Displaying posts tagged: philosophy

Brook No Empty Assertions

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Despite our both having links to Durham’s Philosophy Dept. I’ve never met Thom Brooks, who I think came to Durham shortly before I stopped being physically there. Occasionally he makes waves I notice: once some students contacted me hoping I could advise on getting a critical response published to something he’d written (they were into polyamory …

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Future Imperfect

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Until recently I thought the trickiest thing about long-term intergenerational ethics was the need to peer into distant, largely unpredictable futures. I have changed my mind. After pondering sentences like ‘Unborn generations depend on us’ (will depend? are going to depend? will be already depending? are yet going to have used to depend? will have been …

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Disoriented

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As I understand it (from some distance), the story so far goes something like this: (1) The students’ union at the School of Oriental and African Studies urges that its philosophy-related courses should teach mostly African and Asian thinkers (not in itself startling given the name of the institution), and insofar as white philosophers must be …

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Thinking Out Loud

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It’s a good thing polling day is nearly upon us; things are getting too meta even for me. I think we’re now onto critcisms of the tone of accusations of lowering the tone of the debate.

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Food for Thought

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I recently got the editorial board’s comments on a textbook chapter. It seems somebody named James Petrik had fun with the draft:

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Epharmera

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It happens to a lot of people: the pleasant, affectionate person you were friends with gradually becomes distant, changed, someone else. A while back I was friends with someone who, I later learnt, was being kept aloft with antidepressants when we met. There is evidence that such drugs can cause personality change.

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Hyperbrow

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‘I tend... to the view that Williams, like Hume, was a minimalist. He saw the impossibility of systems and grand narratives, and yet at the same time wanted to uphold our ordinary ways of thinking,’ writes the philosopher Roger Scruton in a Telegraph review of essays by the philosopher Bernard Williams. To which someone in the …

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Miscellanies

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I have a small collection of quotations, sporadically extended, for use with fortune (which ensures that Internet Explorer, for one, will probably throw away the *nix-style line breaks). The taxonomy has proved unfortunate: worldliness and world-weariness have turned out to suggest rather more items for inclusion than unworldly or otherworldly dreaminess. Still, since some of these …

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The Broken Scholarly Record

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One of the reasons why scholarly self-publication is supposed to be dubious or bad, and self-archiving only a supplementary good, is that material posted to one’s personal website lasts until one stops paying the server bills, having died or vanished in foreign jungles or simply lost interest. One online repository of scholarly articles which seems unlikely …

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More Headaches and the Universe

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An exciting discovery: a forthcoming publication of the Philosophical Essays of Fernando Pessoa.After last year’s Metaphysical Courier (another book still to get hold of), perhaps it seemed timely. I don’t know offhand how many of the essays were written in Portuguese and whether any were in Pessoa’s sort-of-native English (no translator being named), but judging by …

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Two Weeks

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I remember an undergrad. who did his final year dissertation on the practicality of Utilitarianism:His original plan was to attempt a comparative experimental study of Utilitarianism and Kantianism, before he scaled down his ambitions. his idea was that he would live for a week as a Utilitarian and then report on his experiences. He happened to …

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Eye Wonder

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In the small ads. section of Private Eye #1327, just under an advert for a book of ‘witty toilet graffiti’, is an unusual entry:

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Philosophy Without Affiliation

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A question that crosses quite a few minds from time to time, given that academic jobs are (1) fewer than the people qualified to do them and (2) haunted by bureaucracy and political interference: what are the prospects for living a life of philosophical dialogue and enquiring research without institutional affiliation? In early 2010 Justine Johnstone …

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Afters

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Here are some recent book titles: Philosophy After Hiroshima (2009); Moral Philosophy After 9/11 (2005); Ethics for a Broken World: Imagining Philosophy After Catastrophe (2011); The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy After the Holocaust (1999); Ethics After the Holocaust: Perspectives, Critiques, and Responses (1999); The Double Binds of Ethics After the Holocaust: Salvaging the Fragments …

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Virtue and Virtuality

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I’ve been correcting the typesetters’ proofs for Getting ‘Virtual’ Wrongs Right, which is basically an extended gripe at the way in which loose talk of ‘virtual murder’ and the like managed to migrate from tabloid headlines to ethics papers. (The final, typeset version will be paywalled somewhere; I’m more sanguine than usual about this aspect of …

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