A Problem With Analytic Philosophy: The Case Of ‘Forgiveness’

‘Forgiveness’ is a ‘big topic’ in contemporary philosophy–part of its current preoccupations in moral psychology. A quick search of journal articles, books, book chapters, edited collections, conference proceedings, and invited talks throws up many titles and topics; clearly, philosophers are working on a topic of great interest in the personal and moral domains. Forgiveness, healing,Continue reading “A Problem With Analytic Philosophy: The Case Of ‘Forgiveness’”

Parenting As Refuge From Writing

Writers who are parents love to complain about how parenting takes up writing time; so many great books, essays, plays, short stories, screenplays and the like remain unwritten because caring for a child is time-consuming and emotionally draining. Other members of the writer’s tribe–or sometimes the same folks–will readily admit that parenting provides great materialContinue reading “Parenting As Refuge From Writing”

A Rarely Realized Classroom Ideal

Last night, in my graduate seminar–which carries the snappy title ‘From Schopenhauer to Freud (Via Nietzsche): Depth Psychology and Philosophy‘–my students and I spent the entire two hours of our class meeting time reading and discussing Section 354 of Nietzsche‘s The Gay Science. We each had a copy of the section in front of us; IContinue reading “A Rarely Realized Classroom Ideal”

Rohin Kushwaha On The Writer’s Craft

A few days ago, I made note of the passing of my young nephew, Rohin Kushwaha, at the age of nineteen, mourning the tragic loss of a brilliant, young, and talented man to the ravages of a relentless disease. In that remembrance, I made note of Rohin’s writing talents: His intellectual ambition was vast, speakingContinue reading “Rohin Kushwaha On The Writer’s Craft”

Neal Katyal And George Conway’s Incomplete Legal Advice

In an Op-Ed for the New York Times, Neal Katyal, the “acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama and…a lawyer at Hogan Lovells,” and George Conway III, “a litigator at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz,” argue that Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the the Acting Attorney General is unconstitutional. Roughly, according to the AppointmentsContinue reading “Neal Katyal And George Conway’s Incomplete Legal Advice”

Late Work And Shying Away From Decay And Death

In ‘Late Francis Bacon: Spirit and Substance‘ Colm Tóibín writes: It would be easy to imagine…that Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice was written toward the end of his life. In fact, it was written in 1911, when Mann was thirty-six. It is a young man’s book; its images of desire, decay, and death could not be soContinue reading “Late Work And Shying Away From Decay And Death”

The New York Times’ Op-Ed Page Is An Intellectual Dark Web

The New York Times Op-Ed page has been an intellectual dark web for a long time. Few corners of the Internet can lay claim to both Thomas Friedman and David Brooks, two of the most widely ridiculed, mocked, and parodied ‘thought leaders’ ever to have deigned to grace us swine with their pearls of wisdom;Continue reading “The New York Times’ Op-Ed Page Is An Intellectual Dark Web”

Leaving Facebook: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

I first quit Facebook in 2010, in response to a talk Eben Moglen gave at NYU about Facebook’s privacy-destroying ways; one of his most memorable lines was: The East German Stasi used to have to deploy a fleet of undercover agents and wiretaps to find out what people did, who they met, what they ate,Continue reading “Leaving Facebook: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide”

Steven Pinker Should Read Some Nietzsche For Himself

Steven Pinker does not like Nietzsche. The following exchange–in an interview with the Times Literary Supplement makes this clear: Question: Which author (living or dead) do you think is most overrated? Pinker: Friedrich Nietzsche. It’s easy to see why his sociopathic ravings would have inspired so many repugnant movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries,Continue reading “Steven Pinker Should Read Some Nietzsche For Himself”

An Ode To The Semicolon

I discovered semicolons in the fall of 1992. I had asked–on a lark of sorts–to read a term paper written by my then-girlfriend, who was taking a class in literary theory at New York University. In it, I noticed a ‘new’ form of punctuation; I had seen the semicolon before, but I had not seenContinue reading “An Ode To The Semicolon”