Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Impeachment Trial

After the house sent the articles of impeachment to the senate, the senators were sworn in and the trial began. As would be expected, it has played out along party lines (although Collins did vote with the Democrats on one losing vote). While the Constitution does not provide an extensive guide to the process, the [More]

Academic Freedom and Expertise at Federal Institutions of Higher Education (and Elsewhere)

The Hatch Act is a law that forbids employees of the executive branch of the United States federal government from taking part in certain forms of political activity, usually in regards to supporting particular candidates or political parties in elections, while acting in their official capacity. What does this mean for academic experts on political matters who are employed by federal institutions of higher education? In a recent essay at The Conversation, Marcus Hedahl, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the U.S. Naval Academy, discusses the “Fat Leonard” scandal—“the largest bribery and corruption case in U.S. Navy history.” The case is quite interesting in itself, but also, perhaps, for lessons it has “for other cases in which the alleged exchange of official acts for something of personal value is a key element of the crime.” Which other cases? Professor Hedahl can’t say. He explains: I am a federal employee, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel [OSC] has issued unusually broad guidance about the Hatch Act’s limits on federal workers’ partisan political activities. The law generally bars federal employees from advocating in favor of or against the election of a particular candidate, as well from participating in other partisan political activities in an election. Yet the current guidance—which itself has been criticized for taking sides on a political divide—has been taken by some to apply to any analysis [More]

War Crimes

After assassinating Soleimani, Trump went on Twitter to threaten a “disproportionate response” to any Iranian retaliation and to destroy Iranian cultural sites. Intentionally targeting cultural property violates the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. As such, Trump seems to have been threatening to commit a war [More]

Philosopher Running for U.S. Senate

Richard Winfield, a philosophy professor at the University of Georgia, is running for Senate. Professor Winfield is aiming to fill the seat opened by the health-related resignation of former Senator Johnny Isakson at the end of 2019. The position is being temporarily filled by Kelly Loeffler, a Republican appointed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. A special election in November 2020 will decide who will finish the remaining two years of Isakson’s term. Winfield, who is running as a Democrat, announced his campaign last week. State law requires that during the campaign, he goes on unpaid leave from his position at the University of Georgia. Readers may recall that  in 2018 Winfield ran, unsuccessfully, to represent Georgia’s 10th District in the House of Representatives. According to The Red & Black, Winfield “is running on a broad social rights agenda with his largest emphasis being a federal job guarantee.” To find out more about him and his positions, you can read an interview I conducted with him here or check out his prior campaign’s website. The post Philosopher Running for U.S. Senate appeared first on Daily [More]

California Consumer Privacy Act

California recently implemented a consumer privacy act aimed at giving consumers a choice about companies selling their personal data. The law is not just a matter of concern for Californians; because it is an economic powerhouse, the state has considerable influence. My home state of Maine, which has far less influence than California, has a [More]


While the term “fascism” has been around quite some time, it has enjoyed a resurgence proportional to the attention given to the alt right. Since the term has a strong negative connotation it is used across the American political spectrum in attempts to cast opponents in a negative light. Both Bush and Obama were called [More]

Oath & Impeachment

Now that the House has done its part, the articles of impeachment will be sent to the senate for the trial. Fortunately for Trump, two powerful Republican senators have made it clear that the matter is already settled. Lindsay Graham has said that he will do all he can to kill the impeachment, saying that [More]

Can’t Say Anything Anymore

Some claim that political correctness has gone to far and that one cannot say anything anymore. As evidence, people point to examples of celebrities who have gotten in trouble for saying things that some regard as racist, homophobic or sexist. They also point to existence of trigger warnings, safe spaces and cases in which speakers [More]

Why there is a moral duty to vote

In recent years, democracies around the world have witnessed the steady rise of anti-liberal, populist movements. In the face of this trend, some may think it apposite to question the power of elections to protect cherished democratic values. Among some (vocal) political scientists and philosophers today, it is common to hear concern about voter incompetence, which allegedly explains why democracy stands on shaky ground in many places. Do we do well in thinking of voting as a likely threat to fair governance? Julia Maskivker propose a case for thinking of voting as a vehicle for justice, not a paradoxical menace to democracy. The post Why there is a moral duty to vote appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesWhy young people suffer more from pollutionWhat universities get wrong about free speechIntroducing the nominees for Place of the Year [More]

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  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
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