Friday, April 09, 2004


For reasons that should be obvious, I have had a little time off lately. In fact, two entire weeks, which is the most time I've had off since the Christmas of 1996. So I've been able to do a little reading.

1. Atheism & Theism, which is a debate between J.J.C. Smart and J.J. Haldane. Informative as to most of the main arguments on either side. Smart can be subtly entertaining. For example, his footnote 1 on page 187 begins, "See two rather horrible articles of mine . . . ." Then there is the story that he repeats, also on page 187:
In my younger days it was possible in certain circles to win an argument by looking at the ceiling and saying in a plonking tone of voice 'I don't understand', where upon the opponent was supposed to feel a fool for having said something meaningless. I have a delightful memory of when a brash young Oxonian tried this on Russell and Russell replied 'I am not responsible for your intellectual deficiencies, young man'.
2. Saul A. Kripke, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Well-worth reading, as one would expect from Kripke.

3. C.S. Lewis's Letters, in a collection prefaced by his brother. Again, well-worth reading, for Lewis's humor, his writing, and the immensity of his learning. I'll post some excerpts.


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