Monday, January 29, 2007


Well, it's been quite a while since I've blogged. But idiocy can prompt blogging when all else fails. Today's idiot: Steven Pinker

In Time, Prof. Pinker talks about consciousness. He begins by summarizing the "hard problem" about consciousness:
The Hard Problem is explaining how subjective experience arises from neural computation. The problem is hard because no one knows what a solution might look like or even whether it is a genuine scientific problem in the first place.
So "no one knows" if it is a scientific problem. Yet Pinker immediately contradicts himself, stating that consciousness "consist[s] entirely of physiological activity in the tissues of the brain," and continues with this facile materialism through the remainder of the article.

Of course, Pinker doesn't stop at such normal idiocy. Having misrepresented the current debate over consciousness he has the moronic temerity to attempt to propose an entirely new ethics. Pinker writes that "an understanding of the physiology of consciousness... makes it impossible to deny our common capacity to suffer." And where does the idea that suffering is to be avoided come from? If one is to avoid the naturalistic fallacy, it can only derive from metaphysics. And Pinker's just excluded metaphysics from his epistemology.



Blogger matthew christopher davidson said...


I want to invite you to my wedding on May 12 but the email address I have for you doesn't work.

Can you send an RSVP and your snailmail address to


February 23, 2007 7:31 AM  
Blogger UltraCrepidarian said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG TITLE, and love this post.


P.S. Art thou a fan of Brideshead Revisited & Evelyn Waugh in general? And art thou around anymore?

April 24, 2007 8:32 PM  

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