Tag: John Stuart Mill

  • My Optimism, Pessimism, and Ambivalence

    By Kevin Currie-Knight ____ Recently, I’ve noticed an ambivalence in my thinking about the future. At different times and in different moods I am sometimes an optimist and sometimes a pessimist. Some of things I believe about human beings and our relationships to one another and to the world make me optimistic, while other things…

  • A Foolish Impartiality is the Hobgoblin of Morality

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Philosophy professors like to think that ours is a clarifying business, so some may be surprised to discover that we can be confused about things that most ordinary people are not. One of these things is partiality and impartiality and how they affect ethical questions. Certainly, the average person thinks…

  • A Discussion with Michael Grenke on Lise van Boxel’s “Warspeak: Nietzsche’s Victory over Nihilism”

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Michael Grenke of St. John’s College, Annapolis and I discuss the late Lise van Boxel’s book, “Warspeak: Nietzsche’s Victory over Nihilism” (Political Animal Press, 2021). 00:35 About Lise van Boxel and St. John’s College 06:00 Nietzsche and Nihilism 12:50 The Good, the Transcendent, and Nihilism 19:00 Philosophy as Genealogy 29:30…

  • Two Kinds of Diversity: Identity and Ideological

    by Robert Gressis ___ Libertarians, like Robert Nozick, care most of all about negative freedom, i.e., freedom from interference. If you have little money, but the appropriate agency protects you from force and fraud, then you have negative freedom, even if you find yourself unable to do much of what you want to do. Consequently,…

  • Being Moral

    By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ On several occasions, I have described moral ‘oughts’ directed towards others as an invitation to self-governance. Moral Realism is a bust, so these oughts don’t derive from some transcendent moral order, and regardless, whether or not morals can be construed as objective or “Real” turns out not to matter. [1]…

  • 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…

  • On our Use of the Moral Idiom

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ 1. An unpopular, overweight teen – call her “V” – is in her high school cafeteria, eating alone. Several other girls taunt and humiliate her, to the point that she bursts into tears and begs them to cease their torments, crying, “You’re hurting my feelings, please stop!” 2. What would…

  • 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…

  • Liberalism and the Question of “Cancel Culture”

    by Kevin Currie-Knight Cancel culture – the idea that it is increasingly hard to voice unpopular ideas without risking serious consequence – is illiberal. At least that seems to be an increasingly (and maybe ironically) prevalent view. But, in important way, it is arguably quite liberal. Maybe cancel culture is both liberal and illiberal depending…

  • The Good Old Liberal Consensus

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The editors have invited us to “examine a single philosopher or school, maybe a movement,” so that we might “consider how what passed for wisdom then may or may not help us now.”†  Undoubtedly, there are many areas in which we have surpassed the wisdom of our predecessors, but one…