Heap of Links
1. Why study paradoxes? Roy Cook (Minnesota) answers.
2. An argument for the following: “The maxim ‘my country must fight a war to end this episode of political violence and politically-induced suffering’ is approximately equivalent to the maxim ‘the political elites of my country may fight wars at the times and places of their choosing, for the reasons of their choosing, whether their motives are good, wicked, or opportunistic,'” by Jacob Levy (McGill).
3. NorMind is a new informal network of philosophers of mind and cognitive science working in the Nordic countries (and nearby). (via Ole Koksvik)
4. How Rudolf Carnap ended up in philosophy, according to Hilary Putnam.
5. Why is there something rather than nothing? Jim Holt explains in a recent TED talk.
6. “Wittgenstein Jr is about a Wittgenstein-wannabe, a pseudo-Ludwig, a despairing, tormented philosopher in contemporary Cambridge struggling to produce a proper thought, who is nicknamed Wittgenstein by his students.” The Guardian has a review of this new novel by Lars Iyer.
7. In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy, Volume 1, by Eugene Thacker, is, according to Radiolab, “an academic treatise about the horror humanity feels as we realize that we are nothing but a speck in the universe.” Who knows, but apparently it is kind of a big deal in some entertainment circles.
8. Some people are trying to electrically stimulate their own brains to become smarter and happier. Please note that “plugging a 9-volt battery directly into your head is a bad idea, of course.” (via Matt Burstein). In other brain news, doctors have discovered a normal functioning woman with no cerebellum.
9. Would philosophers be good on this upcoming game show?
10. What it is sometimes like putting together the heap of links.
Regarding the post about the individual who is missing her cerebellum, I believe you have misdescribed the case. You wrote: ‘…doctors have discovered a normal functioning woman with no cerebellum.’
However, in the article you linked to, (as well as other reporting; for example, see: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329861.900-woman-of-24-found-to-have-no-cerebellum-in-her-brain.html#.VBHYaPldXTq), it appears the individual in question is not, or has not, demonstrated normal functioning.
From the io9 piece: “…every documented case of the condition (i.e. cerebellar agenesis) has been linked to ‘a profound deficit in the development of normal movement.’ This certainly appears to be the case with this 24-year-old woman, whose mother reports she was four years old before she could stand on her own, and seven before she could walk unassisted, ‘with a persistently unsteady gait.’ Her speech was also reportedly unintelligible until the age of 6 (difficulty articulating is a symptom of cerebellar disfunction).”Report
It sounds like there were some developmental delays, true, but the article says, “Today, however, the 24-year-old woman’s symptoms are not characterized as debilitating, but as “mild to moderate” – her movements “slowed,” or “slightly irregular.”Report