Is There Meaning Without Judgment?

Frank Furedi takes to task Tariq Ramadan, "who wants to bury the Enlightenment virtue of toleration and replace it with recognition." Can we seek meaning without a capacity to judge?

Frank Furedi, author of the forthcoming "On Tolerance: A Defence of Moral Independence", takes to task Tariq Ramadan, who wants to bury the Enlightenment virtue of toleration and replace it with recognition. "Although Ramadan’s book is presented as a spiritual meditation on the problems of existence, it is actually an eclectic mixture of current intellectual prejudices and old-fashioned appeals to revelation and dogma. ...Ramadan’s rejection of tolerance is driven by hostility towards the idea of critical judgment. But how can a ‘Quest for Meaning’ proceed without a capacity to judge? ...‘Avoiding Meaning’ would perhaps have been a better title for this book."

Related Articles

Why drawing isn’t just an art

There's a growing understanding that drawing is much more than an art form: it's a powerful tool for learning.

(GoaShape via Unsplash)
Mind & Brain
  • We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.
  • Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
  • Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.
Keep reading Show less

4 new personality types revealed by huge study

It may be simpler than we thought.

(Anna Palm de Rosa, Public Domain)
Surprising Science
  • An analysis of a massive amount of data reveals four new personality types.
  • The study is the first to take self-reporting out of the equation.
  • The four new types are "average," "reserved," "self-centered," and "role model".
Keep reading Show less

Why the “slow metabolism” is a myth

Despite its prominence in our collective imagination, variations in metabolism play a minor role in obesity.

Photo: Science Photo Library
Surprising Science
  • Vox senior health correspondent Julia Belluz spent a day inside of a metabolic chamber at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
  • Her 90 minutes on stationary cycle only burned 405 calories, just 17% of the day's total calories.
  • Resting metabolism uses up the bulk of the body's energy.
Keep reading Show less