Tell the Home Office what you think about same-sex marriage

You have till Thursday to take part in the public consultation on the proposed changes to laws governing civil partnerships and  marriages in the UK. It takes about five minutes to fill out the form. No doubt there will be, ahem, interested organisations mobilising their membership, so let’s mobilise ourselves in response.

Direct link to consultation survey form.

Stonewall background and information page.

Survey of Philosophers’ normative intuitions

This request is up at Experimental Philosophy:

Dear Colleagues,

In collaboration with Joe Henrich and Taylor Davis at the University of British Columbia, I’m conducting a study on philosophers’ views about normative judgments.  Joe, Taylor and I would be very grateful if you would participate in our study.

Participation should take 30 minutes or less, and it involves responding to a 20-item questionnaire.  In developing the questionnaire, we found that many respondents find consideration of the issues involved interesting and engaging.  The research has been approved by UBC’s Behavioral Research Ethics Board and is open to all faculty and graduate students in philosophy.

Here’s a link to the test: 

We encourage you to forward this notice to other philosophers you think might be interested. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at or Taylor Davis at

Many thanks for whatever assistance you can provide.

With best wishes,

Stephen Stich

Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy & Cognitive Science Rutgers University


Joe Henrich: Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition & Evolution, Departments of Psychology & Economics, University of British Columbia

Taylor Davis: Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia

*Here is the link to the official letter/invitation.

A Church of England fifth column in the BBC?

A guest post by LPG.

It’s not what one looks for in an ‘impartial’ news organization: the uncritical passing on, in item after item after item, of the ‘finding’ that ‘selfish’ and ‘independent’ [read: in paid employment and/or single] mothers are responsible for the ‘poor conceptual development’ and ‘behavioural problems’ in our nations youth. The report rolls out over the coming week, so expect to see more of this double-standards blah blah. The BBC has been developing a taste for it. Look at the question asked in this BBC vox pop from last year, once again in connection with a dubious study. Now fantasize about them asking whether fathers (as opposed to mothers) should return to their jobs after having children.

Is the latest onslaught just sloppy journalism? Perhaps not. The ‘largest survey into childhood ever to be conducted in the UK’ is being presented as ‘independent’. Few of the broadcasted reports I’ve seen so far mention that the Church of England commissioned the report (through the Children’s Society or The Church of England’s Children Society as it refers to itself). Even a BBC journalist should know that this information really needs to be foregrounded, if only so that viewers can relax and go and make themselves a cup of tea. Some of the online pieces mention the Anglican connection but insist on the independence of this ‘evidence-based’ report, including the recommendation that we institute ‘civil birth ceremonies’. (Not baptisms, oh no.) The BBC even participated in the survey by providing children to talk to – one Established institution scratching another Established institution’s back, or a covert Anglican vanguard? Maybe an independent, evidence-based study of the BBC’s back catalogue would show up more indicators of its disguised but creeping influence. (Thanks to cmdshiftesc.)

Where are you? A poll

How scattered are we?  Please help us find out.

Please do remember that this is just the second poll.  The list seems too long, but, even worse, items seemed to pop off somewhere.  I hope most places are represented, but do use  the “other” if you are not happy placing yourself on this list.

Also, no doubt the list conflates some political boundaries with geographical boundaries.  Apologies in advance, and do know it was wholly unintentional (even if blameworthy).



BTW, wordpress counts the number of visitors this site gets, so even though we don’t know who you are, if you don’t vote, one of us at least will know and might even feel sad!