“Speaking as a human being …” on identity (politics) and intersectionality.

Excellent Op-Ed in the New York Times from a couple of weeks ago by (my once-upon-a-time teacher) Kwame Anthony Appiah, applying his usual clear, precise, urbane style to the question of why it is so common (and perhaps troubling) for people to speak as representatives of a group: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/opinion/sunday/speak-for-yourself.html Here's part of his argument: Being …

Vichy Republicans

I repeat this excellent and precisely chosen adjective from a piece by Frank Rich: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/trump-impeachment-the-endgame-comes-into-view.html But surely every Republican who has not come out against President Donorhea by now - Representative, Senator, opinion leader, spokes-Huckster, donor - is a Vichy Republican? Surely the argument is only whether the appropriate category is Fool ("Socialism! The email …

Needing Hume

Like many other philosophers, I've always had a soft spot for him: a 12-cylinder genius, and yet a wonderfully plain writer with the lightest of touches - but above all (by all accounts) a wonderful man: modest, funny, friendly, and generous. Not a mere dabbler in scepticism, he saw that there is a deep, deep …

On Tyranny

Here are seven favorite quotations from historian Timothy Snyder's superb short book of the same name: When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching with torches and pictures of a leader, the end is nigh. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon …