Philosophy

When should you unfriend someone on Facebook?

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The nature and ethics of “fake news” has become a subject of widespread concern. Alexis Elder The Conversation But, for many of us, the issue is much more personal: What are we to do when a cranky uncle or an otherwise pleasant old friend persists in populating our news feeds with a stream of posts that can run deeply contrary to our own values? One option is to unfriend people who share material that conflicts with our values. But a ... Read More »

The Cyprus problem, Turkey and Socrates on justice

The Republic 1a Plato a public domain book

In Book 1, of Plato’s famous dialogue The Republic, Thrasymachus, one of Socrates’ interlocutors, states that justice is that which serves the interests of the strongest so that what is right is always determined by might. <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> Dr Edward H Spence * Cyprus Mail Socrates refutes Thrasymachus’ notion of justice by simply arguing that justice as a virtue cannot be what serves the interests of the strongest as those interests might result in vice ... Read More »

Plan D: Is Metamodernism the Answer to Postmodernism?

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Can Metamodernism, based in the exchange and continual revision of ideas, offer an alternative to the cultural problems of postmodernism and relativism? Dan Fisher ConatusNews Previous articles have discussed the negative tendencies exhibited by the modern left and some of the reasons why we need a new left. Now it’s time to reflect on more positive elements, a viable alternative to the problematic postmodernism. Many see such a solution in the philosophy of Metamodernism. In recent years there has been a small but ... Read More »

Why we need a better philosophy of trees

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On November 6 1217, Henry III’s Charter of the Forest gave ordinary English people back their traditional rights to use royal hunting grounds for livestock grazing and collecting firewood. Tristan Moyle The Conversation The freedoms that were restored in the use of ancient woodland reshaped the community’s legal and political relationship with nature. But, today, this relationship has broken down. Only 2% of the UK’s ancient woodland survives; over half has been destroyed since the 1930s. Only 13% of the ... Read More »

What Chinese philosophers can teach us about dealing with our own grief

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November 2 is All Souls’ Day, when many Christians honor the dead. As much as we all know about the inevitability of death, we are often unable to deal with the loss of a loved one. Alexus McLeod Our modern-day worldview could also make us believe that loss is something we should be able to quickly get over, to move on with our lives. The Conversation Many of us see grieving as a kind of impediment to our ability to ... Read More »

Western philosophy is racist

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Academic philosophy in ‘the West’ ignores and disdains the thought traditions of China, India and Africa. This must change Bryan W Van Norden  Aeon Essays Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic. I know I am levelling a serious charge. But how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of China, India, Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe ... Read More »

Ancient Greek wisdom for today’s leadership crisis

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What makes a good leader? This question confronts us at every election and with every domestic and international policy decision. Emily Anhalt As a professor of classical languages and literature for more than 30 years, I marvel at our insistence on addressing this question as if it were brand new. The Conversation Centuries ago, myths helped the Greeks learn to reject tyrannical authority and identify the qualities of good leadership. As I write in my book “Enraged,” the same myths ... Read More »

Finding Heraclitus

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The great thinkers of ancient Greece were all poets So, why do philosophers today, most of whom are not, believe they can understand the thoughts and, therefore, truths of philosophers back then? David Allen Farrell Medium I say they can’t. Only another poet-philosopher can do that. Roughly twenty-five hundred years ago, something very interesting happened on the planet. A people not at all unlike ourselves today started to put their heads together in such a way that they began to ... Read More »

Why the US doesn’t understand Chinese thought – and must

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The need for the U.S. to understand China is obvious. The Chinese economy is on track to become the largest in the world by 2030, Chinese leadership may be the key to resolving the nuclear crisis with North Korea and China has military and economic ambitions in the South China Sea and… Bryan W. Van Norden The Conversation Meanwhile, the Trump administration has shown (repeatedly) that it’s not even clear on the difference between the People’s Republic of China (the ... Read More »

Donald Trump and Thucydides’ Trap – a lesson or a lure?

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Right now the single most influential historian in the world is probably Thucydides, an ancient Greek who wrote the definitive account of the Peloponnesian War between the city-states of Sparta and… Simon Caterson Daily Review But while a knowledge of the classical world is handy in discerning historical patterns and analogising international relations, how useful is it really in understanding the true nature of the… As we seek to learn all we can from the lessons of history, it is ... Read More »

What does the Anna Stubblefield case teach us about sentencing and sexual assault?

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Analysis A former chair of philosophy at Rutgers University had sex with a man who can’t speak. RN By Eleanor Gordon-Smith for The Philosopher’s Zone ABC The resulting court battle raised questions about when and why suffering matters in sentencing — and Anna Stubblefield went to jail. You might remember reading about it in the New York Times. For a minute it looked like the story would end there: Stubblefield looking open-mouthed over her shoulder in the black and… What ... Read More »

Should you get a vote if you don’t understand politics? Academics offer democracy rethink

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Democracy has always been a messy form of government and is often unpredictable. RN By Antony Funnell for Future Tense ABC Both qualities can be a strength, but as we know from recent international experience, they can also be a liability. The election of Donald Trump, for instance, produced a result at odds with the wishes of the majority of voters. Elsewhere in the world, in democracies like Turkey, Hungary, Poland and the… Should you get… Read More »

Making Athens Great Again

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How does a citizen respond when a democracy that prides itself on being exceptional betrays its highest principles? REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN The Atlantic Plato despaired, but he also pointed the way to renewal. What happens when a society, once a model for enlightened progress, threatens to… Making Athens Great… Read More »

Are Soas students right to ‘decolonise’ their minds from western philosophers?

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Outraged headlines erupted when students launched a campaign to challenge the great western philosophers. We went to the source of dissent – London’s School of Oriental and African Studies – to investigate Kenan Malik The Guardian “They Kant be serious!”, spluttered the Daily Mail headline in its most McEnroe-ish tone. “PC students demand white… Are Soas students… Read More »

Is Humanism Really Humane?

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This is the tenth in a series of dialogues with philosophers and critical theorists on the question of violence. Natasha Lennard and Cary Wolfe The New York Times This conversation is with Cary Wolfe, who is the director of the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice University and the founding editor of the Posthumanities book series at the University of Minnesota Press. Natasha Lennard: “Posthumanism”… Is Humanism Really… Read More »

Free Ebooks: These Five Freedom Philosophers Will Liberate Your Mind

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We at FEE are happy to present the Essential series, five free ebooks collecting the key works of five great freedom philosophers: Leonard Read, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, F.A. Hayek, and Frédéric Bastiat. In each of these compact anthologies, you will find a powerful case for liberty. Dan Sanchez  But the ideas within are not mere fodder for debate. Like all great sages, these authors offer true wisdom that can inspire you and benefit you personally in your own life. Here ... Read More »