In the works

Posted on January 27, 2010


I have been working on the much delayed habilitationschrift recently but, also, have been writing a few other things that are tied to the book and are responding to things others have written.

One thing I have mentioned is a Behavioral and Brain Sciences commentary on an article by Ryan McKay and Dan Dennett concerning the evolution of misbelief. The title of my commentary is “Effective untestability and bounded rationality help in seeing religion as adaptive misbelief” and the issue of BBS with it should be out any day now, given that it is a delayed final issue from 2009. The list of commentators sounds very impressive (with some minor names thrown in as filler) so it should make for very interesting reading. As is the norm for BBS.

Another thing that is already done is a long book review for the International Studies in the Philosophy of Science. The review is of a very interesting volume of articles edited by Brun, Doguoglu and Kuenzle entitled Epistemology and Emotions. I concentrate upon Peter Goldie’s article from the volume as it makes a number of errors concerning bounded rationality that are both common and serious, giving an opportunity to try to clear them up. I do not know when this will be out but it is somewhere ‘in the queue’.

The next thing is a paper I wrote for a volume coming out of the conference in Prague that was organised at the end of last year by my friend Juraj Hvorecky. Anthony O’Hear gave a talk there which made claims about Darwin and evolutionary theory that run very much counter to evidence and which led O’Hear to make claims about the relationship between cognition and evolution that I consider profoundly wrongheaded. Since he’s written up the talk, I’d decided to write a reply. However, as I went to the trouble of presenting an account of the evolution/cognition relationship, based upon what I see as their shared characteristics of being bounded yet open-ended, my reply has ended up being almost twice as long as O’Hear’s original paper. My paper is still in draft form but I’ll be sending it to Juraj with the hope that O’Hear will have the time to read and respond before the volume goes to press.

In between all this and the habilitationschrift, my paper with Christophe has lain very much on the back-burner. However, I will have to give it some of my time as I will be visiting Christophe in Budapest in two weeks. Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to come up with a draft article this time around.