On Moralizing

By Dan Tippens Should we ever moralize to others? An interesting question, if you consider how many people seem to think so. Indeed, beyond the question of whether this sort of behavior is permissible in some way, people increasingly speak as if it is their duty to tell others what they ought to do. This is evident from the fact […]

Read More →

Socrates in the Weingarten

By Paul So This is a response to a Washington Post article written by Gene Weingarten, which can be found here. We highly recommend you check it out, before reading this dialogue. Socrates: Hello Gene. Gene Weingarten: Wait….is that Socrates? It can’t be….you’re dead! You must be some homeless guy, impersonating Socrates. Where did you get that toga…? Socrates: Oh, […]

Read More →

Who’s in the Name?

by E. John Winner Recently, fans of a certain aggressive R&B music found cause to mourn the loss of one of the most prolific songwriters in popular music history. He was christened Prince Rogers Nelson [1], and we already have a problem.  He was not really named after a previous Nelson – he was named after a jazz band, the […]

Read More →

Goldsteinism in San Francisco

By David Ottlinger On a bright, cold day in April (actually it was late March), undergraduate Cory Goldstein was on his San Francisco State University campus. [1] He was confronted by two fellow students, both African American, who stood in his path. Goldstein is white. The first, a young woman, looked up to the second and asked, “Do you have […]

Read More →

Some Thoughts on Linguistic Prescriptivism and Manners

by Mark English A commenter’s disapproving reference to a ‘comma splice’ in a discussion thread dealing with America’s increasingly polarized social and political environment [1] brought to mind Karl Kraus, the Viennese journalist and writer; and, in particular, this famous story about a 1932 meeting (told by the composer Ernst Křenek): ‘At a time when people were generally decrying the […]

Read More →

Course Notes – On Essential and Accidental Properties

By Daniel A. Kaufman Just got finished teaching Copi’s “Essence and Accident” (1) and Cartwright’s “Remarks on Essentialism” (2), in my Knowledge and Reality course, and the issues strike me as important – and interesting – enough, for an edition of Course Notes. The question of whether the things in the world have essential properties or “essences” is a longstanding […]

Read More →