Category Archives: Philosophy

RE: "Does religion answer factual questions?"

Here’s an interesting piece from the Talking Philosophy blog.

Does religion answer factual questions?
BY RUSSELL BLACKFORD ⋅ NOVEMBER 11, 2011 ⋅  In a recent article in The Guardian ’s “Comment is free” opinion section, Keith Ward defends religion as a source of factual knowledge that eludes science. Thus, Ward rejects (as do I) the principle of Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA) advocated by Stephen Jay Gould – according to which, religion and science, properly construed, have separate epistemic territories or areas of authority. According to this view, religion and science investigate different sorts of questions and so can never give conflicting answers unless they stray from their legitimate roles.
Instead, Ward argues that, “Many religious statements are naturally construed as statements of fact – Jesus healed the sick, and rose from death, and these are factual claims.” I agree with this – various religions do make factual claims that could be just plain false: false in an empirical sense.
It could be – I think it most likely is – just plain empirically false that someone approximately meeting the traditional description of Jesus of Nazareth was executed by crucifixion, then rose from the dead, approximately 1980 years ago. However, it does seem like a factual issue, and one about which Christians have traditionally made claims. To that extent, Ward and I are in agreement. The claims made by religion, or at least some of them, can be seen as answers to factual questions.

Read the whole article here.

Also posted in Religion

Reconstruction Vol. 11, No. 3, 2011: Gender and Popular Fiction


Editors’ Introduction: Gender and Popular Fiction, by Cameron Leader-Picone and Matthew Schneider-Mayerson
Everything But the Kitchen Sink: Popular Novels by Women in the Great Depression, by Jan Goggans
Pamela, Twilight, and the “Mary-Sue” in Literature: Patterns of Popular Criticism, by Ashley Barner
On Getting Lost in a Good Book: Bibliomania and the Harry Potter and Twilight Series, by Erin Hollis
Gender and Genre Bending: The Futuristic Detective Fiction of J.D. Robb, by Linda Ledford-Miller
Highbrow, Lowbrow, No-brow: Women’s Reading Practices and the Vitality of New-Format Fiction, by K.C. Harrison
Also posted in Journal, Pop Culture Issues

Democracy Now: Julian Assange and Slavoj Žižek

Here’s an interesting discussion between philosopher Slavoj Žižek and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange which provides their insights into pressing issues of our time.

Watch live streaming video from democracynow at
Also posted in Critical Theory, Pop Culture Issues, Žižek

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Žižek

In this RSA animate, Slavoj Žižek provides a thought provoking take on the interrelations between capitalism and charitable giving.

Also posted in Capitalism, Video, Žižek

Professor Renata Salecl on Choice

I just can’t get enough of these. This one ruminates on philosophical issues surrounding individual choice as argued by Professor Renata Salecl.

Also posted in Capitalism, Pop Culture Issues, Video