No Sensible Knaves: On the Surprisingly Fundamental Rationality of Empathy

You enter the lab of a mad scientist and see two operating tables. On one, a second individual—“Patient B” for future reference—lies in an anesthetic slumber. The other table is for you. The good(?) doctor explains the procedure for which you’ve volunteered(?) as follows: You will be put under, and while your consciousness is offline … Continue reading…

Some Clarifications on the Scientific and Manifest Images

Over on The Electric Agora, a philosophy blog I sometimes haunt, a bit of spat has recently erupted over Wilfred Sellars’ “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man” and to what extent certain reductionist or eliminativist programs contradict the “stereoscopic vision” (in which the Scientific and Manifest Images overlay and complement, rather than compete with, each … Continue reading…

How Prestige Ru[i]ns Our World, Part 6

This is Part 6 of a series on prestige competition and its broader contemporary effects. For other parts, click below. Part 1: From Agonistic Behavior to Dominance Hierarchy: An Evolutionary Parable Part 2: From Dominance Hierarchy to Prestige Hierarchy Part 3: From Hierarchy to Egalitarianism to Hierarchy Again Part 4: The Prestige Complex Part 5: Dr. … Continue reading…

How Prestige Ru[i]ns Our World, Part 5

This is Part 5 of a series on prestige competition and its broader contemporary effects. For other parts, click below. Part 1: From Agonistic Behavior to Dominance Hierarchy: An Evolutionary Parable Part 2: From Dominance Hierarchy to Prestige Hierarchy Part 3: From Hierarchy to Egalitarianism to Hierarchy Again Part 4: The Prestige Complex Part 6: Taking Stock and Looking … Continue reading…

How Prestige Ru[i]ns Our World, Part 4

This is Part 4 of a series on prestige competition and its broader contemporary effects. For other parts, click below. Part 1: From Agonistic Behavior to Dominance Hierarchy: An Evolutionary Parable Part 2: From Dominance Hierarchy to Prestige Hierarchy Part 3: From Hierarchy to Egalitarianism to Hierarchy Again Part 5: Dr. Praiselove or: How I Learned to Start … Continue reading…

How Prestige Ru[i]ns Our World, Part 3

This is Part 3 of a series on prestige competition and its broader contemporary effects. For other parts, click below. Part 1: From Agonistic Behavior to Dominance Hierarchy: An Evolutionary Parable Part 2: From Dominance Hierarchy to Prestige Hierarchy Part 4: The Prestige Complex Part 5: Dr. Praiselove or: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Loathe … Continue reading…

How Prestige Ru[i]ns Our World, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series on prestige competition and its broader contemporary effects. For other parts, click below. Part 1: From Agonistic Behavior to Dominance Hierarchy: An Evolutionary Parable Part 3: From Hierarchy to Egalitarianism to Hierarchy Again Part 4: The Prestige Complex Part 5: Dr. Praiselove or: How I Learned to Start Worrying … Continue reading…

How Prestige Ru[i]ns Our World, Part 1

I want to try something a little different. I’ve written a long piece on social comparison and radicalization in the age of the Internet, one of my central concerns at the moment and the primary reason for resurrecting this blog after several years of inactivity. Instead of dumping the whole thing in one post and … Continue reading…

Affirmations of a Metaphysical Minimalist

You are stronger and more flexible than you think you are. The world can be faced squarely, embraced despite its lack of readymade handholds; you must simply grow to the task. Our home is a desert, yes, vast and protean and inhospitable but a home—a biome—nonetheless. Its water kept not within the mirages we chase along its … Continue reading…