Evolving My View on Mental Immunity
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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3w ago
Hi all, and Happy New Year! It's been several months since I've managed to post anything on my website, but that's only because I've been far too busy with life and other outlets for my writing. I mentioned in my last post about the Vienna Circle that my wife and I were planning to move to Vienna and that has gone off without a hitch. After 10 weeks here, we're fairly settled and I can hopefully get back to regular writing activities again soon. I've been doing a lot with my Evolutionary Philosophy Circle that's being run in David Sloan Wilson's Prosocial World, and I'll have a lot more to sa ..read more
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Vienna, Circles, and 5 Reasons Why Groups Thrive
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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6M ago
Over the last few blog posts, I introduced a new Evolutionary Philosophy Circle that I have been co-founding, which was built using the theory of the Prosocial method. I wrote about how that project was going in practice, and then shared the first talk I gave to that group, which showed how evolutionary metaphysics can deeply alter all other branches of philosophy. The organisation of this new group was deeply influenced by the fact that just before I was recruited to work on it I happened to have read David Edmond's fantastic book The Murder of Professor Schlick: The Rise ..read more
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Evolutionary Metaphysics: How This View of Life Can Deeply Alter Other Branches of Philosophy
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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7M ago
This is the talk I gave to the Evolutionary Philosophy Circle on May 24, 2022. The EPC was a new group at this time, modeling itself after the accomplishments of the famous Vienna Circle. But rather than being inspired by revolutions in physics, as the Vienna Circle was in the 1920s, the EPC is inspired by the latest developments in the science of evolution. This talk was the first in a series organized by the EPC about how evolution can affect all branches of philosophy. Hi all. I’m going to be talking about evolutionary metaphysics today. A few days ago, I sent out an article from Dan Denn ..read more
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Prosocial (In Practice)
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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8M ago
In my last post, I shared some summary highlights of the process that has been developed by Paul Atkins, David Sloan Wilson, and Steven Hayes for Prosocial World. This process has a lot of scientific rigour (and a Nobel Prize!) behind it, and it has been proven to help groups be more successful. But how does it feel to use it? As I announced back in March, I was invited to create a new group of philosophers to go through this process, and be part of what David Sloan Wilson has called "a bold new experiment in cultural evolution." Well, we're over halfway through ..read more
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Prosocial (In Theory)
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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8M ago
In my last post, I made the announcement that I was going to be starting an Evolutionary Philosophy Circle with Andy Norman and David Sloan Wilson. I shared lots of links to learn about the non-profit organization Prosocial World, which would be hosting this project (along with many others) on its new online platform called the Prosocial Commons. Projects on the Commons are intended to last 12 weeks to mimic the 100 Day Challenge model that was developed by the Rapid Results Institute. And since we started on April 25th, that means we're about half way through our first "gener ..read more
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Joining a Circle of Evolutionary Philosophers
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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11M ago
Big news folks! Over the last couple of months, I've been working with evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson and philosopher Andy Norman to create a sort of "Vienna Circle" for evolutionary philosophers. The time has finally come to take these ideas to the big leagues. This is going to be part of an amazing community called Prosocial World, which you'll have to join to take part. So, in this post, I'll share some information about Prosocial in general, and then you can read the specific call to action for my project. I'll continue to write on this website, of course. But for far m ..read more
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An Evolutionary Perspective on the Meaning of Life
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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1y ago
​Last week, I wrote a small piece for the North East Humanists' bulletin, which I thought I should share here. There's much more to say about the topic, but I hope you enjoy it. At the end of 2021, the BBC Radio 4 show The Moral Maze had a special episode titled “Meaning” to discuss the meaning of life. This show usually draws from a handful of regulars for their four panellists, but for this show they brought in Will Self, an author and journalist; Bonnie Greer, a playwright, novelist, and former Chancellor of Kingston University; Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Can ..read more
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Overview of Mental Immunity by Andy Norman (Part 2 of 2)
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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1y ago
Hi again! It’s time for my second post about Andy Norman’s great new epistemology book, Mental Immunity. In my last post, I covered parts one, two, and three of the book, which explained the new science of cognitive immunology. I absolutely loved it. I ended that post by asking if Andy had succeeded in “the search for a better way to think,” as he proclaimed on the cover of the book. I superficially said that he had, but in reality, that raises a much deeper question of what exactly “better” is. Dealing with that, and with some other deep questions, is the task of the fourth and fin ..read more
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Overview of Mental Immunity by Andy Norman (Part 1 of 2)
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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1y ago
After my quick overviews of three books about epistemology — Kindly Inquisitors by Jonathan Rauch,Knowledge and its Limits by Timothy Williamson, and How to Talk to Science Denier by Lee McIntyre— I’ve finally arrived at the most interesting and thought-provoking book on the subject that I’ve read. And that is Mental Immunity by Andy Norman. Over the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to personally get to know Andy a little bit after he reached out to me when I published an article in The Humanist magazineproposing some changes to their de ..read more
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Overview of How to Talk to a Science Denier by Lee McIntyre
Evolutionary Philosophy - Blog
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1y ago
Happy New Year! And good riddance to 2021. Between the January 6th attack on the Capitol and the spread of the anti-Covid-vaccine movement, it’s been another bad year for epistemology and truth-seeking. My last post looked at an epistemology book from a famous philosopher that didn’t offer much help about this situation, but now I’ve got two great books that come to the rescue. I’ll save Mental Immunity by Andy Norman for last, but before I get to that, let me go over a book called How to Talk to a Science Denier, which was written by Andy's f ..read more
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