The Many Cups of Coffee

E. John Winner 1. Semiotic interpretation is important, and yet it is somewhat variable and changeable, depending on the context in which it occurs. Consider the crucifix: if found in a Catholic church we interpret it one way; in a vampire movie another; and hanging around the neck of a Hell’s Angel motorcyclist something else altogether, depending on what we […]

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Radicalism and Religion

by Mark English Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul, had been involved with a mystical form of Judaism (possibly Merkabah) before he joined the early-first-century Jewish sect which became (largely through his own writings and missionary activities) a new religion quite distinct from Judaism. Paul knew that his teachings were unacceptable to most devout Jews and would be perceived […]

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Course Notes – Paul Churchland, “Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes”

by Daniel A. Kaufman https://ruccs.rutgers.edu/images/personal-zenon-pylyshyn/class-info/FP2012_readings/Churchland_EliminativeMaterialsm.pdf In the philosophy of mind, apart from sensations, with their perplexing “qualia,” intentional states, the so-called “propositional attitudes,” have proven materialism’s biggest headache.  Materialism’s greatest hope, functionalism – and particularly its computational variety – ran into trouble with the propositional attitudes by way of the Chinese (or at least, one of their Rooms), and disputes […]

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Breaking Kids

Don’t you ever feel like everything we do and everything we’ve been taught is just to service the future? — Marissa Ribisi as “Cynthia,” Dazed and Confused (Dir: Richard Linklater, 1993) ___ No sixteen or seventeen year old can have a “resume.”  Or should have one.  Resumes are things that adults submit when trying to get jobs in offices. No […]

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Notes on Culture and Language

by Mark English Having written recently about shared narratives and their role in creating a common culture, I thought it might be worthwhile to try to develop a few of the points I have been making and to clarify the foundation – personal and intellectual – upon which my claims rest. Now, the idea of a common culture – whether […]

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The Underground Man

by Bharath Vallabha ___ Why did Donald Trump win in 2016? Many on the Left have settled on two answers: white anxiety and economic anxiety. No doubt poor whites, especially in middle America, are a big part of Trump’s base. Still, this explanation doesn’t ring true to me. For a simple reason. I was tempted to vote for Trump. I […]

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Feminism, Mental Representation, and Churros

by Daniel A. Kaufman A disturbing glimpse into the way contemporary gender identity politics is compromising science and medicine. https://quillette.com/2018/10/18/trans-activists-campaign-against-terfs-has-become-an-attack-on-science/ How progressive politics have ruined comedy. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/social-justice-warriors-arent-funny/ A detailed history of the original feminists, which their contemporary progeny should read carefully. https://www.city-journal.org/metoo-movement [The late] Jerry Fodor’s brilliant and hilarious survey of theories of mental representation. (I just finished teaching it […]

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