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Tag Archives: Philosophy

The ebb and flow of political correctness doctrine

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt: What caused the P.C. movement to stall after the ‘90s? One theory is that it was due to two particular events. First, a Democratic president was impeached for his sexual conduct with an intern. That made the left (at least temporarily) less interested in rooting out and punishing all abuses of power. Second, the attacks of Sept. 11, and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, created a new and different focal point for...

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What should I ask Ted Gioia?

I will be doing a Conversation with Ted, no associated public event.  He is a musician and most of all a music historian, above all for jazz and blues, with numerous excellent books on those topics. Here is his home page.  Here is Ted on Twitter, one of the very best follows.  Here is his latest book Music: A Subversive History, due out next week.  And there is more: Gioia was raised in a Sicilian-Mexican household in Hawthorne, California, a working class neighborhood in the South-Central...

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*The Joker*

I read so many scathing — forgive me long and thorough and scathing — reviews of this one that I figured something had to be up.  And indeed there is.  However unpleasant and disturbing this movie may be, it is excellent along all major dimensions of cinematic quality, including drama, script, characterization, performances, cinematography, color, music, and more, not to mention embedded cinematic references. But here is the catch: it is the most anti-Leftist movie I have seen,...

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Louis XIV and his motto

Louis XIV was both King of France and a global ruler with global ambitions. He founded colonies in America, Africa and India, tried to seize Siam (as Thailand was then known), sent missionaries and mathematicians to the Emperor of China and launched the struggle for France’s global markets which continues to this day.  The motto he adopted early in his reign, in 1662, expressed his hopes and desires: “Nec pluribus impar” (literally “Not unequal to more”), meaning...

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Which thinker from the past would you resurrect?

The Scholar’s Stage writes: If I were to resurrect one person to comment on our current dilemmas, that person would be Hannah Arendt.  What issue of importance today did she not ponder?  How should Western countries understand and respond to authoritarian states? What makes meaningful community possible? Does bureaucracy, technology, and settled life diminish our freedom?  Why do politicians lie—and what consequences should there be for lying in office? How do political institutions...

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My forthcoming debate with Slavoj Žižek

We are excited to announce the program for the Dec. 7 Holberg Debate! Slavoj Žižek will give the keynote “Why I Am Still A Communist” and then be interviewed by @tylercowen We invite everyone to watch the livestream and tweet Qs for Žižek. Use #qholberg. https://www.facebook.com/events/2524051877814963/ Bergen, Norway — I’ll be there! The post My forthcoming debate with Slavoj Žižek appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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*Virtue Politics*

The author is James Hankins, and the subtitle is Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy.  Here is one excerpt: I have sought to present the political ideas of the humanists as the expression of a movement of thought and action, similar in its physiognomy if not in its content to the movement of the philosophes of the Enlightenment.  It was a movement that was stimulated by a crisis of legitimacy in late medieval Italy and by widespread disgust with its political and religious...

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*Sontag: Her Life and Work*

That is the new biography by Benjamin Moser, along with Ingmar Bergman bios you can call this topic my soap opera equivalent.  Here are a few scattered bits: “I’m only interested in people engaged in a project of self-transformation,” Susan wrote in 1971…she read about the University of Chicago, “which didn’t have a football team, where all people did was study, and where they talked about Plato and Aristotle and Aquinas day and night.  I thought,...

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The new Catholic illiberals

A few of you have asked me what I think of this movement, surveyed here (possibly gated for you), or try this coverage.  If you would like the whole thing in one tweet, maybe try this one from Sohrab Ahmari: What I’d say to liberal friends who are men and women of goodwill: “Persuade your comrades to ease up and back off while there’s yet time. You don’t want to pit your ideology against forces much older and more potent than liberalism, which is thin civilizational gruel, indeed.” Other than...

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So be it!

At this point, I can picture Tyler Cowen remarking, “You’re a bigger pessimist than I am. According to you, we’re richer than we think, but riches don’t matter much for happiness, so who cares?” The whole point of optimism, though, is to say, “You may not be happy, but you should be.” If you want to meme that as, “Optimism is pessimism about the dangers of pessimism,” so be it. File under “Bryan Caplan, pessimist.“ The post So be it! appeared first on Marginal...

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