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Lawful Truth


We humans are, after all, built out of inhuman parts. The world of atoms looks nothing like the world as we ordinarily think of it, and certainly looks nothing like the world’s conscious denizens as we ordinarily think of them. …

Mere Reality collects seven sequences of essays on this topic. The first three introduce the question of how the human world relates to the world revealed by physics: “Lawful Truth” [this sequence] (on the basic links between physics and human cognition), “Reductionism 101” (on the project of scientifically explaining phenomena), and “Joy in the Merely Real” (on the emotional, personal significance of the scientific world-view).


  1. Universal Fire
  2. Universal Law
  3. Is Reality Ugly?
  4. Beautiful Probability
  5. Outside the Laboratory
  6. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Engines of Cognition
  7. Perpetual Motion Beliefs
  8. Searching for Bayes-Structure