All entries by this author

Why Rashomon and not Inorganic Chemistry? *

Nov 25th, 2004 | Filed by

Why does cultural literacy mean literature and music but not science?… Read the rest

Law Schools With Religious View of the Law *

Nov 25th, 2004 | Filed by

Article foolishly conflates rationalism with leftism.… Read the rest

Casino Buys Miracle Ancient Sandwich *

Nov 25th, 2004 | Filed by

10 year-old grilled cheese sandwich resembling virgin Mary sold on Ebay for $28,000.… Read the rest

US Congress Approves Anti-abortion Clause *

Nov 25th, 2004 | Filed by

New clause in spending bill undermines state laws requiring hospitals to provide abortions.… Read the rest

Charles Tries to Take it Back *

Nov 25th, 2004 | Filed by

Some say he ought to keep quiet.… Read the rest

Hey, No Problem! *

Nov 24th, 2004 | Filed by

Islamist terrorism is driven by an idea, not by an organisation, so it’s not scary. Huh?… Read the rest

A Philistine Rant About Philistinism *

Nov 24th, 2004 | Filed by

Carlin Romano on a dumbed-down complaint at dumbing-down.… Read the rest

Faulkner Avoided Universities *

Nov 24th, 2004 | Filed by

Autodidact novelist shunned academics but became academic subject.… Read the rest


Nov 23rd, 2004 10:18 pm | By

By way of contrast, here is Richard Chappel at Philosophy Etcetera actually thinking about the subject instead of just issuing dictats. Makes a change. He takes empirical evidence into account, linking to the New Scientist, and he looks at some feeble arguments. It’s good stuff. He also takes on a rather unpleasant analogy of Keith Burgess-Jackson’s. I was especially interested in that because a couple of readers have recommended KB-J to me, thinking that he and B&W have a lot in common. But I don’t think so. I haven’t bothered reading him much, but that’s because what I did read struck me as pure boilerplate. Uninspired, familiar, and peevish. The post Richard discusses is (in my view) somewhat worse than … Read the rest

Jeremy Bentham and Marvin Olasky

Nov 23rd, 2004 9:52 pm | By

Some more thought for the day. Because some days need more than one thought. And because Bentham is out of copyright, and because this is funny stuff. I haven’t been used to think of Bentham as a funny guy, but that just shows how much I know.

In looking over the catalogue of human actions (says a partizan of this principle) in order to determine which of them are to be marked with the seal of disapprobation, you need but to take counsel of your own feelings: whatever you find in yourself a propensity to condemn, is wrong for that very reason…In that same proportion also is it meet for punishment: if you hate much, punish much: if you hate

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J S Mill

Nov 23rd, 2004 7:46 pm | By

Thought for the day. From John Stuart Mill’s ‘Whewell on Moral Philosophy’:

The person who has to think more of what an opinion leads to, than of what is the evidence of it, cannot be a philosopher, or a teacher of philosophers. Of what value is the opinion on any subject, of a man of whom everyone knows that by his profession he must hold that opinion?…Whoever thinks that persons thus tied are fitting depositaries of the trust of educating a people, must think that the proper object of intellectual education is not to strengthen and cultivate the intellect, but to make sure of its adopting certain conclusions: that, in short, in the exercise of the thinking faculty, there is

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Studies on Politcal Affiliation in US Universities *

Nov 23rd, 2004 | Filed by

Dems outnumber Reps 9 to 1 at Stanford & Berkeley even in professional schools.… Read the rest

Life on Planet Charles *

Nov 23rd, 2004 | Filed by

Lecturing cancer doctors on Gerson therapy, struggling to live on £11.9m, scolding uppity proles.… Read the rest

‘Biblical Values’ Guy Interviews Peter Singer *

Nov 23rd, 2004 | Filed by

Ew, ick, gross, sex with corpses, how wicked.… Read the rest

20,000 Against Violence in the Name of Islam *

Nov 23rd, 2004 | Filed by

They carried banners proclaiming ‘we are against terror in all its forms.’ … Read the rest

The Pre-Established Harmony – Not

Nov 23rd, 2004 | By H. E. Baber

The New York Times: Living for Today, Locked in a Paralyzed Body

When Attorney General John Ashcroft attacked an Oregon law allowing doctor-assisted suicide in 2001 – a case that is still working its ways through the legal system – patients with the disease were among those who supported the law in court. But while the legal case and much of the national attention has focused on the issue of the right to die, less is known about those patients who want to live, and, like Dr. Lodish, will go to extraordinary lengths to do so.

Debates between Liberals and Conservatives on some “lifestyle” issues are usually represented as disputes between those who believe that people should get what they … Read the rest

Dear Adelaide

Nov 23rd, 2004 1:53 am | By

Aw, that’s nice. A reader alerted me to this blog post which is a favourable review of the dictionary. And it’s by someone I don’t even know, too. Someone in Adelaide. He likes that article by Andrew Weeks on Gibson and God, as well. Good guy, this Adelaide fella. If I’m ever in Adelaide I’ll look him up, see if he’d like to show me around, buy me dinner, laugh at my jokes.… Read the rest

Another Embattled Minority Heard From

Nov 22nd, 2004 9:10 pm | By

Peter Beinart in The New Republic points out that conservatives, long in the habit of sniggering at political correctness and group whining, have found a disrespected minority of their very own: evangelicals. Yeah they have, haven’t they.

Mind you, in the usual obligatory ritual, Beinart hands a little ground back, which he shouldn’t have.

To be fair, occasionally liberals do treat evangelical Christians with condescension and scorn. Conservatives frequently, and justifiably, expressed outrage at a Washington Post news story that called followers of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.”…On November 4, in The New York Times, Garry Wills suggested that America now resembles the theocracies of the Muslim world more than it resembles Western

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Honour Killings *

Nov 22nd, 2004 | Filed by

The Met is reviewing 117 murder cases from the last decade.… Read the rest

Raymond Gaita Defends Liberal Education *

Nov 22nd, 2004 | Filed by

Nicholas Negroponte suggests ‘Get over it.’… Read the rest