As the Fantasy Football Philosopher's League heads for its climax, we join one of the key matches, The God Squad v Humanists United. The God Squad led at half time, but the Humanists made a strong showing in the second half and after 25 minutes injury time, the score is equal and we move to the penalty shootout. In this league, the penalty shootout is held between the two team captains — each in goal against the other. The (...) games take place in the twenty first century and team captains have been able to watch all the past matches they may have missed. Team captains are Thomas Aquinas and Bertrand Russell. You, the reader, keep the score. (shrink)
Cognitive Science, Literature, and the Arts is the first student-friendly introduction to the uses of cognitive science in the study of literature, written specifically for the non-scientist. Patrick Colm Hogan guides the reader through all of the major theories of cognitive science, focusing on those areas that are most important to fostering a new understanding of the production and reception of literature. This accessible volume provides a strong foundation of the basic principles of cognitive science, and allows us to begin (...) to understand how the brain works and makes us feel as we read. (shrink)
C.P. Snow observed that universities are largely made up of two broad types of people, literary intellectuals and scientists, yet a typical individual of each type is barely able, if able at all, to communicate with his counterpart. Snow's observation, popularized in his 1959 lecture Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (reissued by Cambridge 1993), goes some way to explaining the two distinct cultures one hears referred to as "the humanities" and "the sciences." Snow's lecture is a study of these (...) two cultures, their rules, hierarchies, and educational traditions, which raises the following question: to what degree are "the humanities" and "the sciences" a consequence of how we organize and fund modern universities? Rather than a happenstance of interests and temperament, perhaps "humanist" and "scientist" are largely bureaucratic categories. (shrink)
As we make up our ideal for our own life and in pursuing it, we must not impinge upon the like freedom of other people. But that’s not enough for life. I suggest that the idea of the responsiveness to others lying at the heart of the ethical project also lies at the heart of the idea of the valuable life. The valuable life is the one that makes a difference to others. Lives that matter are those that touch the (...) lives of others. (shrink)
Messenger, Dally The renowned and popular philosopher, Alain de Botton, TV-and-radio crawled Australia in February 2012 promoting his new book, Religion for Atheists: a non-believers guide to the uses of religion. It was a thesis which many, including me, welcomed as sensible and constructive. Basically his message was that the human wisdom and artistry which has evolved over thousands of years though the various religious movements is part of everyone's heritage, and should be culturally assimilated and used by us, to (...) affect human behaviour for the better. (shrink)
Strnad, Halina The death penalty for homosexual acts between men was imposed in ancient Jewish sex codes. The rationale for these biblical injunctions was to prohibit sexual acts that did not produce offspring. In ancient tribal groups survival depended on population supply and growth.