Moral Theory and Moral Life

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A venerable strategy in arguing against theism involves the observation that the world looks exactly as you’d expect it to, if there is no God and not at all like it should if there is one.  I want to say the same thing here about moral life and traditional moral theories.  Moral life looks nothing […]

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Course Notes — Blaise Pascal, “The Wager”

by Daniel A. Kaufman https://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/pascal_wager.pdf The students in my Introduction to Philosophy course just took their second exam, which covers material from Montaigne, Pascal, and Descartes.  From Montaigne we read two essays, “Of Pedantry” and “Of the Education of Children,” and from Descartes, we read the Meditations on First Philosophy.  Both have been a regular part of my introductory syllabus […]

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Citizen Solidarity and Liberal Society

by Daniel A. Kaufman In his essay, “See Something?  Don’t Say Anything,” Dan Tippens has broached an essential subject.  For a liberal society to survive, a healthy space must be maintained between the state and the citizenry.  That space is filled with the elements of civil society, by which I mean the voluntary associations and affiliations we have with one […]

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See Something? Don’t Say Anything.

by Daniel Tippens The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately. –George Orwell, […]

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The Liberal Consensus and the Orthodox Mind

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ A rather bizarre dialogue over at Blogging Heads has induced me to pull together a number of thoughts I’ve been having lately with respect to the liberal consensus. In the dialogue, Aryeh Cohen-Wade and Edmund Waldstein, a Cistercian monk, discussed the infamous Mortara case – in which a young Jewish boy was involuntarily baptized by […]

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