Tag Archives: Cognition

Fischer’s Theorem and the Mind’s Big Bang

Bobby Fischer described the evolution of his capability to play the game of chess by saying , after years of singular devotion, that “by the age of eleven, I just got good.” There’s something quite profound at work here, with … Continue reading

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The Flower and the Butterfly

Symbiotic relationships pose chicken and egg problems, which abound. One that has always intrigued is the question; what came first, the flower or the butterfly? Recent research more firmly establishes that the answer to that question very much is the … Continue reading

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On the Humanities and Naturalistic Inquiry

I cannot think of many who had the same depth of insight and breadth of interest as David Hume, and his accounting of history and its relation to the sciences remains apposite. Consider his well known, and still controversial, declaration … Continue reading

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Why Only US? On The Very Idea of a Social Construction

Albert Einstein never won the Nobel Prize for physics on account of relativity, even though it became a well accepted part of our understanding of nature and acquired empirical support well within his lifetime. It was considered too different, too … Continue reading

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The Space Launch System and the Copernican Principle

There has been a trifecta of very recent news regarding the Space Launch System, which I almost missed given the frenetic activity associated with North Korea’s strategic nuclear programmes. NASA reports that a full scale model of the core of … Continue reading

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Logic and the Mechanisation of Reason

Michael Shenefelt and Heidi White, If A Then B: How the World Discovered Logic, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014). This is a truly unique book. It is a history of logic, but it is not a normal history. Not … Continue reading

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Algebra and A General Theory of Logic

Michael Friedman’s Reconsidering Logical Positivism, which I have read before but recently got in the mail, is a very good and important book which argues, persuasively, that the dominant interpretation of logical positivism within the Anglo sphere is wrong. It’s … Continue reading

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Thought Experiments and Epistemological Naturalism

We tend to forget that thought experiments have a rich history, and moreover that they played a critical role in the scientific revolution. In my opinion, a critical reason why their role in the scientific revolution has not been emphasised … Continue reading

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The Rationalist Manifesto of Colin McGinn

Colin McGinn, Inborn Knowledge: The Mystery Within, (Cambridge MA, MIT Press, 2015) Colin McGinn writes a nifty little book on rationalism, which I found to be a pleasurable and insightful read. McGinn mounts a strong case for rationalism, and being … Continue reading

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Thomas Nagel on the Naturalism of Daniel Dennett

Thomas Nagel, without question one of my favourite philosophers and writers, has a nifty review of Daniel Dennet’s latest work in The New York Review of Books. Nagel has written quite a few articles lately in the London and New … Continue reading

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