Entries by Colin McGinn

A Theory of Everything

Here’s a question I’d like to see discussed: Can there be a theory of everything? I don’t just mean it in the physicist’s sense, where it concerns unifying quantum theory and relativity. I mean a single theory of the physical world, the biological world, the psychological world, and whatever other worlds you might think exist […]

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The Martian

I went to see the film The Martian yesterday. I think it is the best film I’ve seen as a film about science. It actually is about science: the hero is a botanist who saves himself not with guns but with botanical knowledge, and he escapes Mars by means of a piece of mathematical reasoning […]

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Baby Minds

I see my book Inborn Knowledge: The Mystery Within is now advertised on Amazon, as well as the MIT Press website, publication date December 18. I first wrote about the topic as a postgraduate in psychology in 1972 as my MA thesis, but have published nothing on it up till now. It seems to have taken […]

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Gene Machines

Dawkins likes to think of the genes as getting together to build a survival machine, i.e. the animal body, which acts as their vehicle and protection. A good metaphor for this would be the way humans get together to build a fortified city to enable them to ward off attacks and generally survive against the […]

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Colloquia

I have an idea for a better way to present papers, which I intend to follow myself. Instead of the usual one hour paper followed by a one hour discussion, present two short papers each of which is followed by a shorter discussion period. Thus in the first hour present paper 1 for half an […]

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The Extended Dawkins

I’ve been reading a lot of Dawkins lately. Here’s an idea for a new paper: “Arms Races Between Extended Selfish Cooperative Memes”. Memes get together in the battle of ideas using extensions of the mind to do so. You just have to put the theoretical pieces together. I invite someone else to write the paper.

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The Jam

I watched an excellent documentary on The Jam the other day, with the incomparable Paul Weller in fine mod form. It reminded me of the state of England in the early 1980’s, especially as captured in their song “A Bomb in Wardour Street”. This is the world I tried to depict in my novel Bad […]

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Arabic Logic

Readers may be interested to know that I have just published four papers on philosophy of logic in a journal they may never have heard of. The journal is edited from Tunisia and publishes in English, French and Arabic; the chief editor is Hamdi Mlika.  It is called: AL MUKHATABAT: Journal for Logic, Epistemology and […]

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