Monthly Archives: February 2010

university-community partnerships for research

Tufts President Larry Bacow holds an annual symposium for Tufts faculty, students, and staff and various nonprofit leaders, government officials, and residents of the communities in which we work (Somerville and Medford, Massachusetts, plus Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood). Today’s symposium attracted … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

idea for a moral philosophy survey

I suspect that people make moral judgments based on a mix of principles, rules, virtues, moral exemplars, and stories. My own philosophical position is that these factors are on a single plane. Principles need not underlie stories, for example. There … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Leave a comment

going deeper on gay marriage

At a meeting last week, we discussed whether gay marriage makes a good topic for discussion in a philosophy or civics course at the high school or college level. Some participants argued that there are no good secular, public reasons … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Leave a comment

complaint choirs

According to the folks at complaintchoir.org, In the Finnish vocabulary there is an expression “Valituskuoro”. It means “Complaints Choir” and it is used to describe situations where a lot of people are complaining simultaneously. [Talervo] Kalleinen and [Oliver] Kochta-Kalleinen thought: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

stop problematizing–say something

In the humanities today, a pervasive rhetorical style is to raise questions or “problematize.” A humanist will describe his or her work as “putting into question” technology, or marriage, or Jane Austen. I think this style is problematic (irony intended) … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

on the road

We are leaving today for Madrid and Toledo, Spain. That’s pure vacation. Next Thursday, I will be in Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin, for a mix of business and fun. I am looking forward to a rest from the Internet and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

be true to your school

I spent this morning at a training/discussion for administrators at Tufts. One topic was the need to strengthen collaborations within our university, especially ones that combine several departments or schools. Collaboration has evident value, whether for research, social impact, or … Continue reading

Posted in academia | Leave a comment

Super Bowl Sunday at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum

Half an hour before the concert starts, I watch the audience file in. The average age is well above seventy; the husbands look slight and bleached beside their wives. A few grandchildren wearing bows and shiny shoes sit between the … Continue reading

Posted in verse and worse | Leave a comment

upcoming talks

Please consider marking your calendars for the following: “From Freedom Summer to Teach for America: Understanding the Impact of Youth Activism” A conversation with Tisch Civic Engagement Research Prize winner Professor Doug McAdam (and me). March 17, 2010, 3:30-5:30 pm … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

in defense of Isaiah Berlin

Isaiah Berlin’s letters from the years 1946-1960 have been published, and A.N. Wilson reads them as the record of a man who was smoothly diplomatic and glitteringly successful in public, but malicious behind people’s backs and never a profound author. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment