Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.


Arguing The Nature Of Values

Oct 30, 2012
Originally published on November 5, 2012 4:11 pm

Thomas Nagel, in Mind and Cosmos, despairs of finding a place for values in the world as it is described by physical and biological science. This gives me today's theme. (See my last two posts — here and here — for more discussion of Nagel's important new book.)

I like chocolate. You prefer vanilla. This is a difference between us. But it isn't a disagreement. It isn't the sort of thing that leads to argument. Preferences of this sort are brute matters of feeling.

But not so when it comes to preferences in other domains. For example, let's say you like Lady Gaga, and I, well, I don't. Now we have something to talk about, something to think about. "How could you like Lady Gaga?" I ask. And I think to myself, maybe you don't know much about music. Or maybe you don't really like her; maybe you just mean that she's an adequate soundtrack to your workaday life. For your part, you wonder to yourself whether I even get it, whether I have a clue about the playful way this singer manages to contrive her image and position herself in the world of pop.

And so it goes. Art is a domain of feeling and response. But it is also a domain of argument and disagreement. (Kant said this.)

And so for many other domains where values are at stake.

Is it wrong for people of different races to marry and have children? What about people of different religions? What about people of the same sex?

Some people have strong feelings about these matters. And if there are differences here — and there are! — they add up to substantive disagreements. It is impossible to give up the feeling that what is at stake here precisely is the question of right and wrong. And so it is hard to give up the conviction that, when it comes to values, there is such a thing as right and wrong. We are a far cry from chocolate and vanilla.

It isn't about you and me, after all. It's about Lady Gaga, or music, or culture ("pop culture"). It's about family and love and race and marriage. The field of value is very big; the field of value is one where there is lots to argue about, lots to think about it.

Can we speak of truth in the domain of values? Do some of us just know better than others of us? Are some of us right and some of us wrong?

This brings us to the crux of the problem. It is dogmatic to come down on either side of this question.

Those who say "yes" there is such a thing as truth here must admit, surely, that value facts — pertaining to art and morality, for example — are not like facts in other domains. Are there three three chairs in this room? The facts decide. Argument stops. But what are the facts that make it the case that Lady Gaga leaves a lot to be desired as a pop star?

Those who say, "no" there is no matter of truth in the domain of art and value, have for their part to acknowledge that our commitments in these areas are not like our ice cream preferences. If I can't say why I don't like Lady Gaga, if I can't give you reasons why she's no good, then my claim loses any force it might have. I owe you a justification for my response.

Thomas Nagel is a realist about value. He thinks that questions of value are like questions about how many chairs there are in the room. And he despairs of making sense of our capacity for insight into such questions if we think of ourselves merely as animals who have evolved according to familiar Darwinian processes of selection. Insight into value, after all, unlike ordinary perceptual knowledge, confers no increase in fitness. If we are moral realists, he reasons, then evolutionary theory doesn't tell us how we came to be what we are.

One might have reasoned in the other direction, as Leiter and Weisberg are correct to observe, in their review of Nagel's book. If the Darwinian story does not fit with realism about values, then realism about values must be wrong. And indeed, if what I have said above is along the right lines, the idea that there are value facts, as there are facts about how many chairs are in the room, is one-sided and dogmatic. It gets the place of values in our thought and talk about values wrong.

The failure of value realism should not be confused with the victory of anti-realism. It certainly is not a ground for thinking that values are just a matter of feeling, a matter of mere preference. Lady Gaga really does come up short, after all. (Or, if you prefer, she really is magnificent.)

Is it an illusion to think that there can be knowledge about such things? I reject Nagel's conviction that the truth of what he calls the neo-Darwinian understanding of human nature hangs in the balance here. And yet I think Nagel may be on to something. Values and their importance for us require explanation, and it isn't clear that the Neo-Darwinian conception is much help here.

"So much the worse for values" is not a live option.

You can keep up with more of what Alva Noë is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter: @alvanoe

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