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The Price of Freedom?

by David Ottlinger “This is the price of freedom.” Such were the thoughts of Bill O’Reilly upon receiving reports of nearly sixty people being fatally shot at an outdoor Las Vegas concert. (1) O’Reilly, it would seem, is able to crystallize his thoughts with enviable quickness. The quotation appeared in a short post only the morning after the shots were […]

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Degrees of Assimilation

by Mark English In a recent essay, Daniel Kaufman recalled the days when he and a couple of friends used to climb through a hole in the perimeter fence of their junior high school on Long Island and have lunch at Andel’s Kosher Delicatessen – “Hebrew National hot dogs, potato knishes, and half-sour pickles, washing it all down with Dr. […]

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Bits and Pieces – Emotional prescription / Standpoint statements

by Daniel A. Kaufman Emotional prescription Does it make sense to speak of “prescribing” or “critically examining” an emotion or feeling? People often say things like this: “You should be happy.” “You should care about what happens to your sister.” “You shouldn’t be mad about that.” What do we ask of a person by way of expressions like these?  Are […]

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A Close Look at “Stranger Things”

by David Ottlinger This essay assumes that one has watched Netflix’s Stranger Things, Season One, and contains spoilers.  Season Two has just aired and will be the subject of a future essay. There was no particular reason I should have loved Stranger Things. It followed the usual formula for a streaming show: a dense plot, rich atmosphere, large cast, mystery […]

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Self-Discovery and Political Opinion

by Mark English How do we come to have the political views we have? Genetics (and, more broadly, biology) plays a part, but only, I think, to the extent that genetics/biology contributes to determining broad psychological characteristics, relating to personality type for example. The main contributing factors are no doubt socio-cultural and relate to one’s upbringing, etc., bearing in mind […]

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Three Boys and a Hole in a Fence

by Daniel A. Kaufman These last few days, I have been in NY – Long Island to be precise – staying with my mother, while my father is traveling.  This has become something of a ritual.  My parents are elderly – my father will be ninety in June and my mother just turned eighty-six, last August – and have reacted […]

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Art and Emotion

by Mark English Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act. This particular symptom is accompanied by a shiver down the spine; there is another which consists in a constriction of […]

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Self-Sufficiency and Human Flourishing

by Daniel A. Kaufman It is no secret that my friend and colleague, Massimo Pigliucci, is a practicing modern Stoic.  Indeed, working within and promoting the modern Stoic form of life has become one of his chief projects, including a blog devoted exclusively to the topic – How To Be a Stoic – and a very well-received and popular book […]

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