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Self & identity

This tag is associated with 89 posts

The strange smells of success

Best new novelist of 2018? I know him…

The case for “gender viscosity”

Gender and sexuality are not so much fluid as viscous. Both sexuality and gender are not absolutes set in stone but they are generally more sticky than liquid. They have soft edges but tend to keep their shape.

Alone at Christmas?

Lacking company is not a character fault and does not necessarily lead to misery. Being alone may be a problem, but making the lonely feel like sad freaks is an even bigger one.

The implications of longevity

Crime hard-liners were always fond of the simplistic slogan “Life means life”. What we’re now learning is that when the meaning of “life” changes, the meaning of life changes, too.

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.

How to win the argument

“I say to people in Québec: your kids are going to change you more than all these immigrants. I’m a grandfather now and I see what has happened over these two generations and it’s huge. We dropped the central religious identity of Québec in this time, nobody forced us from outside.”

The Myth of Self-Authorship

One thing many of us appear to believe today is that a quick Google search will answer any question. As I discovered when trying to find out what we believe today, you don’t even need to do the search. Just type in the first few words and see how the algorithms complete it for you. So it was that the phrase “believe in” was completed by – as I suspected – “yourself”.

On Derek Parfit

TODAY – BBC RADIO 4. Talking about Derek Parfit, who died on New Year’s Day. Listen again for a limited time at 02:43:00.

When Derek Parfit published, it mattered

For Derek Parfit, getting it right was more important than getting it out, to the frustration of publishers and editors but to the long-term benefit of readers and scholars. When he published, it mattered, and so as a philosopher, he is one of the few of his generation who unquestionably mattered.

Who are we? Identity politics dissected

Video of discussion at this years’s Battle of Ideas featuring me, Ivan Hewett, Sunder Katwala, Michele Moody-Adams and Brendan O’Neill, chaired by Claire Fox.