Excessive Reason

by Daniel A. Kaufman The mainline, analytic philosophical tradition is characterized by a programmatic rationalism that stands upon surprisingly flimsy grounds and is ultimately motivated by an obsession with autonomy and control.  (1) My aim, here, is to make the case for this, as carefully – and as accessibly – as I can.  I have written elsewhere on alternatives, describing […]

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What Ails our Discourse?

By David Ottlinger Only recently, I was on a long drive through the Midwest visiting family over the holidays. Driving through the Midwest, of course, means driving through hundreds of miles of cornfields until the grinding sameness wears you down. Then you have to stop at a fast food chain or, if you are lucky, a Starbucks. And so, feeling […]

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On What There Is (or Isn’t)

By Mark English Trying to write something recently on the nature of logic, I got sidetracked by some ontological issues. Given that logic is about what follows from what and ontology is about what there is, it may not be immediately obvious that the topics are interconnected. They are (to a point). But the two subjects are rather unequal because, […]

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Provocations

By Daniel A. Kaufman With Spring Break rapidly approaching, I asked my students what their plans were, after telling them that my wife, daughter, and I are going to Miami Beach. Apparently, there are no traditional Spring-Breakers among my students this year, though a number of them are going on “mission trips,” with their churches.  What these typically involve is […]

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This Week’s Special: Edmund Gettier, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”

By Daniel A. Kaufman http://fitelson.org/proseminar/gettier.pdf On tap this week is one of the most widely read and influential essays in epistemology, written since the Second World War, Edmund Gettier’s “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” In this remarkably short piece, Gettier succeeded in casting doubt on what had been one of the most widely accepted ideas in philosophy – that to […]

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The Noble Sage

By Paul So When I first encountered philosophy, I thought it involved improving one’s spiritual life by providing some insightful and useful instructions. So it is unsurprising that I imagined a philosopher to be a wise and noble sage who utters koan-like statements that will eventually amount to some life-changing insights conducive for practical living. Many people who haven’t had […]

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On Failing To Pass For Human

By Dwayne Holmes This essay is less about reaching a conclusion than it is raising a question: what is “human nature”? Or perhaps better said: is there such a thing as “human nature”? Back at the now defunct Scientia Salon, Massimo Pigliucci expressed confusion that academics in the humanities were dismissive of the concept, and wondered if his acceptance might […]

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