Entries by Colin McGinn

Fake News

The recent revelations about the effects of fake news disseminated on the internet suggests that credulity is the main enemy of democracy today. What we need is anti-credulity training: that is, lessons in epistemology. I wish I could say that philosophers are immune to fake news–if it fits their ideological preconceptions.

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Octopus philosophy

I reviewed Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness in the Wall Street Journal last Saturday. Nice book, great subject, fascinating animal.

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President Trump

I am going to make a prediction–a possibility not a certainty. The sybaritic businessman will quickly find that he is (a) not up to the job of president and (b) he doesn’t like the job. He doesn’t have the knowledge or the patience or the skills to do it adequately, and he chafes at the […]

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Democracy

Democracy and Desire     The essence of democracy is collective decision. Each citizen is accorded equal power to determine the outcome of elections and hence to influence public policy. The simplest version of the democratic principle is majority rule: what the majority wants determines the decisions of the state. There have been criticisms of […]

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A Pronunciation Puzzle

Why do people pronounce “ing” as “in” in such words as “singing”? This is often called “g”-dropping, though there was never any “g” sound there to start with. One answer is that it is a form of laziness or sloppiness, as if it takes more effort to say “ing” than “in”. But there is a […]

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Interview with Trump

I recommend watching George Stephanopoulos’ interview with Trump and family, aired today on Good Morning America, but likely to be repeated on This Week on Sunday. He really brings out the bluster, paranoia, and delusions of the man.

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Forthcoming book

Just to keep my faithful readers up to date, I’ve just been correcting the copy-edited ms of my book Philosophical Provocations: 55 Short Essays for MIT Press. There are seven sections on Mind, Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Biology, Ethics, and Religion. My sense reading the essays over is that they are pretty damn provocative, though often quite […]

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