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Atheism – What is it, Exactly?

By Paul So Philosophy of Religion is not my cup of tea, but still I have noticed that there is a tendency among many atheists to define their view as either (1) lacking belief in the existence of God or (2) believing that the existence of God is improbable. As an atheist, I can understand where they are coming from; […]

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A Discussion on Star Wars

By Daniel A. Kaufman My discussion with Aryeh Cohen-Wade on Star Wars: the Force Awakens and more generally, on the cultural significance of the Star Wars (and Star Trek) franchises. Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Originally aired on BHTV, January 2, 2016, on the “Culturally Determined” program.  

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Privelobliviousness

By David Ottlinger What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. -George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” *** The invention of new concepts on the internet has become something of a cottage industry. Certain terms of art like “privilege” and “punching up” have long been familiar in the […]

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This Week’s Special: Gottlob Frege’s, “On Sense and Reference.”

By Daniel A. Kaufman http://brommage.freeshell.org/tlp/Frege.pdf On tap this week is likely the single most influential paper in the philosophy of language, Gottlob Frege’s “On Sense and Reference” (Über Sinn und Bedeutung), originally published in 1892.  So many and wide-ranging are the paper’s implications that philosophers are still talking about it today.  While the tide certainly has turned against the Fregean […]

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Report from the Empire of Nice

by Daniel A. Kaufman The experimental psychologist, Steven Pinker, says that we are getting nicer.  Way nicer.  We kill and rape each other much less than we used to.  (The “rape culture” folks apparently didn’t get the memo.)  We’re less racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, sizeist, ageist, and ableist.  (We’re just less -ist in general.)  We don’t have comedians like Sam Kinison […]

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Passionate Thinking

by Mark English I want to say something about political and social commitments. In order to make the points I want to make, I will sketch out my own political and social views (and how they have changed) and refer to the views of Isaiah Berlin. But I am also making some general claims about human values and critical thinking. […]

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This Week’s Special: C.S. Lewis, “Meditation in a Toolshed”

By Daniel A. Kaufman https://www.calvin.edu/~pribeiro/DCM-Lewis-2009/Lewis/meditation-in-a-toolshed.pdf On tap this week is a lovely little essay by C.S. Lewis that makes what I think is quite an important distinction, one that may permit us a little insight into what has seemed an intractable philosophical problem: namely, our inability to “reduce” various – mostly mental – concepts to various “lower level” physical ones. […]

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On the Value of (truly) Free Speech

by David Ottlinger In the increasingly surreal unfolding of student protests across the country, the provost of Brown University attempted to address students demonstrating over the status of racial minorities. [1] Having just announced a $100 million dollar plan to increase diversity at Brown, the administration could reasonably have expected some good-will from student activists. Instead the provost was submitted […]

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