Sotomayor Throwing Left Wing Judicial Views Under The Bus?

Georgetown law professor Michael Seidman is disgusted: I was completely disgusted by Judge Sotomayor’s testimony today. If she was not perjuring herself, she is intellectually unqualified to be on the Supreme Court. If she was perjuring herself, she is morally unqualified. How could someone who has been on the bench for seventeen years possibly believe that judging in hard cases involves no more than applying the law to the facts? … Perhaps Justice Sotomayor should be excused because our official… Read more

Philosophy Not As Exceptional, But As Specialized

Recently in the philosophy blogosphere there has been a bit of a stir over a request for grant proposals from the NEH for new classes on the “enduring questions.”  In response philosophy Professor Jude Jones and I have had several exchanges on questions related to the relative academic value of specialists from other fields teaching philosophy courses.  To read the NEH grant proposal in question for yourself, click here and to read other background and analysis on the issue, start… Read more

Tonight’s Bed Time Story: The Death of Bunny Munro

By Nick Cave, read by Nick Cave: listen (and watch!) here! Read more

Climate Feedback Loops

Following up on Debunking Deniers of Climate Change (which is excellent, watch the video if you haven’t done so yet), a new study considers the difficulties involved with making predictions about current climate change based on historical models. And there’s the possibility of feedback loops making a bad situation worse: An alternative is that there are additional feedbacks lurking in the system. Small temperature increases do things like melt reflective ice and put more water vapor (another greenhouse gas) into… Read more

Why Do People Behave Honestly?

A new study by Joshua Greene and Joseph Paxton investigates the mental processes behind honest behavior: They recruited 35 people and asked them to predict the result of computerised coin-flips while sitting in an fMRI scanner. They were paid in proportion to their accuracy. In some ‘No-Opportunity trials’, they had to make their predictions beforehand, giving them no room for cheating. In other ‘Opportunity trials’, they simply had say whether they had guessed correctly after the fact, opening the door… Read more

Bursting Your Bubble

Photo by Richard Heeks. Read more

Daily Hilarity: “Mr. Bean In Hell”

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Kantian Reasons To Lie To The Murderer At The Door?

Michael Cholbi thinks he has some: First, the lie is not meant to advance the happiness either of the liar or of the potential murder victim, but to thwart the abuse of the victim’s autonomy that her murder would represent. Hence, if lying to the murderer is manipulation at all, it is manipulation in the service of the would-be victim’s autonomy, a central Kantian value. Second, while Kantian ethics prioritizes the value of autonomous rational agency over happiness, it does… Read more

“The Myth of Sexual Spontaneity”

Greta Christina attacks what she calls “the myth of sexual spontaneity,” defined as the idea that “for sex to be good and meaningful, the desire has to strike both partners out of the blue and be acted on immediately” on the grounds that arises from and implictly reinforces negative views of sex: Our culture tends to see sex, either as a sin that we must resist, or as a selfish luxury we can do without. We don’t see it as… Read more

Gays In Other Militaries

While we still discriminate, some of our allies have progressed ahead of us already.  The Huffington Post has a detailed account. In Britain, on the other hand, gay and lesbian service members marched in crisp uniforms in the annual Pride London parade July 4. Gay Australian soldiers and sailors had their own float in Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras parade. In Israel, the army magazine earlier this year featured two male soldiers on the cover, hugging one another. Also via The… Read more

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