By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn and John Fletcher)
“And I — my head oppressed by horror — said:
"Master, what is it that I hear? Who are
those people so defeated by their pain?"
And he to me: "This miserable way
is taken by the sorry souls of those
who lived without disgrace and without praise.
They now commingle with the coward angels,
the company of those who were not rebels
nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.
The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them —
even the wicked cannot glory in them.”
- New Star Trek TV show.
- Frederick De Boer's Observer obituary for ESPN's Grantland.
- Three pieces from new horror magazine Hexus.
- Standpoint's Daniel Johnson reviews the recently published correspondence of his once acquaintance Iris Murdoch. It was Oakeshott who, having broken off the affair, later became the emotionally needy one, as he poured out his woes over an unhappy relationship with a married woman.
- TNR's Maggie Doherty reminds us of the classic academic novel Stoner and eulogizes the institutions on the edge of no longer making such a life possible.
- Paris was wild, once.
- Literary Hub's Alison Curie revisits Catcher in the Rye, to not entirely happy effect. Bunch of phonies.
- The Remodern Review profiles Fred Tieken.
Bad News for Defenders of the Evidential Argument from Evil:
- Canadian city eradicates homelessness. Housing First puts everything on its head. It used to be, 'You want a home, get off the drugs or deal with your mental health issues,'" Clugston told CBC. "If you're addicted to drugs, it's going to be pretty hard to get off them, if you're sleeping under a park bench."
- Scientists say not to rake your leaves. This is also why I never vacuum my car.
- President Obama losing it over cute children.
- Marshall L. Steinbaum and Bernard A. Weisberger argue that "Economics Was Once Radical: Then It Decided Not to Be."
- Lauren Gurley discusses "Why the Left Isn't Talking about Rural American Poverty." A quote: "While black poverty in the United States is attributed to the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, housing discrimination, incarceration, and other forms of institutionalized racism, we have no national narrative that explains white poverty. As a result, there is an implicit belief that whites—who have benefited from all of the advantages that come with being white—don’t have a good reason to be poor. In other words, that when whites live in poverty, it is their fault, or even their choice."
- Gawker updates us on Who's Winning. It's not who you expect! Unless you expect "the rich." Then it's exactly who you expected.
Ethics and Political Philosophy:
- Digressions & Impressions' Eric Schliesser confronts the disquieting fact that he might be Straussian. Quick! To the Benjamin Constant.
- Philosophy, etc.'s Richard Yetter Chappell argues that if moral realism is coherent at all (as it clearly is), then it is defensible against most epistemic objections.
- The Virtue Blog's Jennifer Frey begins a set of what look to be very interesting posts on Aquinas.
Gender and its Discontents:
- National Post's Jessica Gross describes a Harvard Study that purports to show that married women's career outcomes trail men's not because bearing children is punished in the workplace but rather because they make sacrifices for their husband's careers.
- Feminist Philosophers' magicalersatz responds to recent controversy over Germaine Greer's comments about transgender people with a nuanced post about issues concerning how to square the denial of gender essentialism with what many transgender (and gay, for that matter) people report about themselves and their experiences. A great discussion follows.
- aeon's Khaled Fahmy puts the recent Egyptian counter-revolution in its historical context, and refuses to give up.
- African American Historical Society's Kami Fletcher describes the tradition of black undertakers in the city of Baltimore. Due to the dehumanization of slavery that labeled Blacks labor cogs and not humans, many were given open air burials where the body was left interred by the “open air”. This was such an occurrence that many Blacks began having what scholars refer to as “second funerals” – funerals held at night where the deceased could finally be properly buried with his/her kin present according to their African death cultural norms. Second funerals were also carried out to memorialize the souls. The physical body may have been long gone, but African Americans could still gather and memorialize all those who died up until that point giving them a proper last rites ceremony. Second funerals ensured a proper burial and was a way for Blacks to choose the land where they knew their kin would rest eternally.
Logic and Language:
- M-Phi's Catarina Dutilh Novaes continues her series on beauty, function, and explanation in mathematical proofs.
Metaphysics, Broadly Construed:
- Thibault De Meyer's review (in French) of Justin E.H. Smith's Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference. Race in Early Modern Philosophy.
- The Splintered Mind's Eric Schwitzgebel on Carrie Figdor's view that neurons have preferences.
- See entry #2 in Ethics and Political Philosophy.
Philosophers, Stylin' and Profilin':
- Science Visions Highlighted PhilosopHer of Science, Morgan Thompson.
- Philosopher's Cocoon's (and Phil Percs') Helen De Cruz hosts Rebecca Bamford as part 5 of the Long Journeys series, where people describe their long journeys in the belly of the job market for academic philosophy.
Political News Not Otherwise Categorized:
- theguardian on how a violent crackdown in Turkey put a very large finger on the electoral scales. The idea that you only represent the people who voted for you is dangerous.
(Pseudo-)Science and Techmology:
- The Telegraph's Richard Alleyne raises ethical issues about the purported creation of life in the laboratory. They manufactured a new chromosome from artificial DNA in a test tube, then transferred it into an empty cell and watched it multiply – the very definition of being alive. I looked it up in the dictionary, so there. Now here come the villagers with the torches.
- The Conversation's Howard Wiseman on recent confirmations of quantum physical non-locality. For the moment, though, we should savour this result for its scientific significance. It finally proves that either causal influences propagate faster than light, or a common-sense notion about what the word “cause” signifies is wrong.
- Mathbabe guest hoster unloads on the human brain project, listing five key things we have no effing clue about, e.g. We can’t simulate the brain of C. Elegans, a very well studied roundworm (first animal to have its genome sequenced) in which every animal has exactly the same 302-neuron brain (out of 959 total cells) and we know the wiring diagram and we have tons of data on how the animal behaves, including how it behaves if you kill this neuron or that neuron. Pretty much whatever data you want, we can generate it. And yet we don’t know how this brain works. Simply put, data does not equal understanding. You might see a talk in which someone argues for some theory for a subnetwork of 6 or 8 neurons in this animal. Our state of understanding is that bad.
- See entry #2 in Aesthetics.
- Historians admit inventing ancient Greeks.
- Girlfriend to spend next five months under a blanket.
- So-called atonal music really in the key of a minor.
- Caffeine Pills!
- Health Experts Recommend Standing Up At Desk, Leaving Office, Never Coming Back.
- I can't believe I'm going to die on this Kid Rock Cruise.
This Week’s IEP:
- Jan Woleński's Adolf Lindenbaum.
This Week’s NDPR:
- Matthew C. Halteman reviews Judith Wolfe's Heidegger and Theology.
- Bongrae Seok reviews Edward Slingerland's Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity.
- Fred Ablondi reviews Géraud de Cordemoy's Six Discourses on the Distinction Between the Body and the Soul and Treatises on Metaphysics.
- Travis Dumsday reviews Edward Feser's Neo-Scholastic Essays.
- Mor Segev reviews David Ebrey (ed.)'s Theory and Practice in Aristotle's Natural Science.
- Reed Winegar reviews Wayne Waxman's Kant's Anatomy of the Intelligent Mind.
This Week’s SEP:
- School of Names (Chris Fraser) [REVISED: November 6, 2015]
Changes to: Bibliography.
- Natural Law Theories (John Finnis) [REVISED: November 4, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
- Dietrich of Freiberg (Markus Führer) [REVISED: November 4, 2015]
Changes to: Bibliography.
- Pufendorf's Moral and Political Philosophy (Michael Seidler) [REVISED: November 3, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
Louis de La Forge (Desmond Clarke) [REVISED: November 2, 2015]Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
This Week’s Wiphi:
Nothing new this week.
- See entry #1 in What Should Be Done.
- This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.
- Digressions & Impressions Eric Schliesser comes up with a pretty interesting performative contradiction with respect to the American Enterprise Institute's decrying academic groupthink. It's not the obvious one that they themselves engage in groupthink.
- Washington Post's Sol Gittleman on how gutting tenure is one more case of the 1% cannibalizing the system that made them rich.
- California State University Faculty authorize a strike.
- Against Professional Philosophy's Z expands on some very sensible things Samuel Wheeler has written about overspecialization in contemporary philosophy. Second, while Wheeler concentrates, ultimately, on the mildly apocalyptic thought that specialization will lead to the disappearance of philosophy departments—big fucking deal!, I say—it seems to me that the truly malign impact and implications of early-specialization, hyper-specialization, and more generally forced specialization in professional philosophy lie in the fact that specialization covertly intellectually and affectively induces or produces disastrously bad philosophical pictures, to which philosophers are then deeply dogmatically committed, to the extreme extent that they feel in their bones that anyone who challenges any of these pictures is either a fool or a knave, i.e., just plain stupid or morally evil, for the rest of their professional lives.
What Should Be Done: