Monthly Archives: May 2014

teaching in Mexico City

Facebook9 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 9This week I will be in Mexico City, working with a group of social science professors from the Tecnológico de Monterrey. We will investigate “civic studies,” which I summarized in my last post. It will be an intensive short … Continue reading

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what should we do?

Facebook38 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 38You are a citizen of a group (regardless of your legal status) if you seriously ask: “What should we do?” The question is what we should do because the point is not merely to talk but to change … Continue reading

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using a role-playing strategy game to explore a public problem

Facebook24 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 24A workshop on civic engagement and technology that I attended today was unusual in one important respect. We played @Stake, a card game developed by The Engagement Game Lab, which was one of the conveners of the … Continue reading

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why romantic relationships do not function like markets

Facebook6 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 6It would be discouraging if humans’ choice of mates and romantic partners operated just like a market. That would violate our idealistic notions of romance, and it would imply a deep source of inequality. Above the level of basic … Continue reading

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are religions comprehensive doctrines?

Facebook5 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 5John Rawls saw a “plurality of reasonable but incompatible comprehensive doctrines” as a “fact” about the world, or at least about the modern world. He explained: “a reasonable doctrine is an exercise of theoretical reason: it covers … Continue reading

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the commencement speaker controversies

Facebook46 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 46IMF chief Christine Lagarde, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Colorado state Sen. Michael Johnston (D) are among the commencement speakers who have drawn objections from students this year. Several have withdrawn from speaking or been … Continue reading

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a different take on coherence in ethics

Facebook5 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 5There have traditionally been two families of answers to the question: How can a moral belief be justified? Foundationalists think that beliefs are justified if they follow from beliefs that are somehow “foundational.” As Geoffrey Sayre-McCord writes, “traditionally, … Continue reading

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Boston, recovering city

Facebook9 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 9(On the train to NYC) It’s my sense that the second half of the 20th century was hard on America’s oldest city, but Boston is recovering from the wounds it sustained then. Boston entered the 1900s as … Continue reading

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Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Picketty

Facebook17 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 17In the earlier times of the colony, when lands were to be obtained for little or nothing, some provident individuals procured large grants; and, desirous of founding great families for themselves, settled them on their descendants in … Continue reading

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defining civic engagement, democracy, civic renewal, and related terms

Facebook16 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 16My post entitled “What is the definition of civic engagement?” gets lots of traffic. It does not actually present my definition but a compendium of alternative versions. I have volunteered to draft some new definitions for a particular purpose. This is what … Continue reading

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