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Is Behavioral Economics Doomed?

Here is a skeptical take on the insights supposedly offered by the rise of behavioral economics as represented by Daniel Kahneman and others. Since I’m in the process of reviewing Kahneman it will be interesting to see if Levine’s take on behavioral economics jibes with my take on Kahneman in particular and behavioral economics in…

Rationalism in Politics

In anticipation of a talk I’m giving later on in the week on Oakeshott’s so-called “dispositional conservatism”, here is a nice little piece by my chum Gene Callahan serving as a good introduction to RIP. The British philosopher and historian Michael Oakeshott is a curious figure in twentieth-century intellectual history. He is known mostly as…

Turing Centenary

Conference page. Here is also one of Turing’s most famous papers: I propose to consider the question, “Can machines think?” This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the terms “machine” and “think.” The definitions might be framed so as to reflect so far as possible the normal use of the words, but this…

Complexity and Extended Phenomenological-Cognitive Systems

A freely available piece from Topics in Cognitive Science. With the keywords complexity; dynamical systems; extended cognition; consciousness – who could resist. In fact the whole issue is freely available from this relatively new title published under the auspices of the Cognitive Science Society. The complex systems approach to cognitive science invites a new understanding of…

Hayek in Today’s Cognitive Neuroscience

Check out Joaquín Fuster’s recent paper: Only now, more than half a century after the publication of his theoretical book (Hayek, 1952), is the reaction to Hayek’s argument beginning to be heard. And it’s a positive reaction, now supported by facts. He used to say that without a theory the facts are silent. Now, belatedly reacting to…

Can science ever explain consciousness?

Anil Seth, Chris Frith and Barry Smith (of Birkbeck, not Buffalo!) outline the topography in a podcast. Anil SethBarry SmithChris FrithCognitionCognitive neuroscienceCognitive sciencecomplexityconsciousnessEmbodied cognitionMagnetic resonance imagingneurosciencePhilosophy of mindqualia

Colin McGinn: All machine and no ghost?

Colin McGinn locates his position within philosophy of mind. Though not a fashionable position, I’m very sympathetic to it – and of course, it is a position that has much in common with Hayek. The “mysterianism” I advocate is really nothing more than the acknowledgment that human intelligence is a local, contingent, temporal, practical and…