Monday, December 24, 2018

The Plantinga/Dennett Debate with captions

This is the actual "debate" between Alvin Plantinga and Daniel Dennett. I put "debate" in quotes because there's not as much back-and-forth as a standard debate. It's just  Plantinga's presentation, Dennett's response, and Plantinga's counter-response. You can listen to it elsewhere online, but since the audio is so bad I went through it and added captions. Because I just care that much. (Also because I play it for my students and they couldn't follow it.) If anyone can figure out what Plantinga says at 9:52 let me know.

These three presentations later comprised the first three (of six) chapters in Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? (OUP) although Dennett changed several aspects of his presentation. Notably, in the book he doesn't include his "little joke" that he closes with (starting at 1:19:27). I guess it didn't play well with the audience and/or publisher. Dennett's interruption of Plantinga didn't make it into the book either (1:28:35 and following). The final three chapters of the book are Dennett's response to Plantinga's last presentation, Plantinga's response to that, and then Dennett's final response.

So this is my present to you. Merry Christmas. What'd you get me?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Oh man

I'm so sorry I haven't been posting. For whatever reason I haven't had the motivation. It's not that I'm not writing, I'm in the final (I hope) throes of finishing my second book. I have had some personal tragedies in 2018 but I don't think that's why I haven't been keeping up the blog. I'll have something special for a Christmas present in the coming few days. In the meantime I'll just say that I've been watching The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick's novel (although it's really just using the novel as a jumping off point), and I have really enjoyed it thus far. The acting is just incredible, better than anything I've ever seen. The story is essentially an alternate history where the Nazis and Japanese won World War 2 and occupy most of the former United States. In the latest (third) season, they have one of the main characters realize that there are multiple universes with versions of the same people, and he says something to the effect of "It's like a Fredric Brown story." I loved this because, as I've pointed out before, Fredric Brown is probably my favorite science-fiction author. I even know the novel they're referring to: What Mad Universe. It was a tiny validation of the greatness of this underappreciated author.