Hello – my name is Derrick Farnell and I'm an independent theoretical psychologist and writer, living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
My main research interest is the major question in philosophy 'How should we live?' – which covers happiness, ethics and politics – although I address this question using psychology rather than philosophy.
I'm currently researching the psychology of belief, and simultaneously writing the evolving online book A New Psychology.
I'm also developing the nonprofit site Chains of Reason, which aims to be an online platform for a new form of discourse.
I've a general interest in science and technology, love being in nature, and aspire to own at least one dog and cat.
You can't have too much green.
I believe in the importance of, amongst other things, reason, freethought, open-mindedness, heterodoxy, science and technology, liberty, individualism, democracy, technocracy, republicanism, the separation of powers – legislature, executive, judiciary and head of state – a directly elected and equally powerful bicameral legislature, the separation of religion and state, the rule of law, universal human rights – including freedom of thought and expression, legal equality, welfare, universal health care, universal access to education and equal opportunity – capitalism, economic freedom, civil society, centrism, progressivism, cosmopolitanism, internationalism , globalisation and environmentalism.
I'm opposed to, amongst other things, the argument from authority, personality cults, populism, demagoguery, political correctness*, cancel culture, identity politics, safetyism – including safe spaces and trigger warnings – prioritising lived experience, and many other woke concepts, such as microagression, violent speech, cultural appropriation and mansplaining.
*A form of groupthink. We should each behave according to our moral system, rather than abiding by what happens to be currently popularly considered socially acceptable or unacceptable. In the past, many forms of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination – such as those which constitute racism, xenophobia, sexism, classism and homophobia – weren't popularly considered socially unacceptable, but individuals could have still rightly judged them to be immoral, as some did.