He’s doing it linearly while I’m jumping around, so thus far each of our versions has material the other’s doesn’t.
I’m sometimes asked (today by email, for example) how historically accurate the Icelandic sagas are thought to be. The answer is: pretty damn good. The information in the sagas matches up well not only with other historical records (the Landnamabok or Book of Settlements, the Gragas law code, etc.) but also with the physical and cultural geography of the island: farm homesteads are where the sagas say they are, named individuals are buried where the sagas say they’re buried, and so forth. (Moreover, wherever the authors of the sagas did perhaps embellish the record, they would presumably have made the society seem more violent than it was, not less.)
Today’s query reminded me of a particularly striking example from a 1995 Scientific American article which I’m pleased to see is now online (it wasn’t the last time I googled it). It’s by Jesse Byock, author of numerous works on medieval Iceland, and makes a case that even an apparently fanciful detail in Egil’s Saga turns out to have a foundation in fact. Check it out, and see also this followup.
So, can any defender of copyright explain why this isn’t a sufficient reductio?
Darn, just thought of a better title for this post: Don’t Memorise This Cartoon!
[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]
1. More about my Krakow trip soon (really!). But in the meantime, here’s the Spooner paper I gave at the Krakow conference. It’s also the paper I’m going to present at the Molinari Society meeting in December.
2. Speaking of the Molinari Society, it’ll be holding its fourth annual Symposium in conjunction with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in Baltimore, December 27-30, 2007. Here’s the latest schedule info:
GVIII-4. Saturday, 29 December 2007, 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Molinari Society symposium: “Anarchy: It’s Not Just a Good Idea, It’s the Law”
Falkland (Fourth Floor), Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna Street
Session 1, 11:15-12:15:
chair: Jennifer McKitrick (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
speaker: Charles Johnson (Molinari Institute)
title: “A Place for Positive Law: A Contribution to Anarchist Legal Theory”
commentator: John Hasnas (Georgetown University)
Session 2, 12:15-1:15:
chair: Carrie-Ann Biondi (Marymount Manhattan College)
speaker: Roderick T. Long (Auburn University)
title: “Inside and Outside Spooner’s Natural Law Jurisprudence”
commentator: Geoffrey Allan Plauché (Louisiana State University)
3. The schedule for the Alabama Philosophical Society’s September 21-22 meeting in Orange Beach is also online; Charles and I will be attending that as well, speaking on Vegetarianism and Norms on the Margin and On Making Small Contributions to Evil respectively. It’ll be good to be back at our old venue; Orange Beach and Gulf Shores have been slowly recovering from the onslaught of Hurricane Ivan three years ago, and the conference has been held elsewhere the past three years. (Planning to attend? Tomorrow is the last day to make your hotel reservations at the conference rate.)
My favourite Hegel quote:
What Mind Is. From our point of view mind has for its presupposition Nature, of which it is the truth, and for that reason its absolute prius. In this its truth Nature is vanished, and mind has resulted as the ‘Idea’ entered on possession of itself. Here the subject and object of the Idea are one – either is the intelligent unity, the notion. This identity is absolute negativity – for whereas in Nature the intelligent unity has its objectivity perfect but externalized, this self-externalization has been nullified and the unity in that way been made one and the same with itself. Thus at the same time it is this identity only so far as it is a return out of nature.
(Philosophy of Mind § 381.)
In your heart you know he’s right ….
Amazon’s description of Christian Wolff’s Real Happiness of a People Under a Philosophical King reads as follows:
1750. This work is demonstrated not only from the nature of things, but from the undoubted experience of the Chinese under their first Founder Fohi, and his illustrious successors, Hoam Ti and Xin Num. Added to this dissertation by way of notes from the other philosophical works of Mr. Wolff, the principles and definition he refers to in this dissertation. Due to the age and scarcity of the original we reproduced, some pages may be spotty, faded or difficult to read. Written in Old English.
Old English? In 1750?
In related news, Miss Teen South Carolina’s geographical concept-poem is enigmatic.