All entries by this author

George Felis Invites Atheists to Come Out *

Mar 16th, 2007 | Filed by

Invisibility has its benefits, perhaps, but the costs are far greater.… Read the rest

David Thompson on Fallibility and Open Discussion *

Mar 15th, 2007 | Filed by

As if the solution to stupidity is to inhibit public discourse.… Read the rest

Three Women’s Rights Defenders Still Locked Up *

Mar 15th, 2007 | Filed by

Shadi Sadr, Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh, and Jila Baniyaghoub are still in ward 209 of Evin Prison.… Read the rest

University of Leeds Denies Censorship Charge *

Mar 15th, 2007 | Filed by

University said it cancelled a lecture on ‘Islamic anti-semitism’ on security grounds.… Read the rest

Secularization is Linked to Safety and Prosperity *

Mar 15th, 2007 | Filed by

Growing up in societies in which survival is uncertain is conducive to a strong emphasis on religion.… Read the rest

Goldhagen on the Humiliation Myth *

Mar 15th, 2007 | Filed by

Why does humiliation lead to such disproportional will to violence and slaughter?… Read the rest

Eternal recurrence

Mar 15th, 2007 11:25 am | By

Ah, look, an old friend returns. At that post of Stephen Law’s on Anselm’s proof we talked about the other day. Old friend returns in characteristic form – posting thirty or forty thousand words in each comment, talking about hermeneutics and Gadamer and Hermamer and gadaneutics until the wallpaper starts to peel spontaneously off the walls in very sympathy. He’s also got some new tricks though – mentioning ‘G_d’ a lot, overusing scare quotes or irony quotes beyond all reason, lots of quiet boasting. I wonder if you’ve guessed which friend I mean yet – I wonder if your memories are keen this morning. He used to deposit his book-length comments here often, often; he did it for … Read the rest

If the source is polluted

Mar 14th, 2007 2:49 pm | By

Anthony Grayling on sin and pollution – always very interesting ideas.

Much of the traditional idea of sin persists in our contemporary attitudes to moral failure. We somehow export the idea of a stain, an enduring flaw of character, to the case of people who do not live up to ideals, especially those they themselves proclaim…[I]n a sin culture even the suspicion of hypocrisy in the messenger is enough to harm the message: if the source of the claim is polluted, the claim itself must be questionable…Throughout history earnest moralisers have stood in the way of the good by accepting nothing less than the utmost. Human beings are a mixed alloy: the same person is capable of being good and

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Money for old rope

Mar 14th, 2007 2:35 pm | By

Ah, the Templeton prize. What a treat.

A Canadian philosopher who believes that spirituality is an essential part of the study of philosophy and the social sciences has won the $1.5 million Templeton Prize for advancement and research of spiritual matters.

Okay; first pressing question; what does that mean? What is spirituality? Depending on how it’s defined, either, of course it’s an essential part of the study of philosophy and the social sciences, or what on earth does he mean it’s an essential part of the study of philosophy and the social sciences?

Professor Taylor has written extensively on the sense of self and how it is defined by morals and what one considers good. People operate in the

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Philosopher Charles Taylor Wins Templeton Prize *

Mar 14th, 2007 | Filed by

‘The deafness of many philosophers, social scientists and historians to the spiritual dimension can be remarkable.’… Read the rest

Does This Child ‘Act Smart’? *

Mar 14th, 2007 | Filed by

Yes? Horrors! Give it Ritalin!… Read the rest

Scott McLemee on Baudrillard *

Mar 14th, 2007 | Filed by

Everyone agrees he was a major postmodernist thinker, without defining that.… Read the rest

Beaten but Unbowed Tsvangirai Urges Defiance *

Mar 14th, 2007 | Filed by

Says the beating he received at the hands of police should be an ‘inspiration’ for the struggle.… Read the rest

Normblog Writer’s Choice *

Mar 13th, 2007 | Filed by

Nerd on Jane Austen’s Emma.… Read the rest

Academics Typically Engage in Coterie Writing *

Mar 13th, 2007 | Filed by

‘It is neither necessary nor desirable to dumb our projects down when writing for a general audience.’… Read the rest

‘Creation Museum’ is Growing *

Mar 12th, 2007 | Filed by

Museum depicts literal reading of Genesis, which describes how God created the world in six days.… Read the rest

Islamist Groups Strong at Universities *

Mar 12th, 2007 | Filed by

Anthony Glees says up to 48 British universities have been infiltrated by fundamentalists.… Read the rest

Maybe the Physicists Have it Backwards *

Mar 12th, 2007 | Filed by

Maybe the world is the product of one aspect of biology, the mind, and not the other way around.… Read the rest

A C Grayling on Falling Short of Perfection *

Mar 12th, 2007 | Filed by

In a sin culture even the suspicion of hypocrisy in the messenger is enough to harm the message.… Read the rest

M F Burnyeat on Pythagoras *

Mar 12th, 2007 | Filed by

The more arbitrary the discipline, the more it works to reinforce belief in the cause. … Read the rest