All entries by this author

Nature as Book Metaphor Has its Dangers *

Jan 11th, 2007 | Filed by

The image suggests that the ‘text’ of the book of nature has a divine origin.… Read the rest

Historian Roughed Up, Jailed for Jaywalking *

Jan 11th, 2007 | Filed by

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto tried to cross street in middle of block. The horror!… Read the rest

Oh Good, Another Identity Community *

Jan 11th, 2007 | Filed by

Deaf is the new ethnic.… Read the rest

BBC Fella Says Truth Matters *

Jan 11th, 2007 | Filed by

Says Jeremy deals with various challenges to truth in the interview. A likely story.… Read the rest

Let’s play identity

Jan 10th, 2007 6:30 pm | By

Uh oh.

[I]t might be useful to examine what deaf identity might be and how that identity fits in with current notions of other identities based on race, gender, sexual orientation…[T]he status of deaf people has changed in important ways, as deaf activists and scholars have reshaped the idea of deafness, using the civil-rights movement as a model for the struggle to form a deaf identity. Deaf people came to be seen not just as hearing-impaired, but as a linguistic minority, isolated from the dominant culture because that culture didn’t recognize or use ASL…Harlan Lane, a professor of psychology and linguistics…drew on the ideas of Edward Said and Michel Foucault to suggest that the deaf were like a colonized

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Elizabeth Fox-Genovese 1941-2007 *

Jan 10th, 2007 | Filed by

She ascribed her political transformation in part to her growing embrace of religion. … Read the rest

Paul Boghossian’s Fear of Knowledge Reviewed *

Jan 10th, 2007 | Filed by

Fine job of assessing the sort of relativism/constructivism advocated by Rorty and fans.… Read the rest

Innocent People Fear Fanatical Lesbian Wings *

Jan 10th, 2007 | Filed by

Peers crushed attempts to block new gay rights laws despite fears of ‘a charter for suing Christians.’… Read the rest

Howard Gardner’s reading of Freud: A case of wilful ignorance?

Jan 10th, 2007 | By Allen Esterson

In the Washington Post of 7 January 2006 is a review by Howard Gardner of Peter D. Kramer’s book Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind. One sentence in particular of Gardner’s is worth closer examination:

No reader of Kramer alone would appreciate the extent to which Freud airs doubts, responds to criticisms, admits his changes of mind and presents extensive transcripts that readers can judge for themselves.

Now Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds positions as adjunct professor of psychology at Harvard University, and adjunct professor of neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine and Sciences. So how come … Read the rest

Wit and its relation to the master

Jan 9th, 2007 12:41 pm | By

Allen was inspired (by a passing joke of mine) to send me a line of Frank Cioffi‘s, from his review of Sulloway’s Freud: Biologist of the Mind (1979):

Material has been accumulating for some time that the account of the birth
and early growth of the psychoanalytic movement which derives from Freud
and Ernest Jones, and has been so often repeated, bears little relation to
reality. In an ideal world this would have knocked several more nails in
Freud’s coffin, but since it is so widely believed that he is not in it,
having climbed out on the third day, it has had little discernable effect.

I liked that so much he sent another, this one from a review … Read the rest

The bad ideas file

Jan 9th, 2007 12:09 pm | By

Excellent stuff (as usual) from Fred Halliday. The world’s twelve worst ideas.

Number nine: We live in a “post-feminist” epoch. The implication of this claim, supposedly analogous to such terms as “post-industrial”, is that we have no more need for feminism, in politics, law, everyday life, because the major goals of that movement, articulated in the 1970s and 1980s, have been achieved. On all counts, this is a false claim: the “post-feminist” label serves not to register achievement of reforming goals, but the delegitimation of those goals themselves.

Really. The idea that feminism has nothing left to do – what a joke. Tell that to women in India, or Pakistan, or Niger, just for a start.

Number seven:

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Right to Discriminate Not Upheld *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

Some religious groups have said the laws will force them to promote gay sex.… Read the rest

Challenge to Gay Rights Law Fails 3 to 1 *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

Call to annul the regulations was defeated by 199 votes to 68.… Read the rest

Polly Toynbee on Interfaith Homophobia *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

Good reasons why the state should step back from infatuation with faith provision of social services.… Read the rest

Graffiti of the Wandjina not Allowed *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

Depicting the Wandjina without permission would traditionally have resulted in spearing.… Read the rest

ID is a Science *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

And ‘Darwinism’ is a religion.… Read the rest

Religions Unite in Opposing Gay Rights *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

And citing own ‘right’ to discriminate in provision of goods and services.… Read the rest

Fred Halliday on the World’s Twelve Worst Ideas *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

‘Post’-feminism, anti-secularism, no need for condoms, force is all ‘they’ understand.… Read the rest

Pat Robertson the Mad Mullah *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

Says god told him there would be mass killing in US late in 2007. God told me Pat’s a chump.… Read the rest

Archbishop gets Dewy-eyed Over Nazi Era *

Jan 9th, 2007 | Filed by

‘We had everything we wanted,’ says Jan Sokol mistily.… Read the rest