There are opposing views on what judges do, the realist school maintaining that they can be legislators, not bound by convention and precedent but making law based on their idea of utility, while the formalist school urges them to make wise, limited decisions which will serve justice and fairness and preserve the rule of law.
Postmodern critics of science have sometimes argued that it is a ‘narrative’ like any other and cannot be privileged over other narratives, for example alternative medicine. A new book, written with careful, nuanced scholarship, reasserts the value of the scientist’s calling, of rigour in research and of the importance of evidence.
A guerrilla army wins if it does not lose, Kissinger observed, while a conventional army loses if it does not win. A new edited account of the British army’s campaign to suppress the War of Independence shows a force which felt its hands were tied by its political superiors.
Neandertals were expert toolmakers, had big brains and lived in small communities which hunted large, dangerous beasts. A Neandertal, man, woman or child, was likely to sustain huge numbers of injuries in the course of a short life, yet there is reason to believe the community cared for its incapacitated members.
If the mystery could be taught, poetry would die, argues one contributor to a new study of creative writing teaching in Ireland. But what workshops and courses can do is save time – condensing years of toil and experimentation and leaving writers equipped to do the real work on their own.