Why was everyone all always talking about Attention?

  Attention is a central concept in our thinking. Few concepts have changed as dramatically throughout their diverse and sordid histories, and few have had as many theoretical or incestuous liaisons. Yet “attention” has manage to convince us that its meaning is atemporal, or at least consistent. In the 1700s, attention was entangled with Reason, and they…

Punctuated Equilibrium as metaphor

Beloved paleontologist and essayist Stephan Jay Gould often struggled with the idea of progress that haunted the pages of Charles Darwin’s On the Origins of Species. For many historians of science, and for Gould himself, Darwin’s belief that the current, living, plethora of species were more advanced forms of their extinct relatives, is most likely…

Virgil’s Exclusion

In Dante’s poetic epic The Divine Comedy, the pagan-Virgil serves as the Christian-Dante’s guide and teacher throughout the rings of the Inferno and ranges of Mount Purgatory. Virgil’s own epic poem The Aeneid had a profound effect on the “real-life” Dante, yet Dante recognized that Virgil and his Aeneid were articulations of a particular time,…