The Mullery (where I mull things over)

The Old Way of Dispute

Submitted by Jonathan on Wed, 05/13/2020 - 18:30

It used to be standard training in education in rhetoric ("persuasive communication skills," if you will) that you must be able to state your opponent's view of the disputed matter to your opponent's satisfaction (ideally, state it even better than your opponent had done) before moving on to explaining why you reject that view, and then making your positive case for your own view.

Comments on Christianity and State-Sponsored Violence

Submitted by Jonathan on Sun, 04/14/2019 - 00:30

What follows is the text of comments I gave at a recent symposium at the University of South Carolina on the topic of "Christianity and State-Sponsored Violence." I was one of four panelists, each of whom was invited to speak for about 10 minutes on the topic, or some aspect of the topic, after which there was about an hour and a half of free-wheeling conversation between the panelists and the audience. It seemed to go well so far as I could tell; but this was my first experience as a "panelist," so what do I know? 

On Annette Baier on Love and Trustworthiness

Submitted by Jonathan on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 16:48

Annette Baier (1929 - 2012) was one of the most influential philosophers on trust in the last 100 years. Her work on the nature and ethics of trust has influenced just about every philosopher working on trust today, including me. But nobody is perfect. I was recently re-reading her essay "Trust and Anti-Trust" when I noticed a claim regarding the relationship between love and trust that I'm pretty sure is not quite right, or at least needs some significant qualification.  Here's the claim:

Hobbes and Anscombe on Believing God

Submitted by Jonathan on Sat, 03/25/2017 - 03:28

As I've been reflecting on Elizabeth Anscombe's work on trust and testimony, I remembered some passages from Thomas Hobbes on similar themes, and I'd like to bring them into dialog with each other. In an earlier post I discussed Anscombe's distinction between believing a person and believing that what a person says is true, as well as her distinction between original and derivative epistemic authority.