Author Archives: AKMA

Without Words

“Inference” is a tricky category. We can think of plenty of instances for which we can specify precise criteria for successful inference, but these are swamped by the plenitude of situations in which successful inference from circumstances can be judged … Continue reading

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No Licence No Cross

So this is the story: St Stephen’s House had been planning, for months, to enact an open-air Passion Play in our East Oxford neighbourhood. We’d been planning, rehearsing, arranging, for months (led by my dear friend and colleague Fr Damian, … Continue reading

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Jeely Piece O’ My Heart

Now, this is the pivotal dimension of my first premise: all interpretive activity involves inference as its key element. Whether I’m interpreting cloud formations, or the quality of light in my bedroom, or gestures, or spoken words (the interpretation of … Continue reading

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Justifying Means

I’d like to pause here for a moment to distinguish several usages of the verb “mean.” In the first, we say “I mean” in the sense of “I intend”; in a second, we say “That [word] means” in a lexical/semantic … Continue reading

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Ref Log

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Forward Into The Past

I might be photographing my Sheaffer pens today if I weren’t trying to imagine a short sermon for Monday. As I am in fact trying to dream up a Monday sermon, I will note in passing that some dear friends … Continue reading

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I Didn’t Know You Cared

Let’s start with waking up in the morning. My bedroom is lighter than it was several hours ago, perhaps even admitting a beam of light or two. I infer that it’s time to get out of bed, or at least … Continue reading

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On Interpretation

A great many hermeneutical conundrums fall away if one gives up the initial premise that words and language constitute the paradigmatic instance of meaning, expression, and communication. If one begins by recognising that words/language are the least typical instance of … Continue reading

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Researchers Say

“Researchers say” is roughly equivalent to “inspired by a true story,” or (of musicians) “classically trained” or (of people with academic pretensions) “studied at.” You can almost always find some research that suggests counterintuitive or bizarre things — whether that … Continue reading

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Parker Presence

Although I mostly attend to Sheaffer fountain pens — that is, among the sorts of pen I can afford, Sheaffer pens interest me most — they’re relatively less common here in England than they were in the US, and Parker … Continue reading

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The Sign of Hillman

Margaret brought back with her number of photos (from my sister Holly’s archives), and paintings by my grandmother Isabel, and various other bits and bobs from the storage closet our friends Sarah and Clay so kindly permit us to occupy. … Continue reading

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One For The Books

Margaret’s just back today, so (of course) most of my time has been directed to catching up on what she’s been doing for the last five or six weeks. She took a nap; we unpacked the family art that she … Continue reading

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