Those who claim that the end is nigh – today it’s anthropogenic global warming that’s most widely thought is going to do us in – are aware, are they not, that the world is going to come to an end sometime. Either it’ll be the universe having so expanded that we’ll freeze to death, or … Continue reading UNSOLICITED WORDS OF ADVICE INSTALLMENT #18
You and I allow each other to freely be in each other’s presence on condition that we won’t misbehave. Were this not so we’d all still be cowering in our caves, “and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” In aid of our being able to exit the cave we forfeit our … Continue reading WHY BLACK LIVES MIGHT MATTER AFTER ALL
I am not going to claim that all of us play host to revenge fantasies, because then I couldn’t deny – which I categorically do – that I certainly do. So everything I say here is prefixed by an I-hear-tell, or an I-have-a-friend-who. When I slip into the first person, plural or singular, or into … Continue reading WHAT DO REVENGE FANTASIES TELL US ABOUT ETHICS?
It never ceases to amaze me that whatever it is, it’s almost invariably a thing. Who knew, for example, that if you google “diary” and “Holocaust”, there are tomes upon tomes of articles on whether the Anne Frank diary was forged, and thousands upon thousands of people taking a keen interest in what I had … Continue reading UNDERSTANDING SERIAL KILLERS
Each of us has heroes. And in that, the having is enough. Which is just to say my hero needn’t be someone I aspire to be. I don’t aspire to be Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks or Malcolm X or Nelson Mandela, because I don’t aspire to be black. Not aspiring to be Irish I … Continue reading REGARDING HEROISM
“Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!” “Mais non, monsieur, zis eez our fly zupe, zee specialite de la maison.” How do we resolve this issue? By deferring to the intentions of the chef? But he might dissimulate, to save the restaurant from having to offer a reduction from my bill. So the more general … Continue reading THE NON-IDENTITY OF INDISCERNIBLES
There are a few things that I get that other people don’t. If this weren’t so I wouldn’t be of much use to them, now would I? So no, since it’s not hubris, no apology warranted, so none forthcoming. And then there are a few things other people get but I don’t. For example, I … Continue reading NECESSITATED HYPOCRISY
LESSON #1: DEFINING ONE’S TERMS Environmental Philosophy (henceforth EP) is that series of phonemes and/or chicken scratches that sustains itself by assiduously refusing to define any of the dozen or so terms which can then be randomized to form sentences which sound deep but say absolutely nothing. Unfortunately this same definition also applies to Continental … Continue reading A COMPLETE COURSE IN ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY SHOULDN’T TAKE MORE THAN TWENTY-THREE MINUTES. TIME ME.
I have a colleague who’s become a little bored with teaching modus ponens and the Meditations, and instead now fancies himself something of an authority on global warming. The way you become an authority, by the way, is by so declaring yourself. And so provided you’re not in proximity to anyone who really is an … Continue reading URGENCY
Here’s a newsflash for all those American servicemen serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. And for their wives. When you enlist in a nation’s armed forces, there’s an understanding that at some point you may be asked to go off somewhere to try to kill some people. No, not people who were trying to kill you … Continue reading IN DEFENCE … NO, MAKE THAT IN PRAISE, OF OMAR KHADR