Archive for November, 2014

Constructions of good, bad and non-arguments

Ask a Philosopher

Zhoravlik asked:

Regarding valid/ invalid deductive arguments.

Ex 1:

P1 Grass is green
P2 Paris is the capital of France
C Poodles are dogs

How is this ‘deductively’ valid (or invalid) since no claim of inference is being made? Or for that matter, how can it be considered an ‘argument’ at all if what is meant by an argument is an attempt at persuasion? A series of unrelated but true statements placed together in ‘argument’ form do not make a deductive argument if that is the intent. It isn’t a bad argument either, a bicycle isn’t a car even if the speaker wants it to be. No one in the real world would seek to persuade by forming such an ‘argument’. Please give an example of invalid argument with true premises and true conclusions that is not nonsense.

And whatever you give, let that argument fail on logic not knowledge.

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How to use a logic diagram

Posted: November 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Venn logic diagrams

Ask a Philosopher

Rahul asked:

Suppose ‘no scientist are philosopher’ is true then which of these is true and which are false:

(i) no nonphilosopher are scientists
(ii) some nonphilosopher are nonscientist
(iii) all nonscientist are nonphilosopher
(iv) no scientist are nonphilosopher

Answer by Craig Skinner

The important thing here is to have a general method for solving this kind of predicate logic puzzle. Some people do it with the words, others with symbols, but it beats me how they manage.

Best is a diagram. Get pen and paper and follow these instructions (it’s much easier to do than the instructions suggest at first sight, I’d draw the diagram in this answer but my computer skills aren’t up to it).

* draw a square (this represents everything – philosophers, scientists, nonphilosophers, nonscientists)

* inside the square, draw a circle and put ‘P’ inside it – this circle is the philosophers

* also inside…

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Inspiring my research dissertation for my MA.

The closest views to the truth that I have recently read.

An “invisible government of vested interest” … which has been painted white by the media.

how more accurate can you possibly get?

The only question I ask here is: whether these governments are made solely of humans? What the powerful are selling to the populations – through the Media – tyranny, oppression and war! Is by definition inhumane.

Last week, renowned journalist John Pilger spoke at a Q&A on media power with Des Freedman from the Media Reform Coalition who released his new book ‘The Contradictions of Media Power.’

We have picked some of our favourite quotes from John Pilger during the talk, which give us an insight of his experience and understanding of media power, which is something we can all learn from. And he definitely puts it best.


“The whole essence of media is not about information. It’s about power.”

“Today the media is, as the father of propaganda, Edward Bernays described, ‘an invisible government.’ It’s in the government. It’s in the government’s vested interests. The Prime Minister is a PR man by trade, and not a very good one. That’s all he is. He shouldn’t be taken seriously, he just has the position. That position allows him certain aspects of power. But the real power…

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Has to seen to be believed!–xkniRraSOe
Is Chancellor Gideon on the donut topping again? cokehead kent!

What on earth was going on with George Osborne at PMQs?

Posted 12 minutes ago by Adam Withnall in videosUpvoteUpvoted He’s in charge of the nation’s finances and tasked with steering the UK economy…

Tonight’s seminar should be right up my street!

Material Difficulties: Objects and Narratives which DISTURB and AFFECT… presented by the Dean of the CSAD, I’d better behave then… ahem…

 The museologist Gaynor Kavanagh argues that museums must develop their “emotional literacy”, which accord­ing to her, means allowing the museum both to laugh and to cry together with its visitors, both to resist and to embrace the rage, bitterness, and confusion that is part of the trauma.

This al­so means taking up well thought-out stances and asking oneself what one wants and can achieve by making painful experiences public.
The unpleasant and troublesome aspect does not just concern human relations, but can also refer to objects which for various reasons arouse emotional resistance in museum officials.
This can be, for example, political symbols, human re­mains, sexually charged objects, or things that are defined by many people as “rubbish“.
Objects DETECTING DIFFICULT Y like this have been accompanied by turnabouts, manoeuvres, and conflicts in the museums, in some cases generating entertaining stories, a few of which are recorded in this book.

The drawers of an individual curator’s desk have often been a haven for things that are far too problematic, while awaiting more favourable times.

Further article here (2005) pages 8 & 9

Section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 has been put in order by the Metropolitan police around Parliament Square a.k.a the heart of UK democracy.

I’m interested as an artist in the heightened “Status of Objects of disobedience”.

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.
Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth.”

― Oscar Wilde

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Wear The Mask, in the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Source: The Guardian

Please sign the petition “Ask ‘Save the Children’ to revoke their annual Global Legacy Award given to Tony Blair”


Just think how generous Blair was donating all that depleted Uranium to the children of Iraq… What a guy!

THE INTERNATIONAL charity Save the Children has been engulfed by a furious backlash from staff after it presented Tony Blair with a “global legacy award” in New York last week – despite privately acknowledging that he is a controversial and divisive figure.

Amid widespread criticism on social media, many of the charity’s staff have complained that the presentation of the award has discredited Save the Children (STC). An internal letter, which gathered almost 200 signatures – including senior regional staff – in the first six hours of dissemination, said the award was not only “morally reprehensible, but also endangers our credibility globally”, and called for it to be withdrawn.

It said that staff wished to distance themselves from the award and demanded a review of the charity’s decision-making process.

“We consider this award inappropriate and a betrayal to Save the Children’s founding principles and values. Management staff in the region were not communicated with nor consulted about the award and were caught by surprise with this decision,” it said.

The move has also raised questions about Save the Children’s (STC) integrity and independence because of close links between the former British prime minister and key figures at the charity’s helm.

Its UK chief executive, Justin Forsyth, was a special adviser to Blair for three years, and Jonathan Powell, Blair’s former chief of staff, is currently on the board of STC.

Blair was presented with the award by the US arm of the charity at a glittering “Illumination Gala” at the Plaza Hotel in New York on 19 November, in recognition of his “leadership on international development”.

The charity cited two G8 summits hosted by Blair during his premiership which focused on debt relief for poor countries. At the Gleneagles summit in 2005, world leaders pledged to “Make Poverty History”.

Forsyth, who was appointed chief executive of STC in 2010, previously worked for Blair, focusing on global poverty. In an introduction to his blog on STC’s website, Forsyth writes: “In 2004, I was recruited to No 10 by Tony Blair, where I led efforts on poverty and climate change and was one of the driving forces behind the Make Poverty History campaign.”

Accepting the award at the New York gala, Blair said: “From the beginning of humankind there has been brutality, conflict, intrigue, the destructive obsession with a narrow self-interest. But throughout all human history, never has been extinguished that relentless, unquenchable desire to do good. To act not only in self-interest and sometimes to even to act in defiance of it.”

Protesters swiftly took to social media, led by MP and anti-war campaigner George Galloway, who tweeted:

“Following the grotesque award to child-killer @TheBlairDoc Tony Blair by Save the Children all right thinking people should withdraw support.”

He also demanded STC rescind the award.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted a picture of Blair with the words:

“As this man defends any dictator who’ll pay him, @SaveTheChildrenUK inexplicably gives him award.”

Roth later corrected this to STC US.

An online petition calling for STC to revoke the award said many saw Blair “as the cause of the deaths of countless children in the Middle East”. It had gathered more than 81,000 signatures by 1pm on Tuesday.

According to an email sent last week by Krista Armstrong, the charity’s global media manager, to senior colleagues, STC has received a “high volume of complaints and negative reactions regarding the award”.

The email acknowledged that Blair “is a hugely controversial and divisive figure in many parts of the world” and listed a number of questions that had been raised by STC staff, soliciting possible responses from her colleagues.

The first question was: “Why would Save the Children chose (sic) to provide one of its most prestigious award – ‘a global legacy award’ to a man accused of being a war criminal?”

In response, Eileen Burke, STC’s director of media and communications in the US, circulated “a line” explaining Blair was selected for the award for debt relief work and the Make Poverty History campaign.

“Otherwise we are not in a position to respond to some of the geopolitical questions below,” she wrote in a separate email.

In a statement, STC stressed that the award was given by the US arm of the charity, not by STC UK or Forsyth. It said the award was presented because of Blair’s work as prime minister on Africa and poverty.

In response to a question about the scale of internal anger and opposition, STC added: “In a global organisation like ours of thousands of people, our staff have strong views on a whole range of issues and people and we respect that diversity of views.”

A spokeswoman for Blair said the former prime minister was “deeply honoured and moved to receive the award in recognition of his work”. Asked about the wisdom of accepting an award from an organisation with two former Downing St employees within its leadership, Blair’s office pointed out that the award was made by STC US.

Since propelling Britain into the US-led war in Iraq in 2003, in the face of fierce opposition in parliament and among the public, Blair has regularly been accused of war crimes. He is expected to be strongly criticised in the report of the government-appointed Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, which is due to be published next year.

On the day he stepped down as prime minister in 2007, Blair took up the post of special envoy to the Middle East Quartet, which mediates between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians and their supporters have frequently charged that, rather than a neutral interlocutor, Blair is strongly pro-Israel.

Three years ago Tony Blair Associates, the former prime minister’s consultancy firm, signed a multimillion pound deal to advise the autocratic president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbeyev. Blair and his companies also have lucrative consultancy contracts with Kuwait, the UAE and Colombia.

Other areas of Blair’s post-Downing St work include African governance, faith, sport and climate change.

Powell did not respond to Guardian requests for comment on Blair’s award and his role as a board member of STC.

Forsyth’s salary at the Save the Children came under scrutiny last year when it was disclosed that he was paid £163,000 a year, including more than £22,000 in performance-related pay.

SIGN THE PETITION to Save the Children: Withdraw your award to Tony Blair now…

This is the CEO who gave her mate B-Liar the award, she creams nearly £Quarter of a million in salary alone… (sorry for the source but when you need a hatchet job The Daily Heil has its uses!)

Copy and paste the link, I don’t want credit for redirecting traffic to those bastards :o)




This 45 minute talk at a conference in 1987 on the “act of creation” in cinema is perhaps the most intimate capture of Gilles Deleuze on film besides the Abécédaire interview.

Gilles Deleuze speaks continuously and fluidly in a raspy but gentle and sincere voice that betrays much reverence for the work of figures such as Bresson and Kurosawa, particularly as concerns what Deleuze claims to be an absolute need of theirs to adapt the works of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky for film.

Other figures discussed include Syberberg, Straub and Duras, along with a discussion of Foucault (32mins) and disciplinary societies. Deleuze concludes with a meditation on what he calls the “mysterious connection between the work of art and the act of resistance.” 

In French with English subtitles:

Arch-psychopath, minister Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions  (DWP) has launched a new propaganda scapegoating “advertising” campaign encouraging people to phone a hotline if they suspect somebody they know is fraudulently claiming benefits. {}

I’m sure that serious fraudulent claimants inform their friends and neighbours of their every activity, including holidays, sleeping arrangements, moments of intimacy and all of their benefit payment details, all the time, so that makes sense…

non-entity Tory scumbag Mark Harper said: “Those who cheat the system need to know we will use everything in our power to stop them stealing money from hardworking taxpayers.”  

Yet we know that there isn’t a real distinction between benefit claimants andhard-working taxpayers, as the Tories would have us believe.

Many people on benefits are also in work, but are not paid a sufficient wage on which to live!

Most people claiming benefits, including disabled people, have worked and contributed income tax previously.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the poorest citizens, including people claiming benefits, pay proportionally more indirect taxes than the wealthiest citizens.

The strivers / skivers rhetoric is simply a divert, divide and scapegoating strategy.

Growing social inequality generates a political necessity for prejudices.

The real cost of out-of-work benefits is over-estimated in relation to the welfare bill for pensions and in-work benefits such as tax credits and housing benefit, obscuring the increasing role that the British state plays in subsidising the scandalously low wages paid by increasingly exploitative employers, in order to meet a minimum standard of living for the hard-working.

The hard-working taxpayer myth is founded on a false dichotomy, since it is estimated that around 70% of households claim benefits of one kind or another at some point in their lives.

In the current climate of low pay, no pay, poor working conditions, zero hours contracts, job insecurity, and high living costs, the myth of an all pervasive welfare-dependent  something for nothing culture is being used to foster prejudice and resentment towards those unfortunate enough to be out of work.

It also serves to bolster right-wing justification narratives that are entirely ideologically driven, which are aimed at dismantling the welfare state.




Covered this question in my MA Research module for formation of Argument in a seminar yesterday with Professor of Philosophy, Clive Cazeaux.

are art schools becoming too much like universities and excluding those very people who will produce the innovations of the future?
Brian Eno, Grayson Perry and others reflect on the state of the art school.

British art schools have produced some of the world’s most successful artists, designers, filmmakers and musicians.

Britain has built up a strong reputation for creativity around the world and politicians are interested in capitalising on our creative brand.

Brian Eno was at art school at a particularly exciting time. In the sixties, art colleges were independent and experimental; students were challenged to rethink what art and art education were about. Brian relates his memories of Ipswich College of Art under the radical educationalist Roy Ascot, and reflects on the importance of this experience. But he also sounds a warning note – he says art schools are under huge pressures and the effects are threatening creativity.

This programme brings together artists, musicians, art tutors and archive recordings to explore the last half century of art education and the state of Britain’s art schools today.

We hear the perspectives of high profile figures in art and design – Grayson Perry, Richard Wentworth, Eileen Cooper, Peter Kindersley, and Jay Osgerby to name a few.

Britain depends on its art schools if it’s to sustain its reputation for creativity.

But are art schools becoming too much like universities and excluding those very people who will produce the innovations of the future?

Produced by Isabel Sutton
A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.