The Best Case for Voting

To follow up on my last post, let's consider a Regan-esque case for voting.The set-up: Suppose there are two candidates, Good and Bad, and a large population (e.g. several million voters).
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To follow up on my last post, let's consider a Regan-esque case for voting.The set-up: Suppose there are two candidates, Good and Bad, and a large population (e.g. several million voters).  90% of the population are unreasoning voters, and suppose that each such voter is (independently) 0.55 likely to vote for Bad, and 0.45 likely to vote for Good.  Suppose that the remaining 10% of the population consists of utilitarians, who are initially disposed not to vote (unless their voting will be instrumental to changing the result from Bad to Good).  I am one such, and I wonder whether I should bother voting.The verdict: Any one such utilitarian, reasoning in isolation, can be extremely confident that their individual vote will make no difference, to the point that the expected value of voting is effectively zero (cf. J. Brennan, The Ethics of Voting, pp.19-20).  That slight bias in favour of Bad, played out over millions of independent chance events. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

Bring back the serialized novel

The novel is in the doldrums. Sales are down, something called “snackable content” is in demand. The solution? A return to the past: serialization…
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The novel is in the doldrums. Sales are down, something called “snackable content” is in demand. The solution? A return to the past: serialization… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Eugene O’Neill life

Eugene O’Neill was grim and unsmiling. O’Neill didn’t deny it: “I’ll write about happiness if I ever happen to meet up with that luxury”…
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Eugene O’Neill was grim and unsmiling. O’Neill didn’t deny it: “I’ll write about happiness if I ever happen to meet up with that luxury”… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Object as Subject

Driver’s License, Drone, Remote Control, Blanket, Phone Booth: Academic studies of everyday things aren’t new. And the new ones aren’t good…
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Driver’s License, Drone, Remote Control, Blanket, Phone Booth: Academic studies of everyday things aren’t new. And the new ones aren’t good… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Who is Responsible for a Living Wage?

View image | gettyimages.com There is, obviously enough, a minimum amount of income that a person or family needs in order to survive—that is, to pay for necessities such as food, shelter,
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View image | gettyimages.com There is, obviously enough, a minimum amount of income that a person or family needs in order to survive—that is, to pay for necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and health care. In order to address this need, the United States created a minimum wage. However, this wage has not kept up with the cost of living and many Americans simply do not earn enough to support themselves. These people are known, appropriately enough, as the working poor. This situation raises an obvious moral and practical question: who should bear the cost of making up the difference between the minimum wage and a living wage? The two main options seem to be the employers or the taxpayers. That is, either employers can pay employees enough to live on or the taxpayers will need to pick up the tab. Another alternative is to simply not make up the difference and allow people to try to survive in truly desperate poverty. In regards to who currently makes up the difference, at. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

The Bad Conscience

2015.04.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Vladimir Jankélévitch, The Bad Conscience, Andrew Kelley (tr.), University of Chicago Press, 179pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2015.04.25 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Vladimir Jankélévitch, The Bad Conscience, Andrew Kelley (tr.), University of Chicago Press, 179pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780226009537. Reviewed by Nicolas de Warren, Husserl Archives, KU Leuven An unsuspecting reader could be easily forgiven for initial misgivings with Andrew Kelley's decision to include in his English translation of Vladimir Jankélévitch's The Bad Conscience every addition and deletion introduced in two subsequent re-editions (in 1951 and 1966) since its first publication in 1933. At first glance, this decision seems to visually encumber a text that demands undivided attention. As with other works, Jankélévitch continually emended his re-editions, and although his retouches are largely unassuming, each edition offers in fact another image of a book that subtly remained in motion. Kelley's conscientious decision to collate and include variations across the three editions has the virtue of. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Teaching ‘Western Values’ in China

Teaching political theory in Beijing. Human rights and democracy are fine, but no Marxism. And beware the censors…
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Teaching political theory in Beijing. Human rights and democracy are fine, but no Marxism. And beware the censors… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Liberal Arts vs. Neoliberalism

Words that used to mean something – ideals, character, self, soul – now mean nothing. The very idea of an inner life is passé at institutions of higher learning…
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Words that used to mean something – ideals, character, self, soul – now mean nothing. The very idea of an inner life is passé at institutions of higher learning… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Misunderstanding War

Blinkered and dangerous. Westerners tend to write about war as if success and failure depends only on themselves, not enemies or locals…
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Blinkered and dangerous. Westerners tend to write about war as if success and failure depends only on themselves, not enemies or locals… more»

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Modal Quandaries

Here’s a modal quandary. Both modal arguments seem correct. Both arguments seem valid. (I) 1. Necessarily, God actualizes the best world. 2. There is no best possible world. 3. :. God does not
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Here’s a modal quandary. Both modal arguments seem correct. Both arguments seem valid. (I) 1. Necessarily, God actualizes the best world. 2. There is no best possible world. 3. :. God does not exist. (II) 1. There is no best possible world. 2. It is impossible that God actualizes the best possible world. 3. :. [...]

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News source: The Prosblogion