Monthly Archives: October 2016

evolution, game theory, and the morality of modern human beings

It’s valuable to model the development of phenomena like altruism and spite (harming someone else at a cost to oneself) by combining game theory with evolutionary theory. The results should be seen as predictions to be tested against empirical evidence about actual … Continue reading

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John Stuart Mill, Stoic

I sometimes envy my fellow academics in the humanities who regularly renew their acquaintance with fundamental works that have slipped pretty deep into the well of my own memory because my job is to conduct and administer empirical research about current politics. For just that reason, I … Continue reading

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CIRCLE breaks down the youth vote

When CIRCLE’s Millennial survey was conducted (9/21-10/3), Clinton was beating Trump by 21 points (49% vs. 28%). Clinton may do better when the actual votes are cast, because there seems to be a trend in her favor among youth. That … Continue reading

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the floating “that”: a linguistic innovation?

(Orlando) “You’ve got to eat those vegetables and do that exercise every day.” “We’re concentrating on those metrics, that whole assessment piece.” Maybe it’s just me, but I’m noticing this speech pattern lately. People use “that” to intensify a noun. … Continue reading

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social class does predict Trump support

Some say that Trump has captured the support of working-class Whites who are economically stressed or anxious. Others reply that Trump voters are relatively upscale but motivated by racial resentment alone. The former premise suggests that Democrats must do more to empower the working … Continue reading

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America: The Owner’s Manual

I’m delighted to see that the new edition of America: The Owner’s Manual is out. Senator Bob Graham, a truly dedicated leader for civic engagement, has written it with Chris Hand. They take the research, structure, and impact of the book with the … Continue reading

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a definition of “civic”

In phrases like “civic education,” “civic engagement,” “civic technology,” or (as in the name of our college) “civic life,” what does the word “civic” mean?  In conversations and writing about the topic, I detect several definitions. Each definition can be introduced with a … Continue reading

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questions about happiness

We discussed the following questions in my first-year philosophy seminar last week, after having read selections from Plato, Nietzsche, Epicurus, Buddha, and Emerson, and before turning to J.S. Mill. They seem valuable prompts for personal reflection, too. Do we have a … Continue reading

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state of the youth vote in 2016

CIRCLE has begun to release results from its survey of 1,605 Americans between the ages of 18 and 34. CIRCLE’s headlines are: Most Millennials paying attention to presidential election, but far fewer to congressional elections 30% of Clinton supporters contacted by campaigns, … Continue reading

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to boost youth voting, teach civics and promote electoral competition

I have a short piece in the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” section this morning. It begins: Once young adults start voting, the habit tends to persist for their whole lives. One way to boost young people’s voting — … Continue reading

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