The brain's negative way

One of the most striking details to read in Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and his Emissary for me, concerned the nature of the relationship between the two hemispheres of the brain. The exchange between them is essentially negative. Both can either fail to permit, by saying ‘no’, or permit, by not saying ‘no’, what the… Continue reading The brain's negative way

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What the other half doesn't know

At last! A book on neuroscience that is a thrilling read, philosophically astute and with wonderful science: Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. The running metaphor is the division between one worldview that is detail-attending, mechanistically-minded and self-interested; and another that is other-interested, whole-perceiving… Continue reading What the other half doesn't know

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Holding on to free will

The question of whether we have free will is rising up the media agenda again, partly as a result of Jonah Lehrer’s new book, The Decisive Moment. Or there’s the chapter on the matter in 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense by Michael Brooks. That chapter stands out in the book as the one which… Continue reading Holding on to free will

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Map of the Meaning of Physics

The media, at least here in the UK, has gone LHC mad. (All this talk of a big bang: have editors realised there won’t be any results to report in this news cycle, and many to come?) But in celebration of a truly astonishing piece of apparatus, below is my Map of the Meaning of… Continue reading Map of the Meaning of Physics

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Fromm on standing in love

So we had, here, something of Fromm on falling in love. What of the contrast he makes between that essentially romantic conception of love and his preferred form of love, standing in love? Standing in love differs because unlike falling in love, which is premised on the fact that the lovers are still more or… Continue reading Fromm on standing in love

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Fromm on falling in love

Fromm’s classic, The Art of Loving, is full of arresting ideas, if a little dated now, what with his complementary idea of gender and poor understanding of homosexuality. I particularly like the distinction he draws between falling in love and standing in love. Falling in love is perhaps the default idea of love today. When… Continue reading Fromm on falling in love

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Doubting Hume was the greatest

Do you sometimes have the feeling that an opinion is coming at you from all sides? Right now, I have that feeling about the greatness of David Hume. The excellent Philosophy Bites had a recent podcast in which he was heralded as possibly the greatest English-speaking philosopher. Then I was reading Edward Craig’s Philosophy A… Continue reading Doubting Hume was the greatest

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