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Goldsteinism in San Francisco

By David Ottlinger On a bright, cold day in April (actually it was late March), undergraduate Cory Goldstein was on his San Francisco State University campus. [1] He was confronted by two fellow students, both African American, who stood in his path. Goldstein is white. The first, a young woman, looked up to the second and asked, “Do you have […]

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Some Thoughts on Linguistic Prescriptivism and Manners

by Mark English A commenter’s disapproving reference to a ‘comma splice’ in a discussion thread dealing with America’s increasingly polarized social and political environment [1] brought to mind Karl Kraus, the Viennese journalist and writer; and, in particular, this famous story about a 1932 meeting (told by the composer Ernst Křenek): ‘At a time when people were generally decrying the […]

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Course Notes – On Essential and Accidental Properties

By Daniel A. Kaufman Just got finished teaching Copi’s “Essence and Accident” (1) and Cartwright’s “Remarks on Essentialism” (2), in my Knowledge and Reality course, and the issues strike me as important – and interesting – enough, for an edition of Course Notes. The question of whether the things in the world have essential properties or “essences” is a longstanding […]

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This Week’s Special: John Stuart Mill’s “Utilitarianism.”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/mill/utilitarianism.pdf One of the two most well-known, most influential works in moral philosophy – the other is Kant’s Groundwork  for the Metaphysics of Morals – Utilitarianism has the virtue of being highly readable, intuitively plausible (at least on first glance), and blissfully short.  Moral philosophy done at its very best. The theory is based on a […]

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Course Notes

The Editors of The Electric Agora are pleased to announce the beginning of a new series on the magazine, “Course Notes.” A number of EA contributors are teachers, and it occurred to us that a lot of interesting things go on in our classrooms — interesting material, interesting lectures, interesting exchanges and discussions with students — and that our readers might enjoy […]

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Happy Birthday, Babylon 5!

By Michael Boyle and Daniel A. Kaufman Twenty-three years ago, the pilot for a new American science fiction series, Babylon 5, was first broadcast. The following year, B5’s production team embarked on a five-year journey that would see the development of one of the most respected and admired science fiction series ever produced, netting several Hugo and Emmy awards. The brainchild of longtime TV […]

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