As the great man's guest must produce his good stories or songs at the evening banquet, as the platform orator exhibits his telling facts at mid-day, so the journalist lies under the stern obligation of extemporizing his lucid views, leading ideas, and nutshell truths for the breakfast table.
Cardinal J. H. Newman, Preface to The Idea of a University, 1852

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Susan Blackmore on Peter Singer

Susan Blackmore in her Blog in the Guardian, says Peter Singer is wrong

Singer is right to point out the psychological differences in how we respond to the toddler in the pond as opposed to the distant starving child, but wrong if he concludes that we ought to be as generous to one as the other.

There are lots of reasons for not giving money to try to save the life of someone you have never met, in a country you have never visited, and in a culture you do not understand
It sounds like an excuse to me.

(My thoughts on what Peter Singer is saying.)

Isaiah Berlin, and difference

From Adam Phillips' review of Isaiah Berlin, Enlightening: Letters 1946-60 in the London Review of Books:
All of Berlin's writing is an attempt to pesuade people not to talk on other people's behalf.
This links, in my mind anyway, to arguing that geography is not history. It is about acknowledging differences.