Category Archives: philosophy

was Aristotle right about what we must know to be good citizens?

Facebook12 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 13Let’s posit that a good citizen should be able to a) form ideas about what would improve her community or society, b) understand how decisions about such matters are actually made and who has power to make … Continue reading

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defining equity and equality

Facebook15 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 15You can find authoritative explanations of the differences between “equity” and “equality,” but I think the definitions of these words vary, and there is no objectively correct distinction. However, we can generalize a bit. To say that … Continue reading

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V.S. Naipaul’s view of culture

Facebook7 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 7I read a lot of Naipaul in my youth and see value in his work. But Ian Buruma’s obituary profile reminds me of the main way in which I disagreed with him. Naipaul believed there were “whole … Continue reading

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postmodernism and Trump

Facebook14 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 14In the Washington Post, Colby College English professor Aaron Hanlon argues that postmodernist theorists didn’t inspire or prepare the way for Donald Trump and other politicians who openly disparage truth. Rather, postmodernists lamented a world in which … Continue reading

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issues in the philosophy of social science

Facebook9 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 9Here is the outline of a course I’d like to take–or possibly design and teach some day: What is the social world? Is it, for example, a bunch of human individuals who interact? Perhaps not, since individuals’ … Continue reading

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my self, your self, ourselves

Facebook25 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 25Thesis: I have a vocabulary for describing my own behavior that’s full of words about motives, goals, and principles. “Why did I raise my hand? Because I wanted to answer your question. Why did I give that … Continue reading

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how philosophy is supposed to work

Facebook8 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 8(Posted during the Social Ontology 2018 Conference, hosted at Tufts) We live in a positivist culture in which many smart people hold fairly simple views of science and believe that all rigorous thought is scientific. Their objection … Continue reading

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empathy, sympathy, compassion, justice

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0I’d posit the following definitions: Empathy: Feeling a similar emotion in response to someone else’s emotional state. Your friend is mad at her boss because he treated her unfairly. That makes you mad at her boss. Your … Continue reading

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the right to strike

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Yesterday, Alexander Gourevitch from Brown University spoke on “The Right to Strike.” I won’t try to summarize (or scoop) the argument of his forthcoming paper, except to say that Gourevitch uses an account of oppression to give … Continue reading

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system, organism, person, organization, institution: some definitions

Facebook7 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 7If you want real expertise on this kind of question, you should attend “Social Ontology 2018, the 11th Biennial Collective Intentionality Conference” from August 22-25, 2018 at Tufts. But in case you want some light musing on the subject … … Continue reading

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