Science and Disenchantment

by Mark English At the age of seven, I went with my mother, brother and baby sister on a long plane journey. We flew for many hours, landing once for refueling (late at night). It was a rough journey, and I recall a certain amount of nausea and vomiting, but the positives certainly outweighed the negatives as far as I […]

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Hitler’s Rant: The Efficacy of a Modern Rhetoric

by E. John Winner With Mein Kampf in the news recently, we’ll here consider two rhetorical strategies found in Hitler’s text.  The first targets the well-known anxieties of Hitler’s expected audience.  The second finds Hitler identifying with his audience or rather, a particular segment of that audience, the young and rebellious.  Hopefully, the reading will reveal something about the people […]

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What Ails Our Discourse? Part Two

By David Ottlinger In my last essay, I made use of Glenn Loury’s work in exploring possible explanations for our polarized and partisan discourse. [1] I suggested that his work might help explain how society divides into distinct communities of discourse, each exhibiting a natural tendency to suppress their moderates, such that only the most uncompromising tend to remain. I […]

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Excessive Reason

by Daniel A. Kaufman The mainline, analytic philosophical tradition is characterized by a programmatic rationalism that stands upon surprisingly flimsy grounds and is ultimately motivated by an obsession with autonomy and control.  (1) My aim, here, is to make the case for this, as carefully – and as accessibly – as I can.  I have written elsewhere on alternatives, describing […]

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What Ails our Discourse?

By David Ottlinger Only recently, I was on a long drive through the Midwest visiting family over the holidays. Driving through the Midwest, of course, means driving through hundreds of miles of cornfields until the grinding sameness wears you down. Then you have to stop at a fast food chain or, if you are lucky, a Starbucks. And so, feeling […]

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On What There Is (or Isn’t)

By Mark English Trying to write something recently on the nature of logic, I got sidetracked by some ontological issues. Given that logic is about what follows from what and ontology is about what there is, it may not be immediately obvious that the topics are interconnected. They are (to a point). But the two subjects are rather unequal because, […]

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The Noble Sage

By Paul So When I first encountered philosophy, I thought it involved improving one’s spiritual life by providing some insightful and useful instructions. So it is unsurprising that I imagined a philosopher to be a wise and noble sage who utters koan-like statements that will eventually amount to some life-changing insights conducive for practical living. Many people who haven’t had […]

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On Failing To Pass For Human

By Dwayne Holmes This essay is less about reaching a conclusion than it is raising a question: what is “human nature”? Or perhaps better said: is there such a thing as “human nature”? Back at the now defunct Scientia Salon, Massimo Pigliucci expressed confusion that academics in the humanities were dismissive of the concept, and wondered if his acceptance might […]

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Middle-Aged Punk

By Daniel A. Kaufman The older I get, the more I find myself listening to Punk rock and the less I seem to be able to tolerate much of anything else. It’s weird, the idea of a middle-aged Punk.  My parents, who belong to the Silent Generation, listened to classical, Big Band, and Sinatra-style lounge music, and I remember, as […]

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