Entries by Colin McGinn

Absolute Deontology

This seems apropos: Absolute Deontology     Kant’s position that there cannot be a case of morally permissible lying has not been met with much enthusiasm. The idea of absolute moral rules thus seems mistaken. W.D. Ross sought to remedy the problem for deontological ethics by qualifying the force of moral rules: instead of saying […]


We are now a deceptocracy: government run by continuous lies. The key feature of government in 1984 is precisely that the whole thing is held together by a dense web of lies. The non-acceptance of lies is punishable by death.


Sad about Anthony Bourdain. Apparently suicide has increased dramatically in the US in recent years. My explanation: people have got a lot more disgusting recently and sensitive souls can’t stand it. Very nice to see Simona Halep win the French Open–and what a match! I was impressed with Sloan Stephens’ graciousness in losing. Trump goes […]

Patrick Melrose

I just watched the first episode. I had high expectations, being such an admirer of the novels, and it lived up to them. Benedict Cumberbatch captured the “hero” perfectly. Disturbing stuff, but beautifully rendered. The brilliance and originality of the novels shone through. The series has kept up the quality and is one of the […]

My Favorite People

My favorite people of the moment are: Don Lemon, Kamau Bell, Janelle Monae, Van Jones, Stephen Curry, April Ryan, Laura Coates, Chadwick Boseman, and Lupita N’Yongo. Do they have anything (significant) in common? Not that I can see.

Tribalism and Truth

Of course these two things are opposed. But what leads to tribalism and the consequent divorce from truth? Tribalism is a substitute for truth–it’s what you cleave to when truth isn’t going your way. It takes up the slack between wish and fact. If your beliefs can’t be true, they can at least agree with […]

Exclusive Inclusivity

I was just perusing the “Inclusivity Workshop” recently held at the University of Miami and was amused to see that the event opened with something described as a “Women’s Lunch”. No men invited presumably. Moreover, all the speakers seemed to be women. Doesn’t seem very inclusive. A black man would have been nice, for example. […]


I just got back from Nicaragua. Fine people, terrible roads, great surf. It’s still not a popular tourist destination, especially on the Pacific coast (Playa del Maderas), so it is relatively unspoiled. The beaches are spectacular, with perfect surfing waves for both beginners and experts. And good to be out of America!