Philosophy

Try Again

So I was reading this piece in the NYT: “We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment.” I have some problems with its theory of mind: Your brain engages in the same sort of prospection to provide its own instant answers, which come in the form of emotions. The main purpose of emotions is to

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Specious reasoning

There’s an interesting piece on William Lane Craig here at the Chronicle: it reminds me strongly of a piece that the NYT did on Rush Limbaugh years ago. Both men are of interest to me as a rhetorician because of the power of their speciousness.  Craig is a master of the Gish Gallop and other

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Measuring acceptability of arguments

Here’s a question worthy of some thought. At what point does an opinion become unacceptable? I’m talking about Santorum, not Fish, mind you, from the link. Fish points out that Santorum’s position on church vs. state matters is not an outlier or crazy because “a number of Supreme Court justices and A-list legal academics” that

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Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape

Another vacation book review. There has to be a reasonable middle ground between the cultural relativism that Harris dislikes and the “New Atheist” hostility to religion that he champions. I can understand the attacks on the NAs because the lot of them, especially Dawkins, are often crass. Then again they’re sort of the professional poker

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Penn State

Ah, Penn State. You’ll riot for your football coach getting fired for not calling the police when his former assistant coach was molesting boys nine years ago and before and after, but where’s the riot for an assistant coach molesting boys on the job and afterward with tacit approval from administration through lack of action?

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Cell phone companies don’t know where you are. Really.

I dislike alarmist stories like this. Of course cell phone companies know where your phone is pretty much all the time. The phone wouldn’t work otherwise. This is not the same, though, as knowing where YOU are. We are not our phones. Amazingly enough, it is possible to set your phone down and go somewhere

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The incommensurability of iphones and staplers

Interesting piece on Thomas Kuhn chucking an ashtray at a graduate student. It’s witty, but not really funny, as I have an big issue with the author’s seeming bewilderment with the term “incommensurability.” The endnote in the article ignores (or is possibly completely ignorant of) how the term has a long history that predates Kuhn,

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Merit

I’ve been wanting to write something on merit for awhile. I think this has a lot to do with it, PR for her book aside. I don’t accept that parenting has only two extreme sides. Much of her claim comes from a ridiculously small sample size – well, her children excelled after her brand of

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Times are changing. We are not.

I saw the subject line of this post on a billboard north of Houston some time ago, advertising a local church, and I’ve continued to think about it since, in terms of the differences between the labels “conservative” and “liberal.” These terms are incredibly loaded, of course. But I want to discuss them first before

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Essay on ethics and agnosticism

I found this short essay of mine, written a year or two ago, while rummaging through some old files. I’d forgotten about it entirely. I may have abandoned it because it was getting too close to Kant ‘s categorical imperative. I don’t have time to revise it properly, but it’s sat in the proverbial trunk

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