Friday, August 22, 2008

Links for Thinking

* Graham Priest's "The Closing of the Mind: How the Particular Quantifier Became Existentially Loaded Behind Our Backs" is currently available online from The Review of Symbolic Logic. (ht) There are a few places where one can question the history (particularly in the medieval period, which is very tricky on this point), but the basic point of the paper is one that I've made here more than once: particular quantifiers needn't be existential, and existential quantifiers needn't be particular. Perhaps now that Priest has said it people will start paying attention.

* John Wilkins notes some problems with much of the 'worldviews'-based thinking in recent evangelical apologetics. He also has an interesting post on agriculture and the rise of religion.

* Shen Yi-Liao has an interesting discussion of the role and reliability of intuitions at "Go Grue". There are things I would say differently, but I agree very strongly with the basic point of the argument.

* An interesting discussion of wars of humanitarian interventionby Adam Kirsch, discussing Gary Bass's Freedom's Battle. (ht) The editor's headline for the article is a bit misleading; humanitarian intervention is a different issue from just war theory (the latter of which may or may not allow humanitarian intervention, and the former of which may or may not be consistent with just war theory).

* Some criticisms by Brian Scholl on survey methods in 'experimental philosophy'. Scholl makes more precise the common biting criticism of the X-phi movement that it's really just thought experiments with polls.

* How to Study a Quaestio; this was pointed out to me by Phil in a discussion at "Blogging Aquinas"

* An MSNBC article about the Vatican Observatory; it is discussed at Insight Scoop. It's a bit amusing that Dawkins misunderstood Fr. Coyne's claim that reasons aren't enough for believing in God as "there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe in God."

* Jimmy Akin finished that review of Card's Ender series that I had mentioned a while back. The posts:
Ender's Game
Speaker for the Dead
Children of the Mind

* Greg Baus brought my attention to this blog, which is a study-guide-in-progress to Dooyeweerd's In the Twilight of Western Thought.

* The tacky overuse of the word 'Yahweh', that purely speculative reconstruction of the Ineffable Name, has been one of my pet peeves since college; so I thought this was good liturgical news.

* Masab Yousef, the son of a major Hamas leader, is a convert to Christianity. While he was never especially involved in the organization himself, he did assist his father in a number of ways. In this interview he discusses his change of heart:
It began about eight years ago. I was in Jerusalem and I received an invitation to come and hear about Christianity. Out of curiosity I went. I was very enthusiastic about what I heard. I began to read the Bible every day and I continued with religion lessons. I did it in secret, of course. I used to travel to the Ramallah hills, to places like the Al Tira neighborhood, and to sit there quietly with the amazing landscape and read the Bible. A verse like "Love thine enemy" had a great influence on me.

* An interesting Moyers interview with Andrew Bacevich

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