Sunday, May 24, 2009

the philosopher's oath

If you are a practicing philosopher, please consider taking this oath:
I, [insert name here], do hereby vow to never use, in speech or in print, the locution "X taught us that Y", where X is a famous philosopher and Y is a claim which they have defended. Furthermore, whenever I read or hear claims of the form "X taught us that Y" made by some other philosopher, I vow to remind myself that mentioning a claim in conjunction with its most famous defender does not constitute an argument for that claim, and that it is a defining feature of philosophy that it should have no dogmas, that all claims are open to question. Finally, I recognize that it is this feature of philosophy which distinguishes it from science, but also which prevents it from degenerating into hollow and dogmatic scholasticism, and I vow to maintain an open mind and protect philosophy from the descent into scholasticism until my dying day, or forfeit my right to practice philosophy.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

sonnet ~ to science

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise?
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jeweled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

~ Edgar Allen Poe

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009


For the first time, neither sales nor property nor income taxes are the largest source of money for state and local governments. The federal government is.
. . . .
The Obama administration's agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of "economic planning" and "social justice" that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration's central activity &mdash the political allocation of wealth and opportunity &mdash is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

~ George Will

Saturday, May 2, 2009