Above: Otto Foltmer with my Mom and my wife circa 1960.

My step-father was a small farmer. He worked with his hands all of his life. He worked with mules, horses, and later tractors. Otto was primarily a wheat farmer. He took pride in his farming. Straight rows, sowing at the right time, cultivating, knowing when to harvest. There was a German Lutheran toughness to him and a real pride in growing crops and beasts to feed the people.
It was a real shock to him when he made his first trip to the east coast. He went up to the top of the Empire State Building and looked out over the city. He noticed barges in the Hudson River that were dumping their loads into the river. He asked what they were dumping. He was told they were dumping excess wheat and also milk. He could not believe it.
Why would they do that he asked. For the futures market he was told. Too much wheat brings the prices down now and in the future.
When he came back to the farm he was changed. Those barges had stolen his life’s purpose.
At about the same time Camus was writing his Notebooks 1951 – 1959. He writes (35) :
According to Melville, the remora, a fish of the South Seas, swims poorly. That is why their only chance to move forward consists of attaching themselves to the back of a big fish. They then plunge a kind of tube into the stomach of a shark, where they suck up their nourishment, and propagate without doing anything, living off the hunting and efforts of the beast.
The remora reminds me of the rich speculators of today. They do not produce any wheat or corn – they merely bet on its price in the future. And they don’t manufacture anything to use for anything – they specialize in gambling.
Oh, yeah, and Otto paid his fair share of taxes.

JHAP online

Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy

Vol. 5, No. 5 (2017): Gilbert Ryle: Intelligence, Practice, Skill
Special issue edited by Juliet Floyd and Lydia Patton.
Table of Contents
Volume Introduction: Gilbert Ryle on Propositions, Propositional Attitudes, and Theoretical Knowledge
Julia Tanney

Ryle’s “Intellectualist Legend” in Historical Context
Michael Kremer

Skill, Drill, and Intelligent Performance: Ryle and Intellectualism
Stina Bäckström, Martin Gustafsson

Ryle on the Explanatory Role of Knowledge How
Will Small

ISSN: 2159-0303

Special Issue – Informal Logic: Reason & Rhetoric in the Time of Alternative Facts

Informal Logic invites submissions for a special issue on “Reason & Rhetoric in the Time of Alternative Facts”. This issue aims to analyze, explain, and critique instances of argumentation connected to the campaign, election, and presidency of Donald Trump, as well as associated issues such as the concept of “post-truth” emerging from the Brexit campaigns. We believe that argumentation theory can help in forming answers to some of the questions that events around the new U.S. president open-up.

Trump has adopted a distinctive approach to argumentation that is especially worth studying now that it is stemming from the highest political office in the United States. In terms of both form and content, the written and verbal argumentation coming from the current president, as well as official White House communications—including the website—constitute rich material to engage argumentation scholars. Equally interesting are, for example, issues surrounding the way the press deals/dealt with and reacts to the new president and the argumentative and rhetorical choices made by his adversaries during and after the presidential campaign.

This issue of Informal Logic welcomes contributions from both theorizers and practitioners in the expanding field of argumentation studies, including, but not limited to, scholars in Informal Logic, Rhetoric, Pragma-Dialectics, Communication Studies, and Critical Thinking.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

●            Argument Schemes in White-House Communications

●            The (In)Effectiveness of Trump Speeches

●            Comparisons of Contemporary and Past Instances of Whitehouse Argumentation

●            Governmental Multimodal Argumentation

●            Fallacies, Blunders, and False News

●            Post-truth Premises and Conclusions

●            Trump, Clinton, and Ethos

●            Audiences in the Presidential Campaign

●            The Ethical Dimensions of Public Argument

●            Trump and the News

●            Quantitative Studies on Argumentation around Trump

●            Trump and the Virtues of Argument

●            Trump as a Diplomat

●            Using Trump to Teach Critical Thinking

Submitted papers must present original research that has not been published and is not currently under review with any other journal. All submissions will be double-blind peer reviewed and selected based on the paper’s originality, significance, relevance, and clarity of presentation. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of September, 2017.

Author Guidelines:

Submissions should be between 5000 and 7000 words (without notes) and prepared for blind review by while following the Informal Logic formatting template available at:

Please also include a separate cover with an abstract and author identifying information.

Submissions should be sent as a PDF or Word document to:

Deadlines: (these are cut-off deadlines; extensions are not possible):

Paper submission deadline: September 1st, 2017

Accept or decline decisions announced:  December 1st , 2017

Revised papers due: February 1st , 2018

Publication: Informal Logic, 28.1, March, 2018

RIP, Dr. Richard Arnold


Dr. Richard Arnold died on May 4, 2017.

I first met him shortly after he arrived at VIU. My wife and I had him over for a welcome to Nanaimo dinner. Richard was a good man. An environmentalist, a scholar, a teacher, a poet. We sometimes met on or near Mount Benson while hiking. Students wrote of Richard: The best English teacher I’ve every met, would like to introduce him to every body. And, Richard is a very interesting prof, and his assignments are usually pretty good. He often has interesting anecdotes to go along with his lectures. He is a super committed environmentalist, and this showed up a lot in his topics during class. Tough but fair grader. 

The Dean of Arts and Humanities sent this email to VIU people:

Dear colleagues,

It is with profound sadness that I inform you that Richard Arnold, an instructor in VIU’s Arts and Humanities faculty, died May 4, 2017.

Richard was a member of the English department for 25 years. He was a devoted teacher who always said that he was most interested in helping students develop a “voice” – not only in the classroom, but in life. Richard’s success in this regard is evidenced by the many students who have expressed their admiration and respect for him.

Born and raised in Alabama, where he spent many summers exploring the natural world around him, Richard became an enduring environmentalist. His Ph.D. dissertation was titled “Conservation and Uses of Nature in the writings of Thoreau, Muir, and Abbey.”

Richard frequently shepherded his students out of the classroom, onto the trails, and into the woods, believing that all human success ultimately is related to what we know of, and how we treat, our natural environment. One reviewer of a collection of Richard’s poems stated that “his poetry demands . . . our acceptance of responsibility for what is becoming of the natural world.” Many people at VIU will remember Richard for the countless hikes he organized to the summit of Mount Benson.

Richard was a gentle soul – a good colleague, a loyal friend, and a dedicated father to his two children. Our thoughts are with his family – we wish them peace and comfort during this difficult time.

There will be a celebration of life later this summer, and those details will be conveyed once they have been confirmed.

You will be missed.