Category Archives: Philosophy

Michael Polanyi in 1960 on Teilhard de Chardin on evolution

Michael Polanyi was highly suspicious of the hyper-reductionism of neo-Darwinism. It’s reduction of the evolution of a thing so vast as life into a single causal mechanism. And it was a good call. Darwin himself had proposed that natural selection … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Science | Leave a comment

The Voice For John Stuart Mill

The biggest winner from the referendum on the weekend is John Stuart Mill.  There’s a strand of left-wing orthodoxy these days that deprecates free speech and brands opposing viewpoints as dangerous wrongthink. This firebrand mode of thinking is excellent at … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Philosophy | 23 Comments

The unbearable lightness of grey academia: note to self

Wikipedia defines ‘grey literature’ thus: Materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels. Common grey literature publication types include reports (annual, research, technical, project, etc.), working papers, government documents, white papers and evaluations. Organizations that produce grey literature include … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Philosophy | Leave a comment

I have seen the off-ramp and it works

From my Substack newsletter. Extraordinary images are being detected within the early pictures taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. As you know, the JWST went in search of exoplanets. Anyway at about the same time I was seeking an AI artist to illustrate … Continue reading

Posted in Humour, Philosophy | Leave a comment

The off-ramp from reality

This post began as an ad for an artist with traditional and AI graphic design skills. If you want to apply, please be my guest. But the post also presents a nice simplification of a way of thinking. Right now … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Political theory | 6 Comments

Fighting political polarisation

From this week’s Substack of mine. Thomas B. Edsall has an important writeup of research into reducing political polarisation. But to me it seems to be heading in an unhelpfully scientistic direction. Virtually all the researchers quoted examine the causal … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international, Sortition and citizens’ juries | Leave a comment

The Fertility Rate: the Best Dam(n) Wellbeing Index Going Around?

Valiant attempts have been made to measure happiness and wellbeing. People much smarter than me have developed fancy indices, and people even smarter than that, such as our own Nicholas Gruen, has called bullshit on many of them. What I … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Health, Life, Philosophy, Social Policy, Society | 13 Comments