All entries by this author

Parvin Ardalan Wins Olof Palme Prize *

Feb 20th, 2008 | Filed by

Iranian women’s rights activists in Iran and abroad are celebrating.… Read the rest

Picture Life Without Vaccines *

Feb 19th, 2008 | Filed by

‘No One Got Sick or Died from a Vaccine-Preventable Disease Today’ is not a very exciting story.… Read the rest

Vaccines and Autism: Myths and Misconceptions *

Feb 19th, 2008 | Filed by

The anti-vaccination movement, based on bad science and fear-mongering, is more vocal and hostile. … Read the rest

Susan Jacoby on Anti-intellectualism *

Feb 19th, 2008 | Filed by

The problem is not ignorance but being pleased about it.… Read the rest

HRW on Egypt and Freedom of Religion *

Feb 19th, 2008 | Filed by

An ID card stating no religion is not an option.… Read the rest

BBC Notices Apostasy Problem *

Feb 19th, 2008 | Filed by

Sort of.… Read the rest

No, the chin is wrong

Feb 18th, 2008 12:00 pm | By

People never seem to notice the joke in this.

Wikipedia…is refusing to remove medieval artistic depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, despite being flooded with complaints from Muslims demanding the images be deleted. More than 180,000 worldwide have joined an online protest claiming the images, shown on European-language pages and taken from Persian and Ottoman miniatures dating from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, are offensive to Islam…On two of the images, Muhammad’s face is veiled, a practice followed in Islamic art since the 16th century. But on two others, one from 1315, which is the earliest surviving depiction of the prophet, and the other from the 15th century, his face is shown.

No it isn’t. Of course it isn’t. … Read the rest

Normblog on Tony Judt on ‘Too Much Holocaust’ *

Feb 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Judt has all these difficulties by way of honouring Hannah Arendt. It is hard to imagine a more unworthy tribute to her.… Read the rest

Wikipedia Ordered to Remove Images of Prophet *

Feb 18th, 2008 | Filed by

On two of the images, Muhammad’s face is veiled; on two others, his face is shown. A face, anyway.… Read the rest

Jasvinder Sanghera on Forced Marriage *

Feb 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Some 300 girls aged 13-16 have disappeared off the school registers in Bedford alone. … Read the rest

Carlin Romano on Socrates *

Feb 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Isocrates practiced the philosophical study of ethics without the dogmatism of Plato’s Socrates.… Read the rest

The Internet Links Philosophy With its Roots *

Feb 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Mark O’Connell recommends philosophy blogs: Talking Philosophy, Virtual Philosopher, Stephen Law.… Read the rest

Nigel Warburton Interviews James Garvey *

Feb 18th, 2008 | Filed by

Climate change presents us with a host of moral problems. Getting those in plain sight is part of the point of the book.… Read the rest

Upholding the right to intellectual freedom

Feb 17th, 2008 12:11 pm | By

The Vancouver Public Library composed a Q and A to explain its decision to invite one Greg Felton to read from his new book at the library’s Freedom to Read week.

Intellectual freedom is a core tenet of public libraries even though some subjects may be considered unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable. Upholding the right to intellectual freedom may put you in the position of appearing to support controversial views. The role of the public library, however, is to provide a forum for an open and public exchange of contradictory views and to make materials available that represent all points of view.

Well, making materials available is one thing, and providing a forum for an exchange of views is another. Is … Read the rest

The Archbishop’s Attack on Secularism *

Feb 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Sharia courts can be given full legal status only through the suspension of certain legal rights of a section of the population.… Read the rest

VPL Provides an Internal Memo *

Feb 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Memo makes it clear that the library cannot distinguish between freedom and active promotion.… Read the rest

Terry Glavin Answers the Vancouver Librarian *

Feb 17th, 2008 | Filed by

Before Librarian’s letter, Felton’s invitation was more or less an honest mistake. Now it’s about ‘intellectual freedom.’… Read the rest

The ‘Marketplace of Ideas’ is not Sufficient *

Feb 17th, 2008 | Filed by

More from Terry Glavin on Greg Felton and free speech.… Read the rest

Terry Glavin on ‘Freedom to Read Week’ *

Feb 17th, 2008 | Filed by

The Vancouver Public Library seems to have confused free speech with providing a platform.… Read the rest

Triumph of the Hedgehogs

Feb 17th, 2008 | By David Dabscheck

What characteristic do neo-conservative Norman Podhoretz, hard left-wing political magazine The Nation, conservative-without-qualifiers The National Review and liberal commentator Eric Alterman all share? Despite their bald divergences in political ideologies and opinions, they are, without exception, hedgehogs, as identified by Isaiah Berlin in his 1953 essay on Tolstoy, “The Hedgehog and the Fox.” Berlin saw in the words of the Greek poet Archilochus—“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”—the two essential perspectives from which thinkers interpret the world. Hedgehogs are those that “relate everything to a single central vision,” while foxes are wary of grand truths and embrace a diffusive, pluralistic outlook. To put it another way, Hedgehogs think centripetally around a central organizing … Read the rest