All entries by this author


Aug 30th, 2004 8:46 pm | By

Aww. I don’t know when I’ve been so, so, so almost maudlin with emotion. So nearly overcome. So tempted to soak my delicate silk and lace hanky with tears. So hungry. (Eh? Well it’s past noon, and anyway I’m pretty much always hungry.) Norm is planning to swap anecdotes with me in the great chat-fest in the sky. And he’s chuffed to learn that we’ll both be able to, according to no less an authority than the dear achbish of Canterbury. I do love those guys. So – agile in their accomodation of dreadful beliefs along with less disconcerting ones. Yes, Jesus decides these things, and yes he sorts the sheep from the goats and sends the goats (or is … Read the rest

God Moves In Mysterious Ways

Aug 30th, 2004 1:27 pm | By

I’m not one to laugh at the religiously afflicted (okay, that’s probably not true), and certainly not at people being seriously injured; and I know that this is probably terribly unsophisticated, but what’s god up to? She’s an omnipotent, omniscient being (apparently). You’d have thought she’d be able to handle a bit of grandstand seating. But it appears not. Hmmm. Which reminds me of the story of Widecombe parish church. October 21 1638, in the middle of an afternoon service, a lightning bolt lands smack bang in the middle of the church, killing or maiming half the congregation. Needless to say, the devil is the chief suspect. Isn’t it just always so…

And since I’m talking about religious … Read the rest

Cardinal Attacks Sex Lessons *

Aug 30th, 2004 | Filed by

The Catholic Church lecturing people about the sexual abuse of children. There’s an irony.… Read the rest

Muslims Can Go to Heaven, Archbishop Says *

Aug 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Christians don’t control access to heaven, although Jesus does.… Read the rest

UK Scientists Resist US Pressure on Cloning *

Aug 30th, 2004 | Filed by

UK scientists back international campaign against US efforts to ban all cloning. … Read the rest

Scientists Want Compromise on Cloning *

Aug 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Reproductive cloning should be banned, therapeutic should be permitted.… Read the rest

Top British Scientists Oppose Blanket Ban On Human Cloning *

Aug 30th, 2004 | Filed by

The Royal Society favours therapeutic human cloning.… Read the rest

A Monopoly of Virtue and Omniscience?

Aug 29th, 2004 5:34 pm | By

So it turns out my colleague is not the only person out there who finds Crooked Timber irritating. Not a bit of it. There is for instance Oliver Kamm who has just posted about his decision to unlink the Timberites. His reasons are strikingly similar to those Jerry S has alluded to in passing.

Of Kant’s observation about “the crooked timber of mankind”, Isaiah Berlin, in his book of that title, wrote:

To force people into the neat uniforms demanded by dogmatically believed-in schemes is almost always the road to inhumanity.

Recently the authors of the Crooked Timber blog have excelled not only in the neatness of their uniforms, but also in their eagerness to congratulate themselves on how they

Read the rest

Dogmatic Commitment to Instrumentalism *

Aug 29th, 2004 | Filed by

If knowledge is not an intrinsic good, then any ‘knowledge’ will do.… Read the rest

Philosophy is not Just Self-Help *

Aug 29th, 2004 | Filed by

But the promotion for Penguin’s Great Ideas series might make one think otherwise.… Read the rest

Raymond Gaita on Why Truth Matters *

Aug 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Its importance is not merely instrumental.… Read the rest

Kabbalah and ‘Spirituality for Kids’ *

Aug 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Britney Spears, David Beckham, Naomi Campbell are fans, so who can resist that?… Read the rest

Review of Stalin’s Last Crime: the Doctors’ Plot *

Aug 29th, 2004 | Filed by

A world in which what was rational and desirable was defined by the whims of one man.… Read the rest

David Lodge’s Henry James Novel *

Aug 28th, 2004 | Filed by

It’s about writing novels rather than sexual secrets.… Read the rest

Eichmann, Everyman as Genocidaire *

Aug 28th, 2004 | Filed by

It seemed the right thing to do at the time.… Read the rest

David Cesarani’s Biography of Eichmann *

Aug 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Scrupulously objective; the hatchet-job is reserved for Hannah Arendt.… Read the rest

1893–1895–1897–1899: Or How Norman N. Holland Gave Game, Set, and Match to Frederick Crews

Aug 28th, 2004 | By Robert Wilcocks

The situation of the present state of psychoanalysis and of the current reputation of Sigmund Freud is well documented and cogently (and patiently!) presented in Professor Crews’s “Reply to Holland.”(1) In my view, and in the opinion of several other Freud scholars, the continuing ability of Freudian rhetoric to deceive is even more dangerous and difficult to resolve than Crews allows.

And, alas, the kind of staged public jousting whereby Fred Crews will accept the publication for the Spring/Summer issue of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine (vol. 9, no. 1) of “a commentary on both submissions [that of Holland and the reply of Crews] by the psychiatrist Peter Barglow” seems to be `loaded’ from the start.

Barglow is a … Read the rest

Googling for Laughs

Aug 28th, 2004 2:17 am | By

I’m a kind and generous person, and I’ve just been enjoying a good laugh, so I’ll let you enjoy it too. It’s funny how I found this essay. It’s on Alan Sokal’s site, but that’s not how I found it (there are a lot of articles there, happily, and I haven’t read them all yet). No, I found it by typing Sandra Harding and – a certain unkind adjective, into google. What a lot came up! I’ll have to try it with different unkind adjectives in the future. What a pity that life is so short – I’m sure to miss some interesting stuff. Quite a lot. But I found a lot, too.

This essay is about Social TextRead the rest

More Profundity

Aug 27th, 2004 8:14 pm | By

More Harding. Why? Because there is more, that’s why. Because you don’t know the half of it. Because that previous comment barely scratched the surface. Because it just keeps getting worse. Because my jaw keeps dropping until I can barely use the damn thing to talk and eat anymore. Because this book was published by Cornell University Press. I repeat – this book was published by Cornell University Press.

And because I’m a woman, god damn it, and a feminist, and this kind of bilge is enough to discredit both categories. Feminist! She calls herself a feminist! She links what she’s doing with feminism! It’s an outrage! Well you see what I mean about the jaw. Same thing with the … Read the rest

Common Sense Good, Political Correctness Bad *

Aug 27th, 2004 | Filed by

And the difference is entirely self-evident. Right.… Read the rest