Monthly Archives: October 2010

Evolution: Is it more a matter of politics than of science?

In an interview found here, John S. Wilkins says, “Science is crucial to our social fabric and survival – we had better not mess it up for polemic reasons.” That is the sort of statement to which the response can … Continue reading

Posted in History, History and Philosophy of Science, Politics, Science | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Some historiography of witchcraft

Early discussion of witchcraft amongst historians was based on the assumptions that the belief in witches and associated phenomena died out due to the advent of the scientific revolution and that the persecution of witches in the first place occurred … Continue reading

Posted in Historiography | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Philosophy as remedy

This is a revised version of some comments I wrote a few years ago, when I observed that it is increasingly common to read opinion pieces that propose an increase in the study of philosophy, logic and science in schools as … Continue reading

Posted in Feyerabend, Philosophy, Politics | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Cormac McCarthy and free will

In this entry I discuss the work of Cormac McCarthy and the degree to which it is concerned with the freedom of the will. My claim, such as it is, is that some of his works contain an extended examination … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Philosophy | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

On cranks and demarcation

It is generally acknowledged that attempts to demarcate science from non- or pseudoscience, based on a priori standards, have failed. Here I discuss a values-based approach, advocated by Feyerabend in his paper Realism and Instrumentalism, in which he wrote: The … Continue reading

Posted in Feyerabend, History and Philosophy of Science | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Pope and the Galileo Affair

This entry collects together some remarks about Feyerabend’s comments on the Galileo Affair and their use by Pope Benedict XVI, with minor updates. There had been much discussion of the Galileo Affair following the election of Benedict because the then … Continue reading

Posted in Feyerabend, Galileo, History, History and Philosophy of Science, Philosophy, Science | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope

There is a famous reference in the so-called Galileo affair to various people refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope at the sunspots and other phenomena he wished to show them. The best known is Cesare Cremonini and I did some … Continue reading

Posted in Galileo, History and Philosophy of Science | Tagged , , | 2 Comments