Skip to content

The Many Cups of Coffee

E. John Winner 1. Semiotic interpretation is important, and yet it is somewhat variable and changeable, depending on the context in which it occurs. Consider the crucifix: if found in a Catholic church we interpret it one way; in a vampire movie another; and hanging around the neck of a Hell’s Angel motorcyclist something else altogether, depending on what we […]

Read More →

Radicalism and Religion

by Mark English Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul, had been involved with a mystical form of Judaism (possibly Merkabah) before he joined the early-first-century Jewish sect which became (largely through his own writings and missionary activities) a new religion quite distinct from Judaism. Paul knew that his teachings were unacceptable to most devout Jews and would be perceived […]

Read More →

Course Notes – Paul Churchland, “Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes”

by Daniel A. Kaufman https://ruccs.rutgers.edu/images/personal-zenon-pylyshyn/class-info/FP2012_readings/Churchland_EliminativeMaterialsm.pdf In the philosophy of mind, apart from sensations, with their perplexing “qualia,” intentional states, the so-called “propositional attitudes,” have proven materialism’s biggest headache.  Materialism’s greatest hope, functionalism – and particularly its computational variety – ran into trouble with the propositional attitudes by way of the Chinese (or at least, one of their Rooms), and disputes […]

Read More →

Breaking Kids

Don’t you ever feel like everything we do and everything we’ve been taught is just to service the future? — Marissa Ribisi as “Cynthia,” Dazed and Confused (Dir: Richard Linklater, 1993) ___ No sixteen or seventeen year old can have a “resume.”  Or should have one.  Resumes are things that adults submit when trying to get jobs in offices. No […]

Read More →

Notes on Culture and Language

by Mark English Having written recently about shared narratives and their role in creating a common culture, I thought it might be worthwhile to try to develop a few of the points I have been making and to clarify the foundation – personal and intellectual – upon which my claims rest. Now, the idea of a common culture – whether […]

Read More →

The Underground Man

by Bharath Vallabha ___ Why did Donald Trump win in 2016? Many on the Left have settled on two answers: white anxiety and economic anxiety. No doubt poor whites, especially in middle America, are a big part of Trump’s base. Still, this explanation doesn’t ring true to me. For a simple reason. I was tempted to vote for Trump. I […]

Read More →

Feminism, Mental Representation, and Churros

by Daniel A. Kaufman A disturbing glimpse into the way contemporary gender identity politics is compromising science and medicine. https://quillette.com/2018/10/18/trans-activists-campaign-against-terfs-has-become-an-attack-on-science/ How progressive politics have ruined comedy. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/social-justice-warriors-arent-funny/ A detailed history of the original feminists, which their contemporary progeny should read carefully. https://www.city-journal.org/metoo-movement [The late] Jerry Fodor’s brilliant and hilarious survey of theories of mental representation. (I just finished teaching it […]

Read More →

APA Nominations

by Daniel A. Kaufman I know that it is last-hour — nominations close today — but for those APA members who are readers, please nominate Justin Kalef and Shane Wilkins for the APA leadership.  Both have committed themselves to working to refocus the organization’s attention away from identity politics and towards purely professional concerns.  More details at Leiter Reports.  See […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Sex and Sports

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The politics swirling around the question of gender identity are developing so quickly and furiously both in the US and the UK that it is difficult to keep track, but my interest here is the current brouhaha over Rachel McKinnon’s gold medal win in the UCI Masters Track World Championship and the questions it raises […]

Read More →