Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Leibnitz in the Pythonesque Style of Gottlieb

Apart form all the other excellent reasons to recommend Anthony Gottlieb’s “Dream of Enlightenment“ it was fair to say, as I predicted, that the content of the chapter on Leibnitz was largely new to me. Apart from the mythologised legacies of Voltaire vs Leibnitz and Newton vs Leibnitz I really was pretty ignorant of his … Continue reading “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Leibnitz in the Pythonesque Style of Gottlieb”

Brain the size of the cosmos – is it too big?

Arthur Koestler’s (1959) “The Sleepwalkers“ proved to be an excellent read to the end. A slightly odd epilogue on the evolution of intelligence and knowledge; odd because it majors on the paradoxical thought that human mental brain power is too great for our current state of biological evolution. We have brains much bigger than we … Continue reading “Brain the size of the cosmos – is it too big?”

It’s Evolutionary Psychology Stupid

(Editorial Note : This paper was originally prepared for the 2005 Liverpool Conference on Robert Pirsig and his Metaphysics of Quality (MoQ). It is a personal non-technical view of the MoQ, and indeed the first part of paper is an entirely subjective and naive account of the author’s “thought journey” that led to reading Pirsig … Continue reading “It’s Evolutionary Psychology Stupid”

Already Love Mach

Received and already skimmed the introductory chapters (and index and references) of Ernst Mach – The Analysis of Sensations, and the Relation of the Physical to the Psychical. (1914 translation of the 1906 5th edition of the 1885 original), and – Space and Geometry, in the Light of Physiological, Psychological and Physical Inquiry. (1906 edition, 1901, … Continue reading “Already Love Mach”

Compare and Contrast

A couple of weeks since I blogged – just too busy with work and travel – but as usual that combination gave me reading time on west-bound Atlantic flights. Two recent reads of note: The (reverend) Sam Norton’s “Let Us Be Human, Christianity for a Collapsing Culture” and (atheist-humanist) Philip Pullman’s “The Good Man Jesus and … Continue reading “Compare and Contrast”

Compression Loop

Spooky for reasons I can’t quite pin down yet, having picked-up on Compression yesterday, Compression is the initial subject of this Long Now talk from Brian Eno and Will Wright. In retrospect, I think the only connection with Owen Barfield is the mention of the Aeolian Harp as regenerative music. Oh, and receiving a mail … Continue reading “Compression Loop”

Medical Hypotheses

Medical Hypotheses is a journal edited by Bruce Charlton but with a parallel blog of Bruce’s own papers for the last 2 years. The blog title can be misleading, since although Bruce comes from / operates in the medical / psychiatry / psychology area, and the journal itself covers this ground, his own blogging and editorial scope … Continue reading “Medical Hypotheses”

A Gurreat Day Out

Had the pleasure of spending yesterday with Henry Gurr and his son David (and Cinnamon, the dog) in and around Aiken, New Ellenton and Savannah River, South Carolina. (Thanks again Henry for the Carolina BBQ hospitality and local historical sightseeing.) Most of us will know Henry through his passion (some might say obsession) for documenting and photographing … Continue reading “A Gurreat Day Out”