Giljotin

Marie_Antoinette_le_16_octobre_1793

I knew another of my periodic retreats from the public expression of political opinions had arrived when, contacted by a certain French media outlet for my views on the recent electoral victories of the Front National, I muttered something about how I've been busy writing about animals recently, and then quoted Kropotkin to the effect that the animals, unlike us, seem to get by just fine without holding elections at all.

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Theodicy from a Kierkegaardian Perspective by Tamar Aylat-Yaguri

Satan Inflicting Boils on Job, William Blake by Tamar Aylat-Yaguri A philosophical theodicy aims at establishing the responsibility for evil in the world: if evil is inevitable for human beings, then God, the absolute and only creator of the world, is held responsible for it, and theodicy is doomed...

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Philip Kitcher gets ethical

Moses Receiving the Tablets of the Law, Domenico Beccafumi, 1537 by Philip Kitcher Many people believe, like Dostoyevsky’s Ivan Karamazov, that if ethical precepts were not grounded in God’s commands, then anything would be permitted. From Plato onwards however, the philosophical tradition has frequently questioned the idea of a...

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Thingking about Stuff

by Justin E. H. Smith I will certainly not be the first to find it interesting that some languages do not allow for a distinction between things and stuff. In Latin for example there is only res, a word that abounds with ambiguities, though some more easily soluble than...

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Always a Woman!

From the mid-twentieth century on Murdoch argued that modern philosophy, both in its analytic and French existentialist guises, is overly concerned with action and choice, operating with a naïve conception of the will and the idea of a liberal freely choosing agent.

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Might Marcuse remain a relevant source for social action and philosophical uplift?

From The Chronicle Review: Bless the American university, that exemplar of pluralism. Was it a playful University of Pennsylvania scheduler who managed to assign to the same all-purpose Houston Hall over a few days in October both the annual good-vibes Penn Family Weekend and “Critical Refusals: The International Herbert...

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Aquinas and Kierkegaard

Sacrifice of Isaac, Rembrant, 1635 From Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews: One of the most valuable aspects of Mulder’s book is the reflection it promotes on the possible conversation between Kierkegaard and St. Thomas Aquinas. In chapter 2, for example, in a discussion of Fear and Trembling, Mulder argues that...

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A Practice of Freedom

We do not ordinarily associate political theology or Carl Schmitt with freedom. Indeed, we are more likely to think that liberal political theory focuses on freedom, while political theology focuses on the authority of sectarian beliefs.

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Feel the Urge Rising

Recently, I have hosted a roundtable discussion on the science and philosophy of free will. The idea was to have a serious discussion about the various concepts of free will, as well as what exactly neuroscience can tell us about them.

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Owen Flanagan: Naturalistic Buddhism

by Owen Flanagan In 2000, I was part of a small team of philosophers and Buddhist adepts invited to spend a few days in Dharamsala, India talking with the 14th Dalai Lama on the topic of destructive emotions. Several prominent neuroscientists attending the meetings were hatching ways to study...

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‘If monotheism is a gift for science, it is likely to be poison for the art of narrative’

If a character born with every perfection is a poor premise for a story, then a God who is almighty, omniscient and eternal is even worse.

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There are tunnels in the basement between India and Greece, but we’re afraid to go down there…

by Justin E. H. Smith I. I used to get very upset at the suggestion that there might be such a thing as ‘non-Western philosophy’. Some years ago a German anthropologist friend told me she had heard, out on Broughton Island in Arctic Canada, Inuit elders using their free...

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Sorting Unicorns

David and Goliath Play Chess, Siegfried Zademack by Bill Benzon I’m heading toward language, imaginary objects, and the cognition of ontology. But I’m not ready to go there, not yet. There’s some preliminary hemming and hawing I want to do, so bracketing, as it were. What’s with Withdrawal? I’m...

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“Hermeneutic communism’s greatest enemy is liberal realism”

I met Castro in 2006 after receiving an honorary degree from the Academy of Fine Arts of Cuba. It was a beautiful meeting in his office for over three hours on a Sunday afternoon. We talked about a variety of subjects: the Cuban revolution, Khrushchev, the EU parliament, G....

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Which?

Female factory workers in Shenzhen, China, Douglas Johnson From Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews: In 1923, the British House of Commons had what was termed “a great debate”: “Socialism or Capitalism: Which?” Not so long ago, books were regularly published on this thorny topic; but now, even on the left,...

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The Power of Dignity by Donna Hicks

Dignity and Impudence, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, 1839 by Donna Hicks Nobody wants to be treated badly or to feel inferior. Yet, it is not uncommon for everyone to experience a violation of that dignity on a daily basis. It happens everywhere humans come in contact with one another:...

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Alan Montefiore: Jewish Identity

Rabbi with Torah, Hyman Bloom, 1955 by Alan Montefiore The origins of A Philosophical Retrospective – Facts, Values and Jewish Identity lie in a much more ambitious project, one of looking back on all that I have written over the years on the topics which have been of most...

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…And Justice (Love and Charity) for All

by Patrick Riley I: Iustitia Caritas Sapientis It is worthwhile to try to recover a tradition of thinking about justice which, since the eighteenth century, has largely disappeared from view: the tradition which defines justice as positive love and benevolence and “charity” and generosity, not as merely following authoritative...

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Eric Schwitzgebel: Black and, Err, White

Green Guy, Pete Mandik, 2003.  Photograph by Rachelle Mandik by Eric Schwitzgebel Many philosophers consider the era of “modern” philosophy to begin with René Descartes’s Discourse on Method (1637) and Meditations on First Philosophy (1641). In these works, Descartes aims to ground human knowledge of the external, material world – the...

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Masha Tupitsyn
sickert

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

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Hearn1

How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

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kentridge1

Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

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letters

Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

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Kemmler

In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

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proust

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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carpo

It all started with cellphones, a long time ago. No student, and few teachers, would make voice calls from class, but in the early...

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Daniel Bosch
dace-holland

Three of America's most famous poets announced today the immediate availability of new, moderately priced "diffusion lines" based on their celebrated high-end works to...

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Soren_Kierkegaard_i_Corsaren

When Johannes Climacus defines Christianity in the Postscript, he writes:

Christianity is spirit; spirit is inwardness; inwardness is subjectivity; subjectivity is essentially passion, and at...

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gosse1

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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A while back I found an online edition of Anouck Durant and Gilles De Rapper's monograph Ylli: Les couleurs de la dictature.

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noise

OK, I've been outed as a noise nut and it's true. I am crazed by noise. I have to put my fingers in my...

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I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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fusion

When Yaweh advanced into Ezekiel in the form of penetration, the four wings of the chariot became instantly erect and bloodshot and then fell...

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