Why Tolerate Religion?
Brian Leiter's new paper on the philosophical and legal justifications for toleration of religion. From the abstract: Religious toleration has long been the paradigm of the liberal ideal of toleration of group differences, as reflected in both the constitutions of the major Western democracies and in the theoretical literature explaining and justifying these practices. While the historical reasons for the special “pride of place” accorded religious toleration are familiar, what is surprising is that no one has been able to articulate a credible principled argument for tolerating religion qua religion: that is, an argument that would explain why, as a matter of moral or other principle, we ought to accord special legal and moral treatment to religious practices. There are, to be sure, principled arguments for why the state ought to tolerate a plethora of private choices, commitments, and practices of its citizenry, but none of these single out religion for anything like the special treatment it is accorded in, for example, American and Canadian constitutional law. So why tolerate religion? Not because of anything that has to do with it being religion as such - or so this paper argues.
posted by monju_bosatsu
on May 30, 2006 -
"The theories and opinions of the German philosopher Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno
(1903-1969) on popular music and the culture industry are still highly influential in the domain of media studies. His thoughts about these subjects were very critical
, pessimistic even. Adorno analysed the workings of the culture industry in terms of 'standardization
' and used the concept of 'pseudo-individualization
' to describe its effects on the listeners.
posted by j-urb
on May 30, 2006 -
Douglas Hofstadter says
, "What troubles me is the notion that things that touch me at my deepest core -- pieces of music most of all, which I have always taken as direct soul-to-soul messages -- might be effectively produced by mechanisms thousands if not millions of times simpler than the intricate biological machinery that gives rise to a human soul.
". That was prompted by his reception to the output
of David Cope's project Experiments in Musical Intelligence
posted by Gyan
on Apr 11, 2006 -
Prof. Daniel Dennett's
(New York University, Philosophy) new book Breaking the Spell
appears to have frightened its NYT book review
er, Leon Wieseltier
(The New Republic, Literary Editor). Wieselter claims "The question of the place of science in human life is not a scientific question. It is a philosophical question", and promptly proceeds to demonstrate that he himself knows nothing about philosophy. Dennett responds
Prof. Brian Leiter
(University of Texas, Philosophy) responds
that "'The view that science can explain all human conditions and expressions, mental as well as physical' is not a 'superstition' but a reasonable methodological posture to adopt based on the actual evidence, that is, based on the actual expanding success of the sciences . . . during the last hundred years."
b l o g
and serious reviews
posted by jeffburdges
on Mar 7, 2006 -
Just another blog, sure, but a good one. 3quarksdaily is a filter blog much like our very own, but with only 15 users (and an editor). As they say on their about page "On this website, my guest authors and editors and I hope to present interesting items from around the web on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating."
The do an admirable job.
posted by panoptican
on Dec 6, 2005 -
by Scott Adams (of Dilbert
fame) is now available for free in PDF form. It's a controversial book that presents a philosophically strange view of the universe. According to Adams
, it splits readers between "the best book they've ever read" and "an insult to literature and a disservice to humanity".
posted by Plutor
on Nov 18, 2005 -
"Almost half the children committed one or more of these mistakes. They attempted with apparent seriousness to perform the same actions with the miniature items that they had with the large ones. Some sat down on the little chair: they walked up to it, turned around, bent their knees and lowered themselves onto it. Some simply perched on top, others sat down so hard that the chair skittered out from under them. Some children sat on the miniature slide and tried to ride down it, usually falling off in the process; others attempted to climb the steps, causing the slide to tip over.
(With the chair and slide made of sturdy plastic and only about five inches tall, the toddlers faced no danger of hurting themselves.)"
posted by Tlogmer
on Aug 18, 2005 -
Did the discovery of evolution lead to Darwin's agnosticism, as claimed
? Carl Zimmer wonders
. More importantly, can evolution be reconciled
posted by daksya
on Aug 11, 2005 -
...One of the reasons truth seems so difficult to describe is that we have conflicting beliefs about it: we sometimes think it is discovered, sometimes created, sometimes knowable, sometimes mysterious. When we use the idea in ordinary life-as we do when we agree or disagree with what someone has said-it seems a simple matter. Yet the more we stop to think about it, the more complicated it becomes. It would be nice if we could sort out, once and for all, everything we thought about truth-to find out the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the truth, as it were. Nice, but practically impossible. The thesis of this book is much simpler. Of the many things you could believe about truth, there is at least one that you should believe: truth matters. Truth, I shall try to convince you, is of urgent importance in both your personal and political life..'True to Life'
and 'Who Cares About the Truth?'
are two excerpts from the first chapter
of True To Life: Why Truth Matters
by Michael P. Lynch
, about whose philosophical thought was written Lynch's Metaphysical Pluralism
and about whose book was just written The Truth Wars
, believe it or not.
posted by y2karl
on Jul 26, 2005 -
Broadly speaking, the brief includes the claims that in prizing persons, we prize a complement of emotion; that in prizing moral perception, we prize the emotional dispositions that make it possible; that in cultivating character, we cultivate virtues but also emotional sensibilities. Wisdom in Love aims to show that passions, love and concern, in particular, ground the substance of a worthy life and, perforce, a life of wisdom. A loving attachment, appropriately fixed and cultivated, underlies felt-significance. This makes the goods that animate a life matter. Conversely, a love that's misaligned or stunted brings on personal deterioration and despair. Right action and reasonable belief presuppose apt emotional attunement to the world and others, as well as appropriately responsive character that is rooted in emotional dispositions and operative in moral perception. This gives a philosophical frame equipped to separate false, sentimental, inept, or frozen emotions from more worthy ones, tied deep into worthy roots.Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity
reviewed. On a related topic, Peter D. Kramer, author of Against Depression
ponders "So, Dr. Kramer, what would have happened if Kierkegaard had taken Prozac?"
See also Philosophy And Depression
by Tim Ruggiero
Also by Richard Anthony Furtak, a translation of a poem by Rainier Maria Rilke--Sonnets to Orpheus, 1.2 mostly via Online Papers In Philosophy
posted by y2karl
on Jul 18, 2005 -
Is Civilization Decaying?
Will technological progress be accompanied by moral progress? Notes on a 1923 debate between J. B. S. Haldane (Daedalus
) and Bertrand Russell (Icarus
As John Brunner pointed out in an article in the New Scientist in 1993, these two books ... inspired two generations of science fiction writers."
posted by painquale
on Jul 10, 2005 -