Entries by Colin McGinn

Kafkaesque

I used to describe my situation as “Kafkaesque”. I’m now reading Kafka’s The Trial and almost feel that I am reading about myself (“Hello, K., I am M.”). The predominant feeling, aside from evil, is absurdity.

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Capitalism Reconsidered

    Capitalism Reconsidered     What is capitalism and is it a good thing? The OEDgives the following definition under “capitalism”: “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state” (the word “capital” comes from a middle English word […]

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“Toxic Masculinity”

  “Toxic Masculinity”   I saw that Meryl Streep was being castigated for not liking the phrase “toxic masculinity”, which might give the impression that the speaker believes that men are toxic. She was solemnly assured that the phrase is intended to connote a certain stereotype or model of maleness in which strength is preferred […]

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Taking Stock

I just want to add my support to Kathleen Stock, not because of her specific views (though they strike me as plausible), but as a rebuke to those in the “philosophy profession” who have been persecuting her, as well as the moral cowards who let it happen. She is quite right about projection, immaturity, social […]

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Biology and Culture: An Untenable Dualism

Biology and Culture: An Untenable Dualism     The concept of the biological engages in three conceptual contrasts: the biological versus the physical (inorganic, inanimate); the biological versus the divine (supernatural, godlike); the biological versus the cultural (invented, constructed). I am concerned with the last of these contrasts: the idea that the cultural falls outside […]

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Ambiguity as a Species Defect

  Ambiguity as a Species Defect     Ambiguity in natural languages is commonly regarded as a lapse from perfection. A perfect language would not contain ambiguity. Why is this? Because language is used for communication and ambiguity impedes communication. If an utterance is ambiguous, it is harder for the hearer to figure out the […]

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New Company: Philosophical Applications

I would like to announce the formation of a new company by myself and partners. It’s called Philosophical Applications and the website can be accessed under applyphil.com. I won’t explain it here because it is better explained there. You can go to the website by clicking on the Consulting button on this website. Any comments […]

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Reading Jane

I’ve just finished reading all six of Jane Austen’s novels, beginning with Persuasion and ending with Northanger Abbey. These two (along with Mansfield Park) are often regarded as inferior to the big three of Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility. But I must say I didn’t have that reaction: I loved them all equally, each in their […]

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