Monthly Archives: August 2012

Death, thou shalt die

John Donne’s view of death is vividly expressed in his poetry: Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow, Die not, poor Death, … Continue reading

Posted in Quentin queries, Spirituality | Tagged , | 121 Comments

Members one of another

You are sitting in a laboratory watching a monkey and a row of peanuts. The monkey is specially wired for sounds that denote brain activity. Each time the monkey pinches a peanut, its brain crackles loudly. No surprise there. But … Continue reading

Posted in Bio-ethics, Catholic Herald columns, Spirituality | Tagged | 32 Comments


A correspondent has asked me what triggered my original interest in how the mind and brain works. I thought back to 1986, when I first read Robert Ornstein’s Multimind.  Ornstein, a professor of human biology at Stanford, and at that … Continue reading

Posted in Moral judgment, Philosophy, Quentin queries | 39 Comments

Is nothing sacred?

On the internet there is a site called Professional Friends. The going rate for a rented friend is around £10 an hour. How do you feel about hiring friendship? This a is a question which Michael Sandel, who is a … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic Herald columns, Moral judgment, Philosophy, Quentin queries | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Gnothe seauton

Looking back through some old notes I was reminded of a study once presented at a Psychological Society conference. It claimed that accents could be graded. This was tested by presenting a short film of someone being interviewed about a … Continue reading

Posted in Bio-ethics, Moral judgment, Quentin queries | Tagged , , | 135 Comments