Category: Essays

  • The Uses of Philosophy

    By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ [1] We need to distinguish between philosophy and what people have called philosophy. Physics is not philosophy and neither is biology, yet once, they — and the rest of the natural sciences — went under the name “natural philosophy.”  [2] I would identify philosophy with a set of tools and techniques, […]

  • Growing up Astros

    by Milton Lawson ___ The Start In June of 1978, there was nothing I hated more than the Houston Astros. I had just moved to a new city during summer break. I had no friends. The highlight of my day was watching a Spider-Man cartoon.  As a latch-key Gen-X kid, I would make my own […]

  • Categories: Limited; Inevitable; Necessary

    By Kevin Currie-Knight ___ “I wonder if we will ever stop putting people into these categories. Could we ever just allow people to be individuals?” The student said this as we were talking after class. What started off as a conversation about class, where we were discussing the politics of banning books in schools, became […]

  • Why I am Not a Rortyan but Would Like to Be

    By Jay Jeffers ___ There is no rivalry like an intrastate rivalry. In the state of Pragmatism, the game of the week is always Richard Rorty vs. Hilary Putnam. Nothing ever gets settled, but the effort is there. This is the third and likely final entry in an ongoing attempt to settle a few things. […]

  • Hybridity and Why It Matters

    by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ Academics sure can take simple everyday things and make them complicated. Or complicated things and make them simple. I’m not sure which it is when we come to what some call “hybridity,” which is what happens when folks create fusions between cultural worlds, taking things from different cultures and smashing them […]

  • Where Does Racism Come From? A Response to Michael Huemer

    By Kevin Currie-Knight ___ Philosopher Michael Huemer thinks we should stop talking to kids about race so much, at least in their social studies classes at school. In a recent piece for the Fake Nous, he argues that if racism is at all evident in today’s culture, it probably has to do with the fact […]

  • Philosophical Questions and their Answers

    By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ It seems that many – most? – philosophers think that what philosophy is about is arriving at true positions on subjects ranging from morality, to knowledge, to reality, and the like. They think there is a determinate answer as to whether moral realism or anti-realism is true or whether the […]

  • American Crises: Mental Health and Political Polarization

    by Preston Stovall ___ U.S. citizens are facing a crisis in political polarization and mental health today. Over the last decade, rates of self-harm and depression have skyrocketed among young Americans. This impact is not evenly distributed across the population, however, as it is centered on heavy users of social media (“heavy use” varies from […]

  • Whose Racism? Which Enlightenment?

    By Kevin Currie-Knight ___ Like so much else, the Enlightenment seems to be a flash point in the contemporary culture wars. Some, like Douglas Murray and Stephen Pinker, suggest that we are moving too far away from “enlightenment values” like liberty, equality, and the idea of a universal human nature (to which they oppose the […]

  • What are Words For?

    By Daniel A. Kaufman __ Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse. –George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” Our public discourse today has disintegrated into a wretched cant, in which words are […]