Metaphysics and murderBMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3531 (Published 21 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3531
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
Metaphysics, said the philosopher F H Bradley, is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct. Nowadays, however, it seems more to be the finding of bad reasons for what we disbelieve on instinct.
In my youth I used to read metaphysics with an excitement that now seems to me strange and that I cannot recapture. Nevertheless, I have returned a little to philosophy, reading it in a desultory fashion according to what books I find in charity or second hand bookshops. Recently, for example, I found Peter Singer’s The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, published in 1981.
Singer is an Australian philosopher (whose mother was a doctor) who sprang to …