No Sensible Knaves: On the Surprisingly Fundamental Rationality of Empathy

You enter the lab of a mad scientist and see two operating tables. On one, a second individual—“Patient B” for future reference—lies in an anesthetic slumber. The other table is for you. The good(?) doctor explains the procedure for which you’ve volunteered(?) as follows: You will be put under, and while your consciousness is offline … Continue reading…

Some Clarifications on the Scientific and Manifest Images

Over on The Electric Agora, a philosophy blog I sometimes haunt, a bit of spat has recently erupted over Wilfred Sellars’ “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man” and to what extent certain reductionist or eliminativist programs contradict the “stereoscopic vision” (in which the Scientific and Manifest Images overlay and complement, rather than compete with, each … Continue reading…

Affirmations of a Metaphysical Minimalist

You are stronger and more flexible than you think you are. The world can be faced squarely, embraced despite its lack of readymade handholds; you must simply grow to the task. Our home is a desert, yes, vast and protean and inhospitable but a home—a biome—nonetheless. Its water kept not within the mirages we chase along its … Continue reading…

On (some of) Tuvel’s Defense of Transracialism

The professional philosophical community has been in a bit of an uproar lately following the publication in Hypatia of Rebecca Tuvel’s provocative “In Defense of Transracialism” (paywalled content, but the abstract is available). Daily Nous has a not-exactly-unopinionated write-up of the controversy here. I’ll avoid comment on the kerfuffle for now, but I do want … Continue reading…

More-dan Peterson: Video and Additional Comments

This title is bad and I should feel bad. …anyway, Jordan Peterson has now posted the video of his UWO talk: Helluva clickbait-y title for a talk that proceeded without disruption or protest. Really makes you think you’re in for a repeat of McMaster. Two quick further thoughts: (1). At around 12:15, he begins his … Continue reading…

Objective Morality: A Back-of-the-Napkin Sketch

One afternoon a while ago I was bored and decided to answer one of the many Quora.com questions on objective morality–namely, on how such a thing could be possible. This proved a useful exercise in distilling my moral theory down to a fairly succinct, fairly outsider-friendly sketch, and I thought it might be helpful if I … Continue reading…

On the Jordan Peterson Thing: Some Observations

A couple days ago, I attended Jordan Peterson’s talk at Western University. For those who don’t yet know who Dr. Peterson is, this will give you enough of the relevant background. I attended this talk for three principal reasons: (1) I wanted to see what would happen. Peterson has attracted, in a very short time, … Continue reading…

Far Right Politics and the Scourge of Honor: Some Lessons from the Afflicted

Confession time: I’m really kind of a jerk. This might surprise many of my newer friends and acquaintances—at least, I hope it does—but the truth is, there’s an awful lot of rage, arrogance, and pettiness in me. I’m quick to anger and oversensitive to signs of disrespect. I hold grudges far longer than even the … Continue reading…

On Moral Buck-Passing

I want to discuss an issue that’s been looming increasingly large for me as of late. It presents, I think, an incredibly thorny problem, and I’d like to workshop some possible solutions or constructive approaches. I’ll be looking at the issue here through the lens of consequentialism. Other moral theories undoubtedly have unique takes on … Continue reading…