Destroying the University

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ We are witnessing a transformation of the University in the United States, the result of which will be its destruction, at least as the institution has been understood since the Second World War. Similar developments are afoot in other Western nations. Some of the changes I will describe are at my own university, but Missouri […]

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Cosmopolitanism: Hatari! or a Better World?

by E. John Winner ___  Hatari is apparently a Swahili word for “Danger!” I don’t know Swahili. I only know the word as the title of a remarkable adventure comedy film by the late, great American director, Howard Hawks, from the screenplay by science fiction author Leigh Brackett, who contributed to scripts for a number of Hawks’ best known films, […]

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Time and Language

by Mark English ____ There is the physics of time, and then there is time as we experience it. Natural languages provide quite complex mechanisms for expressing the latter, but it would be a mistake to think that they could ever provide adequate tools for dealing with the former. Physicists cannot dispense with ordinary language, of course, but any satisfactory […]

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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 lose to Trump again — […]

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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 frustration and the concomitant belief […]

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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 in which we decidedly have […]

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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 Vienna Circle colleagues didn’t think […]

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“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 go on, with escalating annoyance […]

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