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Reason and the Post-Human

by Daniel A. Kaufman In “Excessive Reason,” an essay I published in these pages last year, I argued that mainline philosophy is characterized by a pervasive and systematic rationalism, the main characteristics of which I summarized as follows: The acceptability of a belief, activity, practice, institution, etc., rests entirely on whether or not it can be rationally justified. The rational […]

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Poe: A Grammar of the Individual

E. John Winner Introduction As a Buddhist, I’m committed to two essential principles: The Self is the source of all suffering; and the Self can be deconstructed, thus alleviating suffering. These essential principles generate others.  Primarily there is the Eightfold Path, the program by which the Self is deconstructed, including “Right Thought,” i.e., philosophy. Secondarily, there is the need to […]

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End of an Epoch

by Mark English Something unusual, something historically significant is going on. Epochal shifts do occur in history, but they usually only become clear in retrospect. One of my professors had a large print of Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” hanging in his study. It is emblematic of a period (between 1871 and 1914) […]

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The Weight of Absence: Musings on Hauntology and Spouses in the Field

by Margaret Rowley I’ll start this little article lightly, with a discussion of a funny academic quirk-gone-hashtag: often in post-Malinowski anthropology, (female) spouses have accompanied their (male) spouses into the field. This was especially true before the mid-1980s, when the field was primarily dominated by men. These wives of anthropologists have frequently performed work like typing manuscripts, performing and translating […]

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Provocations

by Daniel A. Kaufman Though I voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election, I predicted that Donald Trump would win.  Indeed, I was predicting his victory months before, when everyone was convinced he would lose.  I even capitalized on this overconfidence, winning $160, on a $20 bet in which my challenger gave me 8-1 odds.  After the election was […]

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The Special Standing of Moral Skepticism

by Daniel A. Kaufman I want to describe a kind of moral skepticism that I believe enjoys special standing.  It is skeptical, insofar as it denies that there are good reasons for believing in moral properties.   It has special standing, because unlike general skepticism – by which I mean, skepticism about the external world – the doubts it describes are […]

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Culture and Personal Experience

by Mark English A busker. A real musician, this one, with an acoustic guitar and a small amplifier, operating on a (by then) relatively quiet city street corner late the other night. You know how it is. You hear a song that is vaguely familiar, and you want to identify it. You Google a couple of keywords or phrases from […]

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Medium, Message, and Effect

by David Ottlinger There is a moment in Marvel’s recent Doctor Strange that stood out to me in the theater and has stayed with me ever since. The titular doctor has by now suffered an accident which has left his hands seriously debilitated, abruptly ending his career as a hot-shot surgeon. Now he is desperately chasing leads, trying to find […]

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Self-Made

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A to B:  “You’re an asshole.” B to A:  “No I’m not.” A to B:  “Well, it’s not up to you whether you’re an asshole or not.  It’s up to everyone else.” —Louis CK (1) The “self-made man” traditionally was someone who had made his own fortune, rather than inheriting it  Today, many would point […]

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