Category: Essay

  • Three Japanese Films

    by Mark English ____ Japanese filmmakers have always admired certain European and American models and in many cases were well-read in Western literature. It is hardly surprising, then, that Western influences are evident and European and American references and allusions occur very frequently in early and mid-20th century Japanese films. Not all such references are […]

  • Caring and Catering

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Recently, I was involved in an exchange between several philosophers, on the subject of conversations between ethical vegans and meat eaters about the rightness or wrongness of eating meat. The following remarks by one of the participants caught my attention: “…it definitely seems gauche to defend eating meat while eating […]

  • Why We Do History

    by Kevin Curry-Knight ___ Recently, a friend of mine – a Nietzsche scholar – posted on social media that he wished all of those engaged in arguments over antiracism in history education would read Nietzsche’s essay “On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life.” The friend didn’t elaborate, but I respect his judgment and […]

  • Being Moral

    By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ On several occasions, I have described moral ‘oughts’ directed towards others as an invitation to self-governance. Moral Realism is a bust, so these oughts don’t derive from some transcendent moral order, and regardless, whether or not morals can be construed as objective or “Real” turns out not to matter. [1] […]

  • Morality and Distance

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ There are two conceptions of distance that I am interested in with respect to moral questions: Emotional distance: the distance from sentiments and feelings that results when one adopts a disinterested stance, in response to morally significant situations. Theoretical distance: the distance from the particularities of circumstances, people, and relationships […]

  • Marxism for Dummies Like Me

    by E. John Winner __ When I was 17, I fell in love with three older men. Indeed, they were so much older that two of them were dead at the time. They were everything I wasn’t. They were short and thin, and though not athletes, they moved swift and agile. One couldn’t say that […]

  • Three Constraints on the Philosophy of Art

    by Daniel A. Kaufman _____ Preliminary Remarks After a brief hiatus in the last century, the search for a definition of ‘art’ has resumed with great vigour. Wittgensteinians may bemoan this as intellectual atavism, an anachronistic longing for “essences,” but I am inclined to think that the revival of the question of ‘art’ ’s definition […]

  • Cobra Kai: A Delightfully Subversive Pop Cultural Moment

    by Miroslav Imbrišević ___ Sometimes I get the feeling that I am sitting in a theatre, watching an absurdist play from the 1950’s. As I write this, a law student is being investigated by Abertay University (in Dundee, Scotland) for making “controversial” statements in class. Lisa Keogh, a (non-traditional) student and mother of two, had […]

  • Texts [That] Don’t Care

    by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ I am preparing for a course I teach and that means deciding between a number of books that I could assign. As always, the experience reminds me how much I prefer assigning texts whose meaning is either opaque or whose arguments are incomplete or even objectionable. Since I teach future teachers, […]

  • Twenty-Five Things Everyone Used to Understand

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ What strikes me more than anything about our current moment is how utterly alien the dominant zeitgeist is from that of just a few decades ago. Increasingly, I find myself unable even to comprehend people’s reactions to social, political, and cultural developments, let alone identify with them. This rather abrupt […]