The obscure objects of mass production

The objects of mass production – screws, nails, cell phones, cars – are everywhere. They are, for the most part, humdrum and insignificant and beneath the notice of philosophers. But in fact, I
The objects of mass production – screws, nails, cell phones, cars – are everywhere. They are, for the most part, humdrum and insignificant and beneath the notice of philosophers. But in fact, I [More]

The enduring evolution of logic

Logic is a deep subject, at the core of much work in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. In very general terms, it is the study of what (conclusions) follows from what (premises)—logical
Logic is a deep subject, at the core of much work in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. In very general terms, it is the study of what (conclusions) follows from what (premises)—logical [More]

Does my death harm me?

Some people fear flying; some fear buttons; and many, many people fear their own death. We might try to argue a friend out of their fear of flying or their fear of buttons by showing them that the
Some people fear flying; some fear buttons; and many, many people fear their own death. We might try to argue a friend out of their fear of flying or their fear of buttons by showing them that the [More]

Making the big decisions

This post is about how we make major life decisions, such as whether or not to start a family, whether to leave your home country and start a life elsewhere, or whether to join a revolution and
This post is about how we make major life decisions, such as whether or not to start a family, whether to leave your home country and start a life elsewhere, or whether to join a revolution and [More]

The Gun and I: Feeling & Thinking

After each eruption of gun violence, there is also a corresponding eruption in the debates over gun issues. As with all highly charged issues, people are primarily driven by their emotions rather
After each eruption of gun violence, there is also a corresponding eruption in the debates over gun issues. As with all highly charged issues, people are primarily driven by their emotions rather [More]

Philosopher of the month: Bertrand Russell

Considered among the most distinguished philosophers of the 20th century, Russell’s style, wit, and contributions to a wide range of philosophical fields made him an influential figure in both
Considered among the most distinguished philosophers of the 20th century, Russell’s style, wit, and contributions to a wide range of philosophical fields made him an influential figure in both [More]

Cannot Dump the Trump

Embed from Getty Images As of March, 2016 Donald Trump has continued as the leading Republican presidential candidate. Before his string of victories, Trump was regarded by most pundits as a joke
Embed from Getty Images As of March, 2016 Donald Trump has continued as the leading Republican presidential candidate. Before his string of victories, Trump was regarded by most pundits as a joke [More]

Predictive brains, sentient robots, and the embodied self

Is the human brain just a rag-bag of different tricks and stratagems, slowly accumulated over evolutionary time? For many years, I thought the answer to this question was most probably ‘yes’. The
Is the human brain just a rag-bag of different tricks and stratagems, slowly accumulated over evolutionary time? For many years, I thought the answer to this question was most probably ‘yes’. The [More]

Threat Assessment II: Demons of Fear & Anger

Embed from Getty Images In the previous essay on threat assessment I looked at the influence of availability heuristics and fallacies that directly relate to errors in reasoning about statistics and
Embed from Getty Images In the previous essay on threat assessment I looked at the influence of availability heuristics and fallacies that directly relate to errors in reasoning about statistics and [More]

Trumping Along

Embed from Getty Images When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, many people laughed. He even managed to create some bipartisan agreement among my liberal and my conservative friends: they
Embed from Getty Images When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, many people laughed. He even managed to create some bipartisan agreement among my liberal and my conservative friends: they [More]