50 words for snow, or conceptual confusion

In a well-known and generally debunked story, Inuit people have around 50 words for snow. Or so the argument by anthropologist Franz Boas goes. In fact, people who engage with the phenomena of their environments often make distinctions that those who rarely or never engage in the same way with those phenomena don’t. Snow is Read More…

Is Physicalism coherent?

In my last post I argued that physicalism cannot be rejected simply because people assert there are nonphysical objects which are beyond specification. Some are, however, specifiable, and one commentator has identified the obvious ones: abstract objects like the rules of chess or numbers. I have dealt with these before in my “Pizza reductionism” post, Read More…

Genes – the language of God 6: Theological implications

Genes – the language of God 0: Preface Genes – the language of God 1: Genes as Language Genes – the language of God 2: Other popular gene myths and metaphors Genes – the language of God 3: Why genes aren’t information Genes – the language of God 4: Why genes aren’t a language Genes Read More…

Genes – the language of God 5: God and genes

Genes – the language of God 0: Preface Genes – the language of God 1: Genes as Language Genes – the language of God 2: Other popular gene myths and metaphors Genes – the language of God 3: Why genes aren’t information Genes – the language of God 4: Why genes aren’t a language Genes Read More…

Genes – the language of God 3: Why genes aren’t information

Genes – the language of God 0: Preface Genes – the language of God 1: Genes as Language Genes – the language of God 2: Other popular gene myths and metaphors Genes – the language of God 3: Why genes aren’t information Genes – the language of God 4: Why genes aren’t a language Genes Read More…

Philosophical works that inspired me

I have been mulling over the philosophical works that were of most influence upon me when I was developing into the warped and twisted thing I am now. Add your own in the comments.: Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man. This book got me interested in philosophy and social issues. I was 16 when I read Read More…

Begging that damned question

Something that bugs the hell out of me, literally, is the misuse of English. Of course, I was trained as a subeditor in the days when such things mattered even to journalists, so I am a fossilised dinosaur in this respect. I even try to use adverbs correctly. One thing that literally makes my head Read More…

David Armstrong dies

I received this message via the Australasian Association of Philosophy: The philosophical community will be saddened to learn that David Malet Armstrong died on the 13th of May after a long illness: two months shy of his 88th birthday. DMA or Armo, as he was affectionately known, is the most important philosopher that Australia has Read More…

Why do physicists hate philosophy?

Lately there has been a slew of physicists making claims like this: Traditionally, these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. [Hawking and Mlodinow, The Grand Design 2011, p5] My concern here is that the philosophers believe they are actually asking deep questions Read More…

Information is the new Aristotelianism (and Dawkins is a hylomorphist)

In seeking tales and informations [Henry VIII, Act V, scene 3] For some time now* I have had problems with the notion of information. Not, please note, with this or that piece of information, but with the notion itself, especially in the natural sciences. In this age of computers and internets, we have taken to mistaking Read More…