Entries by Colin McGinn

Peter Kivy

Peter Kivy, my old friend and colleague from Rutgers, was the nicest person you could wish to meet: funny, civilized, humane, generous, kindly, and a real friend. We used to drive back to Manhattan together after a long day at Rutgers and have delightful conversations on the New Jersey Turnpike. But he had a sharp […]


I remember when it was desirable to find citations relevant to what one had written: it anchored one’s work to that of others, so that it didn’t seem merely eccentric. How nice to find some obscure reference backing up what one wanted to say! But the proliferation of journals and people writing in them has […]

American Philosophy

One finds people bemoaning the state of “the philosophy profession” these days, but I never see it noted that it is American philosophy that is eating itself alive. I haven’t observed that philosophy in other countries is undergoing a similar crisis (though there may be some spillover). Title IX is an American thing (I won’t […]

New York

I just returned from a trip to New York in which I gave a paper on consciousness to a conference at Suffolk County Community College (respondent Ed Erwin); attended my friend Gregory Soros’ thirtieth birthday party (on a boat by Chelsea piers, followed by late-night ten-pin bowling); spent time with a brilliant and brave political […]

Philosophy in Five Years

I think the field will be a complete shambles. It’s already imploding from the inside, but in five years most of the distinguished people will be gone. Political schism will continue to tear the profession apart, probably getting even worse. Intellectually things are not going in a good direction. Maybe other countries will assert themselves, […]

Hard Day’s Night

I happened to watch Richard Lester’s film about the Beatles. Oh what a time that was! All of John, Paul, George, and Ringo came across beautifully. What struck me was the way the interludes of the Beatles singing songs seemed like oases in a tawdry world: so pure, so innocent, so full of life. Nothing […]