December 31, 2006

On Moore's Alleged Refutation of Idealism

I've just finished reading G.E. Moore's paper, "The Refutation of Idealism." The paper was originally published in Mind in October 1903 and reprinted in Moore's Philosophical Studies in 1922, but I've got the version reprinted again in Colin Turbayne's edition of Berkeley's Principles with critical essays, and I'll be citing page numbers from there. Moore's target in the essay is not Berkeley directly (it is, of course, Berkeley in whom I am most interested here), but what he calls "modern Idealism." The modern Idealism described by Moore seems to be a sort of immaterialist panpsychism; that is, Moore claims that...
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December 29, 2006

Laissez-faire (The Game)

I received for Christmas this year a copy of the game Anti-Monopoly. The game has an interesting premise. Half of the players are "monopolists" who play according to rules similar to the original Monopoly, and the other half are "competitors" who must charge "fair" rents and obey laws and so forth. The competitors make up for their lower rents by being able to build houses without controlling a monopoly. If you are detecting a slight socialist bias here, you are right; the rulebook contains questionable and irrelevant interjections like "monopolists will destroy competitors in the absence of anti-monopoly laws." However...
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December 28, 2006

Liberty Dollar Reborn!

According to the latest Liberty Dollar newsletter, NORFED (National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve, or something like that), the non-profit political activism group formerly responsible for the Liberty Dollar (and recently in trouble with the US Mint), has been disbanded, and the Liberty Dollar is now being marketed by a business entity to be known as "Liberty Services." The new Liberty Dollar promises to drop the political rhetoric...
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December 22, 2006

My Five Favorite Philosophers

Recently, while I was busy with finals, Clarke at Mormon Metaphysics and Johnny-Dee at Fides Quarens Intellectum posted lists of their favorite philosophers. I thought that today I would do the same. I won't get fancy with pictures and stuff, because that's not my style (as you can plainly see if you are looking at this page), but I do have a list, roughly in order...
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Philosophical Language in Hebrews 11:1

Over at Better Bibles Blog, Wayne Leman is discussing the difficulties involved in producting coherent English from Hebrews 11:1. I want here to produce some considerations on the use of a couple of unusual (in the NT) words in this verse that will hopefully help us to produce a better translation of the word. Wayne made it clear that his post was primarily about the coherence of the English. However, I think part of the reason we have difficulty rendering this verse in English is that we're not totally clear on what we are trying to communicate...
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December 10, 2006

"The Life and Death of Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare

Tonight, my proposal to direct Shakespeare's "The Life and Death of Julius Caesar" was officially approved as the Underground Shakespeare Company's 2007 main fall show. Auditions will be open to all...
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December 9, 2006

U.S. Congress Outlaws Pretexting (Sort Of)

In my previous post on the MPAA's success in blocking a California anti-pretexting bill, I neglected to mention that California did go on to pass a much narrower bill, which illegalizes the use of pretexting to obtain telephone records. Today, the New York Times is reporting that the Senate has just passed a similar bill (apparently the House passed the bill quite some time ago). Of course, these bills really do not go far enough, but it is something. I don't understand how it can be so difficult to get a stronger bill passed. How is pretexting not a straightforward...
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December 6, 2006

Quote of the Day

"There are a few things wrong with this argument, the first being its incoherence." - Justice David Souter on the Bush administration's legal reasoning (or lack thereof).
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December 5, 2006

MPAA Needs to Steal Your Identity to Fight Privacy - I Mean 'Piracy'

Wired is reporting that the Motion Picture Association of America's lobbyists have successfully killed an anti-pretexting bill in California. Pretexting is the practice of pretending to be someone else in order to gain access to that person's private records. An aide to the California Secretary of State was quoted as saying "the MPAA told some members [of the legislature] the bill would interfere with piracy investigations." What on earth gives a private organization who wants to extort money from you with frivolous lawsuits the right to lie to your utility providers in order to steal your personal records?...
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