Not just a hodge-podge, but a miscellaneous hodge-podge. Here’s what I’ve been reading:
But humans keep experiencing suffering and death. Why? What explains the tremendous mismatch between expectation and reality? Are the cures really coming, just more slowly than expected? Or have scientists fundamentally misled us, and themselves, about the potential of new medical technologies?
4. Barbara Herrnstein-Smith’s Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion. I just started this book, which has been on my list since reading this Stanley Fish post. The introduction has already blown my mind and I look forward to reading more. Money quote from a follow-up response Smith wrote to Fish’s post:
Finally and most seriously, I think that the idea of science and religion as counterpoised monoliths deepens prevailing misunderstandings of both. As I emphasize throughout the book, the kinds of things that can be assembled under the term “religion” are exceptionally diverse. They range from personal experiences and popular beliefs to formal doctrines, priestly institutions, ritual practices and devotional icons — Neanderthal burial rites to Vatican encyclicals. The same can be said of “science,” a term that embraces a wide range of quite different kinds of things — general pursuits and specialized practices, findings and theories, instruments and techniques, ideals and institutions (not to mention a share of devotional icons and ritual practices).
I’ve been speaking about disunity of science for a while now and it’s refreshing to see it from a different perspective.