Monday, May 06, 2013

Notable Links

* Ed Feser responds to Hart's response to his reponse to Hart's criticism of natural law.

* E. J. Hutchinson discusses Ambrosiaster on natural law. Ambrosiaster is an anonymous fourth-century commentator, whose scriptural commentaries are widely recognized as exceptionally good. For a long time his works were attribute to St. Ambrose, hence the scholarly nickname for him, Ambrosiaster, which he has been given since the seventeenth century.

* David Corfield has a fascinating discussion of modal logic at "n-category cafe"

* Diederik Stapel and scientific fraud. Stapel manipulated or made up data in over fifty different papers over at least a ten year period, and his fraud contaminated at least ten Ph.D. dissertations which were based in part on new 'experiments' by him. Of course, the damage is even greater than that; Stapel was a major researcher, and his papers were widely cited.

And yet as part of a graduate seminar he taught on research ethics, Stapel would ask his students to dig back into their own research and look for things that might have been unethical. “They got back with terrible lapses­,” he told me. “No informed consent, no debriefing of subjects, then of course in data analysis, looking only at some data and not all the data.” He didn’t see the same problems in his own work, he said, because there were no real data to contend with.

We are a long ways from the day in which a Faraday could choose scientific research over trades because scientific research was ethically unimpeachable. If there aren't serious reforms to handle this kind of problem, we will reach a point where the damage is completely irreparable.

* Further discussion of Kretzmer's just war paper.

* fas, ius, and lex

* The Wireworld computer. Wireworld is a Turing complete cellular automaton

* "A Clerk of Oxford" discusses a late medieval poem from the Vernon Manuscript.

* An interesting Smithsonian article on quantitative urbanism"

* May 5 was the bicentennary of Kierkegaard's birth

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