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Sex / Gender / Politics

By E. John Winner Introduction 1953 saw the release one of the worst films ever made – Glen or Glenda, written and directed by the master of bad cinema, Ed Wood. Promising to be an exploitation film about the then new transsexual surgery conducted in Sweden, it is really a boldly auto-biographical revelation of Wood’s own transvestism. (1) As badly […]

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Course Notes – Bernard Williams, “The Human Prejudice”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.nyu.edu/classes/gmoran/WILLIAMS.pdf The last unit of my introductory level “Ethics and Contemporary Issues” course is devoted to the question of moral concern for non-human animals.  We begin with excerpts from Peter Singer’s Practical Ethics, then move on to Cora Diamond’s “Eating Meat and Eating People” (which I discussed in a This Week’s Special some time ago (1)), […]

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Where the Beauty Lies

by Mark English The neurologist treating my mother’s Parkinson’s disease, an old-school physician with a heavy Afrikaans accent, first suggested using music as part of her treatment some ten years ago. We probably would have got around to it anyway, as she had had some early training in music and retained a great love for certain Romantic piano pieces and […]

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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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