Friday, January 14, 2011

Notable Notes and Linkable Links

* Philosophers' Carnival #119 is up at "The Philosopher's Beard".

* Paul Newall has a fine post criticizing Pennock's recent criticisms of Laudan.

* Jeremy Pierce on Tolkien and Mixed Race.

* The Western Confucian suggests music to go with a Christina Rossetti poem.

* In a different vein, Ben Moore has set Francis Thompson's "The Kingdom of God," as read by Ravi Zacharias, to an electronic dance track. It's catchy.

* X-Cathedra has an interesting post on analytic philosophy of religion and Catholic philosophy.

* One of the things that's often forgotten is that, by virtue of the annexation of Hawaii as a state, the United States does have a royal family -- one with no constitutional status, but one which is also widely recognized within one state of the fifty. The surviving members break up into the primary line, the House of Kamehama, and the secondary line, the House of Keoua Nui. The person usually considered the current Titular Queen Regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii is Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa; the primary heir to the House of Kamehama is Quentin Kuhio Kawananakoa, a Hawaiian politician, and the heirs to the House of Keoua Nui are the musician Owana Salazar and her children, Kapumahana Ka Ľahumanu Walters (best known for being a former Miss Teen USA) and Noa Kalokuokamaile DeGuire. Since the Kingdom of Hawaii is defunct and there is no Hawaiian throne to be heir to, being a Hawaiian prince or princess is a pretty minor thing, purely titular, sustained only by polite custom. But the custom exists nonetheless. You can read up a bit on the current lines of succession here.

* Reid's Ethics at the SEP.

* John Schwenkler, Michael Dummett on the Morality of Contraception

* Rep. Dan Burton apparently plans to push legislation that would enclose the House Gallery with Plexiglass. I can entirely understand why members of Congress might think they need a shield to prevent people from throwing things at them. And a further advantage is that if some lunatic actually managed to blow up the House, no one important would get hurt, because the shield would keep it in. But it probably won't pass.

* NASA has discovered that thunderstorms create antimatter streams: the intense electrical fields touch off a reaction in the upper atmosphere that creates antimatter (in minute amounts, of course).

* Julia Galef has an article on philosophy of religion. It's a very weak article, highly speculative, with only the loosest foundation in evidence, and not much attempt to consider or even recognize alternative solutions -- it never seems to occur to Galef, for instance, that one of the possibilities a rational person has to consider when post-hoc rationalization is raised as an explanation for one side of a dispute is that of post-hoc rationalization on the other side as well. Rationalization is an external explanation, positing that the primary effective motives are not internal to the domain, and therefore it is not content-selective; it can just as easily occur for one position, even a true position, as for opposing positions, and whether it really occurs at all can only be determined by an actual look at the psychological and sociological evidence. (However, in fairness to Galef, she does do one thing right: she avoids making the false assumption that rationalizations contribute nothing to inquiry, although the argument given for rejecting it is one of the weaker ones available.)


* The solution to economic woes:

1 comment:

  1. John Farrell1:31 PM

    Fantastic!  And I like the end bit about the 'farty hostage'.....


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