Entries by Colin McGinn

Psychology

Sketch for a General Theory of Human Psychology       Is it possible to come up with high-level organizational principles of human psychology? The task has been attempted before–as in associationist psychology, classical conditioning theory, and computationalism. The hope is to discover general principles that cover a wide variety of psychological phenomena, thus unifying […]

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Moral Responsibility

      Is Moral Responsibility Logically Possible?     There is a well-known argument purporting to show that human beings are not morally responsible, i.e. appropriate recipients of praise and blame, which goes as follows.[1]What you do results from the way you are—your psychology. But the way you are is fixed by heredity and […]

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Civil War

The civil war begins today in the Senate. Just because the facts will likely never be established it is possible for either side to take exception to the other side. The bad feeling and distrust is now turned up very high. I found  Professor Ford convincing and Judge Kavanaugh unconvincing. If they appoint him to […]

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Pauli Exclusion and Spatio-Temporal Coincidence

I have heard it said by people who fancy themselves physicists that Pauli exclusion is the explanation for why there cannot be two objects in the same place at the same time. This is claimed in criticism of my discussion of the latter principle in my book Basic Structures of Reality. It is completely wrong and […]

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Defining Philosophy

Defining Philosophy   It is an embarrassment to philosophers that they cannot define their discipline. It makes them look like shady operators. I propose to alleviate their embarrassment by offering a succinct definition of philosophy. If you ask a physicist what physics is about, he will say that it is about physical reality, and you […]

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Believing Zombies

  Believing Zombies     Could there be zombies that believe they are conscious?[1]They have no consciousness, but they erroneously believe that they do. That may seem possible if we think of their beliefs as implanted at birth or something of the sort: couldn’t a super scientist simply interfere with their brain to install the […]

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Music

I started playing guitar at age 60 after being a drummer for nearly 50 years. Not easy. Lately I’ve been playing bass more, which combines guitar and percussion. I recently learned the bass lick in Prince’s Sign O’ the Times (quite a thrill to play that). But even more recently I took up blues harmonica, […]

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Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin: why we love America. Donald Trump: why we hate America. I’m aiming for 76 as my expiry date. Her lack of glamor is part of the reason for her transcendence. That voice. The TV coverage was gratifying and RESPECT accorded a good deal of respect as a feminist anthem. Fair enough, it has […]

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