Category Archives: Understanding Science

Published on
2 June 2011

Evolution, Causation, and Human Behaviour

Can evolution explain human behaviour? This question has recurred among commentators since the publication of the book Supercooperators: Evolution, Altruism and Human Behaviour or, Why We Need Each Other to Succeed by the Harvard professor, Michael Nowak. The basic idea, as he explains here, is that ‘to succeed in life, you need to work together […]

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Published on
23 May 2011

Diagnosing Delinquency

Historian David Starkey has opined in a speech to a Headmasters’ Conference that the moribund state of British education is our ‘greatest national crisis’.  The ‘missing ingredient’, he argued, ‘is simply what we call discipline’, which is all too often substituted by an ‘indulgence of individual misbehaviour’.  But why this indulgence?  Could it be because […]

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Published on
13 December 2010

Neuroscience, Freedom, and the Human Soul

SERIES ON HUMAN FREEDOM: PART TWO The second blog in our series on human freedom examines the claim that we cannot be free, because our higher faculties of knowing and willing are determined by our brain states. Many scientists today operate not only with a healthy methodological naturalism, but with an overtly philosophical naturalism.  That […]

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Published on
29 September 2010

Is Philosophy Dead?

Doddering old academics in philosophy departments all over the world may very well be preparing to pack the contents of their offices into cardboard boxes now that Professor Stephen Hawking has told us, in his latest book, that ‘philosophy is dead’. Yet such nonsensical arguments as those offered by Hawking highlight why we are so […]

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Published on
28 April 2010

Three New, Interesting Articles

Science Versus Religion? The Insights and Oversights of the ‘New Atheists’ — Brad S. Gregory The assertion of the ‘New Atheists’ that the natural sciences somehow oppose all religious truth claims about the natural world is false. These atheists mistakenly treat all religion as one. In fact, some teachings are far superior to other blatantly […]

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Published on
14 April 2010

Two Interesting Articles

Putting Ethics Back Together Again: A British Perspective — John Haldane Much of our moral confusion comes from our failure to find a replacement for the Judaeo-Christian outlook that once animated the West. We need, and generally now lack, a philosophical understanding of human life. Science and the Decline of the Liberal Arts — Patrick […]

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