Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some random, not very well-thought-out thoughts . . .

On blasphemy laws

A reasonable test of a nation's commitment to liberal democracy is the existence or otherwise of a blasphemy law on its statutes.

A reasonable test of an individual or organisation's commitment to liberal democracy is their willingness to bring a blasphemy suit against another individual or organisation.

On Foucault
I think the validity of Foucault’s work depends to a great degree upon how you approach it. Foucauldian theory as science? Category mistake. Foucauldian theory as a way–but certainly not the only way–of storytelling/interpreting history and culture? Far more valuable.

On Plato
What assumptions do I have about Plato? Not being very knowledgeable about him, just this one: his concept of Forms constitutes maybe the greatest blind alley in the history of Western philosophy, and has been an absolute boon to magical/dogmatic thinking for millennia.

(UPDATE) On the mall shooting
I blame secularism. Not for any good reason, mind you--I just wanted to get in ahead of the conservapundits. (Or have I already been beaten to the punch?)

The Simpsons and Philosophy

Sesame Street and Philosophy

Monty Python and Philosophy

Ben Folds and Philosophy