Category: Science

A review of Anne Manne’s Life of I

In the wake of the 2011 Norway massacre, in which Anders Breivik killed 77 people (69 of them on the island of Utøya), a small and unseemly argument broke out amongst the commentariat about whether or not the killer’s actions constituted terrorism. For commentators of a conservative persuasion, the killing spree was the act of a lunatic; not sanctioned by […]

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On the side of the Angels: A. C. Grayling

Of all the shady turns of phrase to have lodged themselves in the popular consciousness since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the term ‘Enlightenment fundamentalist’ is surely one of the shadiest. A version of the logical fallacy known as ‘the appeal to hypocrisy’, this ingenious bit of rhetorical jujitsu suggests that the enemies of religious obscurantism are no less intolerant […]

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Prophet of gloom

That the British philosopher John Gray shares his name with a US author of popular books on sex and relationships has always struck me as an unfortunate coincidence. Imagine a man who walks into his local bookstore looking for the latest offering from the author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) and walks out with a […]

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