All entries by this author

Bérubé on the Place of Plebiscites in the Classroom

Jan 28th, 2006 7:43 pm | By

I want to scribble a little more on all this about religion, and is the glass half full or half full of wormwood, and what’s so wrong with ‘faith’ – though I’m not sure I need to after G’s eloquent and incisive summation. I probably will anyway though, because I like trying to scrape down to the bottom of things. Besides, the discussion is prompting some brilliant replies, so why stop now.

But that will take me awhile, and in the meantime I want to point out some great stuff in a talk on academic freedom Michael Bérubé gave on Thursday and then posted on his site.

The principle of academic freedom stipulates that “teachers are entitled to full

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Clive James Has not a Blog but a Website *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Books go out of print but websites can be archived. Writers like that.… Read the rest

Bastards Burn Down Schools in Afghanistan *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Officials blamed Taleban for burning down newly-built schools which serve 1,000 boys and girls. … Read the rest

Kofi Annan Condemns Holocaust Denial *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

UN Secretary General says world must challenge those who deny the Holocaust happened.… Read the rest

Saul Kripke: Not ‘What Am I?’ but ‘What Is I?’ *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Naming and Necessity is among the most influential philosophy books of the last 50 years.… Read the rest

Michael Bérubé on Academic Freedom *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Decisions about academic affairs should be conducted by means of peer review rather than by plebescite.… Read the rest

Undoing Roe v Wade Bit by Bit *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

No need to overturn it outright if you can just make it unavailable.… Read the rest

The How Dare You Move

Jan 27th, 2006 8:38 pm | By

I’m interested in this habit of theists and – what to call them – fellow-travelers of theists. People who aren’t theists themselves, but get all riled up at ‘materialist’ positivist etc etc etc arguments, and pitch fits about them. (Not Norm, of course! This is a different subject entirely.) The habit they have is to resort to a certain kind of moral outrage, and while doing that, to distort quite thoroughly what the posito-materialists say.

The certain kind of moral outrage in question is to say (in one way or another) ‘Are you calling me stupid?’

The thought seems to go like this (I say seems because they always leave out a lot of steps, so trying to figure out … Read the rest

In Which I Make at Least One Concession

Jan 27th, 2006 5:25 pm | By

Now to ponder Norm’s answer, or parts of it.

But I fear that she’s lost sight of what this discussion is about. It’s not about whether we accept religion, nor even about whether we give it an all-round good report, in which the positive aspects outweigh the negative ones…The issue was about seeing only the bad in religion as opposed to taking a more balanced view. To justify the former approach Ophelia needs the ‘Hegelian’, contaminating move – and I suggest that that is why you find it in her original post, even though it wasn’t her intention. For if you stick with what she intended, then all you’ve got is that for her the bad in religion is more

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Under Half of Britons Accept Evolution *

Jan 27th, 2006 | Filed by

Over 40% of those questioned think creationism or ID should be taught in science lessons. … Read the rest

Carlin Romano Reviews Cosmopolitanism *

Jan 27th, 2006 | Filed by

In Cosmopolitanism, Appiah expands the thinking of his previous book, The Ethics of Identity.… Read the rest

Do Law Schools Need Ideological Diversity? *

Jan 27th, 2006 | Filed by

Brian Leiter and Peter Schuck debate the issue.… Read the rest

Dennett on Religion *

Jan 27th, 2006 | Filed by

‘Can just any religion give lives meaning, in a way that we should honor and respect?’… Read the rest

Eastern Philosophy *

Jan 27th, 2006 | Filed by

‘What then is Indian and Chinese philosophy, and what reason is there for studying it?’… Read the rest

Women in India Told to Shut Up and Cover Up *

Jan 27th, 2006 | Filed by

Soft porn is everywhere, but women must be kept in line with fatwas, cops, death threats.… Read the rest

The What Newspaper in the World?

Jan 26th, 2006 8:21 pm | By

I want to answer Norm’s answer – but later. I have – all these things to do, and more keep coming in. Meanwhile I’ve been wanting to say a few acid words about that ridiculous Deborah Solomon interview with Daniel Dennett.

She starts the stupidity with the very first question. (And that’s the kind of thing that always makes me marvel at the way the Times [NY version] is always calmly informing us that it is the best newspaper in the world – that dopy mediocrity. Why have someone interview Dennett who will ask such silly, ill-informed questions? What is the point of it? Why not do better? Because it would be ‘elitist’ to get someone with a clue … Read the rest

Why We Should Remember Darwin the Geologist *

Jan 26th, 2006 | Filed by

Sandra Herbert examines the ways Darwin understood changes in time and space.… Read the rest

Darwin the Geologist *

Jan 26th, 2006 | Filed by

It was a geological underpinning that led to much of what was most original in his work.… Read the rest

Culturally Relative Science in Australian Schools *

Jan 26th, 2006 | Filed by

One curriculum describes Western science as ‘only one form among the sciences of the world.’… Read the rest

Review of Debating Design *

Jan 26th, 2006 | Filed by

Cambridge University Press gives Dembski and ID more academic cred than they should have.… Read the rest