"After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it: "I refute it thus." (August 6th 1763, as told in James Boswell’s 'Life of Samuel Johnson, Vol 3'; 1791)
I admire Samuel Johnson's feet-first approach. I enjoy metaphysical questions such as whether there is a fundamental kind of stuff (maybe, probably) and whether mind and consciousness is emergent from matter (most likely) and I consider the scientific method and methodological naturalism to be far and away the most fruitful approaches to investigating what we call reality. Agreed, systematically kicking stones doesn't afford the same level of certainty as some others like to claim to possess. However, I have yet to come across an empirically-derived model of some aspect of reality replacable by any convincing supernatural-based explanation and the distinct lack of consensus emanating from those indulging solely in armchair metaphysics and theology is surely too glaringly obvious for us to ignore. Reality is what it is. It has no obligation to conform to any of our intuitions and beliefs, nor to any philosophical or theological arguments we may have a psychological need to conjure up. So I have little respect for assertions lacking coherent support from empirical evidence, except when they are presented as mythology, which I do appreciate. I really enjoy history too. While definitely atheist, very occasionally, once in a blue moon, if you were to twist my epistemological arm I might 'sort of' subscribe to some vague, handwavy notion of impersonal ietsism because I have no problem with the notion that there might be something outwith our universe, like perhaps some other kind of universe. I'm closer to 70-years old than 60-years old and have two nationalities but ideally I'd prefer none. A strong lifelong aversion to right-wing ideologies has never led to any kind of love affair with the left; my politically leftward slant is entirely pragmatic, based on what I've seen and experienced for myself.
I play no musical instrument but consider a day experienced without listening to music to be a waste. I write crap poetry and draw and paint like a child. Thankfully, you'll find none of it here. Photography is my artistic outlet of choice and allows me to combine a PhD level training in visual cognition/neuroscience with my wholly self-taught love of the visual arts. I value both domains and feel fortunate to have had work exhibited in galleries in several European cities and published in a couple of books and several magazines.
I don't do any of the standard social media. Never have. Sartre surely foretold this blot on the virtual landscape with his "hell is other people" quip. Neither do I care much for the Orwellian corporate manipulation. So it wasn't me that wrote that there, even if they do have the same name as me or this website. Nor do I write in the third person; good God, that would sound even more pretentious!
I can be contacted at gary (at) telltaleimages (dot) com
This is a sister site to my photography-centred website telltaleimages.com