Category Archives: philosophy

judgment in a world of power and institutions: outline of a view

Facebook6 Twitter2 Google+0Total: 8 Judgment or practical reason (i.e., deciding what is right to do) means forming beliefs about facts, values, and strategies. It is sometimes worth trying to isolate the factual beliefs in order to test them empirically. But … Continue reading

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in defense of (some) implicit bias

Facebook18 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 19I hope that if there were an implicit bias test for Nazism, I would demonstrate a strong negative bias. Shown rapid-fire images of swastikas and Nazi leaders, I would be unable to associate them with positive words … Continue reading

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decoding institutions

Facebook12 Twitter3 Google+0Total: 15Today I presented at Tufts’ Science, Technology & Society lunch seminar series on how knowledge and power interrelate. My basic thesis was that knowledge is produced by institutions, which are fields of power. Assessing knowledge therefore requires … Continue reading

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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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