Morals and markets

Sandel plugging his latest. The journalist’s quote below has much resonance to me.

Even to a toddler’s mind, the logic of the transaction was evidently clear – if he had to be bribed, then the potty couldn’t be a good idea – and within a week he had grown so suspicious and upset that we had to abandon the whole enterprise.

Roger Scruton

Nature, nurture and liberal values

Roger Scruton weighs in on the nature/nurture debate via a threefold review. (Image another Steve Pyke portrait).


Patricia Churchland

Having missed Pat Churchland’s talk at NEI this past October, it was great that she was in town for a full week of speaking engagements not to mention interviews and other demands being made on her time (and she is supposedly retired!). It was a pleasure to meet her (finally!) having followed her work over the years, most notably her Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain. I recall the outright hostility to this book when I very naively talked about it in a philosophy department.  I asked her if she recalled this hostility – and she did – but soldiered on regardless. The book obviously made an impression on me and hence its title appears as the tag line to this website.

Here is a collection of my Churchland related posts. The Science Network has a superb collection of podcasts featuring not only Pat, but the rest of the Churchland “dynasty” including of course her husband Paul and  their children Anne and Mark.


Adam Smith and Mirror Neurons

It is wonderful at last to see the Adam Smith of The theory of moral sentiments rather than The wealth of nations finally getting some attention. Smith’s moral psychology is amazingly presient. Here is one of the better articles by the very talented Nicolas Baumard making the connection.