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Against Neoconservatism

by Mark English Questions of geopolitics are all too easy to talk about, but very difficult to talk about sensibly. In this respect they are not unlike a lot of other “big questions” that take us beyond the limits of the relatively small and circumscribed worlds in which our distant ancestors struggled for survival and within which our brains and […]

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Provocations

By Daniel A. Kaufman Over at the Daily Nous, a much read, insider philosophy blog, David Velleman, one of today’s top philosophers, who enjoys digs in the world’s #1 ranked philosophy department, posted his version of a Modest Proposal: philosophy journals should no longer publish papers written by graduate students, and tenure and promotion committees should stop counting papers produced […]

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Thoughts on Inspiration

by Lillie Sauer What is inspiration? I’ve never really questioned it until recently. It’s usually portrayed as the illumination of a mental light bulb or some similarly sudden “Aha!” moment. Maybe sometimes it is a lot like that for some people. Still, there are those of us who don’t often feel like we have the mental wiring required to spark […]

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Stupidity in Television (and Popular Arts)

by E. John Winner In the discussion following a recent essay by David Ottlinger, concerning the evolution of aesthetics in television, I commented that television as a medium has no aesthetic.  That is all I wished to say on that matter.  But I also said in passing that television viewers were rather doomed to discuss individual shows rather than the […]

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Concepts, Existence and Social Reality

by Mark English Different kinds of implicit or explicit claims about what exists are best understood, as I see it, in a piecemeal way, by looking at how words are used both in the context of specific disciplines and in ordinary communication. In various pieces published on this site, Daniel Kaufman has elaborated a somewhat different approach, drawing on a […]

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Representations, Reasons, and Actions

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ More and more it seems to me that the way in which philosophy has gone the most wrong is in trying to assimilate human action with the motions of bodies, as understood in the natural sciences.  This effort has made a mess of the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of action, as well as ethics, […]

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No Contest

by Dwayne Holmes Whatever I thought about Muhammad Ali, as a boxer, it all changed when I saw When We Were Kings. (1) For those who haven’t seen it, the movie documents a fight between Ali and George Foreman, which took place in Africa. It was a match I’d heard about, one that I knew Ali had won, but I […]

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Selves and Social Ontology

by Daniel A. Kaufman The ongoing philosophical (and to a good extent, the scientific) discussion of selves is in very poor shape, much like the discussion concerning minds and for much the same reason. We talk as if selves are things, and of course, they are, but the sense of ‘thing’ that most seem to have in mind is the […]

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Bits and Pieces — Truth and Ontology

by Daniel A. Kaufman ‘Truth’ and ‘is true’ The most popular view on truth is some variation on the correspondence theory, according to which saying that a statement is true is saying that it “corresponds” to “reality” or “the facts” or “states of affairs” or some such thing.  The trouble with this to my mind is at least threefold:  (i) […]

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