Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Notes and Links

* The Philosopher's Carnival is up at "Tales of Modernity"; it's short, but the posts are all fairly interesting.

* A renovation plan for the Vatican Library has put academic scholarship all over the world in disarray; the library is shutting down for three years to address structural problems. Since it is one of the most important manuscript archives in the world, a great many academics are going crazy trying to get in their research before it closes down.

* The Chinese province of Henan will be destroying a major Christian pilgrimage site.

* Johnny-Dee summarizes Bertrand Russell on the subject of mathematical intuition.

* Truth commissions are formed in order to encourage reconciliation among divided nations. James L. Gibson considers whether truth really does lead to reconciliation (PDF) by looking at the case of South Africa. The answer, as one might expect, turns out to be immensely complicated. I find the discussion interested because it is closely connected with the question of the vindication of the innocent, from which, however, it differs in important respects.

* For Thomas More's feast day, the Thomas More Institute launched Thomas More Studies 1: Utopia online. (Thanks to MTM who left a note in the comment box to my recent More Links post pointing this out.)

* Xavier at "Summa Philosophiae" discusses the grounding objection to Molinism. It's a good discussion; my own difference from it lies merely in the fact that I don't think the grounding objection requires a metaphysics of truth-making -- it's most natural, of course, to put it in terms of 'what makes a proposition true'; but you don't need to do so. I've suggested before that the grounding objection is really just one way of stating a more general concern about middle knowledge, namely, that we need a reason to think that there really is a separate, coherent middle ground between natural knowledge and free knowledge. It's one version of the worry that middle knowledge is proposing an incoherent tertium quid; to deal with such a worry we need a reason to think middle knowledge's tertium quid is legitimate.

* Carmelite coffee (ht).

* Nathanael Robinson has a post worthy of close reading and reflection on historical memory, looking at the case of Poland and the Holocaust. The general issue is especially important, but I think the issue of Poland and the Holocaust itself is an important issue, in part because I think Polish historical memory of the Holocaust has had, for various reasons, a rather massive influence on how much of the West views it; or, at least, one notices that (memory of) the Polish experience keeps coming up as a reference point, whether one regards it as an influencing factor or a symptom of something else.

* Chris discusses how children reason about wishes coming true and, in particular, how this compares to their ordinary causal reasoning.

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