Tradwives

 Recently, my spouse brought to my attention a meme that exists in some circles called “the tradwife.” The word means “traditional wife” and is floating around mainly right-wing and other forums in which men are complaining about feminists and the alleged erosion of “traditional family values” and want a […]

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Calmly Resisting the Fad of Stoicism

Do you remember Pet Rocks? You need to be older to remember them, but here’s a good history of them. The Pet Rock was the ultimate triumph of marketing over substance. The Pet Rock was a rock, just a plain rock, in a plain cardboard box labeled “Pet Rock.” I […]

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What if the Universe Is NOT Expanding?

Philosopher Thomas Kuhn argued that science is “a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions” in which “one conceptual world view is replaced by another.” (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962) The longer-lasting, more tranquil periods of “normal science” are guided by a dominant paradigm. Astrophysics has been […]

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Philosophies of Social Reform

Excerpts from How We Are and How We Got Here: A Practical History of Western Philosophy. British Reform Movement Significant developments in social philosophy and social reform took place in the United Kingdom in the 1800s. The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed a progressive series of laws beginning in […]

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An Introduction to Philosophy Book for Everyone

  I began teaching philosophy in 1998, and I love talking with students and helping them discover new ideas. Several years ago, I gave up on the mass produced introduction to philosophy textbooks. The offerings from the Big Four corporate educational publishers (Cengage, McGraw Hill, Pearson, and Oxford) are overpriced […]

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time

The Arbitrariness of Units of Time

The Arbitrariness of Units of Time In the Gregorian calendar, 1 January marks the new year. It is not the new year in the dozens of other calendars that exist. This is not insignificant. Although the “new year” is celebrated with fanfare and increased alcohol consumption, aside from hangovers, absolutely […]

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William James’s Argument for Free Will

It’s a simple hypothesis: I have the ability to choose freely what actions I will take. Whether that hypothesis is correct — or its opposite is correct, that our choices are determined by external forces — is impossible to prove by reason. Or is it? William James observed that generating […]

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