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Critical Thinking After the Second World War

by Michael Boyle In my first essay on critical thinking, I focused on the period prior to and during the Second World War. In this essay, I wish to follow the narrative into the post-war years, focusing on two somewhat forgotten scholars (at least in philosophy and, more specifically, critical thinking, as taught in philosophy departments in the US): Stephen Toulmin […]

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The Scrooge Charade

By David Ottlinger “Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.” [1] Ladies and gentleman, I have lately been informed of a “grand deception” and “lie”, enthralling millions across the country. This epidemic is the cause of widespread un-critical thinking and is a major […]

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Let’s Cease the Santa Charade

By: David Kyle Johnson The notion that we should lie to our children about Santa Claus enjoys a kind of sacred protection that modern religious beliefs can only dream of in the Western world. Don’t believe me? This very year, a mother in California was threatened with a lawsuit because her son spilled the beans about Santa at school. [1] […]

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This Week’s Special: Cora Diamond’s, “Eating Meat and Eating People.”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.laurentillinghast.com/DiamondEatingMeat.pdf Cora Diamond is one of the finest of the contemporary Wittgensteinians and more generally, one of the finest contemporary analytic philosophers.  On tap this week, is her outstanding – and influential – essay on the subject of animal rights, “Eating Meat and Eating People,” in which she presents a powerful critique of contemporary ethical arguments […]

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That’s Not Funny

By David Ottlinger One good thing to come in the wake of these frequently misguided and often intolerant student protests has been a real and surprisingly hopeful national conversation about public discourse. I can’t remember a time when so much energy (and printer’s ink) has gone into debating free speech and censorship. I want to focus on one small area […]

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The God Non-Hypothesis

by David Ottlinger “The problem of evil, in the sense in which I am using this phrase, is essentially a logical problem: it sets the theist the task of clarifying and if possible reconciling the several beliefs which he holds. It is not a scientific problem that might be solved by further discoveries…” [1]                                                                                          -JL Mackie, The Miracle of […]

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Provocations

by Daniel A. Kaufman The current transgender moment It’s a strange time, now, on the cultural Left, with a lot of circular firing squad style activity going on, particularly between old guard feminists and mostly younger, transgender activists.  At the surface, the fight is over things like women’s colleges and other all-women’s spaces and whether they should be open to […]

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Provocations

The aim of Provocations is to offer a number of short bursts on one or several issues, about which the author feels strongly, but on which his or her views may yet not be fully formed.  They are meant to be the beginning of a conversation, not the end of one, and are chosen especially for their provocative and discussion-inducing content.  Our hope is that they will engender intelligent and impassioned exchanges among our readers. Provocations may come from any of our contributors and will reflect a number of different personal, social, and ideological orientations, which strikes us as a Good Thing.

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