Philosophy Articles

Kristol on Bloom on Plato

1:04 PM, Nov 27, 2015

In his newsletter this week, the boss reported that "our friends over at National Review  asked several contributors to write brief reflections for their 60th anniversary issue (by the way, congratulations!) about what book influenced us the most." The boss encourages everyone to take a look at the interesting symposium, featuring contributors like Elliott Abrams, Wilfred McClay, Garry Kasparov. And he reproduced his own answer to the question of what book may have influenced him the most. Here it is, for readers who may have missed that issue of National Review:

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Marco Rubio, Bad Guidance Counselor

No, welders do not make more money than philosophers.
7:32 AM, Nov 11, 2015

Maybe he is the Republican Obama after all. Like the outgoing president, Florida senator Marco Rubio is charismatic, self-assured, and intelligent, as his performance in Tuesday night’s debate displayed. Alas, also like the president, Senator Rubio harbors an anti-intellectual streak, one that is both wrong in its premises, as well as on the facts.

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Rubio: 'We Need More Welders and Less Philosophers'

'For the life of me I don't know why we stigmatize vocational education.'
10:09 PM, Nov 10, 2015

During Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate, Marco Rubio articulated his disagreements with increasing the minimum wage, and explained his alternative ideas. 

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Leo Strauss Online!

12:00 PM, Jun 15, 2015

I'm not sure what the great political philosopher Leo Strauss would have thought of the Internet (he was a skeptic about progress, but also a skeptic about reaction). I personally think he would have appreciated aspects of it. Perhaps he would have even written an essay on "Persecution and the Art of Tweeting." Or not.

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What Do Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina Have In Common?

Very, very little.
9:03 AM, May 04, 2015

Whatever one makes of either one of them, the similarities between Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina (who’s just announced she’s running for president) stop more or less at the chromosomal level. Fiorina is an accomplished (if controversial) businesswoman; Palin, a half-term governor and television star. Fiorina is a graduate of Stanford (with a degree in philosophy and medieval history) and MIT (with a master’s in management); Palin received a degree in, alas, journalism.

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Great Awakening

What you see is what you get, philosophically speaking.
Apr 27, 2015


John R. Searle, the Slusser professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, is a philosopher in the tradition of Wittgenstein. He wants to clarify things. That is, he thinks there are two big mistakes philosophers have made throughout history, and Descartes popularized both. 

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Rick Perry: 'Running for the Presidency Is Not an IQ Test'

7:05 AM, Dec 11, 2014

An MSNBC reporter asked Rick Perry in an interview that aired this morning whether the Texas governor is "smart enough to be president of the United States." Perry responded that "running for the presidency is not an IQ test."

Watch here: 

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Anti-Saint Nicholas’ Day

2:32 PM, Dec 09, 2013

Anniversaries come thick and fast. But 500-year marks are still rare, reminders of a simpler time, a different world.  We look back to Columbus and forward to the Reformation without understanding the epochal revolution in between that made our time, our world.

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Article of the Year: Mansfield's ‘Machiavelli's Enterprise’

6:40 AM, Oct 16, 2013

On board the ms Noordam sailing from Italy to Greece, with a break from both sightseeing and panels, it seemed advisable to me 1) to ignore the goings-on in Washington, and 2) to find time for an article I'd set aside to read, Harvey Mansfield's "Machiavelli's enterprise" in the October New Criterion. Mansfield uses the occasion of the 500th anniversary of The Prince to provide an explanation of the famous first paragraph of its fifteenth chapter. In doing so, Mansfield provides an extraordinarily compressed but accessible account of Machiavelli's significance as the founder of modern philosophy and of the modern world. It's my pick for best article of the year.

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A Christian Realist, par Excellence

Jean Bethke Elshtain, 1941-2013
Aug 26, 2013

Jean Bethke Elshtain may have been the busiest woman many of us had ever met. Shuttling back and forth between her regular teaching appointment at the University of Chicago and her settled home in Tennessee, she wrote and wrote—and wrote and wrote. Essays, talks, books, memos to fellow directors on the almost endless number of boards on which she served. Letters, emailed comments about her friends’ latest work, notes on current theological and political issues: a ceaseless flow of words.

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Obama Cites Immanuel Kant

9:00 AM, Jun 19, 2013

President Barack Obama, speaking today in Berlin, cited German philosopher Immanuel Kant:

"For thousands of years, the people of this land have journeyed from tribe to principality to nation state to reformation and enlightenment. Renowned as the land of poets and thinkers, among them Immanuel Kant, who taught us that freedom is the unoriginated birthright of man and it belongs to him by force of his humanity."

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'Who Killed the Liberal Arts?'

11:04 AM, Jun 03, 2013

Andrew Ferguson, along with Joseph Epstein and Peter Robinson, on "Who Killed the Liberal Arts?"

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Dem. Senator: ‘It Took Me a While to Figure Out’ Belief in Gun Rights Is Based on a Philosophy

7:49 AM, Apr 15, 2013

Democratic senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut admitted this morning that "It took me a while to figure out" that belief in gun rights is based on a philosophy:

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Amtrak's Pride

11:37 AM, Aug 10, 2012

Federally funded, low-speed train service Amtrak has launched a website to show its support for the gay pride movement and with the hopes of attracting additional clientele.

The Hill reports:

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Remembering Friedrich Hayek

4:38 PM, May 08, 2012

Remembering Friedrich Hayek, whose birthday is today. He was a philosopher and economist and wrote many wise things, including this:

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.

George Orwell, no fan of capitalism, writing in 1944, made this point in a review of Hayek's The Road to Serfdom:

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'The Other War on Poverty: Finding Meaning in America'

7:08 AM, May 05, 2012

Worth watching or reading: Leon Kass's Irving Kristol Address, "The other war on poverty: Finding meaning in America," delivered earlier this week at the American Enterprise Institute's annual dinner:

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SpongeBob 101

The philosophical approach to high and low culture.
Nov 14, 2011

Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture expounds Immanuel Kant’s defense of retribution as a duty intimately related to “respect, honor, and what it means to be a valuable person living a worthwhile life in a community of other moral persons. When,” on the other hand, “Rorschach administers punishment, say by drowning Big Figure in the toilet,” that seems barbaric. “Indeed, drowning a midget in a toilet isn’t aesthetically pleasing; it doesn’t look ‘right.’ ”

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Live and Let Live

The mortal implications of man’s place in nature.
Apr 04, 2011

The Immortalization Commission

 Science and the Strange Quest

to Cheat Death

by John Gray

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