Topic Archives: History of Science

  • Exercises in Secular Heresy: Technological Determinism, Civil Liberties, and the Taboo of Diminishing Returns

    I recently delivered this talk, Exercises in Secular Heresy: Technological Determinism, Civil Liberties, and the Taboo of Diminishing Returns (PDF), at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Sciences in Canada.  



  • Torture’s Inefficiency Long Established

    The following letter was published in Science on 4 December 2015.  It discusses the history of the CIA’s covert sponsorship of behavioral science research and the relationship of this research to the CIA’s torture practices.   In the 16 October issue, R. J. McNally reviews a book by Shane […]



  • Metaphysics and Number

    In the early 1700′s, the French Jesuit Joachim Bouvet introduced Gottfried Leibniz to the Chinese Classic, the I Ching. Following a dispute between Pope Clement XI and the Chinese Emperor Kangxi, Bouvet’s attempts to reconcile ancient Chinese wisdom with that of the Catholic tradition came to an official conclusion. […]