Morality and the Social World: Objectivity, Realism, and Normativity

by Jared Yarsevich ___ Moral realism occupies a precarious position in contemporary philosophy. It carries the notable distinction of drawing the opprobrium of both hard-nose naturalists and libertine relativists. Uniting erstwhile enemies such as these is quite the feat and is undoubtedly symptomatic of deep conceptual flaws. But then again, maybe the multi-front assaults indicate an inner strength that merits […]

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Value and Objectivity

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Recent exchanges with Robert Gressis and Spencer Case have led me to think a lot about obligation and objectivity.  My focus thus far has been on the question of force, and my main goal has been to show that accounting for it is not made easier – or facilitated in any way, really – by […]

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Lee Smolin’s Realism

by Mark English Lee Smolin is a respected physicist who has always had strong philosophical interests and convictions. He recently articulated his realist views in a public lecture. What follows are my notes on his lecture mixed in with a few comments and observations. Smolin is strongly opposed to postmodernists who reject the notion of objective truth and who see […]

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Political Myth, Conspiracy and Foreign Policy

by Mark English Apparently a number of highly-placed representatives of the intelligence community were recently taken in by a fanciful report concerning Donald Trump’s sexual activities during a visit to Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov branded the former MI6 officer who authored the report in question a “swindler” who trades in “absurdities.” The Russian President also weighed in, suggesting […]

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Knowledge and Reality

by Daniel A. Kaufman EDITORS NOTE:  This essay originally appeared on Dan Kaufman’s previous blog, Apophenia.  We are reprinting it here, as a preface to a video discussion bewteen Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman on realism, anti-realism, and our knowledge of the world.  That discussion will be posted this Thursday. __________________________________________________________________ If you were to go to the trouble of asking ordinary people about […]

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