It pleases the editors of the OED to release, at increasingly frequent intervals, lists of words newly added to the dictionary. They mostly divide between those you would expect to find there already, such as—to pick from the latest—Armagnac, anxiolytic, char sui, and those no-one would care to look up anyway, such as vlogger, VJing, […] Read more – ‘Of the sense addicted’.
Automated financial trading machines can make complex decisions in a thousandth of a second. A human being making a choice – however simple – can never be faster than about one-fifth of a second. Our reaction times are not only slow but also remarkably variable, ranging over hundreds of milliseconds. Is this because our brains […] Read more – ‘Making haste in the brain, slowly’.
As published in The Oxford Magazine: Readers of the recent exchange between Ray Guillery and Peter Hacker may be left with the impression of a straightforward conflict between two disciplines: philosophy and neuroscience. But there is a third discipline here―medicine―that gives more substance to scientific enterprise than mere curiosity, and so ought not to be […] Read more – ‘Conceptual analysis in neuroscience’.
…There is a pervasive misunderstanding about the nature of the man and his thought that the architecture at first sight reinforces. The conventional caricature is of a übernerd: loveless, narrow, isolated, endlessly obsessing over minutiae of logic that have little bearing on real philosophy and certainly none on creative life in general. His thought is […] Read more – ‘Wittgenstein’s architecture’.
A neglected argument against the existence of God is that he could not last long. For if omnipotence requires omniscience, and omniscience implies an absolute incapacity for surprise, God’s life must be absolutely boring, an immediate summons to death. Even if to kill himself is the one power he cedes to man his perfect knowledge […] Read more – ‘Blind to the darkness’.