Browsing All Posts filed under »science«

Scientific presuppositions and the supernatural

June 24, 2010


In the discussion of my interview (linked to in the previous post) one of the readers suggests that I think science must presuppose naturalism on, what I gather is being suggested, something like faith. This is, of course, nonsense but it is very popular nonsense and is based upon a couple of misconceptions concerning science […]

Review of dual-inheritance models

March 3, 2010


Everyone understands the feeling of excitement that a child feels upon seeing presents under the Christmas tree. Far fewer can understand that such a feeling can be caused by finding out that a particular academic article has been published. Still, I hope that some can understand or even share my joy at finding out that […]

First philosophy and second-rate thinking

March 1, 2010


Discussion of Fodor’s book has made me think again about why many analytically-trained philosophers fall into the kind of trap that Fodor falls into, i.e. putting forward very general philosophical arguments that, if you have an ounce of good-sense, you clearly recognise as a reductio ad absurdum of their own premises (I like the spelling […]

Embarrassingly bad philosophy on public show

February 25, 2010


There is a lot of bad philosophy out there. Every philosophical tradition also has its typical bad philosophy, with bad continental philosophy tending to use obscure language to make trivial points and bad analytic philosophy tending to split conceptual hairs in a way that has nothing to do with reality. Very often philosophers do lack […]

Report from ESPP ’09

August 31, 2009


On the night train from Budapest to Warsaw. In my enthusiasm, I have written quite a long post so I’m putting it below the fold. The short version is that I loved ESPP.

Philosophy for science in use

August 26, 2009


I have been accepted to present a paper or poster (the acceptance information is ambiguous) at the ESF conference in Sweden at the end of next month – 28.09-02.10. A big bonus for me is that Tim Kenyon, with whom I was at graduate school in Canada, is also slated to attend. Here’s the abstract […]

A couple of talks at the ICPR

August 26, 2009


The congress is coming to an end. My initial observations of the limitations of the field, posted a couple of days ago, have not been fundamentally altered by the intervening experiences. Indeed, my impression that the field has a very strong pro-religion lean has only solidified. For many people, the field seems to offer a […]

Religious terror, child molesting and the psychology of religion

August 25, 2009


I was about to go to sleep last night when I had a sudden realisation. I sat up in bed and, to check whether my impression was correct, grabbed the book of abstracts for the ICPR. After flipping through the pages and checking the title of every talk, I saw that my initial idea was […]

Off to St. Andrews, with some trepidation

April 2, 2009


This Sunday I’m off to the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Conference in St. Andrews. It’ll be the first time that I go to a conference on human behaviour and I am sure that I will have a lot to learn. In true science conference fashion, I will not be giving a talk but putting […]

More beliefs than reason

March 19, 2009


1st day Thus far, the conference has been every bit as exciting as I expected it to be. It is a real pleasure to finally find myself talking to a group of people who are actually thinking about many of the same issues as I am. The group is primarily a mix of psychologists and […]