Saturday, December 25, 2021

Here, There and Everywhere: Small Mercies

 FASTER, PLEASE: Pfizer pill becomes first US-authorized home COVID treatment.

Literature professors adopt a new humility but still must make their case: Why literature as opposed to, say, lawn care? Why indeed … 

Wall Street Journal editorial, The Internal Revenue Leak Service:

Democrats want to give $80 billion to the Internal Revenue Service to audit millions of Americans each year. Yet six months after the progressive website ProPublica first published the secret tax information of rich Americans, the tax agency still can’t explain what happened. Senate Republicans led by Iowa’s Chuck Grassley are demanding answers.

Orwell Estate OKs Retelling Of “1984” From Viewpoint Of Winston Smith’s Lover

"Orwell's estate said it had been 'looking for some time' for an author to tell the story of and that Newman, who has previously been longlisted for the Women's prize and shortlisted for the Guardian first book award, 'proved to be the perfect fit'." - The Guardian

Bird songs bump stars off Australian music chartBBC

Beavers Misbehave. Canadians Love Them Anyway.New York Times 

SCIENCE:  How Sex Affects Athletic Performance.

Depressed by the press: journalism bows to the authoritarians

Weakened by commercial and political pressures, legacy media are struggling to counter the antagonism of vested interests, writes Lucy Hamilton. 

You may soon be able to renew your passport online, instead of sending in documents

NPR: “Renewing your passport isn’t an experience most people would consider streamlined — especially during the pandemic. Getting it processed can take anywhere from eight to 11 weeks, according to the State Department. But a new executive order from President Biden hopes to cut down on the amount of time people spend accessing all kinds of government services, like scheduling a callback time with the IRS, applying for Social Security and Medicare benefits online, and yes, renewing a passport. One of the points in a new executive order signed on Monday calls on the secretary of state to create a system through which people can renew their passports online, without having to mail in any physical documents. “Every interaction between the Federal Government and the public … should be seen as an opportunity for the Government to save an individual’s time (and thus reduce “time taxes”) and to deliver the level of service that the public expects and deserves,” the executive order says…”

How to pray to a dead God aeon

Small Mercies: Magic Mushrooms Helped Me Regain Control of My Brain Jezebel

  1. Life, by Carlos Mariscal.
  2. Aristotle’s Aesthetics, by Pierre Destrée.
  3. Alonzo Church, by Harry Deutsch and Oliver Marshall.


  1. The Distinction Between Innate and Acquired Characteristics, by Paul Griffiths and Stefan Linquist.
  2. Collingwood’s Aesthetics, by Gary Kemp.
  3. Johannes Sharpe, by Alessandro Conti.
  4. Medieval Theories of Analogy, by E. Jennifer Ashworth and Domenic D’Ettore.
  5. Environmental Ethics, by Andrew Brennan and Norva Y. S. Lo.
  6. Galen, by P. N. Singer.

IEP      ∅        

NDPR      ∅     

1000-Word Philosophy     

  1. Modal Ontological Arguments for the Existence of God, by Thomas Metcalf.   

Project Vox      ∅  

Recent Philosophy Book Reviews in Non-Academic Media     

  1. Drawing The Line: What to Do with the Work of Immoral Artists from Museums to the Movies by Erich Hatala Matthes is reviewed by Barton Swaim at the Wall Street Journal (may be paywalled).
  2. Artful Truths: The Philosophy of Memoir by Helena de Bres is reviewed by Tom Whyman at the Times Literary Supplement (may be paywalled).

Compiled by Michael Glawson

BONUS: Reconciling ideal and non-ideal theory

  1. At the University of Groningen, philosophy majors are required to take philosophy “outside the walls” — this involves a creative project rather than an academic paper, and interviewing people outside of academia
  2. How “aesthetic ideals have carried over to contemporary experiments in science” — Milena Ivanova (Cambridge) takes up the question, “what does it mean for an experiment to be beautiful?”
  3. “The homogenizing of language won’t homogenize thought… but we may [have] reasons to worry that it will limit intellectual diversity” — Neil Levy (Oxford) on the ethics of the linguistic “affordances” of Grammarly and other AI-based writing tools
  4. “I want to show students a new way into philosophy – through doing ridiculous things” — that’s why Meg Wallace (Kentucky) teaches “Circus and Philosophy”
  5. Want to help your students “steel-man” rather than “straw-man” other people’s arguments? — ThinkerAnalytix & Harvard are offering free workshops for philosophy instructors on how to teach students argument mapping as a way of exercising intellectual charity
  6. How to get something from “nothing” — Aaron Wendland (KCL/Massey) on Heidegger, Carnap, and the analytic-Continental split
  7. “My utterly personal and speculative overall take-away from our data is that women’s emancipation had a paradoxical effect in philosophy” — Katharina Nieswandt (Concordia) interviewed by Adriel Trott (Wabash)