Entries by Colin McGinn

Silver Lining

Since I retired from my job four years ago I have dedicated myself to philosophy. I have never worked so long and hard. This is a consequence of the freedom afforded by retirement: no more teaching, professional obligations, faculty meetings. That’s the thing about retirement: you can get some work done! Partly it’s a matter […]

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Alternative Facts

I have a new definition of truth: correspondence to the alternative facts. Thus “snow is black” corresponds to the alternative fact that snow is black. I also have a new definition of moral rightness: an action is right if and only if it promotes the alternative good (suffering, injustice, etc). Also logical validity: entailment within […]

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Obamacare=The Affordable Care Act

I was just watching Jimmy Kimmel in which people were asked which of the above they preferred. Some people preferred one, others preferred the other. No one knew they were the same. Sense and reference! Who said analytical philosophy isn’t useful?

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Inauguration

This will be a bizarre and uncomfortable event. The coverage will be embarrassed and sheepish. The celebration will be muted to the point of mumbling. It will be hollow and awkward. It will lead to national depression rather than national hope. The reality will finally sink in. By next week things will turn fissile. What […]

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Implicit Bias

The recent collapse of this psychological theory is not even a bit surprising. Five minutes thought could have persuaded anyone that this was yet another rickety psychological concoction. But people are gullible and will believe virtually anything if a psychologist tells them it is so. I gave up psychology over forty years ago because of […]

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2016

What a dreadful dismal year that was. If you started the year with any faith in humanity, you surely didn’t end it that way. The dominant emotion of the year was disbelief and a sense of futility. You felt you were living through a bad dream. Perhaps strangely, I had a productive year philosophically: I […]

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The Death of Philosophy

It could be argued that philosophy has always had suicidal tendencies. In the age of logical positivism philosophy tried to kill itself. Philosophy is a nuisance, a headache, a source of misery. I don’t think philosophy will ever die of natural causes (though science might). It is too pressing. But I can see that its […]

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