Bolder than a boulder and other stumps and stones of English orthography

One good thing about English spelling is that, when you look for some oddity in it, you don’t have to search long. So why do we have the letter u in boulder (and of course in Boulder, the name of a
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One good thing about English spelling is that, when you look for some oddity in it, you don’t have to search long. So why do we have the letter u in boulder (and of course in Boulder, the name of a town in Colorado)?  If my information is reliable, Boulder was called after Boulder Creek. A boulder near a small stream won’t surprise anyone, but the letter u in the word and the place name may, as journalists like to say, raise some eyebrows. Bolder (the comparative degree of bold), older, colder, folder, and holder do without u, but shoulder, unexpectedly, sides with boulder. American spelling has mold in all its meanings and the verb molder, while the British norm requires ou before l. What is going on here? Perhaps the huge size of an average boulder contributed to the preservation of an extra letter in its name? The easiest case is old, cold, gold. The regular predecessor of –old in such words was either –ald or a short diphthong. Before ld, the vowel a (short, that is,. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

When consensus was king. For a generation of historians, <strong>liberalism and centrism</strong> were taken for granted. Now historians no longer know what to think about America

When consensus was king. For a generation of historians, liberalism and centrism were taken for granted. Now historians no longer know what to think about
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When consensus was king. For a generation of historians, liberalism and centrism were taken for granted. Now historians no longer know what to think about America

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Somewhere at the uneasy intersection of art and science, Impressionism and empiricism, objectivity and subjectivity, sits the Rorschach test. <strong>Behold the blot</strong>

Somewhere at the uneasy intersection of art and science, Impressionism and empiricism, objectivity and subjectivity, sits the Rorschach test. Behold the
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Somewhere at the uneasy intersection of art and science, Impressionism and empiricism, objectivity and subjectivity, sits the Rorschach test. Behold the blot

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>The idea of intelligence</strong> has justified slavery, oppression, eugenics. No wonder the prospect of artificial intelligence fills us with dread

The idea of intelligence has justified slavery, oppression, eugenics. No wonder the prospect of artificial intelligence fills us with
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The idea of intelligence has justified slavery, oppression, eugenics. No wonder the prospect of artificial intelligence fills us with dread

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Early Modern Cartesianisms: Dutch and French Constructions

2017.02.15 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tad M. Schmaltz, Early Modern Cartesianisms: Dutch and French Constructions, Oxford University Press, 2016, 382pp., $85.00 (hbk),
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2017.02.15 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Tad M. Schmaltz, Early Modern Cartesianisms: Dutch and French Constructions, Oxford University Press, 2016, 382pp., $85.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190495220. Reviewed by Steven Nadler, University of Wisconsin-Madison In 1854, Francisque Bouillier published the first edition of his magisterial two-volume Histoire de la philosophie cartésienne. It was an exhaustive study of Descartes's philosophy and its influence. Bouillier begins with Descartes's "precursers" in late medieval and Renaissance thought; surveys the main themes in Descartes's own writings; follows the dissemination of Cartesianism in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, England and elsewhere; studies the philosophy's many partisans and critics; and finally traces the steps to its ultimate downfall. The scope of Bouillier's work is spectacular. He covers two centuries and an entire continent, and he leaves the reader with a rich and detailed picture. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Reductionism in Biology

[Revised entry by Ingo Brigandt and Alan Love on February 21, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Reductionism encompasses a set of ontological, epistemological, and
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[Revised entry by Ingo Brigandt and Alan Love on February 21, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Reductionism encompasses a set of ontological, epistemological, and methodological claims about the relations between different scientific domains. The basic question of reduction is whether the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from one scientific domain (typically at higher levels of organization) can be deduced from or explained by the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from another domain of science (typically at lower levels of organization). Reduction is germane to a variety of issues in philosophy of science,...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Karl Kraus's <em><strong>The Last Days of Mankind</strong></em>, a World War I epic, ran more than 600 pages and comprised 500 characters. A stage production would take 10 nights. Kraus wrote it for a theater on Mars

Karl Kraus&#39;s The Last Days of Mankind, a World War I epic, ran more than 600 pages and comprised 500 characters. A stage production would take 10 nights. Kraus wrote it for a theater on
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Karl Kraus's The Last Days of Mankind, a World War I epic, ran more than 600 pages and comprised 500 characters. A stage production would take 10 nights. Kraus wrote it for a theater on Mars

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>Ezra Pound</strong>'s insanity spared him from execution but condemned him to the asylum. His delusions of conspiracy, persecution, and grandeur speak to the politics of our time

Ezra Pound&#39;s insanity spared him from execution but condemned him to the asylum. His delusions of conspiracy, persecution, and grandeur speak to the politics of our
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Ezra Pound's insanity spared him from execution but condemned him to the asylum. His delusions of conspiracy, persecution, and grandeur speak to the politics of our time

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

How to stage a ballet in Soviet Russia. Avoid not only technical kinks but also ideological defects, which <strong>Sergei Prokofiev</strong> was unable -- or unwilling -- to do

How to stage a ballet in Soviet Russia. Avoid not only technical kinks but also ideological defects, which Sergei Prokofiev was unable -- or unwilling -- to
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How to stage a ballet in Soviet Russia. Avoid not only technical kinks but also ideological defects, which Sergei Prokofiev was unable -- or unwilling -- to do

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

The Wrong of Injustice: Dehumanization and its Role in Feminist Philosophy

2017.02.14 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mari Mikkola, The Wrong of Injustice: Dehumanization and its Role in Feminist Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2016, 285pp.,
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2017.02.14 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mari Mikkola, The Wrong of Injustice: Dehumanization and its Role in Feminist Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2016, 285pp., $35.00 (pbk), ISBN 9780190601089. Reviewed by John Gardner, University of Oxford Mari Mikkola's book has two parts, one negative and the other positive. The negative part documents the failure of attempts to provide a satisfactory 'thick' account of the concept of a woman. The positive part argues that the wrongfulness of various actions is owed to the fact that they are dehumanizing. One may ask why these two seemingly disparate projects are juxtaposed in a single book. The answer is that the book as a whole aims to draw feminists away from debates about what it is to be a woman, and towards debates about how we should treat human beings. That does not mean paying less attention to the predicament of women. There can be 'humanist feminism' (44), because 'every first-order moral. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News