I think we need to be alert to the historical context in which we speak about violence, including structural violence. Too frequently we take physical harm and/or killing as the only paradigm of violence. But this can blind us to other forms of violence that involve humiliation and suffering. But what is even more important …

Baseball and Post-Modernism

Crispin Sartwell’s article about post-postmodern philosophy and the real starts with an anecdote that is too relevant to my interests not to share here: When I was in graduate school at Johns Hopkins in the early 1980s, I played on the intramural softball team of the postmodern literary theorist Stanley Fish. I recall his umpiring …

“Shoot Her”: A Philosophical Example, Normalizing Violence Against Women

In describing his theory of speech acts, J.L Austin uses the scenario “Man1 says to Man2 "shoot her”, Man2 then shoots woman" as an example. Feminist philosopher Rae Langton, in an essay expanding upon the speech act concept and Catherine MacKinnon’s argument against pornography, reuses Austin’s example. I’d argue that the example shows how ubiquitous, and comparatively accepted, …

Heidegger’s Antisemitic Notes

From the New York Times:  “The so-called black notebooks, written between 1931 and 1941 and named for the color of their oilcloth covers, show Heidegger denouncing the rootlessness and spirit of “empty rationality and calculability” of the Jews, as he works out revisions to his deepest metaphysical ideas in relation to political events of the …

humansofnewyork: “I’m a philosophy professor.”“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”“Never make an exception of yourself.”“What does that mean?”“People like to make exceptions of themselves. They hold other people to moral codes that they aren’t willing to follow themselves. For example, people tend to …