What is Wrong with Inclusive Language

One has to make adjustments in one’s writing if one wants to avoid sexist language. Such a sentence is an example of the clunkiness that often comes about with the adjustment. I have heard numerous philosophers (and people in other fields) complain about the awkwardness of the ‘inclusive language’ convention—instead of ‘he’, saying 'one', ‘he/she’… Continue reading What is Wrong with Inclusive Language

Advertisements

The Batman Principle

One of the few consistent features of Trump’s worldview is that countries are taking advantage of the United States. They are laughing at us. So much is unfair. Trump said he wants to negotiate the Paris accord “on terms that are fair to the United States.” “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share.” At… Continue reading The Batman Principle

What Philosophy Owes Society III: a New Public Philosophy

Philosophy has special civic obligations. Many philosophers agree with this, either explicitly or deep in their souls. Many philosophers became philosophers for precisely these sorts of reasons. There is a variety of ways to meet these obligations, but perhaps the most obvious and most important way is through public philosophy: stepping outside of the academy… Continue reading What Philosophy Owes Society III: a New Public Philosophy

How to Talk to Trump Supporters

We are all united in the belief that we live in a divided country. A bit ironic. The fact that the phrase “the country is divided” is repeated everywhere ad nauseum is evidence that we yearn for some common ground. But acknowledging divisions does not get us anywhere. Given the importance of the issues, we… Continue reading How to Talk to Trump Supporters

What Philosophy Owes Society II: Anti-intellectualism

It is an axiom among intellectuals that America is an anti-intellectual culture. And among the so-called anti-intellectuals, the idea is part and parcel of the ‘coastal elitism’ or “cosmopolitan bias” that, as another axiom goes, so many people despise. We never think hard about whether it is in fact true that American culture is anti-intellectual.… Continue reading What Philosophy Owes Society II: Anti-intellectualism

Disqualified: 12 Forgotten Trump Absurdities

The speed and spin of the news cycle makes it difficult to grasp the true absurdity of much that Trump and his administration does. Many commentators think this is intentional: as long as we are constantly off balance, egregious mind-breaking absurdities start to feel normal. Eventually people give up trying to track down facts and… Continue reading Disqualified: 12 Forgotten Trump Absurdities

What Philosophy Owes Society I

How should philosophers live in the political world (also known simply as the world)? In many respects, this question explicitly animates the Vim. The question is implicit in everything philosophers, as philosophers, do. So let’s do what philosophers do: make what is implicit explicit. I mean this in two ways. First, I want to prompt… Continue reading What Philosophy Owes Society I