How do you separate the objective from the subjective?

So, I'm a skeptic, and I've had my share of debates on comment threads with people about purported phenomena without scientific evidence.  One of the claims often asserted is that so many people have experienced it, there must be something there.  It's not unusual for these debates to get mired in epistemological fights about how … Continue reading How do you separate the objective from the subjective?

Is consciousness in control? Does it matter?

A new scientific paper claims to describe an experiment that shows that consciousness controls our actions.  From the paper: These results indicate that conscious intentions govern motor function… until today, it was unclear whether conscious motor intention exists prior to movement, or whether the brain constructs such an intention after movement initiation. The Neuroskeptic takes … Continue reading Is consciousness in control? Does it matter?

The scope of objective facts and morality

Our recent discussions, particularly on the thread about Jonathan Haidt's response to Sam Harris's challenge, left me thinking about the various scopes of objective facts.  In retrospect, it's a bit obvious to me now that a key question in moral philosophy is, if morality is objective, at what scope is it objective? Haidt used the … Continue reading The scope of objective facts and morality

TED and unrealistic expectations

Benjamin Bratton's TED talk appears to be getting a lot of attention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo5cKRmJaf0 The Guardian also has a transcript. It seems to me that Bratton's talk can be summarized as, you're all not thinking hard enough, not making real impacts, and allowing yourselves to be satisfied with too little. I think Bratton has some good … Continue reading TED and unrealistic expectations