Let’s Cease the Santa Charade

By: David Kyle Johnson The notion that we should lie to our children about Santa Claus enjoys a kind of sacred protection that modern religious beliefs can only dream of in the Western world. Don’t believe me? This very year, a mother in California was threatened with a lawsuit because her son spilled the beans about Santa at school. [1] […]

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That’s Not Funny

By David Ottlinger One good thing to come in the wake of these frequently misguided and often intolerant student protests has been a real and surprisingly hopeful national conversation about public discourse. I can’t remember a time when so much energy (and printer’s ink) has gone into debating free speech and censorship. I want to focus on one small area […]

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The God Non-Hypothesis

by David Ottlinger “The problem of evil, in the sense in which I am using this phrase, is essentially a logical problem: it sets the theist the task of clarifying and if possible reconciling the several beliefs which he holds. It is not a scientific problem that might be solved by further discoveries…” [1]                                                                                          -JL Mackie, The Miracle of […]

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Repugnant Thoughts

By: Daniel Tippens When I was a teenager, I regularly attended church, I was actively engaged in the youth group, and even played the drums in the church band. One thing that I was taught and took as unquestionable moral dogma was that having certain thoughts was morally bad, simply by virtue of having them. It wasn’t just that acting […]

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A Course for Critical Thinking

By Michael Boyle In light of Dan Kaufman’s recent essay on the humanities, I’d like to sketch out an example of one kind of response, in one small humanities course, to some of the problems that he has identified. Not coincidentally, we are friends and colleagues, teaching in the same department, and so his concerns regarding the challenges facing humanities […]

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On Some Common Rationales for Liberal Education (and why they aren’t very good)

By Daniel A. Kaufman With the exception, perhaps, of those who teach at our most elite universities and liberal arts colleges, it should be apparent to everyone in the higher education business that the humanities and liberal arts are in trouble.  Deteriorating numbers and declining esteem tell the story of subjects that are increasingly perceived as being largely useless to […]

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Vision is (probably) Informationally Encapsulated from Flavor (Part II)

By Daniel Tippens Some notes on attention and sensory penetration I intend to argue that vision is informationally encapsulated (just “encapsulated” from here on out) from flavor. In the last post, we discussed the ideas of encapsulation and sensory penetration. The notion of encapsulation that I am working with takes place at the level of experience, and sensory penetration takes […]

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Vision is (probably) Informationally Encapsulated from Flavour (Part I)

By: Daniel Tippens Introduction Let’s understand our sensory systems in a common sense way to refer to the 5 senses we are familiar with: vision, touch, audition, and so on. A sensory system, understood in this paper, is characterized by certain sense organs, specific brain-areas dedicated to processing the information that those sense organs receive, and a certain kind of […]

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