Kant: Consciousness and Physics

Here follows a note on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Thereafter a reflection on the state of contemporary physics. I am under-qualified on both counts, but feel sufficiently strongly to have a go at conceptual clarification anyway. Kant had a searching question. Given that such and such a state holds, what conditions must be satisfiedContinue reading “Kant: Consciousness and Physics”

Art – ‘Make it new!’

Through considering prosody, the art of metrical composition in words, we encounter perhaps the most general issue concerning artistic creation, the necessary constraints imposed by rules, either adopted or invented, and the temptation occasionally to break them, or more decisively break with them. The challenge to find a way between the rigidity that lawfulness imposes,Continue reading “Art – ‘Make it new!’”

Einstein and the philosophers

Einstein has recorded that in the years before he published his paper on Special Relativity in 1905, he was fortified in his speculations by the sceptical remarks of David Hume in his Treatise on Human Nature, where Hume stated that the idea of a perfect connection of imperfect real measures ‘is a mere fiction ofContinue reading “Einstein and the philosophers”

Seeing things whole

Gestalt psychology developed in Austria and Germany in the early twentieth century. All three of its founders, Wertheimer, Koffka, and Kohler escaped to the US with the rise of fascism, but Kohler outlived his two colleagues by many years and became its flag bearer. I have always liked Aristotle’s saying ‘The whole is greater thanContinue reading “Seeing things whole”

Plato and Dante

In Raphael’s Vatican fresco The School of Athens (1509-1511), Plato and Aristotle, walking side by side under magnificent arches, hold centre stage. Plato’s right forearm is held upward, his index finger pointing towards the heavens, Aristotle’s right arm extends forwards, his hand flat, palm towards the ground. The symbolism is clear but wonderfully achieved, pureContinue reading “Plato and Dante”