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Truth Through Combat

Introduction to classical Christian metaphysics

Part one of a series: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2013/08/19/introduction-to-classical-christian-metaphysics-part-1/

Filed under: Meaphysics,

The false narrative of a STEM shortage

http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/education/the-stem-crisis-is-a-myth

Filed under: Economics, , ,

Philosophy’s alleged sickness

Burroughs misunderstands the relationship between the academy and work: it is not corporatists who are making these demands of the academy, but the very job-starved people who fund us. There is no capitalist greed at work here. There are just people wanting gainful employment. Are we philosophers supposed to tell them that they are wrong?

http://crestondavis.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/1882/

Filed under: Humanities, Philosophy, ,

A philosopher appeals to authority

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/doing-good-science/2013/08/27/how-far-does-the-tether-of-your-expertise-extend/

It is fallacious to claim that a person is right because he is an expert. Does this mean that expertise should be dismissed altogether? Generally speaking, that is my recommendation. Here is my reasoning:

1. We can all forget things about our own research. Furthermore, we often don’t know our own research even when we are most deeply immersed in it.

2 and 3. Sometimes experts specialize too much to say anything outside of their own narrow area.

4. This point would apply to any person at all.

5 and 6. Scientists are not all trained in logic.

7 and 8. Begs the question. If some scientists are shoddy, then how do we know that we can trust any of them until we know the extent of their expertise?

9. Ok.

There are other points to make against the notion of expertise:

1. What is a field in the first place? So-called knowledge is very specialized now. Can anyone be an authority in a field at all?

2. How do we know that the person knows their stuff? We test them. But if that is the case, then we might as well test the, all the time. But if we do that, then they lose all authority since we would never take what they say for granted. In short, we would always need to determine the correctness of the expert’s claim.

3. The post begins with the assumption that we need to know science in order to engage in discussions about it within the public sphere. Two points: what is science doing in policy discussions? How will we ever know that the people engaged in the discussion have real knowledge? Will we need to appeal to experts about the experts? Will we take a vote about what is true and false?

The bottom line is this:

Sapere Aude!

Filed under: Philosophy, , , ,

Invasion of the body snatchers…

http://gizmodo.com/scientists-control-one-persons-body-with-another-perso-1208742414

Filed under: Neurology

Overview of Bioethics Literature – Week of 8/27/13

Filed under: Bioethics, Philosophy

Bioethics Debate: POLST and Catholicism

A nice little blog war is going on here on the subject of how Catholic hospitals should use the POLST (Physician-Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form:

Filed under: Bioethics, , , ,

Dead Babies and Dead Mothers – A Case of PPP-Induced Murder

http://www.bioethics.net/2013/08/dead-babies-dead-mothers-lets-start-by-reducing-the-stigma-of-mental-illness/

Raises serious but old questions about the use of psychiatric diagnoses to explain and/or excuse crimes. Nothing new to see here, perhaps. Nonetheless, the case shocks the conscience and might lead to the revaluation of PPP in the popular press. At least that is what I hope will happen.

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Successful Personality

Does thisimply that we should nurture this type of personality, either via childrearing or medication?

Filed under: Science, , , ,

The BYOD Movement in Higher Ed

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/08/abcs-byod-0

Filed under: Higher Education Policy, , , ,