All entries by this author

Education for its Own Sake or for a Job? *

Aug 11th, 2004 | Filed by

Gradgrind, Clarke; golf course management or utterly purposeless history study.… Read the rest

Cloning of Human Embryos Given Go Ahead *

Aug 11th, 2004 | Filed by

Just wait for the complaints of religious maniacs…… Read the rest

Style – Communication or Self-expression? *

Aug 10th, 2004 | Filed by

Truth-telling, therapy, sharing? Facts, beauty?… Read the rest

Reply to Holland

Aug 10th, 2004 | By Frederick Crews

Is psychoanalysis a science? The Spring/Summer 2005 issue of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine (vol. 9, no. 1) will contain a debate on the scientific merits of psychoanalysis. The exchange will include a 2000-word summary by the literary critic Norman N. Holland of his essay “Psychoanalysis as Science”; a 1000-word critique by Frederick Crews; a reply from Holland to that critique; and a commentary on both submissions by the psychiatrist Peter Barglow. Holland’s full essay can already be found on the Web here. In anticipation of the SRAM publication, concerned readers may be interested in an early view both of Holland’s summary version and of Crews’s response to the longer piece. The editor of SRAM has granted permission Read the rest

Open the Door

Aug 9th, 2004 10:16 pm | By

Thought for the day. It’s from Meera Nanda’s Prophets Facing Backward again. I may even have quoted this particular passage before – but if I don’t remember, you won’t either, and nobody ever reads old N&Cs, so it doesn’t matter. And anyway this is worth quoting often. It’s from the Preface, page xii.

Having grown up in a provincial town in Northern India, I considered my education in science a source of personal enlightenment. Natural science, especially molecular biology, had given me a whole different perspective on the underlying cosmology of the religious and cultural traditions I was raised in. Science gave me good reasons to say a principled ‘No!’ to many of my inherited beliefs about God, nature, women,

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Paranoia at Historians’ Convention *

Aug 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Does Keith Windschuttle have an agenda or is he merely pointing out mistakes?… Read the rest

Is Al-Jazeera Biased? More Than Others? *

Aug 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Is an Arab-language satellite news network funded by US Congress ‘the free one’?… Read the rest

Phallocentric Theorizing When It’s at Home *

Aug 9th, 2004 | Filed by

‘Acephalic Litter as a Phallic Letter’ – and that’s not a parody!… Read the rest

Come Back to the Raft Ag’in, Martin Honey *

Aug 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Two guys, a long river trip, Heidegger: now playing at your local cinema.… Read the rest

Psychoanalysis as Science

Aug 9th, 2004 | By Norman N. Holland


Current objections to psychoanalysis as untestable and unscientific ignore two facts. First, a large body of experimental evidence has tested psychoanlaytic ideas, confirming some and not others. Second, psychoanalysis itself, while it does not usually use experimentation, does use holistic method. This is a procedure in wide use in the social sciences and even in the “hard” sciences.

Psychoanalysis as Science

My essay, “Psychoanalysis as Science” [1] makes two points. One, although ignored in the “Freud wars,” experimenters have in fact generated much empirical evidence for the validity of at least some of psychoanalysis’ theory of mind. The oft-repeated mantra, “There is not a shred of scientific evidence for psychoanalysis,” is simply false. Two, part of the devaluing of … Read the rest

Name the Pseuds Contest

Aug 9th, 2004 2:08 am | By

I’m laughing maniacally again – and it’s Norm who’s made me laugh again. With his entry for the name the pseuds contest. Prof Ursula LeTofu Thinberry and Dr Doug D. Void. Yep, I like those very much.

There is also José’s entry: ‘Judith Lucelia Etchegaray’ and ‘Jacques Alain Babha-De Ritta’. I like those very much too. The competition for that copy of Of Grammatology is going to be fierce. Except from my colleague, of course; his silly suggestion I just pass over in silence.

Norm also made me laugh with his deeply profound ruminations on the meaning of the ‘cartoon’ and what its referent really really is.

I was wondering whether one might deconstruct the notion that the cartoon represents

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Beyond a Reasonable Certainty

Aug 9th, 2004 1:52 am | By

This story is interesting in more than one way.

Prof Southall accused Stephen Clark, a solicitor, of smothering his two babies on the basis of a 50-minute Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on the case…The paediatrician said Mr Clark was a double murderer “beyond reasonable doubt”, although he had not read any of the papers in the case, spoken to the parents or seen post mortem reports.

Beyond reasonable doubt – because he watched Clark on TV. Hmm.

Prof Southall refused to apologise and repeated the allegation during the disciplinary hearing. Denis McDevitt, the chairman of the GMC panel, said he was “extremely concerned” by Prof Southall’s actions. “Your view was a theory, which was, however, not presented as a theory

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Prozac in the Water *

Aug 8th, 2004 | Filed by

But it’s heavily diluted, so just think of it as homeopathy.… Read the rest

Oh So That’s Why Everyone is so Perky *

Aug 8th, 2004 | Filed by

There are traces of Prozac in UK drinking water. Some worry, others don’t.… Read the rest

Munchausen’s by Proxy That Wasn’t *

Aug 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Doctor banned from child protection cases for three years.… Read the rest

A Guess is not Beyond Reasonable Doubt *

Aug 8th, 2004 | Filed by

‘Your view was a theory which was not presented as a theory but as a near certainty.’… Read the rest

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? *

Aug 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Doctor accuses man of killing his own children on the basis of TV documentary.… Read the rest


Aug 8th, 2004 3:43 am | By

Well I just thought I would link to this, simply because it made me laugh a lot. Yes it is, that’s a perfectly good reason.

The situation Norm complains of – having to buy three kinds of cat food, two of which his cat doesn’t like and won’t eat, because the kind she does like suddenly comes in a variety pack with two others instead of on its own – is a classic, a pure, a definitional example of what Kingsley Amis so rightly called sod the public. There’s a lot of it in the UK. I’ve always noticed that. There’s too much obsequiousness and groveling for the customer over here, perhaps (except of course when there isn’t), but … Read the rest

Idleness is Good *

Aug 7th, 2004 | Filed by

People who work too hard don’t think. So there.… Read the rest

European Secularism is the Enemy *

Aug 7th, 2004 | Filed by

‘We are a menace to Al Qaeda just because of who we are.’… Read the rest