Iranian women’s rights activists in Iran and abroad are celebrating.… Read the rest
All entries by this author
‘No One Got Sick or Died from a Vaccine-Preventable Disease Today’ is not a very exciting story.… Read the rest
The anti-vaccination movement, based on bad science and fear-mongering, is more vocal and hostile. … Read the rest
The problem is not ignorance but being pleased about it.… Read the rest
An ID card stating no religion is not an option.… Read the rest
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
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
On two of the images, Muhammad’s face is veiled; on two others, his face is shown. A face, anyway.… Read the rest
Some 300 girls aged 13-16 have disappeared off the school registers in Bedford alone. … Read the rest
Isocrates practiced the philosophical study of ethics without the dogmatism of Plato’s Socrates.… Read the rest
Mark O’Connell recommends philosophy blogs: Talking Philosophy, Virtual Philosopher, Stephen Law.… Read the rest
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
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
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
Memo makes it clear that the library cannot distinguish between freedom and active promotion.… Read the rest
Before Librarian’s letter, Felton’s invitation was more or less an honest mistake. Now it’s about ‘intellectual freedom.’… Read the rest
More from Terry Glavin on Greg Felton and free speech.… Read the rest
The Vancouver Public Library seems to have confused free speech with providing a platform.… Read the rest
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