One of my two favourite ethicists has just got tenure. Now she can say what she really thinks. [I don’t know who started the canard that ethicists are unethical. The two I know are very ethical indeed. Probably a decision theorist.]
Language Log gives voice to the oft-repeated but (so far as I can tell, rarely supported) claim that humans are somehow smarter than other animals when children because they can hold a conversation. Still, they are right to be critical of journalistic tropes.
I nearly forgot to link to Kate Devitt’s latest blog entry on memory. Here she discusses how collaboration (social memory) can reduce false memory. Someone should have reminded me.
Rockefeller University has a site up with downloadable or online-viewable lectures from a symposium on evolution. I particularly like the one by Ford Doolittle.
David Barash, the evolutionary psychologist (that’s a caution!) discusses how honour evolved at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Personally I think honour arises out of social dominance, but that’s just me – everything is social dominance these days.
Inverse Square Blog has some critical, and I think correct, things to say about scientists like Dawkins who think good science writing can only be done by scientists; which is the inverse of the claim discussed by Pharyngula that only science communicators can write about science. Neither is correct. Let a thousand flowers blossom!
For those who like possible worlds, there’s a new entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Leibniz’s view of modality (which as literate readers know was caricatured by Voltaire in Candide as Dr Pangloss’ view that all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds). As I’m trying to come to grips with two-dimensional semantics, in which intensions are the extension of a term in each possible world, I guess I ought to read this one.
And finally, I seem to have attracted a rare form of netloon: someone who has published in a legitimate forum, but who takes every opportunity to add some other argument by assertion. Yes, Mats Envall, I’m talking to you. Stop it or get banned. When and if I get the time to discuss your essay, then you can respond, and I expect you will in volumes. Until then you are just coming off as a nut. I don’t tolerate it in creationists and I won’t tolerate it in you.