Can War Ever Be Justified?

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine brings up a vexing philosophical question: when is war morally defensible? A small but ancient part of political philosophy is known as “just war theory.” There are two aspects to just war theory. One explores the question of when it is just for a nation or […]

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Why #CancelStudentDebt Is the Right Thing to Do

I’ve taught university courses since 1998. Someone born that year could have just graduated from a university. Chances are good that such a person has graduated with a heavy load of student loan debt. That is more than unfortunate; that is morally wrong. Joe Biden promised that when he became […]

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Struggling for Recognition

The Authority to Claim Recognition

Social recognition among individuals and groups is what keeps together communities. Without it, struggles for justice and freedom are impossible. All struggles for justice include the struggle for the authority and power to claim recognition. Excerpt from the book, Rethinking Misrecognition and Struggles for Recognition: Critical Theory Beyond Honneth. Used […]

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Karl Marx and 1848

The path to understanding Marx begins by understanding this excerpt from The Communist Manifesto: A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of Communism. All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre… Karl Marx, with Friedrich Engels, wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848. In […]

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Calvinist America

Calvinism and the American Conception of Evil

Largely underestimated is the significant influence that John Calvin has had on culture in the United States. Perhaps only John Locke has had more philosophical influence on the American Zeitgeist than has Calvin. To understand America and its uniqueness, you need to understand Calvin’s unique ideology and how his Calvinism […]

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Franz Fanon

Frantz Fanon on Being Black

Frantz Fanon on Being Black “I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos — and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from […]

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The U.S. Has Found Something Worse Than Trump

Yes, Trump is a horrible human being. Yes, Trump’s policies are horrible. But as I’ve written previously, Trump isn’t the problem. There’s a problem worse than Trump, and the U.S. has just made that problem worse. “Feckless” is a good word, meaning weak, ineffective, and worthless. “Feckless” is the perfect […]

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