If we already understood the brain, would we even know it?

The question posed in the title is intended seriously. A lot of people have been studying the brain for a long time now. Most of these people, if asked a question like “so when are you going to be able to read minds?”, will immediately scoff and say something to the effect of we barely … Continue reading If we already understood the brain, would we even know it?

if natural selection goes, so does most everything else

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini have a new book out entitled What Darwin Got Wrong. The book has—to put it gently—not been very well received (well, the creationists love it). Its central thesis is that natural selection fails as a mechanism for explaining observable differences between species, because there’s ultimately no way to conclusively determine … Continue reading if natural selection goes, so does most everything else

Feynman’s first principle: on the virtue of changing one’s mind

As an undergraduate, I majored in philosophy. Actually, that’s not technically true: I came within one credit of double-majoring in philosophy and psychology, but I just couldn’t bring myself to take one more ancient philosophy course (a requirement for the major), so I ended up majoring in psychology and minoring in philosophy. But I still … Continue reading Feynman’s first principle: on the virtue of changing one’s mind