Friday, May 19, 2006

Links for Noting

* Stephen Palmquist has some papers well worth reading on Kant's view of academics as agents for peace:
-> Philosophers in the Public Square: A Religious Resolution of Kant's Conflict of the Faculties
-> Kant's Ideal of the University as a Model for World Peace
-> The Philosopher as a "Secret Agent" for Peace: Taking Seriously Kant's Revival of the "Old Question"

The focus is philosophers, but, of course, 'philosophy' even in Kant's time was a broader term than it is today, and much of what is said can be applied to intellectuals of any type.

* "Non Skeptical Essays" has an interesting four part series on tradition. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. "Towards God is our journey" has a post pointing to other online discussions of tradition from a Muslim perspective.

* An interesting argument about how to interpret the infamous veils and angels passage in 1 Cor. 11, defending the ISV translation.

* Scott McLemee discusses the always interesting Athanasius Kircher at Inside Higher Ed. (HT: Cliopatria)

* The Elfin Ethicist has a great post on Marsilius of Padua.

* "A distinguished symbologist", "an alluring cryptologist" (and how!), "a legendary bloodline", "a secret code": you can see it all in The Norman Rockwell Code. Be sure to view the trailer, if you can; it's good. The best line is "Well, history was one of my favorite subjects. I got a C- in it." I'll definitely be looking out for the full version; the trailer is actually better than any trailers I've seen for that other Code. [I think they're replacing the trailer on the website with the movie itself, so you can watch the trailer at YouTube.]

* Alejandro continues the discussion of NOMA at "Reality Conditions"

* What we have usually been told about lactic acid and muscles -- that it is a waste byproduct that causes fatigue and makes us sore -- appears to be largely wrong. (HT: The Buck Stops Here) Apparently it can cause muscle fatigue if it builds up, but it can also be burned up by the muscle as fuel before it reaches that point (and in athletes it apparently is). Of course, there's more research to be done; but it's interesting how something that has been taught as fact for about eighty years now may turn out to be so wrong, simply because it was never properly investigated in the first place. Brooks, the scientist who has done the most work to overturn the old view, attributes this to the fact that the original experimenters were Nobel laureates and that the experimental ground was never seriously gone over again, using new methods, by those who followed them. So it kept getting taught, it became difficult to get funding or have one's papers published if the research tended in another direction, and it settled in for a long stay.


* An interesting Calvinist discussion of the relation between the image of God and total depravity. (HT: Rebecca Writes) Calvin's own position on this is not very clear. He holds that the image of God was destroyed (which seems like position #1), but holds that obscure lineaments remain (which seems like position #2); but says that it is so obscure that we might as well say it has been destroyed. However, it remains enough that we should consider harming another human being to be next door to harming God (which makes it seem like position #3); to the objection that it has been obliterated, he agrees (like position #1) but says something of it remains (like position #2) and that even if it didn't, we were created for this end, and that fact remains even if the image itself does not. See my post on passages about the imago Dei in Calvin. Perhaps we should regard Calvin's doctrine as being something like this: he does not hold that the image is any one thing -- there are several (related) things that can be called the image of God. But that which is most properly called the image of God was lost at the Fall, and needs to be restored in Christ; what is left is, as it were, a disposition to the image, a sort of negative imprint or seed of the possibility of original righteousness, which is not perfected, or indeed perfectible, without redemption. That is, properly speaking the imago Dei is the rectitude of the whole soul -- which we have lost -- but by metonymy it is our created disposition to this rectitude we no longer have. I don't know if this is actually Calvin's view, but it would allow one to reconcile all the things he says -- and Calvin says these things right after another, so he clearly thinks there is a way to reconcile them all.

* Frank Wilczek's light and readable critique of Popper's falsificationism deserves to be a reading in every introductory philosophy of science class. (HT: Macht@TT)

* Roger Scruton criticizes Mill.

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