Berfrois

Remains as the End

Remains as the End

Some time back I took a group of students to the Galerie d'Anatomie Comparée at the Jardin des Plantes. This is the famous collection of skeletons laid out according to one version of the order of nature by Georges Cuvier at the turn of the 19th Century.

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Cosmology vs. Philosophy

Cosmology vs. Philosophy

What is it with the philosophy-haters in astrophysics and cosmology? From the late Stephen Hawking’s claim that ‘philosophy is dead’, to Steven Weinberg’s chapter-long jeremiad ‘Against Philosophy’...

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Vast Comic Proportions

Vast Comic Proportions

I have been a professor of philosophy and a fonctionnaire in Paris for five years. I think by now this gives me at least some credibility as a participant-observer

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Jeremy Fernando on (In)die Art

Jeremy Fernando on (In)die Art

To begin to speak of indie art, one must first address the question: what is art? A question haunted by another question, a dependent question: is art, art, without the frame?

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McBuddy

McBuddy

After spending a few days at Elsewhere, a museum set in a former thrift store in Greensboro, North Carolina, I was asked to select a single object from the teeming mountains of stuff.

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Cursed Freedom

Cursed Freedom

Kate Kirkpatrick's provocative interdisciplinary study argues that Sartre's conception of nothingness in Being and Nothingness (BN) can be fruitfully understood as an iteration of the Christian doctrine of original sin...

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Trump and America’s Evil by Ed Simon

Trump and America’s Evil by Ed Simon

If your politics are anything like mine, which is to say that you abhor wanton cruelties enacted against children, then surely, you’ve said it, or at least thought it – Donald Trump is an evil man...

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‘In a desert, all waters are holy’

‘In a desert, all waters are holy’

My parents were both churchgoers, and when I first encountered the opening chapters of the Bible, I recognized the description there of an earthly realm stretched between waters above and waters below.

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Will Lament, and Love

Will Lament, and Love

In 1826, at the age of 20, John Stuart Mill sank into a suicidal depression, which was bitterly ironic, because his entire upbringing was governed by the maximisation of happiness.

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Ed Simon on Philip Roth

Ed Simon on Philip Roth

It’s easy to see Roth as an avatar of the American literary “Great Male Narcissists” identified by David Foster Wallace (takes one to know one…). In a fashionable word, Roth can be problematic...

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Absurd!

Absurd!

Last semester, halfway through a meeting of my ‘Meaning of Life’ seminar, I found myself lying on a window seat along the eastern wall of the classroom. I was scheduled for spinal surgery in a few months, and sitting and standing were tough.

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What of meaning?

What of meaning?

To my surprise, most of the people with whom I have talked about the meaning of life have told me that they did not think that their lives were meaningful enough. Many even presented their lives as outright meaningless.

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Anthony in the Desert, and Other Mirages

Anthony in the Desert, and Other Mirages

Saint Anthony’s encounters with those fearsome demons in the desert happened more than just once; in fact, they occurred repeatedly.

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The Story by M. Munro

The Story by M. Munro

So what's the story with story? What makes story so fascinating, and how—by virtue of what—does story so exceed statement?

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A Late Capitalist Lyric

A Late Capitalist Lyric

The term ‘postmodernism’ may no longer seem to tell us much about the present.

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Ed Simon: Punic Encomium

Ed Simon: Punic Encomium

Purple being an error is not, however, a law of physics, or a mitzvoth of the Hebraic covenant, rather it is a suggestion, and the first thing you must consider about the plain style is that like anything in culture...

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A priori justification is the basis of our fundamental moral beliefs…

A priori justification is the basis of our fundamental moral beliefs…

Say, for instance, that you believe you have a pain in your back or that there is a computer screen in front of you. What are the justifications for these beliefs?

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Privileging Your Checks

Privileging Your Checks

I am team-teaching a course on the later Wittgenstein this semester with a somewhat skeptical but radically open-minded philosopher.

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