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, […]

Read More →

Political Narratives

by Mark English Unless we postulate an all-seeing, all-judging God, there is no one true narrative about any person or sequence of social events we care to specify. For each case, there are countless possible narratives or variations of narratives which could be seen to fit the facts. Much of the variation is value-framework related. Different assumptions regarding moral priorities […]

Read More →

Belief and Knowledge Reconsidered

E. John Winner How did we ever come to use such an expression as “I believe . . . “?  Did we at some time become aware of a phenomenon (of belief)?  Did we observe ourselves and other people and so discover belief? — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1) §1. Recently, while reading Section 10 of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Part […]

Read More →

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, […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Self-Sufficiency and Human Flourishing

by Daniel A. Kaufman It is no secret that my friend and colleague, Massimo Pigliucci, is a practicing modern Stoic.  Indeed, working within and promoting the modern Stoic form of life has become one of his chief projects, including a blog devoted exclusively to the topic – How To Be a Stoic – and a very well-received and popular book […]

Read More →

The Scope of Morality

by Daniel Tippens Every decision is a moral decision. Every dollar you spend on yourself is a dollar that could instead be donated to a good cause. Every minute you spend is a minute you could have done something more kind or helpful than what you actually did. Every person you see, you could greet warmly or grumpily, give them […]

Read More →

Morality Everywhere?

by Daniel A. Kaufman Lately, I’ve been having a certain kind of argument, over and over again.  I feel compelled to defend something that I really like – and which I would have thought it quite normal to like – against rather emphatic moral criticisms from various quarters.  Eating food, for instance (well, food that includes meat or dairy), and […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →