Uncategorized

The Alleged Circularity of Memory

Colin Mochrie was always my favorite contestant on Whose Line is it Anyway? He once said: “You know, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had memories.” What a funny little circular joke. But is it just a joke? Or does it hint towards something a little more weighty?

(more…)

Advertisements

Brexit and The Napoleon of Notting Hill

In G. K. Chesterton’s dystopian 1904 novel The Napoleon of Notting Hill, he presents the reader with a picture of a politically apathetic future Britain, which the leader is no longer elected by democratic vote. Instead, a rotational figurehead leader is decided by simply pulling names from a hat. This works well, for a time, since the lottery winner is typically an average Englishman, with average tastes and proclivities. All is well, until the name “Auberon Quinn” is plucked from the hat. (more…)

Popper and Wittgenstein: Foes and Allies

There is a famous story about a debate between Popper and Wittgenstein at Oxbridge. In the middle of a heated exchange, Wittgenstein is said to have grabbed a fire poker and to have begun waving it in Popper’s direction, demanding that Popper present a single ethical claim that could be said to be well founded. With the veins on Wittgenstein’s head beginning to throb, Popper is said to have calmly produced such an ethical claim: “Don’t threaten visiting professors with fire pokers.” (more…)

What Makes for a Successful Philosophy Paper?

There is a well-known philosophy paper that has always fascinated me for several reasons. It is Richard Feldman’s “Reasonable Religious Disagreements”, which was first published in 2007. In this paper, Feldman admonishes those religious and atheist types, who continue to cling to their strongly held beliefs in the face of persistent disagreement. Instead, he argues that everyone should by now have converged on some kind of agnosticism: everyone should by now have realised that the disagreement is not going anywhere, and so everyone should have put the disagreement on ice.

(more…)

R.I.P. Post-Truth (1960-2017)

Trump lies and we all know it. He lied about Russian business ties. He lied about his inauguration numbers. He lied about terror attacks in Sweden, and lied about forest fires in Finland. There seems to be no end to it all. The public, at large, have come to shrug off any new lie, just as the law of diminishing returns would lead us to predict. But with the advent of Trump, we were told, came also the final victory of the proponents of “post-truth”.

(more…)

Is Creationism Child Abuse?

A recent article by Michael Stone argues that teaching children that the Earth is merely 6,000 years old constitutes a form of child abuse. Now, don’t get me wrong—young Earth creationism is a cancer on Western civilization. It has retarded scientific progress in the United States as a whole generation is raised in ignorance of the foundational cornerstone of biology. But even so, teaching creationism to children is hardly child abuse.  (more…)