Jeremy Stangroom, at The Philosophers’ Magazine Online writes a disturbing essay on Michel Foucault’s Iranian Folly. It’s a cautionary tale for progressive thinkers, concerning just how often they fall for ideas or people that turn out to be tyrannical and radically anti-democratic.
Long piece in the New Republic about the life and career of cultural critic Stanley Fish. The article is broadly sympathetic, though it does mention some of the harsh critics of Fish (my favorite: Terry Eagleton defining Fish as “the Donald Trump of American academia, a brash, noisy entrepreneur of the intellect.”). I’m not too fond of the guy myself, as you can see here and here, for example.
Sean Carroll explains very clearly (well, okay, as clearly as the subject matter allows, really) why claims that the universe expanded faster that the speed of light during periods of inflation is “utterly and hopelessly incorrect.” Apparently, even professional physicists get it wrong, for instance Lawrence Krauss.
It’s possible that scientists have discovered the epigenetic bases of gay male sexual preferences. I do tend to think that sexual preferences are largely (though not exclusively) a matter of biology, but of course “biology” doesn’t mean just genes, it can mean epigenes as well…
A really nice article (again at TPM Online) by Julian Baggini on why the free will debate is pretty much a never ending one. It’s all about “discretionary truth,” a concept referring to a class of statements which, although it is wrong to say they are false, we can equally well do without asserting their truth.