Berfrois

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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Ed Simon: When Books Read You

Ed Simon: When Books Read You

Towards the end of 1642, or possibly the beginning of 1643, but either way in the midst of a miserable winter of civil war, King Charles I found himself...

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Alt-Reaction

Alt-Reaction

The socialist left were once the champions of science and reason, of the rationally planned society directed towards meeting the material needs of humanity.

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M. Munro on Messianism as Method

M. Munro on Messianism as Method

“World history is not the place for happiness,” Hegel writes. “Periods of happiness are empty pages (leere Blätter) in history.”

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A Bulwark Never Failing by Ed Simon

A Bulwark Never Failing by Ed Simon

Anne Dudley, in her father’s Northampton library, had occasion to spend many happy hours as a girl engrossed in reading the hundreds of volumes which he had collected.

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Filtering Out Non-Sense

Filtering Out Non-Sense

Jacques Bouveresse is perhaps best known in the Anglophone world for being among the least well-known of contemporary French thinkers...

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