Category Archives: philosophy

we should be debating the big social and political paradigms

Facebook14 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 15[The following post is inspired by Rogers Smith’s recent APSA presidential address, and I believe is consistent with it, but I incorporate some additional elements.] Consider a sample of articles about politics, or society more generally. One … Continue reading

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Moral Foundations theory and political processes

Facebook17 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 18Moral Foundations theory is an important body of research that has generated significant findings. It belongs to a somewhat larger category of research about morality that has these features: Many individuals are asked for their moral judgments … Continue reading

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trying to keep myself honest

Facebook43 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 44(Madrid) This summer–which is not over yet–has already been full of rich and challenging discussions for which I am grateful. In June, I spent several days discussing some lesser-known works of Friedrich Hayek with a group of … Continue reading

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on hedgehogs and foxes

Facebook26 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 27 “A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows one important thing” — Archilochus This proverb is in the news lately because Philip Tetlock has shown that foxes (flexible and curious generalists) are much better at predicting … Continue reading

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an expressivist critique of our criminal justice system

Facebook8 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 9(Disclaimer: this post is the result of reading some work by Tommie Shelby and Erin Kelly but not yet wrestling with either author’s views sufficiently or examining the larger literature on expressivism in law. If you were … Continue reading

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youth, midlife & old-age as states of mind

Facebook8 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 9This post is inspired and informed by Kieran Setiya’s Midlife (Princeton, 2017), but I didn’t review it recently because I wanted space to develop my own views. Here are three definitions that are not tied to chronological … Continue reading

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what constitutes coordination?

Facebook14 Twitter2 Google+0Total: 16 [W]e addressed the factual question whether members of the Trump Campaign “coordinat[ed]”-a term that appears in the appointment order-with Russian election interference activities. Like collusion, “coordination” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. … Continue reading

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how much of a theory of justice do activists need? (a dialogue)

Facebook24 Twitter1 Google+1Total: 26Some students are on their way to occupy their university’s central administration building to demand a minimum wage of $17 for all employees. They are surprised to encounter the ghost of John Rawls (JR): JR: I see … Continue reading

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Empathy and Justice

Facebook30 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 31My remarks at a conference entitled “Empathy …. or Ways of Caring,” Harvard Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, March 15, 2019. (Apologies for some cutting and pasting from previous posts.) Doris Sommer mentioned that Barack Obama … Continue reading

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how to think about other people’s interests: Rawls, Buddhism, and empathy

Facebook18 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 19Last week, my colleague Erin Kelly and I taught excerpts from John Rawls’ Theory of Justice along with Emily McRae’s chapter, “Empathy, Compassion, and ‘Exchanging Self and Other’ in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism,” from the Routledge Handbook of Philosophy … Continue reading

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