Self-Expression, Knowledge and Value

by Mark English Attempts to express a comprehensive personal view of the world are doomed to failure. Each of us has a view of the world; some such views are more developed and plausible than others. But language (even supplemented with other modes of expression) is simply not equipped to articulate the complex and shifting set of values and beliefs […]

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A Parkinson’s Playlist

by Mark English My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than a decade ago, and before that she had a series of other health problems. Old and very frail, she has lived in a care home for more than six years now. Her concentration span is limited and she finds speaking increasingly difficult. But music remains important to her. […]

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Thoughts on Sex and Gender

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ I am beginning to suspect that gender cuts no ontological ice – that genders are not things, as sexes are – and that the concept of gender identity is the problem rather than the solution in our current struggles over gender and sex.  Please note that these are only sketches of ideas.  The issues are […]

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A Sense of Justice

by E. John Winner Behold I see a canyon where many souls will die Behold I see a world that will always wonder why — Marty Stuart, “Wounded Knee” (1) 1. I am here to consider our responses to what we perceive as just or unjust.  I do not hope to reach a conclusion. I write as an educated layman, […]

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Envisaging Homer’s World

by Mark English To what extent do we have access to the thought-worlds of past eras? My experience of doing research in intellectual history has led me to be acutely aware of the difficulties. At first you think you understand. Then, gradually, you realize the extent of your ignorance. The subtleties of a given culture are essential to it: they […]

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Mindful of the Republic

by David Ottlinger ___ Resistance. It is a concept many people now use to describe their politics. It is regrettable more people have not thought on what it means. It is worth noting, for instance, that the concept is inherently reactive. By declaring themselves part of “The Resistance,” the Resistors implicitly state that they feel besieged by some alien force, […]

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Dirty Uncle Bertie

by Mark English Blaise Pascal saw our need for entertainment and distraction as arising from the very essence of the human condition and dark fears regarding our place in an apparently hostile and infinite universe. He himself was terrified by the silence between the stars. One does not have to follow Pascal all the way, however, to see something a […]

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Moral Theory and Moral Life

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A venerable strategy in arguing against theism involves the observation that the world looks exactly as you’d expect it to, if there is no God and not at all like it should if there is one.  I want to say the same thing here about moral life and traditional moral theories.  Moral life looks nothing […]

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Citizen Solidarity and Liberal Society

by Daniel A. Kaufman In his essay, “See Something?  Don’t Say Anything,” Dan Tippens has broached an essential subject.  For a liberal society to survive, a healthy space must be maintained between the state and the citizenry.  That space is filled with the elements of civil society, by which I mean the voluntary associations and affiliations we have with one […]

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See Something? Don’t Say Anything.

by Daniel Tippens The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately. –George Orwell, […]

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