How To Be A Country That Will Not Tolerate a Dictator

A former student wrote to me this morning seeking guidance because, she fears, she is watching democracy crumble before her eyes. Referencing two of the books we read in a course five years earlier, the first by Jeffrey Goldfarb and the second by Jacques Derrida, she writes, Given the current situation I am looking back… Continue reading How To Be A Country That Will Not Tolerate a Dictator

Mourning and Organizing in America

Many of us are in mourning, but we need to think strategically about using this moment to change the fundamentals of our political regimes. Following last night’s electoral college victory, Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. At this moment, the following night, with 99% of precincts reporting, HRC has a… Continue reading Mourning and Organizing in America

Another day, another 10 score drowned at sea

Another day, another 10 score drowned at sea. If this were a just world, and not just a world, there would have been a bus waiting on the other side of the border, a bus that would ferry to safety those traumatized so much that they must leave their home.  That someone would flee home would be… Continue reading Another day, another 10 score drowned at sea

Stats on Philosophy Grad Placements

Vindication is sweet. Contrary to earlier reports from a certain corner of the philosophy blogosphere, a good number of pluralist philosophy Ph.D. granting programs excel at getting their students into tenure-track jobs. And they are also exceptionally good places for women to study philosophy. The database amassed by Carolyn Dicey Jennings and her colleagues (Patrice… Continue reading Stats on Philosophy Grad Placements

Austerity’s Stupidity

When I was a graduate student in public policy, way back in the 80s, the professor who taught development economics told an anecdote about this brilliant plan to put get a North African country in the black by taxing bread. As he correctly explained, that didn’t go well. So at 24 I already understood how… Continue reading Austerity’s Stupidity

Public Philosophy, on tap not on top

Over at Daily Nous a conversation is ongoing about public philosophy — who is doing it and what the public might want from it. This seems a good time to link to a document that Sharon Meagher wrote for the Kettering Foundation a few years ago, especially to make the point that the public-philosopher relationship… Continue reading Public Philosophy, on tap not on top

Robert J. Kingston

My dear friend and colleague at the Kettering Foundation, with whom I edited the Kettering Review since 1991, passed away on August 20 at the age of 87. Snatched too young. I took this picture in the summer of 2015, at the home he shared with his wife Carol Vollet Kingston. The Kettering Foundation has posted… Continue reading Robert J. Kingston

Analyzing Trump

Just after his second birthday, his mother gave birth to a baby brother and then she almost died. After childbirth she got an infection, had to have a hysterectomy then several other surgeries. From a psychoanalytic point of view, for the boy this was surely terribly traumatic. First there was this brute fact that mommy… Continue reading Analyzing Trump

Kettering Review 2016

The latest issue of the Kettering Review, a journal I co-edit for the Kettering Foundation, is now available for free online here. It includes pieces by Iris Marion Young, Daniel Yankelovich, E.J. Dionne, Vaclav Havel, and other luminaries. To get a sense of the overall issue, here’s the start of my editor’s letter: Over the… Continue reading Kettering Review 2016

Humanity & the Refugee: Another Stab at Universal Human Rights

I had the great pleasure of giving a keynote address today to the North American Society for Social Philosophy. Here’s how it starts and a few excerpts…. “The minimal definition of humanity, the zero degree of humanity, to borrow and expression from Barthes, is precisely hospitality.”  —Julia Kristeva Introduction Writing in his curious little book… Continue reading Humanity & the Refugee: Another Stab at Universal Human Rights