Philosophers' Carnival VII

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The seventh Philosophers' Carnival is at Mixing Memory. My OrangePhilosophy post Act vs. Rule is there. My co-blogger at Prosblogion David Hunter shows up as well with God the Utilitarian?

Siris has a nice post on arguments from analogy and what Hume had to say about them.

Studi Galileiani has a fascinating post about why the principle of Occam's Razor (which may have originally come from a quotation by Occam of his opponents!) isn't incredibly helpful when it comes to scientific theorizing. Most of the big scientific advances haven't really relied on it, and in many cases it would have prevented them! One thing that seemed strange to me was his account of Galileo's conflict with the Roman Catholic Church, which, though it acknowledges that some of the oft-repeated common account is apocryphal, still differs from what Donald Crankshaw and Joe Carter have said really went on. So I looked around the site more, and apparently the author has argued against both the standard account and the account Donald and Joe are arguing. Galileo was no martyr for science and reasoning as opposed to a backward and theocratic church, but at the same time the blame wasn't on Galileo for pushing a theory without evidence, as Joe's account suggests. Apparently it's a very complicated story. I don't have the time to pursue the details, but I wanted to mention that since I've linked to Joe and Donald's posts before.

Don Herzog at Left2Right has a very nice post on equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws. I don't always agree with his posts, but this one shows some real balance between libertarian principles and classic liberalism's insistence on limiting libertarian principles for various reasons. I highly recommend to people of all political persuasions to think through some of the arguments he gives regarding the political theory behind these issues.


Thanks for the kind words, Jeremy, which I only just found. As you say, I explained in my extended essay why both Carter and Crankshaw's accounts are mythical, unfortunately only repeating what now-discredited sources like de Santillana have claimed. In the next Philosopher's Carnival I'll say some more about these myths (if my entry is accepted) but the best way to understand where the traditional tales fall short is to take the time to study the contemporary scholarship, of which Fantoli is the best by far.

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