do. You cannot act in concert with one who does not act in concert with himself. Where our relations are constitutive of our ongoing identities, those with whom we have them must have ongoing identities too"
And if you're ever tired of bеin' known for who you know
You know that you'll always know me
Sarah Stroud, "Epistemic Partiality in Friendship," Ethics 116:3 (2006) (link)
Does the speaker believe the best about Dorothea? Should friendship sway us in how we see others?
And when I got into the accident
The sight that flashed before me was your face
But when I walked up to the podium, I think that I forgot to say your name
Murray, Samuel ; Murray, Elise D. ; Stewart, Gregory ; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter & De Brigard, Felipe (2019). Responsibility for forgetting. Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1177-1201. (link)
Murray et al write,
"There is a substantial debate over what factors might mitigate responsibility for forgetfulness. For instance, does it matter to people whether someone cares a lot about doing the thing that they forget to do? Does it matter whether someone forgets about something when they are under a lot of stress?"
I wish to know The fatal flaw that makes you long to be Magnificently cursed
Hawkins, Jennifer (2008). Desiring the bad under the guise of the good. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):244–264. (link)
Not every desire has to be linked up to an evaluative belief that satisfying that desire would be good!
cowboy like me
right where you left me
I stayed there
Dust collected on my pinned-up hair
I'm sure that you got a wife out there
Kids and Christmas, but I'm unaware 'Cause I'm right where....
it's time to go
Is Evermore a Christmas album? If so, what does that tell us about Christmas?
Is giving up sometimes the strong thing? Does the album provide evidence? Is conventional wisdom wrong to oppose quitting?
Can it ever be wrong to forgive?