Fig. 74. Curve of probability.

Fig. 74. Curve of probability. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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GUEST EDITORIAL / Athanasios Christacopoulos

– An Interview with John Corcoran / Athanasios Christacopoulos

– The Generalized Theory of Evolution Conference / Mel Andrews

– Medieval Reasoning / Graziana Ciola
– Mathematical Philosophy / Juergen Landes
– Evidence-Based Medicine / Daniel Auker-Howlett

– Events
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Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Interview with Bob

Robert D. Lane was interviewed by Laureano Ralón.

Robert D. Lane is an emeritus professor of philosophy from Vancouver Island University in Canada, where he taught literature and philosophy for 31 years. Lane was the founder of the Philosophy department at VIU (then Malaspina College). As the institution grew, he became the founding director of VIU’s Institute of Practical Philosophy, which is still an active player today in community issues and contemporary moral issues. Since retiring in 2000, Lane has served on the Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and CultureBoard. He also authored a book entitled Reading the Bible: Intention, Text, Interpretation, and founded the philosophy blog Episyllogism.

Read the interview here.

The Reasoner

Latest Issue

The Reasoner Volume 11, Number 11 – December 2017 – acrobat

EDITORIAL / Hykel Hosni

– Alice is not impressed by the Sorites Paradox / Jeff Paris

– Ampliative Reasoning in the Sciences – 5th Work- shop on Logic, Reasoning, and Rationality, May 18–19 / Dunja Seselja, Mathieu Beirlaen and Erik Weber
– Summer School in Social Epistemology, 28 August–1 September / Gloria Andrada

– (Formal) Argumentation Theory / Sanjay Modgil
– Medieval Reasoning / Graziana Ciola
– Uncertain Reasoning / Seamus Bradley
– Philosophy and Economics / Conrad Heilmann
– Evidence-based medicine / Michael Wilde

– Events
– Courses and programmes
– Jobs and Studentships


I remember, as a kid in Lutheran catechism class, the following conversation:

Bob: “The Lord thy God is a jealous God” – but Reverend, what would God have to be jealous of? How could an all-powerful, all-knowing being be jealous of anything?

Reverend: “You need to memorize the material! So, please stop asking questions and just memorize the answers in the catechism.

I think now that was the moment I began to doubt that the church had anything to offer me. Later on I would learn about the fallacies used to win arguments and to shut off learning. [Check out the fallacies in the side bar.]

This morning I read two newspaper articles that reminded me of that long ago attempt by a figure of authority to shut me up. Both are from the USA. One from Texas. One from Florida. Both attacks on education and freedom.

From Florida:

Any resident in Florida can now challenge what kids learn in public schools, thanks to a new law that science education advocates worry will make it harder to teach evolution and climate change.

From Texas:

But here in Texas, the bigger battle over tree ordinances is whether they represent a form of local government overreach. Gov. Greg Abbott (R), citing grave worries about “socialistic” behavior in the state’s liberal cities, has called on Texas lawmakers to gather this month for a special session that will consider a host of bills aimed at curtailing local power on issues ranging from taxation to collecting union dues.

Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. 

On logic and power

Frederick Douglass Ambrotype, 1856

Frederick Douglass Ambrotype, 1856 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Speaking in Canandaigua, New York, on August 3, 1857, the escaped slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass observed that:

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.


We can add to Frederick Douglass’s words this: find out just how much a person can be deceived, and that is just how far she will be deceived.

The limits of tyrants are also prescribed by the reasoning abilities of those they aim to oppress.” – from “A Concise Introduction to Logic”by Craig DeLancey


an Open SUNY Textbook