Category Archives: philosophy

Habermas, illustrated

Facebook13 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 14I’ve categorized a bunch of recent tweets by putting them in J├╝rgen┬áHabermas’ three buckets: In the first column, the tweets are literally legible–I can read them–but I don’t know much about their significance. That is because they … Continue reading

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avoiding a sharp distinction between the state and the private sphere

Facebook16 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 17Several political theories and ideologies are invested in distinguishing the state from the private sector (which may encompass the market, families and civil society): For libertarians, the state bears the badge of original sin because it alone … Continue reading

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to what extent do you already know the story of your life?

Facebook7 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 8If people were asked this question on a survey, I think the variations in responses would be significant and useful to know: In general, people would give lower scores as they got older, but not always. The … Continue reading

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was Aristotle right about what we must know to be good citizens?

Facebook13 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 14Let’s posit that a good citizen should be able to a) form ideas about what would improve her community or society, b) understand how decisions about such matters are actually made and who has power to make … Continue reading

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defining equity and equality

Facebook17 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 17You can find authoritative explanations of the differences between “equity” and “equality,” but I think the definitions of these words vary, and there is no objectively correct distinction. However, we can generalize a bit. To say that … Continue reading

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V.S. Naipaul’s view of culture

Facebook7 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 7I read a lot of Naipaul in my youth and see value in his work. But Ian Buruma’s obituary profile reminds me of the main way in which I disagreed with him. Naipaul believed there were “whole … Continue reading

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postmodernism and Trump

Facebook14 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 14In the Washington Post, Colby College English professor Aaron Hanlon argues that postmodernist theorists didn’t inspire or prepare the way for Donald Trump and other politicians who openly disparage truth. Rather, postmodernists lamented a world in which … Continue reading

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issues in the philosophy of social science

Facebook9 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 9Here is the outline of a course I’d like to take–or possibly design and teach some day: What is the social world? Is it, for example, a bunch of human individuals who interact? Perhaps not, since individuals’ … Continue reading

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my self, your self, ourselves

Facebook25 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 25Thesis: I have a vocabulary for describing my own behavior that’s full of words about motives, goals, and principles. “Why did I raise my hand? Because I wanted to answer your question. Why did I give that … Continue reading

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how philosophy is supposed to work

Facebook8 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 8(Posted during the Social Ontology 2018 Conference, hosted at Tufts) We live in a positivist culture in which many smart people hold fairly simple views of science and believe that all rigorous thought is scientific. Their objection … Continue reading

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