Year: 2016

  • Zen Master With His Pants on Fire

    by Mark English The commentary, in many cases, is more important than the thing itself. This applies especially to competitions of various kinds. For example, for me the main attraction of the Eurovision Song Contest was listening to Terry Wogan describe it. It certainly was not the music. For many years, Wogan covered the event, […]

  • This Week’s Special: George Orwell’s, “Politics and the English Language”

    by Daniel A. Kaufman Orwell’s influential essay, published in 1946, when considered alongside his “The Prevention of Literature” (1946) and the Appendix to 1984, “The Principles of Newspeak” (1949), offers a powerful picture of language and its abuse, especially in the arena of politics.  It is one of those essays that seems more prescient with […]

  • Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

    by Mark English The phrase “sex, drugs and rock and roll” came up on this site recently. People seemed to be generally in favor, as I recall. It’s just a jokey mantra, I know, but nonetheless it could be seen to express a certain view of the world. And to the extent that it does […]

  • The Dark Side of Medical Research

    by Daniel Tippens I graduated from New York University in 2014 and subsequently began working as a research technician in a lab at the medical school. While our lab is a part of the Department of Surgery and has only one researcher with a Ph.D. (most are M.D.s), we apply for and secure a large number […]

  • A Modest Critique of Quine’s Web of Belief

    By Daniel Tippens Most of W.V.O Quine’s landmark essay, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” is devoted to a critique of the analytic/synthetic distinction.  Quine defines an analytic statement as either a logical truth – “Bachelors are bachelors” – or a statement that can be turned into a logical truth by exchanging synonyms –“Bachelors are unmarried men.”  […]

  • Provocations

    by Daniel A. Kaufman What could the election of Donald Trump possibly have to do with the plight of academic philosophy?   Well, nothing … and everything. First, though, regarding philosophy’s plight.  We’re in trouble, but unfortunately, our leadership seems not to realize it.  Or if they do, they don’t care.  Or are too confused to […]

  • Popper on Logic and Truth

    by Mark English It is often said that the foundations of logic are the conventions that we (as users of logic) agree upon. I see problems with this view. For a start, the word ‘logic’ is used in different ways. It is often used to refer to formal logic and applications and developments thereof, but […]

  • Thanksgiving Hiatus

    Dear readers, The Electric Agora will taking a short break from publishing over the holiday weekend. We will resume our ordinary schedule next Monday. Have a happy holiday! -The Editors.

  • Yet Some Men Say in Many Parts that Arthur is not Dead

    by E. John Winner This essay is composed of informal reflections on the historical impact of the recent election; therefore, I hope the reader forgives the lack of endnotes and links supporting much of what I say here, since I am not making a case but offering a personal point of view. From Le Morte […]

  • Why Rational People End Up In Echo Chambers

    By Daniel Tippens In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, many have been searching for explanations for his victory.  Some anti-Trumpers cite sexism or nation-wide xenophobia, a distaste for the establishment, and so on.  Some Trumpers point to a distaste for politically correct culture, dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s economic policies, and Clinton’s email scandal. […]