All entries by this author

Memory is a Minefield *

Jul 28th, 2003 | Filed by

Especially if your research casts doubt on the validity of memories of alien abductions.… Read the rest

Mainstreams and Ghettoes *

Jul 28th, 2003 | Filed by

Julian Baggini on the differences between US and UK philosophy.… Read the rest


Jul 27th, 2003 6:15 pm | By

We’re back, after an unpleasant little interlude caused by a hardware problem on the server. We’ve been toiling and slaving here to get everything back, and since one of us (and it’s not Jeremy) is not very computer literate, some areas look a bit odd. Not to worry, we’re getting to it.

Sunday update. JS points out that the server may go blooey again, also that pages will sometimes be slow to load. But also also, that we are changing servers entirely soon (that is to say, he is – I might as well stand around and wave a magic wand for all the use I am) and that will solve all the problems, but it could also mean another … Read the rest

Levy’s Sartre Book Not a Huge Hit *

Jul 27th, 2003 | Filed by

‘…this unbelievably stupid, ill-written, completely disorganised and monstrously rambling tome.’… Read the rest

Habermas and Derrida Interviewed *

Jul 27th, 2003 | Filed by

Two philosophers talk about terrorism.… Read the rest

We’re Back *

Jul 26th, 2003 | Filed by

Mystifying disappearance of B and W at an end. We hope.… Read the rest

There is Something Wrong With Humanism

Jul 24th, 2003 | By Jeremy Stangroom

It’s not easy to write critically about humanism from a secular perspective.
The problem has to do with the fluid nature of the concept "humanism".
It has no single, precise meaning and there is little agreement about its constituent
elements. As a result, to criticise humanism is to run the risk of being accused
of a "straw-man" fallacy; that is, the fallacy of misrepresenting
a position or argument in order to make it easier to criticise. It is easy to
see how this might happen. Humanism isn’t any one particular thing. If
a good argument can be made against any one of the things, amongst others,
that it might be, then likely you’ll find that everyone disavows that
particular … Read the rest

Sinbad the Bland *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

US academic says new Sinbad movie enforces status quo stereotypes.… Read the rest

Arguing from the Wallet *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

An entertainment executive’s political ‘analysis’ is both incoherent and self-interested.… Read the rest

Vicious Association of Education with Class *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

‘British schools have done precious little education but they have done an awful lot of socialisation.’… Read the rest

The Idiots Will Take it From Here *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

‘The West Wing’ is less about ideology than it is about the role of intelligence in politics.… Read the rest

Which is Dominant?

Jul 23rd, 2003 2:06 am | By

Well, I’ve had some correspondence about the Science and Religion In Focus, which I suppose is not surprising. I thought I might as well discuss the issue a little more here, so that people can comment directly. To quote from Bill’s letter on the Letters page:

And aren’t these quotations reflective of a climate of opinion that is dominant in many quarters, notably (in my experience)in American academia? So dominant, in fact, that the viewpoint you deem right is pretty much taken for granted, hardly needing to be articulated–which condition you may be confusing with polite silence. In other areas, of course, including American electoral politics, the situation is rather different.

Well, maybe. It depends what you mean by ‘many … Read the rest

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Class, poverty, consumerism, fast food, ‘ironic’ advertising, exercise just a little – it all adds up.… Read the rest

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Class, poverty, consumerism, fast food, ‘ironic’ advertising, exercise just a little – it all adds up.… Read the rest

Hello? Remember Africa? *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Why is the left so indifferent to what’s happening in the Congo and Liberia?… Read the rest

Habermas and Derrida Have a Plan *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Can emotional European patriotism be created? If so, can a rationalist and a deconstructionist do the job?… Read the rest

If it Contradicts Bush, It Isn’t True *

Jul 21st, 2003 | Filed by

The Right is also capable (to say the least) of judging truth claims via ideology instead of vice versa.… Read the rest

What Are Long-term Impacts of No GM Foods? *

Jul 21st, 2003 | Filed by

‘We cannot know everything’ but there are risks in not using GM crops too.… Read the rest

‘The Last Taboo’

Jul 20th, 2003 8:01 pm | By

As long as we’re talking about religion and science, the futility or non-futility of scientists, atheists, rationalists, skeptics, and secularists arguing with believers, whether or not people can change their minds, what kind of influence religion has in the public realm, and related matters, we might as well add this famous New Republic article by Wendy Kaminer to the mix.

Obviously, people carry their faith in God, Satan, crystals or UFOs into town meetings, community organizations and voting booths. Obviously, a core belief in the supernatural is not severable from beliefs about the natural world and the social order. It is the inevitable effect of religion on public policy that makes it a matter of public concern. Advocates of

Read the rest

Conflict of Interest? Surely Not!

Jul 20th, 2003 7:16 pm | By

Well I feel vindicated. I read an article in The American Prospect a couple of weeks ago that I thought made some staggeringly stupid remarks based on some even more staggeringly stupid assumptions. I almost wrote a Note and Comment about it, but then got too busy with other subjects and so let it slide. But now there is a review in The Washington Post of a book by the same author, pointing out some of the flaws I noticed and some others besides – in particular, the fact (which the Prospect did not make clear enough) that Danny Goldberg is an entertainment industry executive, so his enthusiasm for popular culture has considerable financial interest behind it. There I was … Read the rest