How the World Works

Index of essays on how the world works, i.e., “physics” as understood by the Greco-Romans, or what we moderns may think of as a combination of metaphysics and science. Individual essays appear on the Patreon and Medium platforms. Numbers refer to publication sequence since 2018 (higher numbers, more recent).

Biological Sciences
Cognitive and Social Science


  • 289. The self is not a fiction — On the perils of doing metaphysics by way of pathologies (Patreon / Medium)
  • 256. If there is pseudo-science, is there also pseudo-philosophy? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 252. The promise and perils of process metaphysics (Patreon / Medium)
  • 210. Here’s is why physicist George Ellis is almost certainly wrong about free will (Patreon / Medium)
  • 187. Stoic ontology 101: the difference between reality and existence (Patreon / Medium)
  • 183. The crucial difference between metaphysics and epistemology (Patreon / Medium)
  • 170. Metaphysics is dead. Long live metaphysics! Assorted musings of a philosopher-scientist (Patreon / Medium)
  • 157. How to make up philosophical problems and then “solve” them (Patreon / Medium)
  • 121. Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, and why the Stoics got it wrong: part II (Patreon / Medium)
  • 120. Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, and why the Stoics got it wrong: part I (Patreon / Medium)
  • 93. Bad ideas in practical philosophy, Nick Bostrom edition (Patreon / Medium)
  • 9. Heraclitus, the pre-Stoic philosopher who inspired Marcus Aurelius (Patreon / Medium)

Biological Sciences

  • 270. The Gaia Hypothesis: science or pseudoscience? A response (Patreon / Medium)
  • 261. The Gaia Hypotheses: science or pseudoscience? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 259. To lock down or not to lock down? An evidence-based approach to anti-covid measures (Patreon / Medium)
  • 253. No, plants don’t think (Patreon / Medium)
  • 185. Is the human species exceptional? It depends… (Patreon / Medium)
  • 168. Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop: the problem isn’t the patriarchy, it’s the pseudoscience (Patreon / Medium)
  • 80. Practical problems in medical ethics: III. Taking the sting out of memory (Patreon / Medium)
  • 79. Practical problems in medical ethics: II. Deaf by design (Patreon / Medium)
  • 78. Practical problems in medical ethics: I. An unexpected finding of non-paternity (Patreon / Medium)

Cognitive and Social Science

  • 287. Implementation intentions: a powerful tool to accomplish goals (Patreon / Medium)
  • 275. Beyond self-control? How wellbeing is affected by hedonic vs long-term goals (Patreon / Medium)
  • 217. Why psychology and history don’t have overarching theories – and probably never will (Patreon / Medium)
  • 197. Reason vs emotions? Three models (Patreon / Medium)
  • 133. Stoicism and arousal: so you think you can’t control your emotions, eh? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 108. Misguided ideas in applied ethics: the neurophilosophy of moral intuitions (Patreon / Medium)
  • 98. The perils of neurophilosophy (Patreon / Medium)
  • 70. The seven universal rules of morality (Patreon / Medium)
  • 49. Stoic psychology 101: impressions, assent and impulses (Patreon / Medium)
  • 12. Luck is all in your mind (Patreon / Medium)
  • 7. The neuroscience and philosophy of evil (Patreon / Medium)


  • 206. The universe simulates itself into existence, and other nonsense from modern pseudo-physics (Patreon / Medium)
  • 201. GUEST post: The Copenhagen Confusion, by Jim Baggott (Patreon / Medium)
  • 199. Physicist don’t know what to world is like, at bottom (Patreon / Medium)
  • 67. Here and now, we say. But does modern physics have a problem with that? (Patreon / Medium)