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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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Moral Theory and Moral Life

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A venerable strategy in arguing against theism involves the observation that the world looks exactly as you’d expect it to, if there is no God and not at all like it should if there is one.  I want to say the same thing here about moral life and traditional moral theories.  Moral life looks nothing […]

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Course Notes — Blaise Pascal, “The Wager”

by Daniel A. Kaufman https://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/pascal_wager.pdf The students in my Introduction to Philosophy course just took their second exam, which covers material from Montaigne, Pascal, and Descartes.  From Montaigne we read two essays, “Of Pedantry” and “Of the Education of Children,” and from Descartes, we read the Meditations on First Philosophy.  Both have been a regular part of my introductory syllabus […]

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Citizen Solidarity and Liberal Society

by Daniel A. Kaufman In his essay, “See Something?  Don’t Say Anything,” Dan Tippens has broached an essential subject.  For a liberal society to survive, a healthy space must be maintained between the state and the citizenry.  That space is filled with the elements of civil society, by which I mean the voluntary associations and affiliations we have with one […]

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See Something? Don’t Say Anything.

by Daniel Tippens The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately. –George Orwell, […]

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The Liberal Consensus and the Orthodox Mind

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ A rather bizarre dialogue over at Blogging Heads has induced me to pull together a number of thoughts I’ve been having lately with respect to the liberal consensus. In the dialogue, Aryeh Cohen-Wade and Edmund Waldstein, a Cistercian monk, discussed the infamous Mortara case – in which a young Jewish boy was involuntarily baptized by […]

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