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Obligations and Duties

By Mark English In an aside in a recent piece on moral intuitionism, Daniel Kaufman remarked that he was unsure whether “there really are such things as moral obligations and duties.” [1]. I think I understand what he is getting at here, but rather than trying directly to address his question, I want to sketch out – very briefly and […]

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This Week’s Special: Henry Kamen’s “The Decline of Spain: A Historical Myth?”

by Michael Boyle http://www.romanistik.uni-freiburg.de/raible/Lehre/2006_07/Materialien/1978_Kamen_Decline.pdf The story that is usually told about early-modern Spain involves depicting it as one of the great powers of Europe. Whether recounting tales of the voyages of exploration, the contributions of Velasquez, El Greco, and Cervantes, or the military power of Spain in Europe itself, Spain is seen as a major player in a number of […]

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Panpsychism – is it testable?

By Paul So In recent years (late 90’s to the 21st century), Panpsychism has been enjoying some resurgence in philosophy. David Chalmers, Galen Strawson, Thomas Nagel, and others are seriously considering Panpsychism as a viable solution for the Mind-Body problem. But philosophers aren’t alone. In the natural sciences, some prominent scientists, even the well-known Christof Koch, are seriously considering Panpsychism […]

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This Week’s Special: David Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste”

By Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.econlib.org/library/LFBooks/Hume/hmMPL23.html One of the central topics in Aesthetics is the justification of our evaluative judgments of works of art. Questions regarding the warrant for our valuations are always challenging, because of the quite common  intuition that values and valuation are inherently subjective. The trouble lies in the fact that there is an equally common intuition that […]

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Intuition and Morals

by Daniel A. Kaufman The main moral conviction of the plain man seem to me to be, not opinions which it is for philosophy to prove or disprove, but knowledge from the start. –W.D. Ross, The Right and the Good I want to say a few things about morality and intuition and the relationship between the two.  One of them […]

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This Week’s Special: Charles Tilly’s “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime”

Michael Boyle Tony Soprano and the Nation State: Charles Tilly’s “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime” http://www.scribd.com/doc/280094995/Tilly-War-Making-and-State-Making-as-Organized-Crime One of the most significant sociologists of the 20th Century, Charles Tilly (1929-2008) is best known for his linkage of war and war-making with the appearance of the nation-state in Europe, especially in his 1990 book, Coercion, Capital, and European States, […]

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Knowledge and Reality

by Daniel A. Kaufman EDITORS NOTE:  This essay originally appeared on Dan Kaufman’s previous blog, Apophenia.  We are reprinting it here, as a preface to a video discussion bewteen Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman on realism, anti-realism, and our knowledge of the world.  That discussion will be posted this Thursday. __________________________________________________________________ If you were to go to the trouble of asking ordinary people about […]

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