Browse by:

Bertrand Russell: Science and philosophy

My chum and Russell scholar par excellence has this piece in the TLS. As Wittgenstein sums up Russell’s insight, “Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts. Philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity”. Something similar might be said of science as well. Analytic philosophyAndrew Irvinebertrand russellLiberalismphilosophical logicPhilosophyscience

Norbert Wiener

Born on this day. Here’s an assessment of Wiener’s legacy from a few years back. Having read most of the notable work on “epistemic ignorance” (yes, there really is a specialized small literature) there is one prize that still alludes me and that is Wiener’s “The Theory of Ignorance” (1906), a philosophical demonstration of the…

Wittgenstein: A Wonderful Life

This 1989 BBC Horizon documentary (see below) is an absolute gem. I must have seen it in the day but viewing it again with the benefit of the intervening quarter century, is so rewarding. It’s television at its best — very tightly presented, it is neither pretentious nor dumbed down as so many programmes on…

Orwell on Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon”

That Wendell Berry takes on the campus commissars (and their complicitous willingly martyred cannon-fodder individual manqué bidders) offers some inkling of hope for preserving liberality. But I fear we are just entering the beginnings of a Darkness at Noon moment — the prospect of a total eclipse is immanent. Check out Orwell’s article on Koestler’s Darkness at Noon reprinted…