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Susan Haack: Philosophy Profession in Thrall of Dreadful Rankings

The following portion of an interview by Richard Carrier of Susan Haack puts one in mind of Brian Leiter whose main disservice to academic philosophy has been his contribution to its hyperprofessionalization. S.H.: I had begun to express concern about...

Political Diversity in Social Psychology Will Support Libertarian Conservatism

On January 27th, 2011, Jonathan Haidt gave a lecture at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Antonio, Texas. He warned that social psychology suffered from a political bias favoring liberalism and against conservatism, and that this bias could distort the research in social psychology. Show More Summary

Why Lewis Wouldn't Buy the Computer Argument From Peter S. Williams' "Why Naturalists Should Mind about Physicalism, and Vice Versa

A redated post.C. S. Lewis lived before computers became the major force that they are now. I think he would not be impressed by the argument that 1) We know that computers are purely material systems. 2) We know that computers reason. Show More Summary

Brian Leiter: Recent Developments and Further Insight into His Character

I thank my readers for keeping me apprised of these unsavory matters. Recent manifestations of Leiter's thuggish nature are documented in a Statement of Concern by Sally Haslanger and David Velleman. Further information and hyperlinks at The Daily Nous, here...

The Orwellian Inversion of the Free Speech Movement

We are coming up on the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement spearheaded by Mario Savio at the University of California, Berkeley. Sol Stern remembers in The Unfree Speech Movement.

James V. Schall on Taking the Islamic State Seriously

Here is essential reading if you want to understand the nature of Islam and its threat to the West and its values. If Schall is right, the Obama administration understands nothing about either and is putting us in grave danger...

The MavPhil Doctrine of Abrogation

In cases of 'Emersonian' inconsistency, later entries of this weblog abrogate earlier ones. For an explanation of 'Emersonian' inconsistency and its difference from logical inconsistency, see On Diachronic or 'Emersonian' Consistency. Related articles On Diachronic or 'Emersonian' Consistency Logic, Hypocrisy,...

Bostrom's Superintelligence - Does AI constitute an Existential Risk?

The folks at OUP kindly sent me a review copy of Nick Bostrom's new book Superintelligence, exploring AI risk. It's a topic that lends itself to eyerolls and easy mockery ("Computers taking over the world? No thanks, I already saw that movie.") -- but I don't think that's quite fair. Show More Summary

Islam and the Perils of Psychological Projection

I have found that it is dangerous to assume that others are essentially like oneself. Psychologists speak of projection. As I understand it, it involves projecting (etymologically, throwing outward) into others one's own attitudes, beliefs, motivations, fears, emotions, desires, values,...

The Confusion in the Scientific Study of Human Racial Diversity

"So: race is real, and race is genetic, but that does not mean that race is 'really' genetic."For a few days now, I have been trying to understand what that means. It's a sentence from Nathaniel Comfort's collective review in the current...Show More Summary

Obama: "ISIL is not Islamic"

What's the reasoning behind Obama's statement? Perhaps this: 1. All religions are good. 2. Islam is a religion Ergo 3. Islam is good 4. ISIL is not good. Ergo 5. ISIL is not Islamic. This little argument illustrates how one...

A Warning From the Archbishop of Mosul

Armenian Orthodox church in Raqqa, Syria, now an ISIS office Source (emphases and minor corrections added) Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese....

Theorobotics

This piece (via MLU)notes how a robot is giving lectures in theology – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it’s being used as a prop for some theology lectures. It helps dramatise certain human issues, either the ‘strong’ ones about it lacking the immortal soul human beings are taken to have […]

The Religion of Peace or the Religion of Beheading?

Jeff Jacoby, Why Beheading? Excerpt: There is more to the Islamist passion for decapitation than psychological warfare and a hunger for notoriety. There is also Muslim theology and history, and a mandate going back to the Koran. In a 2005...

Genuine Inquiry and Two Forms of Pseudo-Inquiry: Sham Reasoning and Fake Reasoning

In Philosophers Who Compartmentalize and Those Who Don't, I drew a distinction between 1. Philosophical inquiry pursued in order to support (defend and rationally justify) an antecedently held thesis or worldview whose source is extraphilosophical and 2. Philosophical inquiry pursued...

Patriarchy and Rape Culture Flourish in Boulder . . .

... if this pathetic piece can be believed. But it so reads like a parody of POMO rhetoric that it negates itself. The writer is an alumna of the UC Boulder Philosophy Department. One hopes that she is...

The humanist delusion: denying the cat

People often maintain that atheists are necessarily going to be humanists. Atheist Luke Muehlhauser disagrees, but his complaint seems to be about the implied speciesism. I have a different kind of issue. I think that, historically,Show More Summary

Robert Paul ('Howlin') Wolff in Cloud Cuckoo Land

When Robert Paul Wolff strays from the 'reservation' of Good Sense and floats up to Cloud Cuckoo Land I refer to him as 'Howlin' Wolff.' The man is quite a study, a representative specimen of the species, academic leftist. When...

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