A Very Philosophical Conceit

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Over at the Daily Nous, an influential philosophy-insider’s blog, editor Justin Weinberg kicks off a celebration of its five year anniversary by congratulating himself. [1]  He is proud that he and the Nous have played a role in “breaking up a toxic concentration of power in our profession” and ushering in a “new consensus,” which […]

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Seven Waves Away: A Brief Analysis

by Mark English ___ The metaphor of survivors competing for space on an overloaded raft or lifeboat has a long and deep history in the annals of human moral reflection. Such reflection differs from the philosopher’s more contrived and detached “trolley problems” in a number of ways, but mainly because emotional and social aspects of the moral questions involved are […]

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Some Things to Keep in Mind When Engaging with the Gender Identity Debate

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The political battle over sex and gender continues to escalate, with increasingly consequential results. Adolescents and pre-teens are finding themselves confronted with opposite-sexed bodies in changing rooms, toilets, and other places where they undress.[1] Female athletes are watching their potential fortunes dim in competition. [2] Homosexuals are being criticized and often berated for being same-sex, […]

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Kant, Racism and Global Philosophy

by Bharath Vallabha Nowadays when racism is reflexively brought up as an explanation for social phenomena, I cringe. The person who raises it usually does so excitedly, as if they have penetrated to the heart of the issue. But most of the time I find they are confusing passion for clarity and skipping over all the interesting questions. Fixating on […]

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Mini Symposium on Truth: Quid Est Veritas?

by E. John Winner ___ Most of what I know about logic I learned studying Aristotle, Kant, and Peirce.  However, I did take an introductory undergraduate course in symbolic logic.  The surprising take-away was that with a properly formed compound sentence, one could assert just about anything, and still hold the assertion, as a whole, to be true.  In short, […]

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Adolescent Politics

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The sub-heading of the late-Christopher Hitchens’ book, God is Not Great, reads: “how religion poisons everything.”  Now, maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t.  I really don’t know.  But one thing I do know is this: Politics poisons everything. And the reason it does is that we are not serious or mature enough to engage […]

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Oliver Mayo, Evolution by Natural Selection and Ethics: What in evolution has ethical implications?

by David L. Duffy Mayo’s book is a meditation on/updating of Ferdinand Brunetière’s (1894) The morality of evolutionary theory. [1][2] Like Christian de Duve’s Genetics of original sin and the future of life,  Brunetière reckons Original Sin is explained by natural selection. [3] Mayo, however, prefers the Humean line on is-ought. This is an “outsider” book on ethics, in the […]

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Myths of Empire

by Mark English Even bad movies have their moments. The 1953 John Huston film, Beat the Devil, sustains itself well for about 35 minutes before descending into boring and predictable comedy-adventure territory. Roger Ebert thought the film had “effortless charm”. “Once we catch on that nothing much is going to happen,” he wrote, “we can relax and share the amusement […]

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