Wider Than Science, Deeper Than Politics

by Mark English I once came across a cartoon from the early 20th century depicting a street scene with everyone – pedestrians, business people and even a cart-horse – looking puzzled and slightly confused. The wording of the caption I have forgotten, but it was along the lines that the theory of relativity had suddenly changed the way we see […]

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Lee Smolin’s Realism

by Mark English Lee Smolin is a respected physicist who has always had strong philosophical interests and convictions. He recently articulated his realist views in a public lecture. What follows are my notes on his lecture mixed in with a few comments and observations. Smolin is strongly opposed to postmodernists who reject the notion of objective truth and who see […]

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Political Myth, Conspiracy and Foreign Policy

by Mark English Apparently a number of highly-placed representatives of the intelligence community were recently taken in by a fanciful report concerning Donald Trump’s sexual activities during a visit to Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov branded the former MI6 officer who authored the report in question a “swindler” who trades in “absurdities.” The Russian President also weighed in, suggesting […]

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Knowledge and Reality

by Daniel A. Kaufman EDITORS NOTE:  This essay originally appeared on Dan Kaufman’s previous blog, Apophenia.  We are reprinting it here, as a preface to a video discussion bewteen Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman on realism, anti-realism, and our knowledge of the world.  That discussion will be posted this Thursday. __________________________________________________________________ If you were to go to the trouble of asking ordinary people about […]

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