Defining the Human Animal (1 of 2)

In the last post exploring language and consciousness, I tried to argue that the human being is not just another animal programmed by evolution and layers of operant conditioning, but one that navigates within a world of symbolic meanings and modes of reference. The human creature would evolve to be part flesh-and-bone, part symbolic self. […]

Do Animals and Computers have Minds? Probably Not

In one of my recent university lectures on human consciousness arose some debate about whether other animals have conscious thought or sustained self-awareness; in short, whether animals have minds. My position: I have yet to hear a convincing argument suggesting that they can. Some of the counterarguments to my position involve reference to chimpanzees that […]

In Remembrance: Ignorance and Dogma

Last year I wrote a brief Remembrance Day post. As that was one of the first entries on this blog, it provides me with another reason to reflect. I created this website in part due to my growing awareness of a widespread attitude of theoretical overconfidence within the field of psychology, and especially with regard […]

Science, Art, and Inspiration

I was invited by Symphony Nova Scotia to be a pre-concert guest panelist leading up to their performance of Hadyn’s Creation at the Rebecca Cohn. This also marked the 150th anniversary of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science. Over the weekend we were asked to discuss and debate the nature and role of “inspiration,” “imagination,” […]

Psychology, Theory, and Critical Thinking

As part of my first foray into video-blogging, I re-visit some of the basic ideas I tried to express in an earlier post titled psychology’s neglect of philosophy. In some ways this is an introduction to the philosophy of science (in the tradition of Kuhn and Popper), or more specifically, the philosophy of psychology. While […]

Modern Psychology: Illusions and Dogma

Psychology: Aspirations and Possibilities Pick any university in the world, and you will almost certainly find that the undergraduate program with the highest enrollment is psychology. Psychology programs offer a major source of university funding, yet few students will ever continue on to graduate school or use their degrees in any direct way. There is […]

In Search of Meaning (Part 3/3): Relative Rebellion

This post follows the previous two entries (part 1, part 2) exploring the human desire for meaning and its natural flow into Camus’ notion of rebellion. Rebellion emerges from the rebel’s growing awareness and sensitivity to forms of injustice, slavery, or rational murder. To do nothing is to acquiesce to this state of affairs, or […]

In Search of Meaning (Part 2/3): Rebellion

The unanswered question of human meaning gnaws at the collective unconsciousness like an open wound begging to be stitched. Lucid reasoning led us to the full scope of this dilemma – but it must also note its limits: it cannot reconcile the irreconcilable and one must not ‘forget’ what it has uncovered – human absurdity. […]

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 […]