Lost World

by Mark English My old high-school Latin teacher had a very short temper. He exploded on a regular basis. More than once he became so agitated in class that he knocked off his own spectacles, sending them skidding across the floor. Corporal punishment was part of the culture at this strange institution, which seemed to have been trapped in a […]

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Some Problems with Incompatibalism

by E. John Winner Social determinism and compatibilism I gave up worrying about the “free will vs. determinism” debate back around 1990.  At that time, I was studying Pragmatism, especially (in the present context) that of Dewey [1], George Herbert Mead [2], and the little known but nonetheless important Explanation and Power: The Control of Human Behavior by Morse Peckham. […]

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Is the Free Will Debate a Verbal Dispute?

By Paul So I’ve noticed that academic philosophers, being fairly insulated from the wider public, have largely failed to engage educated laymen who are interested, and perplexed, about free will. In particular, most people think that there are really only two plausible positions — if determinism is true then there is no free will, and if determinism is not true […]

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Politics and Song

by E. John Winner Now, the whole business of Irish nationalism can get very serious if you’re not careful. – Liam Clancy [1] My father, Joseph Connelly, abandoned his family when I was two years of age.  I probably should have hated him and be done with it; but that’s not how children respond to their abandonment.  There’s a lot […]

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Nationalism and Mythical Thinking

by Mark English A lot of nonsense is talked about “destiny.” I’m referring here to the idea that individuals or groups can be seen to have some kind of pre-existing or pre-ordained path to fulfillment that they may discover and embrace. Certainly, given an individual, say, at a particular stage of life, there are choices he or she may make – […]

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What Should We Do When Values Clash? Moving Forward On Campus Debates

By Daniel Tippens An abridged version of this essay originally appeared here on Quillette Magazine. In 2016, allegations of sexual harassment against Thomas Pogge, an internationally recognized professor of philosophy, came to public light. Accusations against him had been made by other students in the past, but the most widely publicized claims were brought by Fernanda Lopez Aguilar, who said […]

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Violence and Identity

by E. John Winner “I wouldn’t have it any other way” The Wild Bunch is a 1969 film directed by Sam Peckinpah (written by Peckinpah and Walon Green) [1]. Nominally a Western, it tells the story of a gang of aging outlaws in the days leading up to their last gun battle. After a failed payroll robbery, in which more […]

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Trigger Locke

by Dwayne Holmes A recent video discussion posted at The Electric Agora tried to pin down the history and definition of “classical liberalism.” [1] This largely agreed with my own understanding. However, at one point Dan and David addressed Social Contract theory, particularly as derived from John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. There, Locke contrasted life in the state of […]

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