In Part 1 of this article where I asked Is it OK to stereotype people?, I pointed out how modern cognitive science, understood in particular in terms of the paradigm of Active Inference, leads us to conclude that stereotyping is intrinsic to all observing, understanding and learning. So any attempt to stigmatise people for engaging… Continue reading On Stereotyping, Part 2 – Should stereotyping be considered harmful?
It is a commonplace assumption that stereotyping people is a bad thing which we should do our utmost to avoid. Perhaps this is a position you would agree with, on the grounds that it is wrong to make generalisations since this can result in us misjudging people and potentially treating them unfairly. But I would… Continue reading On Stereotyping, Part 1 – Is it OK to stereotype people?
A paper that came out in 2014 by two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, made the argument that with the rise of a more diverse and egalitarian culture, particularly in the academic world, combined with the rise of powerful administrative sectors therein, a new form of social morality has emerged that they referred to… Continue reading Don’t be a victim! Beyond the culture of entitlement and anxiety
Introduction ‘The re-enchantment of the world’ emerged as a concept in the 1980s in the work of Maurice Berman, in a work on the philosophy and psychology of science of that name and became adopted as a tellingly evocative motif among certain environmental writers and theologians. Ironically, until now it has not featured much within… Continue reading ‘The Re-Enchantment of the World’ as Theoretical Critique and Social Practice
Scientists should understand themselves as both learners and active creators of knowledge, according to a recent research paper on “Distributed Science: The Scientific Process as Multi-Scale Active Inference.” The study disputes the traditional inductive scientific method and suggests a Bayesian model, whereby multiple theories are weighed side by side for plausibility. The model also factors in the role of personal and community-wide interests affecting scientific advancement. Caution is called for when interpreting science-based policies, since scientific understanding is always evolving.
As we look around us at an ever-increasing number of apparently intractable conflicts, what is the scope for the discovery of shared values to offer us a way forward?
The life philosophy of an ancient fellow I once knew, who was in the habit of dispensing chunks of wisdom from his doorstep, could have been summarized in the following aphorism: “Everyone’s good at something, everyone has a weakness, and you’ve got to die of something”. In his case all three observations neatly converged on… Continue reading Expertise versus Elitism
Much breath has been expended criticising Sadiq Khan’s recent “Say maaaate to a mate” campaign. Opinions tend to be divided between those who criticise the campaign over its likely ineffectiveness and those who criticise it as inappropriate use of public funds. But are there not more fundamental issues at stake here which deserve greater scrutiny?
In Londonistan did Kubla Khan A Low Emission Zone decree And sacred solar panels ran Through suburbs measureless to man Though it rained endlessly * ‘ERE, YOU BLOODY NONCES. GET OUTTA THE ROAD. I’M TRYING TO GET TO PORLOCK FOR AN IMPORTANT DELIVERY… Jesus, what is it they want now? Ah fink it’s them Distinction… Continue reading In Londonistan did Kubla Khan
It was some weeks since Ziggy had been out for a drink with his friend Zara (aka Zarathustra, the postmodern-day prophet of renown) and he had been looking forward to indulging in some stimulating discussion about their favourite topic, namely the foibles and failings of celebrities (particularly of the political variety) who had been in… Continue reading Disparage the Farage!