Liberalism and Kitsch

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ On a number of occasions, I have defended what I’ve been calling “procedural liberalism” on the grounds that in large pluralistic societies (a) one cannot expect one’s fellow citizens to share a common, substantive conception of the good, and (b) one cannot expect that one’s “community,” in the sense of the word that implies a […]

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Knowledge of the Past and Knowledge of the World

by Mark English ___ My intention here is to recapitulate a couple of points arising from recent discussions with a view to clarifying my own position on the nature of the past, before briefly addressing some broader questions relating to realism and culture. Is it acceptable to distinguish between, on the one hand, an account of the past (whatever kind […]

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On the Axiological Cogito: Chapter One of Raymond Ruyer’s, Neofinalism

by David L. Duffy _____ Raymond Ruyer (1902-1987), le Sage de Nancy, significantly influenced French philosophy (he is quoted by Merleau-Ponty, Canguilhem, Deleuze and the enactivists, e.g. Varela and Weber), but was little referenced in English until recently. [1] His thinking has roots in Bergson and Whitehead, with Deleuze calling him “the latest of Leibniz’s great disciples.” [2] His Néofinalisme […]

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The English Revolution and the Genesis of Modernity

by E. John Winner ____ This is first of two essays, concerning the events of the English Revolution of the 17th century.  Why should these events concern an audience primarily interested in philosophy and philosophy’s concrete relations with contemporary culture and politics?  The immediate answer to this is quite easily pronounced in two names: Hobbes and Locke.  We should all […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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