Skip to main content

Mindelheim trip

Just back from Bavaria where I had a wonderful time in Mindelheim, where I received the first ever Mindelheim philosophy prize. It was an extraordinary experience - unforgettable, in fact. My partner Taryn and I stayed in a hotel in town (great view of the square), visited the local school and met the jury of 17 year olds, who were an exceptionally gifted and friendly group. We met the mayor at a little reception in the Town Hall, participated in a Philosophy Cafe one evening, and had a great time with everything laid on. The award ceremony itself was very splendid with a cello concert by the cellist David Grigorian, followed by the ceremony with a speech from the former Bavarian culture minister. Afterwards there was a big band and fire show in the town square. I even got to play the drums.

My thanks to everyone in Mindelheim for making this such an unforgettable trip. Especially Hubertus Stelzer whose idea the prize was. Some rather crappy iphone photos attached. Obviously they provide considerable scope for humour at my expense. That's the (deputy?) Bishop of Munich, whom I liked very much. He said in his speech, "It is more important to have questions than to have answers."

And of course I got to see Neuchwanstein castle as well, on a beautiful sunny day. Child catcher wasn't in, though.

Newspaper report here.


theObserver said…
Stephen is the only person in the bottom photo not wearing a dress. Trust him to break the dress code ! :)

Looks like you had a great time and it was very much deserved.
Paul P. Mealing said…
A great honour, I expect. And the first, as well. You will go down in history.

Looks and sounds like you had a great time.

Regards, Paul.
Kyle Szklenski said…
I was expecting you to say something like you tried to scale Neuchwanstein Castle without safety equipment, fell and broke both your collar bones. But congratulations anyway!
Anonymous said…
Dear Stephen,

you forgot some very important details:
1. You worked hard and deserve the price very well.
2. We (the Jury and Mr. Stelzer) were very glad that you are such a friendly person.
3. Mr. Losinger is the auxiliary bishop of Augsburg, not Munich.
4. I have to say that I hope all British people are like Stephen. Then I will probably emigrate from Germany. :)
5. Stephen will of course go down in history, having said the famous words: "Ich bin ein Mindelheimer" (I am a Mindelheimer) better then President Kennedy would have ever managed to do!!!

Greetings from Mindelheim, Germany
Florian (Member of the Jury)
anticant said…
Can we have a translation of the article, please?
Kosh3 said…
Awesome, sounds like a wonderful time and warming honour to be presented. Can't believe you pulled a Kennedy though, haha!
Steven Carr said…

'„Wer aufhört zu fragen, bekommt keine Antworten mehr und wird zum Looser“'

Has 'Looser' really become a German word?

Herzlichen Gluechwunsch!
Anonymous said…
Well, I am afraid that would be too much to translate, but the article is nevertheless not a very good one. Stephen's report is shorter, but better!

And yes, it is now a word in German, a very popular one, but it is written wrong, isn' t it? Simply "LOSER", not "LOOSER", right?
As "lose" means being defeated, but "loose" means not fixed, or am I wrong?

Furthermore, the "Kennedy" was a brilliant one! (it is also in the newspaper article)

Kyle Szklenski said…
Yes, "loose" means "not in a fixed position", or in other words usually able to move about freely. "Looser" usually refers to clothing, it seems, such as pants that are "looser" than tighter ones.

I'm really anal retentive about the use of "looser"! It really bothers me Americans type that so often.
Anonymous said…
Well, many Germans are so keen on everything American...
We really become American if do not are aware! :-)

Steven Carr said…
The pictures are not entirely clear.

Just a thought.

Has anybody ever seen Stephen Law and Gordan Strachan together?

Popular posts from this blog


(Published in Faith and Philosophy 2011. Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2011. Stephen Law. Pages 129-151) EVIDENCE, MIRACLES AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS Stephen Law Abstract The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed – a principle I call the contamination principle – entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of indepen

What is Humanism?

What is Humanism? “Humanism” is a word that has had and continues to have a number of meanings. The focus here is on kind of atheistic world-view espoused by those who organize and campaign under that banner in the UK and abroad. We should acknowledge that there remain other uses of term. In one of the loosest senses of the expression, a “Humanist” is someone whose world-view gives special importance to human concerns, values and dignity. If that is what a Humanist is, then of course most of us qualify as Humanists, including many religious theists. But the fact remains that, around the world, those who organize under the label “Humanism” tend to sign up to a narrower, atheistic view. What does Humanism, understood in this narrower way, involve? The boundaries of the concept remain somewhat vague and ambiguous. However, most of those who organize under the banner of Humanism would accept the following minimal seven-point characterization of their world-view.

Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism refuted

Here's my central criticism of Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN). It's novel and was published in Analysis last year. Here's the gist. Plantinga argues that if naturalism and evolution are true, then semantic epiphenomenalism is very probably true - that's to say, the content of our beliefs does not causally impinge on our behaviour. And if semantic properties such as having such-and-such content or being true cannot causally impinge on behaviour, then they cannot be selected for by unguided evolution. Plantinga's argument requires, crucially, that there be no conceptual links between belief content and behaviour of a sort that it's actually very plausible to suppose exist (note that to suppose there are such conceptual links is not necessarily to suppose that content can be exhaustively captured in terms of behaviour or functional role, etc. in the way logical behaviourists or functionalists suppose). It turns o