Death and the Icon

E. John Winner ___ Let us begin with a technical clarification, by way of a discussion of the semiotic status of icons. An icon is a powerful representation, not only of an object or a person, but of the concept of that object or person; a reminder of what it is the perceiver of the... Continue Reading →

Morality and Distance

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ There are two conceptions of distance that I am interested in with respect to moral questions: Emotional distance: the distance from sentiments and feelings that results when one adopts a disinterested stance, in response to morally significant situations. Theoretical distance: the distance from the particularities of circumstances, people, and relationships... Continue Reading →

Three Constraints on the Philosophy of Art

by Daniel A. Kaufman _____ Preliminary Remarks After a brief hiatus in the last century, the search for a definition of ‘art’ has resumed with great vigour. Wittgensteinians may bemoan this as intellectual atavism, an anachronistic longing for “essences,” but I am inclined to think that the revival of the question of ‘art’ ’s definition... Continue Reading →

Two Introductory lectures on ethical theory

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ This semester, I am once again teaching all-online [hopefully for the last time].  Here are the two opening lectures for my Ethics and Contemporary Issues course, in which I give a brief overview of ethical theory.  Below them you will find the lecture notes that accompany the videos and which... Continue Reading →

Neither God nor Philosophy

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ I was invited to contribute to an ongoing series over at Richard Marshall's 3:16AM magazine.  The series is called "Finding Meaning" and is edited by Steven DeLay, who is a Fellow of Ambrose College, Woolf University. My contribution, "Neither God Nor Philosophy," is the latest in the series, the entirety... Continue Reading →

Lives and Principles

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The older I get, the more I appreciate the importance of having principles and of living a life of integrity and honor. I recognize this quality in my friends, too, and it’s admirable. People who lack these qualities are sad, and likely are surrounded by others without scruples. --Nicholas A.... Continue Reading →

Moral Theory and Moral Life

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A venerable strategy in arguing against theism involves the observation that the world looks exactly as you’d expect it to, if there is no God and not at all like it should if there is one.  I want to say the same thing here about moral life and traditional moral... Continue Reading →

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