The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology

Quote of the Day for Friday, September 30th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, from an On The Square article today over at First Things, on the inherently epistemologically-limiting nature of intellectual methodology, and the dangers of ignoring that fact: The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology, and so to mistake a partial perspective on particular truths for a comprehensive vision of truth as such. In the modern world, this is an especially pronounced danger in the sciences...

It is hard to imagine zero-tolerance bullying prevention without schools becoming mini-bureaucratic-police states

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, September 14th, 2011: Mary Rose Somarriba, writing yesterday at Public Discourse, on the recent anti-bullying legislation recently enacted in New Jersey (hewing closely to Obama administration policies), in an article called “A Bully-Free World?”: Why, one might ask, would the president lead a conference on preventing something like bullying, which is ultimately impossible to prevent? It could be, perhaps, because bullying is something that everyone agrees is wrong, and it is something that everyone can relate to, because...

A Final Note on Hvistendahl’s Incoherence

Prior to my summer blogging hiatus, I had posted a couple of entries on some responses to Mara Hvistendahl’s recent book on the social consequences of widespread sex-selection abortions in Asia. I ended up requesting the book from my local public library, and checked it out in mid-July. I couldn’t get past the prologue; it was dreadful. As Hvistendahl laid out her project in the prologue, it was hard not to detect something like a sadness for a great hope gone bad; a belief that abortion should have been not just a means for individual women to “gain con...

"I don’t think any other woman is mentioned"

Quote of the Day for Saturday, December 11th, 2010: Catherine Lawless, lecturer in the history of art at the University of Limerick, discussing her paper relating the legends around St. Ismeria, supposed maternal great-grandmother of Jesus, in a recent Discovery News piece: “I don’t think any other woman is mentioned” as Mary’s grandmother in the Bible, Catherine Lawless, author of the paper, told Discovery News. “Mary’s patrilineal lineage is the only one given.” Perhaps I’m guilty here of shooting fish in a bar...