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In defence of moral experts

I’m no expert. Still, I reckon the notorious claim made by Michael Gove, a leading campaigner for Britain to leave the European Union, that the nation had had enough of experts, will dog him for the rest of his career. In fact, he wasn’t alone. Other Brexit leaders also sneered at the pretensions of experts, the majority of whom warned about the risks – political, economic, social – of a Britain outside the EU.

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9780195387070

Sticking my oar in, or catching and letting go of the crab

Last week some space was devoted to the crawling, scratching crab, so that perhaps enlarging on the topic “Crab in Idioms” may not be quite out of place. The plural in the previous sentence is an overstatement, for I have only one idiom in view. The rest is not worthy of mention: no certain meaning and no explanation. But my database is omnivorous and absorbs a lot of rubbish. Bibliographers cannot be choosers.

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Easterlin

Why the science of happiness can trump GDP as a guide for policy

For centuries, happiness was exclusively a concern of the humanities; a matter for philosophers, novelists and artists. In the past five decades, however, it has moved into the domain of science and given us a substantial body of research. This wellspring of knowledge now offers us an enticing opportunity: to consider happiness as the leading measure of well-being, supplanting the current favourite, real gross domestic product per capita, or GDP.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedias

International Peace Day reading list

Today, September 21st, is the International Day of Peace. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, International Peace Day “provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.” To commemorate Peace Day and to encourage you to think more deeply about these issues, we’ve compiled a reading list of articles from the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, the Oxford Encyclopedia of American History, and the Encyclopedia of Social Work that explore peace movements, policies, strategies, and global issues.

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Financial networks and the South Sea Bubble

In 2015 the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography introduced an annual research bursary scheme for scholars in the humanities. As the first year of the scheme comes to a close, we ask the first of the 2015-16 recipients—the economic historian, Dr Helen Paul of Southampton University—about her research project, and how it’s developed through her association with the Oxford DNB.

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9780198754053

100 years of the X-ray powder diffraction method

X-ray diffraction by crystalline powders is one of the most powerful and most widely used methods for analyzing matter. It was discovered just one hundred years ago, independently, by Paul Scherrer and Peter Debye in Göttingen, Germany, and by Albert Hull at the General Electric Laboratories, Schenectady, USA.

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9780199897865

What should “misundertrusted” Hillary do?

Using his now famous malaprop, the 2000 GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush declared that his opponents had “misunderestimated” him. All politicians suffer from real or perceived weaknesses. For Bush, his propensity to mangle the English language caused some to question his intellectual qualifications to hold the nation’s highest office. Yet his unpretentiousness and authenticity made him the candidate Americans said they would like to have a beer with.

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Oxford Classical Dictionary

11 facts you may not have known about Roman gladiators

Gladiator fights were the phenomenon of their day – a celebration of courage, endurance, bravery, and violence against a backdrop of fame, fortune, and social scrutiny. Today, over 6 million people flock every year to admire the Colosseum, but what took place within those ancient walls has long been a matter of both scholarly debate and general interest.

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OUP Philosophy Crest

How well do you know Aristotle? [quiz]

Among the world’s most widely studied thinkers, Aristotle established systematic logic and helped to progress scientific investigation in fields as diverse as biology and political theory. But how much do you really know about this ancient philosopher?

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Social Work

The UN Summit for refugees and migrants: A global response includes empowering one refugee at a time

Refugees have become so pervasive in human consciousness that the Oxford Dictionaries for Children identified “refugee” as the 2016 Oxford Children’s Word of the Year, based on findings from the “500 Words” global children’s writing competition sponsored by BBC Radio 2. According to the BBC, “refugee” was selected “due to a significant increase in usage by entrants writing in this year’s competition combined with the sophisticated context that children were using it in and the rise in emotive and descriptive language around it.”

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Beyond the binary: Brexit, environmental law, and an interconnected world

What are the narratives we can tell about the future of UK environmental law in light of the result of the UK EU referendum? Any answer is not just important for the UK, but will also directly shape our understanding of what nationhood means in an era of globalisation. That sounds a rather grandiose statement to make, but let us explain.

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9780198718383

The Catholic Church and the visions of Fátima

Outbursts of popular interest in apparitions and miracles often lead to new devotional movements which can be uncomfortable for the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, contrary to the belief that they encourage them. Visionaries represent alternative sources of authority within the Catholic community; they claim to have encountered supernatural figures and understood divine imperatives in a way that is commonly thought to transcend the theological expertise of the Church magisterium.

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Journal of Refugee Studies

Scaling the UN Refugee Summit: A reading list

The United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants will be held on 19 September 2016 at the UNHQ in New York. The high-level meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants is expected to endorse an Outcome Document that commits states to negotiating a ‘Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework’ and separately a ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,’ for adoption in 2018.

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Lateness_9780198767695

The old age of the world

At the home of the world’s most authoritative dictionary, perhaps it is not inappropriate to play a word association game. If I say the word ‘modern’, what comes into your mind? The chances are, it will be some variation of ‘new’, ‘recent’, or ‘contemporary’.

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The Yablo Paradox

Periphrastic puzzles

Let us say that a sentence is periphrastic if and only if there is a single word in that sentence such that we can remove the word and the result (i) is grammatical, and (ii) has the same truth value as the original sentence.

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