Mini-Symposium on Sex and Gender: Foucault and the Construction of Transgender Children

by Heather Brunskell-Evans ___ Thirty years ago, ‘the transgender child’ would not have made sense to the general public, nor would it have made sense to young people. Today, children and adolescents declare themselves transgender, the NHS refers some children for ‘gender-affirming’ therapy, and laws and policy are invented which uphold young people’s ‘choice’ to transition and to authorize the […]

Read More →

Feeling Like a Man

by Daniel A. Kaufman If someone who looks like a man and has XY chromosomes tells me he feels female – I cannot tell her she is ‘wrong’. Would you? –Prof. Alice Roberts, University of Birmingham (1) ____ The thought behind the idea of gender self-identification is about as confused as any in contemporary public discourse, which explains why the […]

Read More →

Liberalism and Kitsch

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ On a number of occasions, I have defended what I’ve been calling “procedural liberalism” on the grounds that in large pluralistic societies (a) one cannot expect one’s fellow citizens to share a common, substantive conception of the good, and (b) one cannot expect that one’s “community,” in the sense of the word that implies a […]

Read More →

Some Things to Keep in Mind When Engaging with the Gender Identity Debate

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The political battle over sex and gender continues to escalate, with increasingly consequential results. Adolescents and pre-teens are finding themselves confronted with opposite-sexed bodies in changing rooms, toilets, and other places where they undress.[1] Female athletes are watching their potential fortunes dim in competition. [2] Homosexuals are being criticized and often berated for being same-sex, […]

Read More →

The Metaphysics of Liberalism

by Mark English I have long felt that there was something problematic about the modern concept of religion, but have only recently started to articulate these concerns and to draw out their potential implications for understanding the rise and decline of Western liberalism. My focus here is a particular tradition of 20th-century liberal thought. As a label for sets of […]

Read More →

The End of Traditional Civil Rights?

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ I’m concerned that we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of civil rights, as traditionally understood.  The fight for civil rights was born with the original women’s movement of the late 19th century** and may very well may die with the contemporary gender-identity movement that has engulfed both feminist and gay and lesbian […]

Read More →

Some Things We All Should Agree On

By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Sometimes it is useful to try and identify a number of things that everyone should be able to agree on.  To the extent to which our moral and political positions may depend upon complex tangles of presuppositions and reasoning, we may not notice that a position we take involves presuppositions that are obviously false or […]

Read More →

The Liberal Consensus and the Orthodox Mind

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ A rather bizarre dialogue over at Blogging Heads has induced me to pull together a number of thoughts I’ve been having lately with respect to the liberal consensus. In the dialogue, Aryeh Cohen-Wade and Edmund Waldstein, a Cistercian monk, discussed the infamous Mortara case – in which a young Jewish boy was involuntarily baptized by […]

Read More →