Sunday Cat Break and Other Minds

Does a cat have a theory of mind?  Does it need to? 

Herewith a young cat assiduously training its companion human.  Notice how the cat signals expectation even when dealing with an incompetent thrower.  The cat also works to make the routine stable before it introduces any variations.

Sharia Law in the UK

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave a speech which has been interpreted as supporting the idea of allowing and recognising Sharia law in some legal areas in the UK. He has no power to make this happen, and all the major political parties are strongly opposed. But it’s sparking a debate, to put it mildly. Unfortunately, the Archbishop’s comments are pretty vague, so it’s unclear what he wants. It is clear that he doesn’t support things like stoning adulterers (hurrah!).  Speculation about what he does want has focused on family law, which is worrying given the male bias of much of this law, at least as it is often interpreted.  The Archbishop now says his remarks were misinterpreted, but unfortunately his clarification isn’t really much help. I find myself thinking that discussing this would be a great way to get students interested in issues of law and justice in multicultural societies, but also getting discouraged by the very unsatisfying degree of clarity in the discussions I’m finding.