EducationFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionO.O.P.S.Power and Crisis

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment in an Early Modern Science Course?

Reflections on continuous contingent foundations for liberal education and liberal democracies

In my final post of the old year , I promised that my next post would defend my claim that “however much I believe the liberals’ heart is in the right place, I believe the critiques of liberal universalism both within the academy and without hit home in some real ways, not least in terms of the self-delusion we liberals have all-too-often suffered about our own tolerance of, and even appetite for, cruelty.” Such a promised defense is only the more necessary in light of David Kretz’s response, which among many other interesting things, raises the question about whether or not a liberal arts college today, …

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FeatureLetters

I Can’t Give Everything Away: on David Bowie’s Final Song

I had heard snippets of “Lazarus”, the third song on David Bowie’s new release “Blackstar”, on the radio last week. The announcer described it as part of Bowie’s newest “jazz album”, although the strongest connection I could detect with jazz was the omnipresence of the saxophone as a lead instrument. Whether the album was “jazz” or not did not concern me all that much. I thought the song was excellent …

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O.O.P.S.Theory & Practice

Spinoza in Love

In Part III of the Ethics, Spinoza begins to diagnose more deeply what it means to be a finite mode (e.g., a human being). In his attempt to address “men’s way of living” and contravene the erroneous conception of “man in Nature as a dominion within a dominion” (III Preface), Spinoza details a love that is largely passive rather than active. Though it will become very important, the active form (termed “nobility”) that “destroys” hate is only hinted at here …

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