How do you fit experiences of ecstasy, awe, wonder, the Sublime, or the Numinous into a materialist paradigm, without reducing or devaluing such experiences? With difficulty. I’ve spent an enjoyable few days reading various works by the Four Horsemen of New Atheism – Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. For Harris, Hitchens Read more…

14 Comments

I’m a great fan of Professor Jerome Kagan, the eminent Harvard psychologist, who has done important work on the role of the amygdala in emotional disorders like social anxiety. I admire his humane appreciation for both the sciences and the humanities, and his awareness of psychology and psychiatry’s dangerous tendency to ignore the role of Read more…

15 Comments

I just finished a fascinating small book by Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner (that’s him on the right), called Acts of Meaning. Although it was published in 1990, I don’t think it’s widely known among lay-people, and I think its ideas are worth briefly discussing – because they offer an interesting critique of cognitive science, including Read more…

1  Comment

Hi, welcome to another issue of the PoW digest. The Journal of Medical Ethics found itself in hot water this week when it published an article in which two Australian philosophers said that ‘after-birth abortion’ should be permissible in a wide variety of cases (in fact, pretty much in any case) because new-born babies aren’t Read more…

No Comments

This is a video of a talk I gave at a mad but wonderful event last night, run by a friend of mine, called the Oliphant Street 6X9 talks – where six speakers talk for nine minutes on various things (I went slightly over my allotted nine minutes…) Last night we had talks on Cardinal Read more…

3 Comments