Freedom of Speech

What’s Right and Wrong About the Columbia Protests

Can we have an intelligent conversation about what’s going on at Columbia University? Probably not. I’ll try anyway, although a conversation requires willing and sincere participants. Ostensibly, the protests at Columbia University are about defending the rights of Palestinian people in Gaza. No doubt, for some people, it is about […]

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The Long History of Xenophobia in the US

Sometimes, listening to politicians in the “developed” world, one gets the impression that hordes of barbarians are at the borders. These politicians tell us to be very concerned about the threat of immigrants. What these barbarians are accused of isn’t exactly clear; the message is vague beyond “be afraid.” These […]

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Ethics of Dissent and Protest

Cooperation, loyalty, adherence to the rule of law. These are noble virtues, of which the following are necessary for a free and open society. But there are times when it is necessary to step outside these noble virtues. There are times when dissent is a virtue. There is a time […]

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The Philosophy of Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt is very well known in continental philosophical circles. She remains unfairly unknown outside of continental philosophy circles. Arendt is best known for her book Eichmann in Jerusalem, A Report on the Banality of Evil. That book was her report of the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, […]

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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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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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