"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 is emergent from matter (most likely) and I consider methodological naturalism to be far and away the most fruitful approach to investigating what we call reality. Agreed, kicking stones doesn't afford the same level of certainty as some others claim to possess. However, I have yet to come across an empirically-derived model of some aspect of reality that has been replaced by a more convincing supernatural explanation and the distinct lack of consensus emanating from those indulging solely in armchair metaphysics and theology is surely too glaringly obvious to ignore. Reality is what it is. It has no obligation to conform to any of our intuitions, nor to any philosophical or theological arguments we may have a psychological need to conjure up.
While definitely atheist, very occasionally, if you were to twist my epistemological arm I might sort of subscribe to some vague, handwavy notion of impersonal ietsism and so I have no problem with the notion that there might be something outwith our universe, perhaps some other kind of universe. Nevertheless, I have little respect for assertions lacking coherent support from empirical evidence, except when they are presented as mythology, which I do appreciate.
I'm closer to 70-years old than 60-years old and have two nationalities but ideally I'd prefer none. My strong lifelong aversion to right-wing ideologies has never led to any kind of love affair with the left; my political leftward slant is entirely pragmatic. I play no musical instrument but consider a day experienced without listening to music as a waste. I write crap poetry and draw and paint like a child. Thankfully, you'll find none of it here. Photography is my recreation and my artistic outlet of choice and I have been fortunate enough to have had my work exhibited in galleries in several European cities. Photography also allows me to combine a PhD level training in visual cognition and neuroscience with my wholly self-taught love of the visual arts. I value both domains. I really enjoy history too.
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. 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 only website telltaleimages.com