Entries by Colin McGinn


I read Tina Fey’s book on the plane back from Mississippi. Perfect plane reading. As everyone says, it is extremely funny, with sudden injections of glorious vulgarity. That we would expect, given her screen credentials. But what struck me more were its respect for intelligence and its moral acuity. So I recommend it as a […]

Thinking Well and Being Good

I just returned from giving the annual Dunbar lecture at Millsaps College in Jackson Mississippi. My title was “The Good Life as Thinking Well”, and my lecture was all about the importance of cognitive virtue. I also spoke to two classes of students, one on Kant’s moral philosophy and the other on my mysterian view […]

Plato’s Trinity

Since quitting UM (in disgust and indignation), I have been restructuring my life around Plato’s famous trinity. I don’t mean the trinity of truth, beauty and goodness (because of course I have been doing that); I mean the trinity of philosophy, sport and music. As Plato says, each of these three needs the others in […]


I recently installed a full size competition-level trampoline in my garden, having left trampolining some forty-seven years ago. I used to be a keen trampolinist back in my gymnast/pole vaulter/diver days. It’s gradually coming back, though the fear factor is more pronounced these days. Everyone agrees that trampolining is fun (though strenuous) but what is […]

E.J. Lowe

I was saddened to hear of the death of Jonathan Lowe. He was an excellent philosopher, with a strong independent mind, and very productive. Also a very likable and decent man. When I last saw him in Miami a couple of years ago, he reminded me that he had sat behind me during our B.Phil […]

Alan Turing

The “royal pardon” of Alan Turing is far too little far too late. But I am glad to see it. This story is so shameful that it needs to be etched firmly into everyone’s mind. When I used to lecture to students about the Turing Test I always made a point of telling the story. […]

The Space Trap

In the next few days I will be publishing on Amazon a new edition of my 1992 novel, The Space Trap. It was originally published in hardback by Duckworth, before the advent of e-books. I have now (with invaluable help) prepared an electronic version of it with extensive revisions. It will be available on Kindle […]