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July 20, 2019

A recent article of mine, called "Political Correctness Is Getting Out of Hand," elicited some angry emails. Not from people who disagreed with the thesis -- it seems that not only conservatives and centrists but even most leftists think political correctness sometimes goes too far -- but from people who objected to this sentence: "Ultimately it isn’t permitted....even to state m...

July 3, 2019

I recently read a great book called A New History of Life: The Radical New Discoveries about the History of Life on EarthCouldn't resist taking notes on it, so as not to forget it all. (I have an abysmal memory.) In case anyone might be interested, here they are. The history of life is such a fascinating topic I sometimes wish I'd studied the life sciences instead of philosophy...

March 3, 2018

Sometimes I like to read about contemporary philosophy and science, to escape the dreariness and intellectual semi-sterility of writings on politics. I'll link here to some notes I've taken recently on cognitive science, and other notes on contemporary pragmatism and also the philosopher Wilfrid Sellars' famous analysis of the "Myth of the Given." Here's the first set of notes. A...

December 15, 2016

Richard Lewontin’s article “The Evolution of Cognition: Questions We Will Never Answer” is excellent. It counsels skepticism about humans’ ability to understand themselves and nature, in this case because of a lack of sufficient data (rather than a lack of cognitive capacity, as Chomsky and Colin McGinn argue—rightly, and obviously). All I can say is: are there actually people ou...

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