Hayek, Connectionism, and Scientific Naturalism

The very excellent Josh Rust won the publisher’s prize for his chapter.


Oakeshott: born on this day

For those who’ve never read that most subtle, cultivated, humane and refined of minds Michael Oakeshott’s concerns resonate as deeply as ever. For the novice, I’d recommend his mid-career Rationalism in Politicsa most elegant collection of essays. A more difficult, but for me the vital underpinning cutting across all his work, is his equally elegant and bold young man’s Experience and its Modesa book that would easily feature on a list of my favourite philosophical/literary works. Oakeshott’s magnum opus, On Human Conduct, is a late dense and difficult book but well worth the effort, once one has assimilated the aforementioned two titles. Other very accessible works include On History and Other Essays and The Voice of Liberal Learning, the latter especially salient given the “grievance studies” bile that has now fully erupted within academia but which has been percolating for at least a generation. If one is looking for some guides, below are two mutually complementary “companions” and an online conspectus. Imprint Academic has the largest holding of posthumously published Oakeshottiana and the largest holding of secondary literature. If you’ve never heard Oakeshott speak, here is a very rare 13 minute BBC recording from 1948: The University Programme: Arts – Philosophy of History.



The Psychology of Chess

Fernand Gobet has a new book out that, as a (very rusty) chess player, has piqued my interest. As a cognitive scientist and a highly skilled player himself, there are few (if any) better placed than Fernand to write on this topic. Visitors to this site might recall Fernand’s excellent essay on Herb Simon. Here is Fernand’s interview with Chess Life. I’d say that the greatest treatment of chess in literature still falls to Zweig’s The Royal Game (the title translation that I’m most familiar with) which deserves another read in tandem with Fernand’s new book: Zweig is mentioned in Fernand’s book below. I especially appreciated Fernand’s devoting some time to New Orleans’ very own Paul Morphy.

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Jonathan Pie: Back to the Studio

Jonathan Pie’s (Tom Walker) brutal and delicious scathing of regressives of all stripes but his full on excoriation (from around 36:30) is reserved for the regressive Left — check it out. (If this is blocked, it’s available here, at least for the time being).


From Wide Cognition to Mechanisms: A Silent Revolution

“Going mechanistic”: fun paper just published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Culture seems to function as a classic example of “epistemic action”