Not conservative, reactionary: The flawed case against same-sex marriage

Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle The time has come for Australia to provide for same-sex marriages. This would reflect the countries with which we compare ourselves, including the US and
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Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle The time has come for Australia to provide for same-sex marriages. This would reflect the countries with which we compare ourselves, including the US and the UK, and it would acknowledge the contemporary meaning of marriage in Western liberal democracies. As I write, however, progress has stalled. It remains to be seen whether Australia will have a plebiscite on same-sex marriage in early 2017. Federal parliament is considering the issue, and political parties are negotiating. Something that ought to be easy has become very difficult. A plebiscite is unnecessary, since the federal parliament has undoubted power to amend section 5 of the Marriage Act to change the definition of “marriage”. That is exactly what happened when the definition was last altered by parliament, as recently as 2004, to exclude the possibility of same-sex marriages. On that occasion, the Howard government’s action did not need a specific vote by the public. Michael. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Subjectivity and Selfhood in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

2016.09.22 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Jari Kaukua and Tomas Ekenberg (eds.), Subjectivity and Selfhood in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, Springer, 2016, 294pp.,
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2016.09.22 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Jari Kaukua and Tomas Ekenberg (eds.), Subjectivity and Selfhood in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, Springer, 2016, 294pp., $129.00 (hbk), ISBN 9783319269122. Reviewed by Eric Hagedorn, St. Norbert College This is a collection of essays presented at a conference held at the University of Uppsala in August 2012 entitled "Subjectivity, Selfhood, and Agency in the Arabic and Latin Traditions." According to its introduction, the volume as a whole seeks to improve our understanding of the development of the concept of 'self' throughout the medieval period as a way of determining whether there is a uniquely modern sense of self (as, for instance, Charles Taylor posited in Sources of the Self) and, if there is, how that conception differs from what preceded it. In particular, the editors claim that the volume will "yield us a more nuanced insight into the differences and common points between the various. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Step aside, Ann Landers. The advice columnist has evolved into the <strong>advice artist</strong>, essayistic excavator of complexity and vulnerability&nbsp;

Step aside, Ann Landers. The advice columnist has evolved into the advice artist, essayistic excavator of complexity and
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Step aside, Ann Landers. The advice columnist has evolved into the advice artist, essayistic excavator of complexity and vulnerability 

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

One day in 1953, Henry Molaison lost the ability to form new memories. He existed entirely in the now, which made him history&rsquo;s <strong>most studied man</strong>

One day in 1953, Henry Molaison lost the ability to form new memories. He existed entirely in the now, which made him history&amp;rsquo;s most studied
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One day in 1953, Henry Molaison lost the ability to form new memories. He existed entirely in the now, which made him history’s most studied man

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Neither entirely Victorian nor modernist, <strong>Henry James</strong> sowed the seed of postmodern thought. He would be appalled by what it has become

Neither entirely Victorian nor modernist, Henry James sowed the seed of postmodern thought. He would be appalled by what it has
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Neither entirely Victorian nor modernist, Henry James sowed the seed of postmodern thought. He would be appalled by what it has become

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Causation and Free Will

2016.09.21 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Carolina Sartorio, Causation and Free Will, Oxford University Press, 2016, 188pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198746799.
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2016.09.21 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Carolina Sartorio, Causation and Free Will, Oxford University Press, 2016, 188pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198746799. Reviewed by Christopher Evan Franklin, Grove City College Carolina Sartorio has produced a rich and stimulating set of reflections on the intersection of the metaphysics of free will and causation, with the aim of clarifying the structure and defending the central tenets of an actual-sequence theory of freedom, "where freedom is understood as the metaphysical [rather than epistemic] component of responsibility" (p. 8). While there is overlap between Sartorio's and John Fischer and Mark Ravizza's[1] actual-sequence accounts, Sartorio argues that we can improve on their account by taking more seriously the idea that freedom solely supervenes on the actual sequence, and that we can take the supervenience claim more seriously by attending more carefully to aspects of causation that have played. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Is BLM Responsible for Increased Crime?

Embed from Getty Images One talking point on the political right is that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is causally responsible for an increase in crime. This point has been made by such
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Embed from Getty Images One talking point on the political right is that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is causally responsible for an increase in crime. This point has been made by such sources as the National Review and Bill O’Reilly. As would be suspected, those to the left of the right have denied this connection and, of course, BLM has denied this claim. In general terms, BLM is alleged to make two major contributions to crime. The first is in regards to videos: BLM encourages citizens to take videos of the police and also supports the release of police videos. These videos are said to create what is known as the ‘Laquan McDonald Effect.’ Laquan McDonald was a 17-year-old black man who was killed by officer Jason Van Dyke. The police video shows the officer shooting McDonald 16 times as he was moving away from the officers. McDonald was holding a small knife; as such he was technically armed. The effect of this video and the following protests, it is claimed, was to. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

The boundary between science <strong>journalism and PR</strong> is so porous that the task of informing the public about science is often indistinguishable from efforts to promote it

The boundary between science journalism and PR is so porous that the task of informing the public about science is often indistinguishable from efforts to promote
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The boundary between science journalism and PR is so porous that the task of informing the public about science is often indistinguishable from efforts to promote it

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

<strong>Literature helps form our beliefs</strong>. And while novels can stir outrage, they also provide catharsis, which has the effect of mollifying our politics

Literature helps form our beliefs. And while novels can stir outrage, they also provide catharsis, which has the effect of mollifying our
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Literature helps form our beliefs. And while novels can stir outrage, they also provide catharsis, which has the effect of mollifying our politics

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

&ldquo;Germany awake!&rdquo; went the Nazi slogan. The country was roused by Hitler and methamphetamine. Pervitin, as the drug was called, was <strong>National Socialism in a pill</strong>

&amp;ldquo;Germany awake!&amp;rdquo; went the Nazi slogan. The country was roused by Hitler and methamphetamine. Pervitin, as the drug was called, was National Socialism in a
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“Germany awake!” went the Nazi slogan. The country was roused by Hitler and methamphetamine. Pervitin, as the drug was called, was National Socialism in a pill

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily