Religion is a funny thing. It presents special problems to people (like me) who think religious beliefs are mostly false, because religion seems to be a human universal. More
The significance of desire
Most of us have an under-inflated concept of desire, and an over-inflated concept of belief. We happily accept that beliefs are fairly detailed representational states — so that taken together they prompt the metaphor of an “inner world”. More
What are paradigms?
Two books made a huge impression on me as a young man. Both literally kept me awake at night, although for very different reasons. More
The tyranny of conditioning
From a very early age, I detested learning by rote. My refusal to engage in this soul-destroying activity led me to my first brush with criminality, when I tried to cheat while reciting the seven times tables. More
What is the positive concept of liberty?
Isaiah Berlin famously distinguished a “negative” and a “positive” concept of freedom. The negative concept is straightforward, but what can be made of the positive concept? More
Are there laws in biology?
Laws are bits of language that describe regularities in nature. If the laws are true, the regularities are real. More