All entries by this author

The Intense

Mar 10th, 2005 7:51 pm | By

We’ve been talking about passion, commitment, feeling, grievance, sincerity – about the whole idea that intensity of feeling is some sort of index of validity. Eve Garrard put it clearly: ‘do you think that one possible reason why Eagleton and (many) others are so impressed by the passion and commitment of suicide bombers, and think it must be in the service of justice and freedom, is some deep underlying moral subjectivism, ie the belief that moral claims just are validated by the sincerity and passion with which they’re held?’ I do think that, along with thinking that most people who hold that belief don’t hold it with full awareness. That it’s perhaps not so much a belief (properly so called) … Read the rest

Horowitz’s Undocumented Story Has Legs *

Mar 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Searchers have failed to find corroborating evidence, but story appears in newspapers.… Read the rest

Lars Svendsen’s A Philosophy of Boredom *

Mar 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Is boredom psychological or the result of boring shops and boring governments?… Read the rest

The End of History? *

Mar 10th, 2005 | Filed by

The notion is the last of the utopian projects.… Read the rest

A Daily Reading List – With Attitude *

Mar 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Arts and Letters Daily approaches its hundredth million.… Read the rest

Review of Bernard Williams on Truth *

Mar 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Williams effectively explains the virtues of truth telling to a non-specialist audience.… Read the rest

Oliver Sacks on Francis Crick *

Mar 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Crick’s mind was always moving forward.… Read the rest

How Not to Explain Suicide Bombing *

Mar 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Eve Garrard teases apart some familiar non-explanations.… Read the rest

An Interview with Rebecca Goldstein

Mar 9th, 2005 | By Ophelia Benson

Rebecca Goldstein has a new book out: Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel.

Readers at Science Daily call Incompleteness
’Outstanding’ and ‘Superb’.

Butterflies and Wheels: Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont call chapter 11 of their book Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science: ‘Gödel’s Theorem and Set Theory: Some Examples of Abuse.’ They give a quotation from Régis Debray as an epigraph: ‘Ever since Gödel showed that there does not exist a proof of the consistency of Peano’s arithmetic that is formalizable within this theory (1931), political scientists had the means for understanding why it was necessary to mummify Lenin…’ The chapter’s first sentence starts, ‘Gödel’s theorem is an inexhaustible source of intellectual abuses…’

Sokal … Read the rest

Unfinished Biz

Mar 9th, 2005 12:14 am | By

A little unfinished business. I meant to add something to that N&C about Terry Eagleton’s comment last month – and then I forgot. Now I’ve remembered again.

Like hunger strikers, suicide bombers are not necessarily in love with death. They kill themselves because they can see no other way of attaining justice; and the fact that they have to do so is part of the injustice…People like Rosa Luxemburg or Steve Biko give up what they see as precious (their lives) for an even more valuable cause. They die not because they see death as desirable in itself, but in the name of a more abundant life all round. Suicide bombers also die in the name of a better life

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Amnesty, Oxfam Report on Guns’ Impact on Women *

Mar 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Women are particularly at risk of certain crimes such as family violence and rape. … Read the rest

Women Challenge Traditional Status as Minors *

Mar 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Young woman in Swaziland gang-raped by bus conductors while spectators cheered. … Read the rest

Human Trafficking in South Africa *

Mar 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Molo Songololo and other NGOs work to stop the flesh trade in women and children.… Read the rest

No Going Back *

Mar 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Fight for women’s equality that began 30 years ago will continue, and faster.… Read the rest

Protests on Global Women’s Day *

Mar 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Mukhtar Mai led march in Pakistan, men in Bangladesh joined women protesting acid attacks.… Read the rest

Christopher Hitchens on Tom Paine *

Mar 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Wanted American Revolution to be more radical, French to be less ideological, rigid, bloodthirsty.… Read the rest

In the Head or On the Head

Mar 8th, 2005 12:00 am | By

Harry at Harry’s Place on the Shabina Begum case.

Those who blame the judge for not making a political decision or who attack the Human Rights legislation for this ruling miss the point. It is clearly Britain’s lack of secularity, the absence of a written constitution and the religious character of our schools that have allowed such a verdict by creating the conditions in which it has been taken. But as long as we are allowing religions or beliefs to be displayed in schools then it is simply unjustified to discriminate. Those of us who would prefer schools to be free of such religious battles and identity conflicts, need to be aware that we are fighting a losing battle unless

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Oh Yeah?

Mar 7th, 2005 11:12 pm | By

Hmm. A little jest. Well, two can play at that game…

1. Then look up aluminium. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it…You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh is pronounced ‘burra’ e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you can’t cope with correct pronunciation.

16. Last but not the least, and for heaven’s sake…’s Nuclear as in clear NOT Nucular.

Yes. But then again…(see me get myself in trouble) –

It’s also tune, not chewn and not chyewwn. It’s news, not nyewws. It’s duke, not jyewk or jyewwk. If you want to pronounce them chyewwn, nyewws, and jyewwk, then you ought to spell them … Read the rest

Mona Eltahawy on Shabina Begum Case *

Mar 7th, 2005 | Filed by

Instead of standing up to growing conservatism among some Muslims, many liberals simply give in.… Read the rest

Azam Kamguian on a ‘Piece of Clothing’ *

Mar 7th, 2005 | Filed by

Do young girls really choose to wear the hijab? … Read the rest