Tag: Philosophy

The Luxury of Political Moderation

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written as a response to a group of “white moderate” clergy members who claimed to be supportive of the civil rights movement — but who had also called Dr. King’s activism both “unwise and untimely.” For these moderates, civil rights activists were not […]

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What John Rawls Missed

John Rawls, who died in 2002, was the most influential American philosopher of the twentieth century. His great work, A Theory of Justice, appeared in 1971 and defined the field of political philosophy for generations. It set out standards for a just society in the form of two principles. First, a just society would protect […]

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Even Physicists Don’t Understand Quantum Mechanics

“I think I can safely say that nobody really understands quantum mechanics,” observed the physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. That’s not surprising, as far as it goes. Science makes progress by confronting our lack of understanding, and quantum mechanics has a reputation for being especially mysterious. What’s surprising is that physicists seem to be […]

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Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Sign Petitions

Recently I was asked to sign a petition opposing the deplatforming of philosophers on the basis of their views on sex and gender. Deplatforming is the academic branch of cancel culture — offense-based professional exclusion from forums like conferences, speaking engagements, journals and books. The petition argues that professional and social sanctions directed at the […]

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Your Baby Boomer Report Card

If there’s one thing young adults can agree on, it is that baby boomers have ruined the world. This seems a tad harsh. So maybe it’s time for a resentment-free assessment of the boomers, conducted by a trained pop sociologist with no ax to grind. What follows is a report card of a generation. And […]

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Dear God, Are You There?

Dear God, This letter was prompted by the 22 precious lives taken in El Paso on August 3, 2019, by a 21-year-old white supremacist gunman. He told investigators that he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible — people who Donald Trump, in his campaign for the office of president, described as criminals “bringing […]

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