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Our Zombie Bodies, and Physicalist Epiphenomenalism

Eric Olson has a fascinating paper, 'The Zombies Among Us' (forthcoming in Nous), where he points out that standard constitutional theories of persons imply that our bodies are phenomenal zombies -- physically identical to us but lacking...Show More Summary

I am an Obamacare beneficiary

Due to putting together part-time jobs over the past 25 years, and because of a pre-existing condition, I have been unable to get health insurance before the Affordable Care Act was put into effect. Since 2015 I have had plans from the...Show More Summary

Chomsky’s Mysterianism

Or perhaps Chomsky’s endorsement of Isaac Newton’s mysterianism.  We tend to think of Newton as bringing physics to a triumphant state of perfection, one that lasted until Einstein, and with qualifications, still stands. Chomsky says that in fact Newton shattered the ambitions of mechanical science, which have never recovered; and in doing so he placed […]

Consciousness = Entropy

Is consciousness a matter of entropy in the brain? An intriguing paper by R. Guevara Erra, D. M. Mateos, R. Wennberg, and J.L. Perez Velazquez says normal wakeful states are characterised by the greatest number of possible configurations of interactions between brain networks, representing highest entropy values. What the researchers did, broadly, is identify networks in […]

Did T. H. Huxley Anthropomorphize Nature?

If so, he just relocated the skyhook.Lennox writes:However, it is apparent that even more was involved. A central elementin Huxley’s crusade is highlighted by Michael Poole.34 He writes, ‘In thisstruggle, the concept of “Nature” wasShow More Summary

What does the Galileo story prove

Finally, another lesson in a different direction, but one not often drawn,is that it was Galileo, who believed in the Bible, who was advancing a betterscientific understanding of the universe, not only, as we have seen, againstthe obscurantism...Show More Summary

Three things we should insist on from Trump

1) Insisting on complete financial transparency and accountability, including the release of at least the last 5 years of tax forms. 2) Demanding complete divestment form all Trump business enterprises, to avoid possible conflicts of interest. Show More Summary

Are our bodies our property?

Watch more videos on Anne Phillips says we have lots of rights over our bodies but no absolute authority to do what we like. John Harris doesn’t believe bodies are the sort of thing that can really be owned. Brooke Magnanti says that criticism of people’s choices about their bodies is framed in moral […]

Belief, Justification, and the Coming War with China

208 days until classes start. If we live that long. I have been spending the last day contemplating the proposition that a war between the United States and China is highly likely. This, in turn, got me to thinking about beliefs andShow More Summary

The Hitleresque Plan for War with China

209 days until class... I have been distracted somewhat in the past week - studying the history of events that lead up to the Civil War and World War II. There seems to be a good chance that we are currently living in the years thatShow More Summary

What Does Evolutionary Theory Debunk?

210 days until the first class.... As I have gone through the readings for Philosophy 5100 - Contemporary Moral Theory - I have expressed my problems with the discussion of the relevance of evolutionary theory to moral realism. I simply...Show More Summary

Split Brain not reproducible

Classic ‘Split Brain’ experiments by Sperry and Gazzaniga could not be reproduced, according to Yair Pinto of the University of Amsterdam. Has the crisis of reproducibility claimed an extraordinary new victim? The original experiments studied patients who had undergone surgery to disconnect the two halves of their cerebrum by cutting the corpus callosum and associated […]

Medical Indemnity: Protection or Compensation?

One of the (many) puzzling elements of the NMC anti-midwifery fiasco is the NMC's insistence that, by shutting down midwives whom they judge to have "insufficient" indemnity cover, they are thereby "mak[ing] sure that all women and their...Show More Summary

Statements by scientists are not necessarily statements of science

What is more, the fact that there are scientists who appear to be atwar with God is not quite the same thing as science itself being at warwith God. For example, some musicians are militant atheists. But doesthat mean music itself is at war with God? Hardly. Show More Summary

America First

Contrary to what Kristol seems to think, America First is a notion sound and defensible and in no way depressing although it is vulgar in the root sense of the word as I will explain at the end of this...

Trump as Right-Wing Post-Modern Anti-Hero

Excellent analysis by David Ernst. Excerpt: All this raises an uncomfortable question for people who have no use for PC’s agenda, and who value the freedom to think for themselves. How do you respond to someone who is determined to....

Secrets still

Watch more videos on Secrets of the Mind is a lively IAI discussion of consciousness. Iain McGilchrist speaks intriguingly of matter being a phase of consciousness, and suggests the brain might simply be an expert transducer. Nicholas Humphrey, who seems to irritate McGilchrist quite a lot, thinks it’s all an illusion. As McGilchrist says, […]

On Punching a Nazi

As a part of the sudden moral degeneration in this country, we have a return of torture, of black-site prisons run by the intelligence community, a president that lies, and people defending violence against a person who was simply using words. Dan Arel posted an argument claiming that it is morally permissible - perhaps obligatory - to punch a Nazi. Show More Summary

Back to the Galapagos!

The Cormorant Today, my wife and I leave for our second cruise on The Cormorant around the Galapagos Islands (January 28 to February 4). As I did for the first cruise in 2013, I will write a series of posts on our tour after we return. Show More Summary

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