All entries by this author

Dowd Produces the Opposite of Synergy *

Nov 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Wisecracks are reductive and anti-ruminative; they don’t encourage deeper analysis, they stymie it. … Read the rest

Pollitt Reads Dowd, Who Doesn’t Read Pollitt *

Nov 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Dowd’s book is a Feminism Is Dead polemic, put through a Dowdian styleblender.… Read the rest

Gordon Wood Reviews Sean Wilentz *

Nov 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Avoids ‘bargain basement Nietzsche and Foucault’.… Read the rest

Voltaire’s Enemy was the Infâme *

Nov 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Which was not JC but some of the forces of clerical reaction and feudal injustice.… Read the rest

Pope Could Be Even More Reactionary *

Nov 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Lucky us then.… Read the rest

It Gets in Everywhere

Nov 13th, 2005 11:01 pm | By

It’s funny about this piece by Ziauddin Sardar – it gave me quite a turn when I read it a few days ago, because I’ve been writing an article that talks about exactly, but exactly, an issue he discusses. It’s a rather important one, too, and one in need of as much clarity of thought as possible. Getting it wrong causes suffering all over the place.

The bearded and elegantly attired supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the fundamentalist Muslim group, like to emphasise the non-violent nature of their party. As a recent press release put it, they “have never resorted to armed struggle or violence”. This is correct as far as it goes. While HT has openly engaged in the

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Nov 13th, 2005 7:56 pm | By

A couple of amusing items sent by readers – by readers who are the creators of said amusing items.

John Emerson has a little rumination on Freud – possibly scurrilous, he says, but surely that’s a good thing.

Read Civilization and its Discontents lately? Remember the part about men peeing on fires to put them out? And why women like to weave? (Hint: it has to do with pubic hairs. Funny old women.)

So John pondered.

I imagined a band of cave men gathered around a fire like the one I saw, incontinently and ecstatically squirting their tiny streams of urine in the futile effort to extinguish the raging fire, while at the same time their resentful, feminist wives tried

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French Intellectuals Speak Up at Last *

Nov 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Andre Glucksmann and Bernard-Henri Levy say a few words.… Read the rest

Olivier Roy: Fundamentalists Conspicuously Absent *

Nov 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Contrary to the calls of many liberals, increased emphasis on multiculturalism is not the answer.… Read the rest

A C Grayling on Libertines and Free Thought *

Nov 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Atheists were libertines, libertines were naughty, because atheists were naughty.… Read the rest

Epistemology Quiz *

Nov 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Undiscovered ants in the Amazon…… Read the rest

Nick Cohen Says Food is a Class Issue *

Nov 13th, 2005 | Filed by

A healthy eater would brand herself as a toff and be picked on for being ‘too healthy’ and ‘too brainy’.… Read the rest

Warning of Epidemic of School Bullying in UK *

Nov 13th, 2005 | Filed by

‘Children are being brought up in a society where violence is the norm in many ways.’… Read the rest

Victimising Professor Mubarak Ali *

Nov 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Ishtiaq Ahmed on a distinguished historian of Pakistan faced with absurd accusations.… Read the rest

The Interview

Nov 11th, 2005 7:17 pm | By

I like this, so I thought I’d share. There’s this job interview for a prospective philosophy teacher, see…

Other candidates should create distractions. One man illustrated proper logic with this syllogism:

All men are mortal.

Socrates is mortal.

Therefore, Socrates is a man.

I raised my hand. “Birds are mortal too, aren’t they?” I asked, hoping he would correct his error.

“Yes,” our teacher agreed.

“So Socrates could be a bird?”

He smiled benignly. “No. Socrates doesn’t have feathers.”

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Legal Action Against God, Resident in Heaven *

Nov 11th, 2005 | Filed by

‘God even claimed and received from me various goods and prayers in exchange for forgiveness.’ Cheater.… Read the rest

Debate on ‘Faith’ Schools *

Nov 11th, 2005 | Filed by

British Humanist Association education officer debates Bishop of Guildford.… Read the rest

Footballer Claims Vote Fraud in Liberia *

Nov 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Observers have declared the vote peaceful and transparent.… Read the rest

The Badness of Two Books on Prayer *

Nov 11th, 2005 | Filed by

People who pray the hardest – for martyrdom, purity, the defeat of the infidel – pose the greatest threat.… Read the rest

Interviewing Philosophy Teachers Can Be Tricky *

Nov 11th, 2005 | Filed by

He drew Plato’s cave on the board, complete with men, sun, shadows, and perhaps mice and lollipops.… Read the rest