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Joseph Cropsey's Straussian Attack on Adam Smith

Joseph Cropsey was introduced to Leo Strauss by Harry Jaffa when Strauss was teaching at the New School for Social Research in New York, before Strauss went to the University of Chicago in 1949. Although Cropsey was convinced by Strauss...Show More Summary

Good Lives and Procreative Duties

Many philosophers seem inclined to accept(Procreative Axiological Asymmetry): While it would be bad, or undesirable, to bring a miserable life into existence, it isn't good, or desirable, to bring an awesome life into order...Show More Summary

Another Reason for Ideological Quarantine

Heather Mac Donald, Infected by Politics, opening paragraph (emphasis added): The public-health establishment has unanimously opposed a travel and visa moratorium from Ebola-plagued West African countries to protect the U.S. population. To evaluate whether this opposition rests on purely scientific...

Josiah Royce and the Paradox of Revelation

There are tough questions about the possibility and the actuality of divine revelation. An examination of some ideas of the neglected philosopher Josiah Royce (1855-1916) from the Golden Age of American philosophy will help us clarify some of the issues...

Jack Kerouac: A Buddhist Wanderer Comes Home

Jack Kerouac quit the mortal coil 45 years ago today, securing his release from the wheel of the quivering meat conception, and the granting of his wish: The wheel of the quivering meat conception.........

Why Lichtenberg is not on Facebook

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, The Waste Books, tr. R. J. Hollingdale, New York Review Books, 1990, p. 162, Notebook J, Aph. #168, hyperlink added! As soon as he receives a little applause many a writer believes that the world is interested...

Extrovert versus Introvert: The Introvert Speaks

The extrovert is like a mirror: being nothing in himself, he is only what he reflects. A caricature, no doubt, but useful in delineation of an ideal type. This is why the extrovert needs others. Without them, he lacks inner...

Are we really conscious?

Yes: I feel pretty sure that anyone reading this is indeed conscious. However, the NYT recently ran a short piece from Michael S. A. Graziano which apparently questioned it. A fuller account of his thinking is in this paper from 2011; the same ideas were developed at greater length in his book Consciousness and the […]

Accepts the Apostles' Creed, Balks at the Athanasian Creed: Second-Class Christian?

The following from a reader: I have been accused, on a forum, of being a second-class Christian because I have stated that I cannot understand Trinitarian doctrine [as presented in the Athanasian creed]. I have stated that I do accept...

Ed Feser on the Argument from Intentionality

Originally dated Nov. 21 2006The following is from Philosophy of Mind: an Introduction, by Edward Feser. Hat tip: Joe Markus from the Internet Infidels Discussion board.When you draw your mother, you are creating a kind of representation of her. Show More Summary

Why the Left Will Not Admit the Threat of Radical Islam

My philo cronies and I were discussing this over Sunday breakfast. Why don't leftists -- who obviously do not share the characteristic values and beliefs of Islamists -- grant what is spectacularly obvious to everyone else, namely, that radical Islam...

Legitimate Criticism and Defining Characteristics

The most common objection currently being raised to my claim about criticizing a bad idea goes something like this: "You say that it is only legitimate to say that you are criticizing an ideology if you are criticizing something that 100% of the people within that ideology agree on. Show More Summary

On Criticizing an Idea

When is a criticism of Islam bigoted, and when is it not? This has been a hot topic of debate in some circles recently after an exchange between Ben Affleck on one side, and Sam Harris and Bill Mahar on the other. In this exchange, Sam...Show More Summary

Word of the Day: 'Florilegium'

You have already guessed that it has something to do with flowers. By its etymology, a gathering of flowers, literary flowers. A florilegium, then, is an anthology, compendium, collection, miscellany, album of excerpts and extracts from writings of (usually) high...

Political Action by Atheists: Why Gnus are Different

Apparently, it is having an impact over in England. For example, Christian couples have been denied the right to adopt on grounds that the children might be brainwashed. Here. Being told you can't adopt a child because of what you believe about religions strikes me as an extreme form of anti-religious discrimination. Show More Summary

A Commonplace Blog: Uncommonly Good, Now at an End

I headed over to D. G. Myers' high-level literary weblog this afternoon only to find that its penultimate post, dated 22 July, was the last by Myers. The final entry, dated 29 September, by his sister-in-law, records his death. And....

If I stopped believing in God tomorrow.....

I would certainly NOT become a humanist. I think I'd probably agree with Albert Camus, when he said There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. Show More Summary

A Different Gap

We’re often told that when facing philosophical problems, we should try to ‘carve them at the joints’. The biggest joint on offer in the case of consciousness has seemed to be the ‘explanatory gap’ between the physical activity of neurons and the subjective experience of consciousness. Now, in the latest JCS, Reggia, Monner, and Sylvester […]

Haidt, the Mormon Church, and Libertarian Conservatism

Some federal courts have struck down as unconstitutional laws in 11 states banning gay marriage. By refusing to hear the appeals of these decisions, the United States Supreme Court has forced these states to legalize gay marriage. Many...Show More Summary

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