Berfrois

Douglas Penick: Truthiness

Douglas Penick: Truthiness

The more nonsensical, the better...

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A Day for Gifts

A Day for Gifts

Adam and Eve, Sara Chong by Jeremy Fernando … love is much more than love: love is something before love … — Clarice Lispector Almost without fail, on the fourteenth day of February, one is bound to hear numerous complaints from just about everyone (besides florists, perhaps even them)...

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Pick No Locks

Pick No Locks

The Simpsons, Fox Broadcasting Company by Justin E. H. Smith I have declined, and continue to decline, to reply to many of the diverse points of criticism directed against my profession of faith, which I released into the world a month or so ago. I had thought it would...

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How can we reconcile virtue ethics and contractarianism?

How can we reconcile virtue ethics and contractarianism?

Tapping a Blast Furnace, Graham Sunderland, 1941-42 by Massimo Pigliucci A really fascinating and, as we shall see in a moment, somewhat nasty dispute has exploded in the philosophical public sphere, and I think it’s going to be interesting to see why – both sides have a very good...

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“God is seven!”

“God is seven!”

by Justin E. H. Smith Different people, different closets. I don’t quite know how to say it delicately so I’m just going to come right out and say it. I believe in God. Apart from periodic spells of foolish pride, I have believed in God all my life. Even...

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Daniel Tutt: Atheism

Daniel Tutt: Atheism

Declaring oneself an "atheist" just isn’t what it used to be...

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The Scent of a Monad

The Scent of a Monad

Louis Riel by Justin E. H. Smith This is a translation of Louis Riel’s Mémoire sur les Monades, composed in prison while awaiting execution. Riel was hanged in Regina in November, 1885. To read the original French, go here. For a brief biography of Riel, go here. Riel’s version...

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Stuart Elden: Kant, Space and Time

Stuart Elden: Kant, Space and Time

Kant lectured on a variety of topics through his career, including logic, metaphysics and ethics, but also on topics that were not strictly philosophical including anthropology, education and geography. Geography was one of his most popular—the most reliable figures suggest lectures on this topic were given forty-nine times from...

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Totally Extinct

Totally Extinct

by Justin E. H. Smith Since the Paris World Fair in 1900, the Galerie d’Anatomie Comparée of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle exhibition has been housed together with the Galerie de Paléontologie, featuring the fossils of extinct creatures: the dinosaurs and outsized Pleistocene mammals that so enrapture the children, and...

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Masha Tupitsyn: About Two

Masha Tupitsyn: About Two

All the President’s Men, Warner Bros., 1976 by Masha Tupitsyn For a long time it was all about the camera. The truths it presented and the truths it covered up. We knew the camera lied, but we also believed it told the truth. Now we know it only does...

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Bananas!

Bananas!

In his 1917 short story, “Report to an Academy,” Kafka tells the story of Red Peter, a chimpanzee captured in Africa and brought back to Europe to be studied by the members of an institution very much like the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Red Peter, by some unusual...

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Strange Monsters

Strange Monsters

Nearly a decade ago, I sat in a class entitled, quite simply, “Corporations,” taught by Vijay Prashad at Trinity College. Over the course of the semester, I was amazed at the extent of Prashad’s knowledge, and the complexity and erudition of his style. He has since authored a number...

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The Now

The Now

Nostalgia No. 3, Ma Leonn, 2006 From BBC: Throughout the 20th Century, the preservation of individuals’ memories became cheaper and so more ubiquitous, but it wasn’t until the last decade that the seamless interconnection of mobile recording devices with the world wide web allowed for the retention of the...

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The Peccaries and the Maize Beer

The Peccaries and the Maize Beer

I am growing increasingly convinced that people who believe we have an absolute moral duty to see to the well-being of all other human beings, to install water-purifying equipment in villages on the other side of the world, etc., and who, at the same time, happily contribute to the...

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Jeremy Fernando: Bull

Jeremy Fernando: Bull

One of the first things to happen after the Occupy Wall Street protestors were evicted from Zuccotti Park was the caging of Arthur Di Modica’s sculpture, the charging bull that has become synonymous with Wall Street. According to the New York Post: “Law-enforcement sources say the cops are keeping...

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Do It For the Askesis

Do It For the Askesis

Babies, David Černý, 2005 by Justin E. H. Smith Before I proceed to estrange my reproductively proficient allies, let me begin by saying that I love kids; those who know me know that when I am around them, they delight in my comical ways, and after I’m gone they...

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Hoaxes of Dreams

Hoaxes of Dreams

From Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes. Illustration by Gustave Doré, 1863. by William Egginton Popularly known as the father of modern philosophy, René Descartes won that title ostensibly by rejecting traditional modes of intellectual inquiry largely associated with commentary on prior texts, and replacing them with the first...

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Stretch Out Your Neck

Stretch Out Your Neck

The Robbers and the Donkey, Paul Cezanne, 1870 by Justin E. H. Smith Whether species all emerged from the same origin, each representing slight variations on the same underlying type, or whether, to return to Buffon’s view, they are timeless variations on the same underlying type, related not by...

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The Origin of Just War Theory

The Origin of Just War Theory

The Underworld, Walter Bayes, 1918 From The New York Times: The origin of just war theory is usually traced to the writings of Augustine, though many of the theory’s elements became well established only much later, during its “classical” period between the early 16th  and mid-17th centuries. The principles...

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