Fischer’s Theorem and the Mind’s Big Bang

May 10, 2018 Mbeljac 0

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 import beyond the game of chess. Let me explain. Ian […]

On the Humanities and Naturalistic Inquiry

January 11, 2018 Mbeljac 0

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 of the study of history in An Inquiry Mankind are […]

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

October 27, 2017 Mbeljac 0

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 weird for so august a prize although oddly quantum mechanics, […]

Logic and the Mechanisation of Reason

June 18, 2017 Mbeljac 0

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 too many existential quantifiers here nor barbers requiring a shave. […]

Algebra and A General Theory of Logic

June 12, 2017 Mbeljac 0

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 not just the empiricists who have got logical positivism wrong, […]

The Rationalist Manifesto of Colin McGinn

March 13, 2017 Mbeljac 0

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 a rationalist I confess not to needing of conversion. The […]

Why Thomas Nagel Is Almost Certainly Wrong

November 28, 2016 Mbeljac 0

Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materalist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012). Thomas Nagel was born in Belgrade so I can’t help but have a certain affection for his writing, even though I recognise that none other reason can stand as […]

Quantum Social Science is Intellectual Quackery

July 26, 2016 Mbeljac 0

Intellectual life is replete with blind alleys, and wrongful paths. Some of these strike latter observers as being oddities, such as say alchemy, but nonetheless for all their weirdness it is easy to see how a reasonable person could come to follow the quixotic path given prevailing systems and standards […]