Friday, January 16, 2015

Links for Linking

I've been busy on and off with starting up the term. This term doesn't look like it will be difficult overall, but it looks I'll be extraordinarily busy the next couple of weeks, so we'll see how posting goes in the near future.

* At "D-brief" there's a post discussing how gardeners are accidentally interfering with the life cycle of Monarch butterflies by planting the wrong kind of milkweed in an attempt to help them.

* Thomas Hobbes's attempt to explain Prince Rupert's drops. (As I've mentioned before, Prince Rupert's drops were a kind of early modern novelty item that went by several different names. The 'Prince Rupert' is the brother of Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia; Rupert didn't invent them, but seems to have contributed to their popularity.)

* Selections from the geological field notebooks of Henry M. Cadell.

* The history of Braille.

* Nicolas Steno and the Principles of Modern Geology at "yovisto blog". It is not, however, entirely clear that Steno "essentially abandoned science" when he became a priest; there's some evidence he continued at least to maintain his interest in the structure of the brain. But there hasn't really been much work done on Steno's later thought, in part (I suspect, since I'm not a researcher on Steno particularly, only interested in his work) because of the relative lack of evidence. It is true, though, that given all the things that was doing once he became a priest, he may well not have had much time for serious scientific pursuits.

* Aili Bresnahan at the SEP on the Philosophy of Dance.

* Eugene Marshall at the IEP on Margaret Cavendish.
Ronnie Littlejohn at the IEP has a historical overview of Chinese philosophy.

* Joseph Heath and Benoit Hardy-Vallée discuss the implications of intoxicated behavior for moral psychology in Why Do People Behave Immorally When Drunk?

* T. Greer on Sunzi (Sun-tzu).

* Pater Edmund discusses Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty:
Religious Liberty and Tradition I
Religious Liberty and Tradition II
Religious Liberty and Tradition III
Religious Liberty and Tradition IV
Dubium: Can the State Limit Non-Catholic Religions?

* John Lamont reflects on attacks on 'manualist theology'

* Kareem Abdul Jabar is co-authoring a Sherlock Holmes pastiche about Mycroft. Apparently he's quite the fan of Sherlock Holmes.

* Suburbanbanshee on freedom of the press.

* James Hannam on the mounting problems with the dating of ancient events in Babylonia and Egypt.

* Whewell's Ghost #30 has lots of history-of-science links.

* Ashok at "Rethink" discusses William Butler Yeats's poem, "The Choice".


  1. Wade McKenzie1:54 PM

    Mr. Watson: I enjoy your blog--especially its blend of literature and philosophy--and check on it regularly. Though it isn't pertinent to anything you've written recently, because I know you to be someone with expertise in philosophy, I wonder if I could get you (or anyone who might be reading along) to weigh in on a controversy.

    Not long ago, I had a conversation with someone who made--what struck me as--a contentious assertion. He said that Judaism, Christianity and Islam each worship the same God. He specifically presented this as a more or less core insight of philosophical theology.

    I replied to the effect that the God who revealed the Koran and whose prophet is Mohammed cannot be the God of Christianity or Judaism, that the God who is triune cannot be the God of Judaism or Islam, etc. He almost mocked my unsophisticated preoccupation with what he characterized as secondary commitments.

    This left me feeling a bit perplexed. May I ask you: Do Judaism, Christianity and Islam worship the same God?

  2. branemrys7:10 PM

    Hi, Wade,

    I actually have a post on this from a while back. My short answer: strictly and literally speaking, yes. But there are entirely reasonable figures of speech in which you can say that they don't. It's certainly not correct to hold that what your interlocutor called "secondary commitments" are unimportant; they would make all the difference between believing correct things about God and believing incorrect things about God, or between worshiping God well and worshiping God badly. That's hardly a tiny difference.

  3. Wade McKenzie7:54 PM

    Thank you for replying to my query. I'll read the post with great eagerness.


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