Month: June 2017

  • Bits and Pieces — Truth and Ontology

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ‘Truth’ and ‘is true’ The most popular view on truth is some variation on the correspondence theory, according to which saying that a statement is true is saying that it “corresponds” to “reality” or “the facts” or “states of affairs” or some such thing.  The trouble with this to my mind […]

  • Announcing “Bits and Pieces”

    The Editors are please to announce a new feature on The Electric Agora: “Bits and Pieces.” Like our Provocations feature, Bits and Pieces are meant to stimulate thought and discussion, but not with respect to political and other hot-button issues.  Instead, Bits and Pieces will allow authors to address a number of different intellectual subjects […]

  • The Evolution of Television

    My discussion with our own David Ottlinger on his essay, “Medium, Message and Effect.” Originally aired June 25, 2017 on the Sophia program, on MeaningofLife.TV, part of the BloggingHeads.TV network.    

  • Reason and the Post-Human

    by Daniel A. Kaufman In “Excessive Reason,” an essay I published in these pages last year, I argued that mainline philosophy is characterized by a pervasive and systematic rationalism, the main characteristics of which I summarized as follows: The acceptability of a belief, activity, practice, institution, etc., rests entirely on whether or not it can […]

  • Poe: A Grammar of the Individual

    E. John Winner Introduction As a Buddhist, I’m committed to two essential principles: The Self is the source of all suffering; and the Self can be deconstructed, thus alleviating suffering. These essential principles generate others.  Primarily there is the Eightfold Path, the program by which the Self is deconstructed, including “Right Thought,” i.e., philosophy. Secondarily, […]

  • End of an Epoch

    by Mark English Something unusual, something historically significant is going on. Epochal shifts do occur in history, but they usually only become clear in retrospect. One of my professors had a large print of Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” hanging in his study. It is emblematic of a […]

  • The Weight of Absence: Musings on Hauntology and Spouses in the Field

    by Margaret Rowley I’ll start this little article lightly, with a discussion of a funny academic quirk-gone-hashtag: often in post-Malinowski anthropology, (female) spouses have accompanied their (male) spouses into the field. This was especially true before the mid-1980s, when the field was primarily dominated by men. These wives of anthropologists have frequently performed work like […]

  • Provocations

    by Daniel A. Kaufman Though I voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election, I predicted that Donald Trump would win.  Indeed, I was predicting his victory months before, when everyone was convinced he would lose.  I even capitalized on this overconfidence, winning $160, on a $20 bet in which my challenger gave me 8-1 […]

  • The Special Standing of Moral Skepticism

    by Daniel A. Kaufman I want to describe a kind of moral skepticism that I believe enjoys special standing.  It is skeptical, insofar as it denies that there are good reasons for believing in moral properties.   It has special standing, because unlike general skepticism – by which I mean, skepticism about the external world – […]

  • Culture and Personal Experience

    by Mark English A busker. A real musician, this one, with an acoustic guitar and a small amplifier, operating on a (by then) relatively quiet city street corner late the other night. You know how it is. You hear a song that is vaguely familiar, and you want to identify it. You Google a couple […]