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microphilosopher

microphilosopher has written 1365 posts for microphilosophy

Manchester attack: human compassion triumphs

The antidote to nihilism does not require any appeal to the transcendent or the divine. I’d take the values expressed by all those who opened their doors in Manchester purely out of human compassion over the futile search for a higher meaning any day.

Do Tim Farron’s views on homosexuality matter?

I want to know what kind of man Farron is and knowing he is an evangelical Christian does make me question his judgement and whether he is the best person to lead his party. However, democracy only works when despite this, people like me are willing to support people like him when we see we share the same political goals. Democracy requires broad coalitions of interests among people who differ.

We can work it out

In a brilliant piece of philosophical jujutsu, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber turn reason’s weaknesses into strengths, arguing that its supposed flaws are actually design features which work remarkably well. All those biases and heuristics are not “quick-and-dirty” but “fast-and-frugal”.

Eating humans

Cannibalism is not in all instances immoral, disgusting or unnatural. Why, then, is the mere suggestion of it horrific to most of us?

In defence of hierarchy

Essay in Aeon co-authored with Stephen C. Angle, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Daniel Bell, Nicolas Berggruen, Mark Bevir, Joseph Chan, Carlos Fraenkel, Stephen Macedo, Michael Puett, Jiang Qian, Mathias Risse, Carlin Romano, Justin Tiwald and Robin Wang.

Daniel Dennett’s hard problem

Whether you buy Dennett’s account or not, it illustrates just how much you can offer by way of a theory of consciousness without addressing the Hard Problem. … If he is to win over his critics, Dennett’s own hard problem is his need to do more to show why others should give up theirs.

Edinburgh International Science Festival

SCIENCE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD – EDINBURGH, 5 April. In discussion with Anne Glover, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission, Yasmin Sulaiman at the Edinburgh International Science Festival at 8pm.

Media and Dis/Agreement

MEDIA AND DIS/AGREEMENT – CAMBRIDGE, 9 MARCH. Taking part in a discussion with Lorna Donjon and Michael J. O’laughlin at the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry at 4pm.

The housing delusion

Decades of policy, not misfortune, have put good housing out reach of millions. Given that access to decent housing is one of the most basic hallmarks of an advanced, civilised country, you might have thought this would be considered a scandal that would dominate political debate. In fact, there is only one aspect of the housing market that has any perceptible effect on elections: price crashes cause the government of the day to haemorrhage votes.

Alien fascination

BROADCASTING HOUSE – BBC RADIO 4, 26 FEBRUARY. I ws discussing our fascination with life on other planets with Jane Garvey and Monica Grady.