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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Judith Butler

Nonheteronormative Philosophy

There is a relatively new and growing field of philosophy about people outside the traditional binary designations of norms about gender and sexuality. Nonheteronormative sexuality has long been dismissed or repressed by European and American societies. In one respect, the suppression and oppression of nonheteronormative people is similar to that […]

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Does Anyone Understand What “Freedom” Means?

Does Anyone Understand What “Freedom” Means? Janis Joplin didn’t. Anarchists don’t. Trump doesn’t, nor do his followers. Freedom is a word many people use, but few people have any substantial understanding of the meaning of the concept. To mention that fact isn’t cynical or disparaging. The concept of freedom, like […]

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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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Two Underappreciated French Postmodernists

I’m not a big fan of most philosophy that falls under the umbrella of “postmodernist.” There are two philosophers who I think offered valuable contributions to our quest to understand and improve society. Jean-François Lyotard French philosopher and sociologist, Lyotard (1924–1998) was a fierce critic of universalizing theories and “metanarratives” […]

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Dewey and Freire’s Philosophy of Education

John Dewey’s (1859–1952) scientific orientation was biology, and he was influenced by the developments in evolutionary biology. His philosophical starting point was the fact that people exist within a biological environment. We create beliefs to adapt to our environment. Dewey created the term “instrumentalism” to describe the human activity of […]

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