Gotham’s State of Nature

Hobbes referred to the state of nature as a “war of all against all” and famously described life in the state of nature as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” In order to transition a society from the state of nature to civility, its people mutually agreed to create a state and give up their power to the state in return for the protection of their well-being.
Hobbes referred to the state of nature as a “war of all against all” and famously described life in the state of nature as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” In order to transition a society from the state of nature to civility, its people mutually agreed to create a state and give up their power to the state in return for the protection of their well-being. [More]

Like Sheep to the Slaughter?

Most societies revere the individual liberty exercised in the right to speak freely without fear of punishment. Conversely, most societies equally cherish and demand respect for one’s religious beliefs. Nonetheless, it is a philosophical challenge to advocate unrestrained free speech while maintaining respectful consideration of religious beliefs.
Most societies revere the individual liberty exercised in the right to speak freely without fear of punishment. Conversely, most societies equally cherish and demand respect for one’s religious beliefs. Nonetheless, it is a philosophical challenge to advocate unrestrained free speech while maintaining respectful consideration of religious beliefs. [More]

Supreme Court strikes down Stolen Valor Act

As a follow-up to The Supreme Court and Philosophy, the Supreme Court handed out their ruling earlier today on the Alvarez case. The Stolen Valor Act has been struck down by the Supreme Court.
As a follow-up to The Supreme Court and Philosophy, the Supreme Court handed out their ruling earlier today on the Alvarez case. The Stolen Valor Act has been struck down by the Supreme Court. [More]

Week in Review: June 11, 2012

Some stuff of fun and interest. What can you do with a philosophy degree? Krauss' dismissal of philosophy. Guy Harrison's new book. Lingerie on a virtual woman. A hierarchical list of disagreements. What is tolerance? Socrates, the dialectic, and the US Supreme Court.
Some stuff of fun and interest. What can you do with a philosophy degree? Krauss' dismissal of philosophy. Guy Harrison's new book. Lingerie on a virtual woman. A hierarchical list of disagreements. What is tolerance? Socrates, the dialectic, and the US Supreme Court. [More]

The Supreme Court and Philosophy

One of the most significant political and legal events of the year was The Supreme Court case in February, United States v. Alvarez. The Supreme Court consented to hear this case regarding the validity of the Stolen Valor Act of 2005. It was as if Socrates himself was there in the court. The dialectical method used by the judges was evident as they utilized questions to obtain the judgments required by this case. [More]

The Arab Spring: For Locke’s Eyes Only

The Arab Spring raises numerous issues in political philosophy such as the justification of the state, the nature of the state, and the role of the state, liberty, and property. All of these concepts are evident in these monumental series of events. Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean Jacques-Rousseau are believed to be the foremost political philosophers of Western Civilization. However, the 17th century British philosopher, John Locke, holds a special place in American political thought. [More]

United States in Denial?

Geoffrey Wheatcroft tackles what he sees as a national epistemic crisis in the United States in a recent article for the New York Times. People in the US suffer from the problem of “unknown knows”: facts citizens should know about but choose to reject.
Geoffrey Wheatcroft tackles what he sees as a national epistemic crisis in the United States in a recent article for the New York Times. People in the US suffer from the problem of “unknown knows”: facts citizens should know about but choose to reject. [More]

Ballot Box Epistemology

Many voters form beliefs about candidates based not on any substantive arguments but on the rhetorical power of the candidate. While rhetoric has an important role to play in belief formation, rhetoric without a substantial foundation can be disastrous. This is particularly true when electing national leaders.
Many voters form beliefs about candidates based not on any substantive arguments but on the rhetorical power of the candidate. While rhetoric has an important role to play in belief formation, rhetoric without a substantial foundation can be disastrous. This is particularly true when electing national leaders. [More]

Political Theologizing sans Theology

Yale professor Paul Kahn examines politics and law using the lenses of theology and theological psychology. But it's theology without the influence of the divine.
Yale professor Paul Kahn examines politics and law using the lenses of theology and theological psychology. But it's theology without the influence of the divine. [More]

Is Religion to Blame?

Is religion truly the cause of human suffering through conflict? Is this ingrained notion correct? A philosophical examination of war is a complex issue. Although warfare and conflict are common throughout human history, the causes of conflict are not simple. For something as complex as war, single-attribute causes are rare. There are a variety of reasons people, groups, and nations enter into conflicts and one of them has been religion. But does that mean that most wars are based on religious differences? [More]