Category Archives: philosophy

from I to we: an outline of a theory

Facebook28 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 28These are the main ideas that I’ve defended (or plan to develop) in my theoretical scholarship. They are organized from micro to macro and from ethics to politics. As always, I put this draft online to welcome … Continue reading

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notes on the metaphysics of Gandhi and King

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Gandhi offers a fully developed metaphysics and epistemology–original even though it is grounded in classical Indian thought. For Martin Luther King, Protestant theology provides a core theory of human nature, but King navigates his way through debates … Continue reading

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the moral significance of instinct, with special reference to having a dog

Facebook22 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 22When dogs and their human owners look into each others’ eyes, oxytocin, a hormone involved in the maternal bond, rises in both creatures. When dogs are given oxytocin via a nasal spray, they want to look in … Continue reading

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sorting out human welfare, equity and mobility

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Here are three distinct goals that you might pursue if you see education as a means to improve a society. All three are plausible, but they can conflict, and I think we should sort out where we … Continue reading

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a college class on equality

Facebook15 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 15This is an outline of a class discussion that seemed to work pretty well this morning. The reading is T.M. Scanlon’s “When Does Equality Matter?” Scanlon offers five reasons that a given difference among people may be … Continue reading

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Kieran Setiya on midlife: reviving philosophy as a way of life

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0I read Kieran Setiya’s Midlife (Princeton, 2017) not only because I have that condition and am sometimes troubled by its complaints, but also because I appreciate the style of thought that Pierre Hadot named “philosophy as a … Continue reading

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Social Ontology 2018: The 11th Biennial Collective Intentionality Conference

Facebook10 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 10 On August 22-25, 2018, Tufts University will host the biennial Collective Intentionality conference, with the Tisch College of Civic Life as a co-sponsor. This interdisciplinary and international conference will bring together people who study the nature … Continue reading

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against state-centric political theory

Facebook41 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 41What 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 … Continue reading

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some notes on Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil

Facebook5 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 5Here–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. … Continue reading

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Lifeworld and System: a primer

Facebook26 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 26The 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 … Continue reading

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