How can we integrate the scientific image of the world with our own experience of existence, without compromising either?
How can the macro-scale events of cosmology, biological evolution and cultural acquisition, which are evolving through time and have a history and a memory, be the same thing as the micro-scale events described by physics and chemistry, which remain constant, without either history or memory.
For philosophical monism to be plausible, systems at different scales must have different ordering principles. There must be asymmetries between them, so that the evolving systems at the macro-scale can co-exist with the constant systems at the micro-scale.
Essays by their nature tend to be incomplete. Much has to be left out to avoid undue length or because this particular structure cannot accommodate it. With that in mind, my intention is to publish additional material in the blog, discussing some topics in more depth and looking at how the ideas can be developed.
I was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and grew up in East Africa.
I first learnt some philosophy at the London School of Economics. After graduating in economics and politics, I attended Michael Oakeshott’s postgraduate seminars. Oakeshott believed that not only science and history but also the terms within which we understand the world in which we live are abstractions and that the role of philosophy is to understand how these abstractions have been constructed.
After leaving university I worked in the London wine trade for a few years before changing direction and moving into information technology. For most of my career I worked for the Investment Bank Technology division of J P Morgan Chase in London, Bournemouth and Mumbai. Software developers also deal primarily in abstract conceptual models; in my case, models of financial systems.
Since I retired we have been living in Malaysia.