Year: 2019

  • New Year (and Decade) Musings

    by Daniel A. Kaufman _____ (1) The devastating defeat of Labour by the Tories in the recent British election, when added to Trump’s victory over the Democrats in 2016, indicates that the current liberal/Left-wing coalitions one finds in the US/Britain are no longer viable when it comes to nationwide political contests. (2) If the Democrats […]

  • Bret Easton Ellis, British Labour in the Wilderness, and Barszcz Czysty Czerwony (Polish Beet Soup)

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Terrific interview with Tom Stoppard, one of our greatest living playwrights. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/12/i-aspire-to-write-for-posterity-an-interview-with-tom-stoppard/ A pretty fascinating dialogue between Bret Easton Ellis and Eric Weinstein on Los Angeles and Generation X. Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics at the University of Kent, offers an excellent analysis of Labour’s historic loss in the recent […]

  • More than a Feeling: Rock Stars, Heroines and Transwomen

    by Miroslav Imbrišević ____ If you want to be a rock star, playing Guitar Hero (a video game) with your friends will not do the trick. Although it might sow some seeds. You need to do rock star things: play a real instrument or sing, write good songs, have long hair, do some head banging, […]

  • Why I’m Not a Cosmo-Globalist and other Musings of a Politically Homeless Philosopher

    by Daniel A. Kaufman __ Extensive reading and numerous discussions about the recent UK election and its significance for the United States, as well as an argument with my friend and colleague, Massimo Pigliucci, on Twitter has forced me to confront the fact that I am more politically homeless than I have ever been. (1) […]

  • The Fallacy of Time Travel

    by Ronald Green The desire to know what will be, to rattle the cage of the future, of time itself, is close to being a human obsession. Of all the dimensions, it is time – a perpetually dangling bait – that we cannot do anything about. Stories of time travel are a manifestation of this […]

  • The Good Old Liberal Consensus

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The editors have invited us to “examine a single philosopher or school, maybe a movement,” so that we might “consider how what passed for wisdom then may or may not help us now.”†  Undoubtedly, there are many areas in which we have surpassed the wisdom of our predecessors, but one […]

  • Metaphysics, Metacognition, Language and Number

    by Mark English The logical positivists took a very hard anti-metaphysical line. They were right, in my view, to see traditional metaphysics as being futile and pointless. The essential problem with metaphysics is epistemic. How (given a basically scientific view of the world) can purely metaphysical statements be justified? Rudolf Carnap and most of his […]

  • Course Notes — Themes from the Incomparable Philip K. Dick

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The end of the Fall semester is rapidly approaching, and it will mark the last time I will have taught the current iteration of my Philosophical Ideas in Literature course, devoted to five novels by Philip K. Dick: The Man in the High Castle (1962); The Three Stigmata of Palmer […]

  • Bits and Pieces – Consciousness and “Wittgenstein/Ryle-Style” (Dis)solutions

    By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The philosophical problem of consciousness is a problem concerning subjectivity. To be conscious is to be conscious of something: a color; a smell; a feeling or emotion; etc.  This is why it is alternatively described as “conscious experience,” “self-consciousness,” etc. Consciousness, therefore, is a kind of point of view. Specifically, […]

  • “OK Boomer”

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ When I was in elementary school in the 1970’s, one way a kid might respond to an insult would be to say, “I know you are, but what am I?” The other kid would reply with another insult, to which the insulted would simply repeat the initial response.  This would […]