Monthly Archives: September 2017

does every country have the same moral obligation to migrants?

About 1 million US citizens, mostly retirees, currently reside in Mexico. According to one study, 92 percent of them don’t have their papers fully in order to live there. Even if they are fully documented, they hold ambiguous civil and … Continue reading

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twenty-five years of it

Now 50, I can see that my scholarly or intellectual life has turned out differently from what I had imagined at age 25. Then I had a 9-5 job in politics–for the “citizens’ lobby,” Common Cause. I had written a … Continue reading

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against state-centric political theory

What do all these statements have in common? “Republicanism is a consequentialist doctrine which assigns to government, in particular to governmental authorities, the task of promoting freedom as n0n-domination.” — Philip Pettit, Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government “Of … Continue reading

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some notes on Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil

Here–free for the digital commons–are some teaching notes for chapter 1 of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good & Evil. Before discussing this text, my class had read Plato’s Apology; I present Nietzsche and the Socrates of the Apology as foils. Socrates begins a … Continue reading

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Tufts Political Theory Workshop

(Please contact me if you would like to attend.) September 28th and 29th at Fung House. 48 Professors Row, Tufts Campus, Medford MA Thursday Sept. 28 5 pm “(Un)equal Respect and Agents of Justice” Benedetta Giovanola, Associate Professor of Moral … Continue reading

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new overview of civic education

I’m at Democracy at the Crossroads, a conference on civic education, with speakers who include Justice Sonia Sotomayor, former Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., Senator Bob Graham, Prof. Danielle Allen, and more. At this conference, we are releasing “The Republic … Continue reading

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college student voting rose in 2016

Today, my colleagues at Tisch College’s Institute for Democracy and Higher Education have released their national study of college students’ voting, based on the voting records of 9,784,931 students at 1,023 higher education institutions.  The team finds a national college … Continue reading

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becoming adults more slowly

A new paper by Jean Twenge and Heejung Park (2017) is getting a lot of coverage. The main finding is a delay in the onset of certain activities traditionally defined as “adult.” This graph shows the trends in having a … Continue reading

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religion and politics in the US versus many other countries

Here is a thesis that experts can evaluate better than I: The issue of religion in politics is fundamentally different in the US from many other countries. In the US, it is mainly about majority opinions versus minority rights. In … Continue reading

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Lifeworld and System: a primer

The great social theorist Jürgen Habermas has drawn attention–for more than half a century–to the problem that he calls the “colonization of the Lifeworld by System.” Here is my explanation, based mainly on a rare concrete example from his Theory of … Continue reading

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