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

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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

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

Trump and Pence’s Shared View on Women

During the 1990’s Clinton administration, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton reached out to Rev. Billy Graham to arrange a private luncheon meeting. Graham, an influential evangelical minister who routinely met with U.S. Presidents and other world leaders, turned her down. Graham wasn’t worried about the political optics of meeting with a liberal like Hillary. Graham routinely… Continue reading Trump and Pence’s Shared View on Women

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

The Socratic Method and Conversational Violence

In “A Guide for Talking to Trump Supporters,” beloved Vimmer Zach says that using the Socratic Method is a particularly useful strategy for engaging Trump supporters. The idea is that through critical questioning, we can bring Trump supporters to realize flaws in their reasons for supporting Trump. Sometimes, however, as these conversations practically play out,… Continue reading The Socratic Method and Conversational Violence

The Myth of “Economic Anxiety”

Pundits have developed a repertoire of cliches surrounding Trump voters, in large part motivated by the desire not to stereotype them as racist ignorant hicks. Before recoiling from such weighty generalizations, it is worth noting how terms like ‘racist’ and ‘ignorant’ work. Two people can hold many diverging views and yet both be accurately described… Continue reading The Myth of “Economic Anxiety”