Showing posts tagged as: philosophy

Guest blogs for The Splintered Mind

I’ve recently been doing some guest blogging for Eric Schwitzgebel’s fantastic blog The Splintered Mind. Here are links to the six posts I wrote this summer. (1) Why was sci-fi so slow to discover time travel? Most themes in contemporary science fiction have precursors in earlier mythology and folklore, but time travel doesn’t appear in fiction until

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New post on Conceptual Short-Term Memory for iCog blog

My new post for the University of Sheffield’s iCog blog is now online! It discusses some of my recent work on Conceptual Short-Term Memory, and what it can tell us about perception, cognition, and consciousness. For an in-depth exploration of the topic, you can find a more detailed treatment in my recent article at the

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Are toddler tantrums a serious ethical issue?

  Toddlers often seem to undergo what look like extreme negative emotions, raging, sobbing, and genuinely seeming massively distraught because they, e.g., can’t have a second cookie. Generally speaking, parents don’t feel too awful about these episodes, regarding them as regrettable but inevitable, and sometimes even funny (see, e.g., this link), and something to be

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Do we have a moral obligation to host refugees?

It cannot have escaped anyone’s notice that Europe is in the midst of a refugee crisis, with 350,000 migrants arriving by sea this year alone (the comparable figure for the whole of 2014 was 219,000). These migrants, of whom the largest contingents are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, are mostly fleeing real threats of violence.

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What kind of a jerk are you?

What makes someone a jerk? Is it merely being rude, or selfish, or is there something more subtle that underlies the behavior of the jerk? And just as important, how do you know if you’re a jerk yourself? (NB: ‘jerk’ is far more common in American English than British English; I’m not quite sure whether

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