Entries by Colin McGinn

Richard Gasquet

I’ve always had a soft spot for Gasquet, who won today’s quarter-final against another favorite of mine, Stan Wawrinka, in a thrilling five-set match. It was a contest between the two best one-handed backhands in the world. But it’s not just Gasquet’s superb backhand that I like; I like the whole package. He is just […]

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Good Mr. Oover

“Mr. Oover’s moral tone, and his sense of chivalry, were of the American kind: far higher than ours, even, and far better expressed. Whereas the English guests of the Junta, when they heard the tale of Nellie O’Mora, would merely murmur ‘Poor girl!’ or ‘What a shame!’ Mr. Oover said in a tone of quiet […]

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Max and the American

“And Americans, individually, are of all people the most anxious to please. That they talk overmuch is often taken as a sign of self-satisfaction. It is merely a mannerism. Rhetoric is a thing inbred in them. They are quite unconscious of it. It is as natural to them as breathing. And, while they talk on, […]

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Bi-marriage

Now that same-sex marriage is legal in these United States, what about the rights of the bisexual? He or she is only allowed to marry one person at a time, thus restricting his or her expression of sexual orientation within marriage. Such a person may not believe in sex outside marriage, so that our laws […]

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The Psychology of the Mysterian

There are not many mysterians in the world, at least visible out-of-the-closet mysterians, but the following four people clearly qualify: me, Chomsky, Fodor, and Pinker. This is a large enough sample to inquire what the mysterian psychology is like–what do the four of us have in common? It might be supposed that a mysterian is […]

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Mystery Max

“For proper appreciation of Maeterlinck, you must have, besides a sense of beauty, a taste for wisdom. Maeterlinck is not less a sage than a poet. Of all living thinkers whose names are known to me, he has the firmest and widest grasp of the truth. He more clearly than any other thinker is conscious […]

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Plumbing

I had the plumbers at my house yesterday and it occurred to me to wonder: Isn’t plumbing really an instance of the “extended gut”? Isn’t it rather arbitrary where we conventionally think the digestive system leaves off? What if your colon were replaced with a PVC prosthesis and extended further out into the environment? What […]

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