Browsing All Posts filed under »Understanding Science«

Evolution, Causation, and Human Behaviour

June 2, 2011


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 […]

Diagnosing Delinquency

May 23, 2011


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 […]

Neuroscience, Freedom, and the Human Soul

December 13, 2010


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 […]

Is Philosophy Dead?

September 29, 2010


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 […]

Some Reading for the Weekend

May 7, 2010


We occasionally link to articles on our website we think might be of interest to our readers. The three most recent ones are: Morality, Rationality, and Natural Law — Robert P. George This article seeks to identify the rational basis of our moral norms, such as prohibiting murder, rape, torture, etc. To this end, it […]

Three New, Interesting Articles

April 28, 2010


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 […]

Two Interesting Articles

April 14, 2010


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 […]