All entries by this author

What Working Class? *

Feb 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

No fantasy is too extreme when one wants to build some luxury flats.… Read the rest



A Devil’s Chaplain Reviewed *

Feb 21st, 2003 | Filed by

Kenan Malik says ‘an obsessive concern with reason seems to me to be a virtue not a vice.’… Read the rest



Ringing Tone Provokes Suspicion *

Feb 21st, 2003 | Filed by

John Gray reviews Daniel Dennett’s Freedom Evolves, and says the obsession with freedom is a leftover from Christianity.… Read the rest



Passions Rule *

Feb 21st, 2003 | Filed by

Scholars in different fields are looking at emotion. (The list of books at the end of this article inexplicably omits Simon Blackburn’s Ruling Passions.)… Read the rest



Orwell Again *

Feb 20th, 2003 | Filed by

Hitchens, Menand, Wieseltier go to buffets over the Meaning of Orwell.… Read the rest



Analogies Don’t Work *

Feb 19th, 2003 | Filed by

Historians consider various popular analogies for the Iraq situation, and point out the bad fit.… Read the rest



CHE Links on Michigan Case *

Feb 18th, 2003 | Filed by

The Chronicle of Higher Education gives links to articles relevant to University of Michigan’s race-conscious admissions policies, a Supreme Court issue.… Read the rest



Menand on Orwell *

Feb 18th, 2003 | Filed by

Louis Menand says ‘Big Brother’ and ‘doublethink’ and ‘thought police’ are popular phrases because they prop up slippery slope arguments.… Read the rest



Miserable Apathy *

Feb 18th, 2003 | Filed by

Leon Wieseltier tears a strip off Louis Menand’s perspectivism.… Read the rest



Playing the Lone Rebel Part *

Feb 18th, 2003 | Filed by

Book on non-European contributions to science discovers what historians already know, Anthony Grafton’s review says.… Read the rest



Bioterrorism fears and censorship *

Feb 17th, 2003 | Filed by

Should sensitive biological information be withheld if it might be used by bioterrorists?… Read the rest



Rodent Studies *

Feb 17th, 2003 | Filed by

Education is about making more money so vocational training is the way to go so media studies should be fine but then what did Hodge mean by ‘Mickey Mouse’? It’s all so confusing.… Read the rest



All Hitler All the Time *

Feb 17th, 2003 | Filed by

Students at UK secondary schools are being given too much Hitler and too little of all the rest of history.… Read the rest



Chaplains and Evangelists

Feb 16th, 2003 8:28 pm | By

So, we’re agreed then. Comfort and safety and enjoyment are not what’s needed, not unless one is ill or injured or a refugee from a war zone. We need our gadflies and lecturers and correctors and reformers, our troublers of the peace. We need our evangelists.

The Guardian has a review of Richard Dawkins’ new book, A Devil’s Chaplain, today. The reviewer (who, a correspondent tells me, used to be the bishop of Edinburgh) makes an interesting distinction between Darwin’s ‘classically Anglican’ atheism and the classically Evangelical variety Dawkins goes in for.

A friend of mine once remarked that he liked Anglicanism, because it didn’t interfere with your religion or politics, whereas Evangelicalism couldn’t leave anyone alone and meddled

Read the rest


New Scientist Reviews Dawkins *

Feb 16th, 2003 | Filed by

A brief review of A Devil’s Chaplain.… Read the rest



Annoyingly Snide Interview With Dawkins *

Feb 16th, 2003 | Filed by

All the dreary old accusations trotted out: he’s aggressive, intolerant, cold. Why? Because he doesn’t suck up to religion, apparently.… Read the rest



Not an Anglican but an Evangelical *

Feb 16th, 2003 | Filed by

Richard Dawkins wants to share the good news, and expose fraudulence in the process.… Read the rest



Thorns, Ice, Danger

Feb 15th, 2003 7:44 pm | By

The article by Harvey Mansfield we linked to in today’s News section examines a number of ways students are coddled or spoiled or pampered at Mansfield’s Harvard, coddled rather than being challenged and stretched as he thinks they ought to be and as, surely, is the whole point of education. If we are all perfectly all right just as we are, what do we need education for at all? Decoration? A status symbol, a positional good, bragging rights? A pretext for playing football or getting drunk? An expensive way to postpone getting a job?

The article is accompanied by a colloquy which offers some hair-raising personal testimony on the subject.

A questionnaire I gave students in every class to test

Read the rest


Spoiling Students *

Feb 15th, 2003 | Filed by

Self-esteem, student evaluations, therapy-mindedness, all lead to pleasing students rather than inspiring them.… Read the rest



Bogus Signatures *

Feb 15th, 2003 | Filed by

One author forged the signatures of seven co-authors: not good practice, even if the research is correct.… Read the rest