Monday, April 07, 2008

Links and Notes

* You have to read this story from Liberia.

* Joe argues against Germain Grisez's criticism of Catholic Relief Services in Did the CRS violate church doctrine? at "Praeter Necessitatum". (CRS has a response to Grisez as well.) He also has a post on Descartes's view of truth.

* Rae Langton, Maria von Herbert's Challenge to Kant (ht). Roman Altshuler discusses it (Part I, Part II) at "The Ends of Thought".

* Iaian Dale has a worthwhile reminder for bloggers (ht).

* Murray Rothbard, New Light on the Prehistory of the Austrian School. It's an older article, but a good first introduction to the economic significance of the School of Salamanca. (The 'School of Salamanca' is a label used for the surge in Iberian scholasticism in the early modern period, the last great upward swing of scholastic thought. They pioneered a number of key ideas in economics, human rights, international law, and metaphysics.) This website also has a number of useful links.

* The Lord of the Rings and Canadian property law. Hat-tip: John C. Wright, who adds a point or two.

* A look behind the scenes of scientific research. (ht)

* Bl. Ramon Lull on elections.

* Richard Heck, Truth and Disquotation (PDF)

* Sherry Allen of "Semicolon" has been writing about Kreeft's dedition of Pascal's Pensees, Christianity for Modern Pagans. So far she has:
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three

* Amir Harrak, Patriarchal Funerary Inscriptions in the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd

* Tanasije Gjorgoski's philosophical comic strips

* Chu-Carroll defends frequentism. I lean frequentist myself (along the lines of Venn, i.e., in terms of ideal sequences abstracted from actual data, while considering factors in the data that create uncertainty), without absolute committal, and agree with the caution about Bayesianism in the post and developed a bit more clearly in the comments. Philosophers, unfortunately, are especially guilty of this nonsense. (It goes without saying, of course, that 'Bayesianism' as an interpretation is not the same thing as simply recognizing the value of Bayes's Theorem. The frequentist criticism of Bayesianism is that it is naturally disposed to misuse of Bayes's Theorem.) Of course, while I only lean frequentist, I am very definitely anti-Bayesian, so I'm inclined to be less generous to it than Chu-Carroll is (contrary to what some of his commenters seem to think, he isn't arguing that it is wrong, but only that frequentism has one advantage that Bayesianism definitely lacks).

* A thought: every philosophy department should require (and, obviously, arrange for) its graduate students to take several classes in fields other than philosophy: sociology, psychology, physics, history, classics, whatever. As it is, there is too much encouragement to disciplinary narcissism in the core of the discipline -- always focusing on the 'literature' and the handful of self-feeding problems therein rather than continually interacting with other fields, enriching them and being enriched by them. Only in a handful of areas do we really find anything approaching this sort of interaction (philosophy of physics has a good reputation for it, but only a few other areas even make feeble attempts).

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