Mathematics is used as a hoop, a badge, a totem

Quote of the Day for Sunday, July 29th, 2012: Andrew Hacker, in today’s New York Times, asks: Is Algebra Necessary? Peter Braunfeld of the University of Illinois tells his students, “Our civilization would collapse without mathematics.” He’s absolutely right. Algebraic algorithms underpin animated movies, investment strategies and airline ticket prices. And we need people to understand how those things work and to advance our frontiers. Quantitative literacy clearly is useful in weighing all manner of public policies, from the Affordable Care Act, to th...

Subjectivism’s Necessary Appeal to Juridical Power

Quote of the Day for Saturday, Nov 20, from Georgia Warnke, in Justice and Interpretation (MIT Press, 1994): MacIntyre insists that the "only rational way in which these disagreements could be resolved would be by means of philosophical enquiry aimed at deciding which out of the conflicting sets of premises, if any, is true."  But within the liberal tradition, not only can individual claims to what the good life is for human beings not be understood or appear as validity claims in the sphere of public discussion; the same restrictions app...