Essays

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Intuitions & Objectivity

We all have our intuitions. Some of them are shared, but many intuitions diverge among people. How reliable are they?

Attenborough & Love

I reflect on manifestations of love in the animal kingdom, and the way they are reported on by David Attenborough.

The Power of Numbers

People do things with numbers, but numbers also do things with us. Over the course of the last two centuries, our worldview has become thoroughly quantified. How does this affect our perspective?

Sacks & Creativity

This essay was written shortly after the death of Oliver Sacks, a highly original and creative thinker. What is creativity, and how does language limit and enhance our creative capacities?     

Gould’s Paradox

Stephen Jay Gould was very aware of the cultural influences on scientific ideas. But that very awareness, I argue, constituted something of a bias in Gould’s own thought.

Buddhism meets Wuwei

In Western thought, the art of living is often couched in terms of ‘setting your own journey’ or ‘mastering your own biography.’ In this essay I illustrate that an Eastern perspective offers a very different perspective of leading a rewarding life.

Borders & Fluidity

At first glance, borders aspire to be impenetrable. But in fact borders serve a very different function: they are sorting mechanisms. This applies both to borders in the man-made world and borders in the biological realm.

Ethics & Epigenetics

The rapid advent of CRISPR technology and new insights from the field of epigenetics raise many questions of ethical importance. I reflect on the ethical implications of our new understanding of heredity.