July 13, 2010

The Frustrations of Ecumenical Dialogue

I believe that ecumenical dialogue is important. For one thing, the current divisions of the Church are not just a shame but a sin. For another thing, I think that Timothy Ware is correct in claiming that God intended for differing perspectives between different linguistic and cultural groups, and also between differing tastes and focuses to balance each other out. Instead (and let me, as a Protestant, admit that the Reformation only made this worse), we tend to congregate with people who think like us and look like us and talk like us and want the same styles of preaching...
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July 9, 2010

Authority, Authoritativeness, and Objectivity

I've just finished reading John Foster's new book, A World For Us: The Case for Phenomenalistic Idealism. Foster had previously defended idealism in his 1982 The Case for Idealism, and many of the basic arguments are the same, though I think the structure is cleaner and easier to grasp. (I've also just finished reading the restored version of Stranger in a Strange Land, so every time I write 'Foster' I'm thinking of the archangel - but that's beside the point.) The main motivation behind Foster's idealism, all the way back to 1982, is the thought that if anything is to...
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July 6, 2010

Implicature and the Interpretation of Foreign Language Texts

I've just read Grice's "Logic and Conversation" (ch. 2 in Studies in the Way of Words) for (I'll admit) the first time. Something that struck me while reading it, which Grice does not explicitly recognize, is that his model helps to explain a phenomenon that causes a lot of trouble when one tries to interpret texts (or speech) in a language in which one is not fully fluent. Grice's basic model works like this: sometimes a speaker says something which, taken in its perfectly straightforward sense, seems quite odd. The oddness (at least in the cases in which Grice is...
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