In Search of Meaning (Part 1/3): Absurdity & the Limits of Reason

In a four-part series of previous posts I have tried to offer a sketch of Camus’ concept of absurdity (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4). Before reading the following, I might recommend that new readers first visit those introductory posts on the topic.   Absurdity Revisited We can attain some measure of […]

The Artist and Metaphysical Rebellion

Existential Isolation and the Limits of Language Much of our uniquely lived human experience involves our capacity for subjective and self-conscious perception – our experience of the world, of ourselves, and of others, through a collage of ephemeral sensations and memories of a lived history, giving rise to a distinct self-awareness in the present moment […]

Tallis’ Aping Mankind Book Review

Introduction Aping Mankind is Tallis’ passionate critique of modern scientific attempts to understand and explain what it is to be human. He describes what he sees as a growing pessimism or anti-humanism that would prefer to see human beings as ‘nothing but’ or ‘little more than’ some kind of animal. In short, Tallis sets out […]

Dostoevsky & the Burden of Freedom

The Grand Inquisitor is a chapter from Dostoevsky’s novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov.’ It is an important section of the book and has become one of the most praised passages within modern literature. The Grand Inquisitor is a parable told by Ivan to his brother Alyosha, where Christ returns to earth during the time of the […]

Free Will as Illusion: It’s your choice

During the last five to ten years we have seen a re-emergence of scientists declaring that free-will – our capacity to intentionally direct our actions through rational choice – has been greatly exaggerated – indeed, that it may even turn out to be an illusion. This undermining of free-will comes primarily from neuroscientists who claim […]

The ‘Mind’ Does Not Reduce to the ‘Brain’

Within the psychological literature it has become commonplace to talk about the mind as a function of the working brain. Neurophysiological activity, in other words, is considered to be the ‘cause’ of the subjective experiences of the mind – how and why we think, feel, or act in the ways that we do. Indeed, we […]

Aspiring to be ‘well read’ and to have ‘read widely’

I have just started the daunting task of reviewing some of the books that I have read in recent years – books that I consider to be especially insightful in one way or another (now in the ‘book list‘ section). It is no secret that writers, philosophers, scientists, and so on, have their biases – […]

Knowledge and the Intelligent Fool

What is Knowledge? To be knowledgeable is to have familiarity with some kind of fact or truth about the world – typically acquired by some form of education or experience. Epistemology is the philosophical study of how we can know what we claim to know. However, there are important differences in the methods of attaining […]

Critique of Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology: Neglecting Neurobiology in Defining the Mind Please do not reproduce or distribute without author permission. Questions or comments can be sent to: Brad M. Peters, Department of Psychology Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS Brad.Peters@smu.ca Full-Text Article: Peters (2013) —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Remembrance Day: A Duty to Remember

My grandfather served during the Second World War. He never talked about it; we never asked. I think one got the impression that doing so would provoke memories or feelings that would be too much for any sane person to bear. I doubt many came back the same as when they left. I also doubt […]