This Week’s Special: Henry Kamen’s “The Decline of Spain: A Historical Myth?”

by Michael Boyle http://www.romanistik.uni-freiburg.de/raible/Lehre/2006_07/Materialien/1978_Kamen_Decline.pdf The story that is usually told about early-modern Spain involves depicting it as one of the great powers of Europe. Whether recounting tales of the voyages of exploration, the contributions of Velasquez, El Greco, and Cervantes, or the military power of Spain in Europe itself, Spain is seen as a major player in a number of […]

Read More →

Panpsychism – is it testable?

By Paul So In recent years (late 90’s to the 21st century), Panpsychism has been enjoying some resurgence in philosophy. David Chalmers, Galen Strawson, Thomas Nagel, and others are seriously considering Panpsychism as a viable solution for the Mind-Body problem. But philosophers aren’t alone. In the natural sciences, some prominent scientists, even the well-known Christof Koch, are seriously considering Panpsychism […]

Read More →

This Week’s Special: David Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste”

By Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.econlib.org/library/LFBooks/Hume/hmMPL23.html One of the central topics in Aesthetics is the justification of our evaluative judgments of works of art. Questions regarding the warrant for our valuations are always challenging, because of the quite common  intuition that values and valuation are inherently subjective. The trouble lies in the fact that there is an equally common intuition that […]

Read More →

Intuition and Morals

by Daniel A. Kaufman The main moral conviction of the plain man seem to me to be, not opinions which it is for philosophy to prove or disprove, but knowledge from the start. –W.D. Ross, The Right and the Good I want to say a few things about morality and intuition and the relationship between the two.  One of them […]

Read More →

This Week’s Special: Charles Tilly’s “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime”

Michael Boyle Tony Soprano and the Nation State: Charles Tilly’s “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime” http://www.scribd.com/doc/280094995/Tilly-War-Making-and-State-Making-as-Organized-Crime One of the most significant sociologists of the 20th Century, Charles Tilly (1929-2008) is best known for his linkage of war and war-making with the appearance of the nation-state in Europe, especially in his 1990 book, Coercion, Capital, and European States, […]

Read More →

Knowledge and Reality

by Daniel A. Kaufman EDITORS NOTE:  This essay originally appeared on Dan Kaufman’s previous blog, Apophenia.  We are reprinting it here, as a preface to a video discussion bewteen Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman on realism, anti-realism, and our knowledge of the world.  That discussion will be posted this Thursday. __________________________________________________________________ If you were to go to the trouble of asking ordinary people about […]

Read More →

Constitutional Originalism and Religious Fundamentalism — Two Sides of the Same Coin

By Steve Snyder “Originalism” has arguably been the most prominent theory of legal interpretation of the U.S. Constitution since Antonin Scalia became an associate justice of the Supreme Court some 30 years ago. Scalia has been a regular lecturer at conservative legal conferences of organizations like the Federalist Society, where he advances the originalist point of view. With the addition […]

Read More →

This Week’s Special: Susan Sontag’s “Against Interpretation”

By Daniel A. Kaufman http://employees.csbsju.edu/dbeach/beautytruth/Sontag-Against%20Interpretation.pdf On tap this week is Susan Sontag’s influential attack on a certain kind of intellectualist approach to art, in “Against Interpretation” (1964), reprinted in the collection Against Interpretation (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966). The kind of interpretation that Sontag is against is not the common, largely unconscious variety that is always going on, […]

Read More →