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Showing posts from April, 2013

French Theory On The Brain.

The thought of all dead French theorists weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.

Focus Groups: Research Design, Limitations and Potential.

The focus group has been employed extensively in market research since the late 1940s, from the 1990s it has been increasingly readopted in social science research as an important qualitative research method (Wilkinson, 1998).Hyden and Bulow (2003, p. 306), in a database search of ‘Psychinfo’,found nine hundred articles using the keyword ‘focus group’ and almost a third of the articles were published after 1998 indicating a rapid growth of research utilizing the method.The increased use of focus groups has been accompanied by the elaboration of methodological concerns unique to focus groups and the proliferation of focus group designs based on the research objective of a specific project.Focus groups are a qualitative research method, and therefore subject to methodological issues that affect qualitative methodologies in general, however focus groups entail further issues of project level design, group level design and unit of analysis not encountered by other research methods (Morga…

Mere Atheism; Or, You Can’t Justify Your Teapot.

There is a scene in Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 where the Chaplin is being interrogated about the theft of Major Major’s correspondence and is asked by a C.I.D. officer about his religious persuasion.The Chaplin declares himself an Anabaptist, which the officer finds a little suspicious: “Chaplin, I once studied Latin.I think it’s only fair to warn you of that before I ask my next question. Doesn’t the word Anabaptist simply mean that you’re not a Baptist?”
The Chaplin protests, but the officer pushes the point “are you a Baptist?”, “no sir”, “than you are not a Baptist, aren’t you?” Defined by an absence of belief, the C.I.D. officer credits the Chaplin with certain malicious actions against the war effort.Atheists often find themselves in a similar situation to the Chaplin, defined by an absence of belief. Theists and religious apologists infer ex nihlo that atheists hold a series of positive beliefs that have no necessary connection to the position of atheism, often the notion that “so…

Karen Armstrong on Women and Islam.