Why Can’t Moral Naturalism and Error Theory Be Friends?

bike thief

Moral realism is the view that moral facts exist. Error theory is the view that moral facts do not exist. Accordingly, one might feel compelled to consider these two views inherently antithetical to one another. I wish to argue the opposite. More specifically, I wish to argue that either (1) error theory is compatible with certain varieties of moral naturalism or (2) error theory is mistaken in regards to what constitutes a moral fact. (more…)

INTERVIEW: Erik Bünger


In the third man, Erik Bünger—a Swedish-born, Berlin-based multimedia artist—uses the format of the lecture to explore the nature of sound, memory and so-called “ear-worms.” Prior to his performance at Vancouver’s VOICE OVER mind Festival, I had the chance to ask Bünger some questions about the project. These are his responses.


INTERVIEW: Tomomi Adachi


A performance artist/inventor/composer/sound poet/installation artist/instrument maker/sometimes theatre director with a degree in philosophy and aesthetics, Tomomi Adachi must have one hell of a business card. In the weeks leading up to Adachi’s performance at Vancouver’s VOICE OVER mind Festival, I exchanged a few words with the Berlin-based polymath over email. Here’s our conversation in full. (more…)

INTERVIEW: Petra van der Schoot


In our age of digital oversaturation, Petra van der Schoot—an interdisciplinary artist based out of the Netherlands—has a surprisingly sparse internet footprint. But the description offered by Vancouver’s VOICE OVER mind Festival, in which van der Schoot will be performing later this month, paints an intriguing picture. According to the brief blurb, she’s a “multi-faceted artist with a focus and desire to bring the disciplines of image and music together in various new forms.” In the weeks leading up to the festival, I had the pleasure to speak with the artist via a grainy Skype connection. (more…)

REVIEW: Chopin’s “The Awakening”


Originally published on Goodreads.

With several hours to kill before an appointment, I decided to pop inside a bookstore to pick up something “short but old.” In pursuit of this end, I solicited the aid of the shop lady, one of those former English majors who’ve evidently forgotten everything they might have once learned in university. Following several false starts (“Sorry, ma’am, but I’ve already read both Animal Farm and The Metamorphosis“), she pulled a slender book from the shelf, saying as she did so: “I can’t remember if I read this in school, but I think people view it as important for feminism or something.”

Trying my best to ignore the garish cover design, which suggested some sort of third-rate historical romance novel, I consented to buy it. (more…)

The Romantic Logician


As a logical, sensitive, systematic and passionate person, no dichotomy irks me quite like the one between reason and emotion. Since the enlightenment and beyond, these two human capacities have been viewed as diametrically opposite. Of course, reason—with its allegedly “masculine” temperament—has traditionally come out on top.

The opposition still exists, but it’s been reframed in terms of “heart” versus “head,” “feeling” versus “thinking” and so forth. These days, people self-identify with a particular hemisphere of the brain. “I’m a right brained thinker,” someone might say, “so I’m no good at math.” Our values have also undergone a shift. In our largely anti-intellectual times, the long-venerated Head—formerly the focal point of unbenighted rationality—now carries connotations of parochialism, aloofness and irrelevance. Think: “egghead.” (more…)

Of Pope and his couplets:

“Fitting, for a man of his stature.”

and yet he wrote not in the fleeting half-aborted stiches
favoured by those now touched by blind Poesy’s bankrupt hand
which echo on the page like a stone cast down a steel-walled well

no he wrote instead in a cadence fit for Kings and Gods
and what’s more his Rape was seven-hundred and ninety-four lines long

(trust me i’ve counted)

but fearing the cruel irony of Cassandra’s curse
he dressed his Prophecies in the habits of the mundane
just as the would-be bards of today
dress the mundane in the garb of prophecy

(denude me of these puffed-up lines
and there’d be nary a mote left)