Second Thoughts on Dignity

I have written previously on the meaning of dignity, but I left out the theoretical underpinnings of my position. Setting politics aside, what are the metaphysical underpinnings of ethics? What of our moral judgments? Are there some fundamental criteria under which we can say that the current regime or the actions of our leaders is… Continue reading Second Thoughts on Dignity

What Philosophers Mean by ‘Clear’

I. Two Worlds, One Hierarchy Ludwig Wittgenstein said something that proved quite enduring in the preface of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: “What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.” Throughout the rest of the opaque text we get the message that clarity… Continue reading What Philosophers Mean by ‘Clear’

Philosophical Gaslighting

I’ve witnessed a phenomenon that I call philosophical gaslighting. Simply, it is gaslighting in the context of academic philosophy. It happens in many other fields, but I will speak only about my world. I notice two main examples: When you make an original contribution to a discussion and a person responds as if your idea… Continue reading Philosophical Gaslighting

The Dissolution of Cheating: Kevin’s Heart

J. Cole just dropped a video from his latest project KOD—Kevin’s Heart. In the video, comedian Kevin Hart’s role is a meta- and self-conscious reflection (of Hart playing himself, “playing himself”) that draws on the news of Hart’s personal infidelity to his wife—or “cheating scandal turned extortion plot,” as Dee Lockett puts it—going public. Don’t get… Continue reading The Dissolution of Cheating: Kevin’s Heart

Brief Reflections on the Use of Technology in Education

1. The torrent of Facebook-related scandals has incited deep reflection on the role of technology in our lives. We simply do not know all that our new technologies are doing to us. At this point, understanding ourselves, both individually and as a society, cannot be so easily distinguished from understanding technology. The two reflect and… Continue reading Brief Reflections on the Use of Technology in Education

Philosophy of Taxes: A (GO)Primer

In late 2017, the Republican Congress and Senate were designing and negotiating what would end up becoming the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, signed into law by Donald J. Trump on December 22. There was a media firestorm surrounding the passage of the law, not only because of the inherent stake citizens (=… Continue reading Philosophy of Taxes: A (GO)Primer

It Won’t Be Different This Time

After the Las Vegas shooting I wrote a will called “If I’m Killed in a Mass Shooting.” In it I made two claims: There is no gun debate. Despite the patina of rationality, the NRA slate of arguments is so transparently terrible that it makes a mockery of the whole concept of public discourse. What’s… Continue reading It Won’t Be Different This Time