Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sundry items of philosophy (in the loose & popular sense)

Lives of famous Scottish philosophers.

Carrie Figdor interviews Richard Fumerton about his book Knowledge, Thought, and the Case for Dualism. Fumerton mentions a course that he took as an undergrad at Victoria University in the University of Toronto, where he took philosophy courses with Francis Sparshott and Peter Hess. I attended Vic in the late 80's and took several courses with Hess, who completed his doctoral work at Brown under Roderick Chisholm (who supervised a lot of good philosophers).

From 2009: 'Moral and political philosopher, Alasdair MacIntyre, honoured at [University College Dublin]' (inc. a 50-minute talk by MacIntryre).

Michael Rosen reviews Onora O'Neill's Acting on Principle: an Essay on Kantian Ethics.

From the Nordic Wittgenstein Review, Hans-Johann Glock's paper 'Reasons for Action:Wittgensteinian and Davidsonian Perspectives in Historical and Meta-Philosophical Context'.

Here's a bio of mathematician Karl Menger, son of economist Carl Menger

Dale DeBakcsy on Ludwig Feuerbach.

From last July, Habermas interviewed about the 'Internet and Public Sphere: What the Web Can't Do'.

Edith Ackermann interviewed by Urs Hirschberg on 'Talent, intuition, creativity: on the limits of digital technologies'.
Ancient commentators on Aristotle.

Parts 1 and 2 of  Mohammed Hashas' reflections on Islamic philosophy.

Richard J. Bernstein on 'The Pragmatic Roots of Cultural Pluralism'.

Seyla Benhabib in the NY Times: 'Who’s On Trial, Eichmann or Arendt?'

From last July, Benhabib on 'Human Rights and the Critique of “Humanitarian Reason”':
This prevalent mood of disillusionment and cynicism among many concerning human rights and humanitarian politics is understandable; but it is not defensible. Developments in international law since 1948 have tried to give new legal meaning to "human dignity" and "human rights". Admittedly, these developments have in turn generated the paradoxes of "humanitarian reason"....
Eric Posner's Twilight of Human Rights Law will be released in October. 

Margaret Somers and Fred Block on 'The Return of Karl Polanyi'. Karl Polanyi had a home in Pickering, the suburb of Toronto in which I was raised. Karl taught in the USA, but his wife Ilona Duczynska (more here) wasn't allowed to live there due to her socialist past. Karl Polanyi's daughter Kari Levitt was an economics professor at McGill University. Karl's nephew John won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry and taught at the University of Toronto. John's father (and Karl's brother) Michael Polanyi was an accomplished philosopher who anticipated some of Thomas Kuhn's ideas. There needs to be an at least three-volume work of historical fiction about this family.

'David Flusfeder’s novel John the Pupil follows three students of the medieval philosopher-savant Roger Bacon who make a secretive journey from England to the seat of the papacy at Viterbo'.

Jonathan Israel and Lynn Hunt trade blows over her review of his book Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from The Rights of Man to Robespierre:'Hunt roundly berates me for the significance I attribute to Diderot, d’Holbach, and Helvétius, making one mistake after another.'

Marcus du Sautoy on Borges' appeal to mathematicians. Includes a mention of Cantor and a clip of Borges being interviewed in 1971. Borges 'read all Bertrand Russell's books on logic and maths'. Rebecca DeWald reviews a couple of companions to Borges.

From a thought-provoking post by sociologist Thomas Sheff:
The discipline of psychology, for example, has become Brahean, committed to systematic studies, even if they don’t work. One example: more than twenty thousand studies using self-esteem scales. These studies are systematic, but they don’t predict behavior and are therefore useless.
Psychologist Roy Baumeister tackles one of the biggest pseudo-scientific frauds of our day, the unsupported rhetoric about the importance of self-esteem.

From last June, 'A Philosopher Refutes the "Stuck in Time" Hypothesis of Amnesia' (about a paper by Carl F. Craver).

Here's a short poem by Edgar Lee Masters -- 'Imanuel Ehrenhardt' -- that manages to fit mentions of philosophers Sir William Hamilton, Dugald Stewart, Locke, Descartes, Fichte, Schelling, Kant, and Schopenhauer into its first five lines. Masters sets aside these philosophers in favour of John Muir.

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