Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Who Shot the Devil's Barman?

'Gentlemen, it is a fact that every philosopher of eminence for the last two centuries has either been murdered, or, at the least, been very near it, insomuch that if a man calls himself a philosopher, and never had his life attempted, rest assured there is nothing in him; and against Locke's philosophy in particular, I think it is an unanswerable objection (if we needed any) that, although he carried his throat about him in this world for seventy-two years, no man ever condescended to cut it.'
-- Thomas de Quincey, 'Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' (quotation supplied by Kent Bach)

That Devil on Your Shoulder Likes to Sleep In New York Times

I’m battling my demons, and at my most vulnerable, but I’ve still managed to bring you a column Top ten most fatuous phrases

Why we kill.  And grandma the murderer

Maintained by Hugh Mellor but apparently last updated in 2005, the Causes of Deaths of Philosopherswebsite humorously speculates about, well, the causes and descriptions of deaths of philosophers. To wit:

Imrich: Phenomenally bad luck
Ryle: Gave up the ghost
Dancy: No particular reason
Sellars: Not given

Benacerraf: Number was up
Wittgenstein: Became the late Wittgenstein

Plato: Caved in

American Machiavelli American Conservative (CL)

World's richest man would take 220 years to spend his wealth  (conflict of interest as i am related to the subject of the article ;-)

Data collection is creepy, even when its mainly data hoarding Slacktivist

Social knowledge at the micro level Understanding Society

We Are All Confident Idiots Pacific Standard (Fresno Dan)

Last week, Susanna Siegel and Steven Pinker (both of Harvard) participated in a debate  about the role of the humanities and the sciences in the study of the mind. The debate was videotaped and can be watched here (update: link fixed). Below is Professor Siegel’s summary of the event, the topic of which raises questions about the value of the humanities more..