Category Archives: Philosophy

Automation and Utopia by John Danaher

A little while ago, I wrote this piece about work. I had just gotten a copy of John Danaher’s Automation and Utopia: Human Flourishing in a World without Work. I was looking forward to it and wanted to record some of my pre-read views on the topic. I finished the book and I wasn’t disappointed. […]

Libertarianism and Strawmen

Libertarianism has had a prominent position in America for my whole life. It goes by many names: free-market capitalism, classical liberalism, neoliberalism, monetarism, freedom, limited government, supply-side economics, and on and on. People who use these labels may protest that they are not all the same thing (I’ll address that in a little bit), but […]

Ethical Non-caring

There are approximately 7.85 billion people in the world. I care about dozens of them. Maybe over a hundred, but certainly less than 500. Which means there are approximately 7.85 billion people in the world that I simply don’t care about. It sounds a little strange, cold even, to say it like that, but it’s […]

The Irony of Philosophy Being the Ultimate Dead White Male Discipline

When I was in college studying philosophy, there was a lot of hand-wringing about how exclusive the discipline was. There was a noticeable lack of women and people of non-European descent. (Today we would add a lack of LGBTQA+ people, but it was the early nineties and that didn’t seem to concern anyone as much […]

Connections

The song Levon, by Elton John (@eltonofficial) and Bernie Taupin (#bernietaupin), opens with the line: Levon wears his war wound like a crown He calls his child Jesus ‘Cause he likes the name And he sends him to the finest school in town Then, there’s a line in Elton John’s and Bernie Taupin’s song Tiny […]

Why Are Progressives So Conservative?

I was driving with my daughter the other day when she asked, “Why do we have to pay for things?” I told her that there’s a cost to making things, so we have to pay that cost. She’s nine, so of course she asked another question, “But what about things that aren’t made? Why do […]

Friendship

I got a card in the mail from a friend. She wrote a little note inside saying that she was in town and thought of me, so she sent me a card. It wasn’t a huge gesture, but it made me really happy. That’s the power of friendship. It has a unique way of enriching […]

Do You Feel It?

I recently wrote a three part mini-series. Part one was on the self. Part two was on knowing other people. Part three was on Santa Claus. The connecting thread was the fact that these are three things that are experienced, but it is unclear (to say the least) in what sense they are real. I […]

Is Santa Real?

This is part three of my three part mini-series. Part one appeared two days ago and part two yesterday. They are separate, but linked, at least in my mind. Is Santa Claus real? That’s a question I had to deal with directly this year. I guess it’s something of a right of passage for parents […]

I’m Sorry, Do I Know You?

This is part two of a three part mini-series. Part one appeared yesterday. Part three will be tomorrow. While they do not have to be read together, I think they reinforce each other. When we say that we know someone, what are we saying? What is it that we’re claiming to know? The answer is […]