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Self-Expression, Knowledge and Value

by Mark English Attempts to express a comprehensive personal view of the world are doomed to failure. Each of us has a view of the world; some such views are more developed and plausible than others. But language (even supplemented with other modes of expression) is simply not equipped to articulate the complex and shifting set of values and beliefs […]

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Course Notes: A.J. Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/pdfs/ayerLTL.pdf It’s finals week, which means that the semester is at a close (and that I’m grading my ass off), and I thought it a good opportunity to get another Course Notes in, before summer break begins.  I’ll be talking about the final readings for my Introduction to Philosophy course, three chapters from A.J. Ayer’s Language, […]

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Brave New World, 1984, #MeToo, The New Journalism, and Paprikas Csirke

by Daniel A. Kaufman A remarkable IQ2 debate between novelist Wil Self and New Yorker essayist, Adam Gopnik, on the relative merits of Brave New World and 1984 in understanding our current world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31CcclqEiZw&index=11&t=0s&list=FLQzxHWvrODrO9oA35PHXsIQ Interesting reflections on the #MeToo movement and the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s. https://www.city-journal.org/html/sexual-revolutions-angry-children-15827.html Two of the best documentaries on Hunter S. Thompson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlAZV_EsSSE […]

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A Parkinson’s Playlist

by Mark English My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than a decade ago, and before that she had a series of other health problems. Old and very frail, she has lived in a care home for more than six years now. Her concentration span is limited and she finds speaking increasingly difficult. But music remains important to her. […]

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Thoughts on Sex and Gender

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ I am beginning to suspect that gender cuts no ontological ice – that genders are not things, as sexes are – and that the concept of gender identity is the problem rather than the solution in our current struggles over gender and sex.  Please note that these are only sketches of ideas.  The issues are […]

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A Sense of Justice

by E. John Winner Behold I see a canyon where many souls will die Behold I see a world that will always wonder why — Marty Stuart, “Wounded Knee” (1) 1. I am here to consider our responses to what we perceive as just or unjust.  I do not hope to reach a conclusion. I write as an educated layman, […]

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Envisaging Homer’s World

by Mark English To what extent do we have access to the thought-worlds of past eras? My experience of doing research in intellectual history has led me to be acutely aware of the difficulties. At first you think you understand. Then, gradually, you realize the extent of your ignorance. The subtleties of a given culture are essential to it: they […]

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Mindful of the Republic

by David Ottlinger ___ Resistance. It is a concept many people now use to describe their politics. It is regrettable more people have not thought on what it means. It is worth noting, for instance, that the concept is inherently reactive. By declaring themselves part of “The Resistance,” the Resistors implicitly state that they feel besieged by some alien force, […]

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Guns, Hardcore, Carnitas and Camp

by Daniel A. Kaufman One of the best articles I’ve read on America’s gun problem.  Particularly effective is the video which shows what happens when ordinary people, who have been given some gun training of the sort being proposed for school teachers in some districts, are confronted by an active shooter. https://www.vox.com/2015/10/3/9444417/gun-violence-united-states-america = = = Fascinating photo essay on the […]

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Dirty Uncle Bertie

by Mark English Blaise Pascal saw our need for entertainment and distraction as arising from the very essence of the human condition and dark fears regarding our place in an apparently hostile and infinite universe. He himself was terrified by the silence between the stars. One does not have to follow Pascal all the way, however, to see something a […]

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