Voting and the Lesser of Two Evils

by David Ottlinger Everyone is saying it — from senior politicians, to top military brass, to hoary political commentators, to editors of The Electric Agora: “I can’t vote for Hillary and I can’t vote for Donald Trump.”  I can understand why so many have been moved to make this statement and God knows I empathize with the sentiment behind it. […]

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The Elimination of Literature

E. John Winner Every now and then, I’ll be walking down a street and come upon a box of books being set out for trash, and if they’re in good condition, I’ll look through them for anything of interest.  Some time ago, I found a massive High School English text-book, which I took to be an anthology of literature, and […]

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Prescription, Reason and Force

By Daniel A. Kaufman Philosophy is largely a normative discipline, which means that philosophers expend a good amount of energy telling you what you ought to believe, say, and do.  Just look at the concepts with which philosophy is most preoccupied: ‘truth’ – something you should believe – ‘justification’ – a reason you should accept – ‘good’ – something you […]

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New York Diary Part II

Read The New York Diary Part I here. Being the experiences and adventures of a young, single, appallingly poor, surprisingly clean, twenty-something magazine proprietor and philosopher in Gotham. By Daniel Tippens In Manhattan, renting an apartment involves three actors: the customer, the broker, and the landlord. Brokers have access to two types of properties: Exclusive and non-exclusive listings. The former […]

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With Regard to What Exists — Five Questions

By Mark English Earlier this year, Gene Weingarten wrote a piece for The Washington Post in which he suggested that maybe words like ‘epistemological’ and ‘ontological’ are the literary equivalent of monosodium glutamate, in that their role is more to enhance the intellectual flavor of a piece of writing than to contribute any substantive or specific semantic content in and […]

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Moore’s Proof

by Daniel A. Kaufman If you were to pinch the nearest analytically trained philosopher and ask him for the worst, most obviously fallacious argument in his tradition, he might very well tell you that it is the so-called “proof” for the existence of the external world that G.E. Moore gives in his 1939 paper, “Proof of an External World,” originally […]

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Disability, Well-Being, and Intuition

By Daniel Tippens In 2014, Elizabeth Barnes published a paper in Ethics with the title “Valuing Disability, Causing Disability.” Barnes is disabled herself and observes that there seems to be a striking difference between philosophers and disabled individuals, when it comes to their intuitions about the well-being of disabled people. Philosophers tend to hold what she calls the “bad-difference” view: […]

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