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How to Stand Up For Human Rights in the Age of Trump

Ken Roth in Foreign Policy: One year ago, there seemed to be no stopping politicians around the globe who claimed to speak for “the people” but built followings by demonizing unpopular minorities, attacking human rights principles, and fueling distrust of democratic institutions. Today, a popular reaction in a broad range of countries, bolstered in some cases by political leaders with the courage to stand up for human rights, has left the fate of many of these populist agendas less certain. Where the pushback has been strong, populist advances have been limited. But where centrists have capitulated in the face of hatred and intolerance, the populists have flourished. As this struggle has played out, many Western powers have become more inwardly oriented, leaving an increasingly fragmented world. With the United States led by a president who displays a disturbing fondness for rights-trampling strongmen, and the United Kingdom preoccupied by Brexit, two traditional if flawed defenders of human rights globally are often missing in action. Meanwhile, Germany, France, and their European Union partners have been buffeted by racist and xenophobic political forces at home and have not always been willing to pick up the slack. And democracies such as Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, and South Africa have been heard actively defending human rights only rarely. The retreat of many governments that once championed human rights has left an open field for murderous leaders and their enablers. Mass atrocities have proliferated with near impunity in countries including Syria, Myanmar, and South Sudan. Authoritarian leaders... -

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Giving the Horse A Thorough Dental Exam

T1: Johns Hopkins announces that its Department of Philosophy is receiving a $75 million gift from investor Bill Miller—the largest single donation ever to a philosophy department. ¶ T2: Philosophers say, “This isn’t a good idea.” ¶ Oh, philosophers, I love you. ¶ There was some minor criticism of the donation in the comments on the post about it here at DN and also on social media, but it is most fully worked out in a post by University of Colorado Professor of Philosophy Michael Huemer, in a post at What’s Wrong?: ¶ I hate* to rain on anyone’s parade, but this is among the most wasteful charitable donations I’ve ever heard of (apart from gifts to even richer universities, like Harvard)… [*Note: Here, by “hate” I mean... -

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All-Night Philosophy Events At Over 120 Locations Worldwide Later This Month

Overnight “philosophy and ideas” events will be taking place all around the world later this month.  ¶ From January 27th to 28th, the Brooklyn Public Philosophers, in conjunction with the Brooklyn Public Library and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, will be putting on A Night of Philosophy and... -

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The Documentary "The Final Year" Shows What the Obama White House Was Doing While We Were Obsessing Over Donald Trump

Julia Felsenthal in Vogue: In early December of 2016, a childhood friend then working at the Department of Commerce invited me to Washington, D.C., to attend a holiday party at the White House. It was only a month or so after the election returns had come in, well, not quite the... -

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Walker Percy Weekend ’18 Still on Percy I was very disappointed that I missed last year’s shindig! So check out this brief trailer and to keep apprised of the weekend’s emerging details, I suggest one signup here. Louisiananew orleansphilosophical literaturePhilosophyWalker PercyWalker Percy Weekend Man Without Qualities -


The Documentary "The Final Year" Shows What the Obama White House Was Doing While We Were Obsessing Over Donald Trump Julia Felsenthal in Vogue: In early December of 2016, a childhood friend then working at the Department of Commerce invited me to Washington, D.C., to attend a holiday party at the White House. It was only a month or so after the election returns had come in, well, not quite the way we’d all anticipated. My friends in New York were still largely catatonic. Everyone I knew who wasn’t a white man was genuinely pretty afraid. Everyone... 3 Quarks Daily -


How to Stand Up For Human Rights in the Age of Trump Ken Roth in Foreign Policy: One year ago, there seemed to be no stopping politicians around the globe who claimed to speak for “the people” but built followings by demonizing unpopular minorities, attacking human rights principles, and fueling distrust of democratic institutions. Today, a popular reaction in a broad range of countries, bolstered in some cases by political leaders with the courage to stand up for human rights, has left the fate of many of... 3 Quarks Daily -


All-Night Philosophy Events At Over 120 Locations Worldwide Later This Month Overnight “philosophy and ideas” events will be taking place all around the world later this month.  From January 27th to 28th, the Brooklyn Public Philosophers, in conjunction with the Brooklyn Public Library and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, will be putting on A Night of Philosophy and Ideas, “a free 12-hour exchange of ideas” with a variety of philosophers and other thinkers.  Ian Olasov, a PhD student in philosophy at CUNY and founder of Brooklyn... Daily Nous -


interview with Anthony Morgan Anthony Morgan has graciously allowed me to distribute the PDF of his interview of me, which was published as a chapter in his fascinating collection The Kantian Catastrophe? (Spoiler: I don’t think Kant was a catastrophe). PDF available HERE, on the American University in Cairo library server. Object Oriented Philosophy -


BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN Now that the arrangements have been made, I am hard at work preparing my first Marx lecture for a week from Monday.  It  feels good to be back again preparing to lecture.  As soon as this lecture series is completed, probably in early or middle April, I will start teaching an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute [OLLI] course here at Carolina Meadows, under the auspices of the Duke branch of OLLI.  The topic of the short... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Mini-Heap Looking for interesting stuff around the web, philosophers? Here’s the latest Mini-Heap—10 recent items from the Heap of Links, the frequently updated list of links to material elsewhere you might want to check out. The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the philosophical community, please send it in for consideration for the Heap. Discussion welcome. “U.K.’s immigration officers have denied a Pakistani humanist’s application... Daily Nous -


Happy Birthday, Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze! Study of an African’s Head, 1830 by Paul-Jean Flandron, Seattle Art Museum. I could not find a portrait of Dr. Eze that I could share, so I chose this powerful portrait instead. I used it to illustrate a piece shared here some weeks ago at O.P. by Dag Herbjørnsrud, which describes the ideas of the 17th-century Ethiopian philosopher Zera Yacob. Eze also studied Yacob’s ideas. Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, born in Nigeria on January 18th, 1963, made a... Ordinary Philosophy -


Giving the Horse A Thorough Dental Exam T1: Johns Hopkins announces that its Department of Philosophy is receiving a $75 million gift from investor Bill Miller—the largest single donation ever to a philosophy department. T2: Philosophers say, “This isn’t a good idea.” Oh, philosophers, I love you. There was some minor criticism of the donation in the comments on the post about it here at DN and also on social media, but it is most fully worked out in a post by University of... Daily Nous -


Benjamin Franklin’s Retirement and Reinvention William Thorndike Jr. in Harvard Magazine: Two hundred and seventy years ago this month, aged 42 and weeks from the midpoint of his long life, Benjamin Franklin did something highly unusual. He retired. Specifically, he sat down at a perennially cluttered desk in his cramped Philadelphia print shop and signed an innovative “Co-Partnership” agreement with his foreman, David Hall. The document was a scant two pages in length, but it immediately changed the trajectory of Franklin’s... 3 Quarks Daily -


Thursday Poem If You Would Read the Bible go tosome foreign place,Juarez, say,in Mexico,and listento a large woman,a powerfullaughing mother,talk abouther childrencrawling bare assedon the dirt floor,and about the wayroses growtrellised onan adobe wall,and thentry to write it downin a letter to a friend,in English –try to catchthe wordsas she said themuntil you recognizethere is no way- no way at all –to do itexcept to takeyour friend by the hand,returning to Juarez,and go to the woman,the laughing... 3 Quarks Daily -


CFA: Educating Character Through the Arts Educating Character Through the Arts University of Birmingham Conference Centre, 19th-21st July, 2018  Open Call for Abstracts From antiquity to the present, the virtues – construed in terms of such excellences of character as honesty, fairness, compassion and courage – have been widely regarded as integral to human moral life. But how might human agents – particularly the young – come to understand, or acquire, virtuous character? While many might nowadays look to empirical psychology or... Virtue Blog -


After the End of the World: 30 000 People Can't Be Wrong If you're anywhere near Barcelona do go to the CCCB and see After the End of the World, an exhibition I helped to design with five rooms designed by me with mini lectures about time, hyperobjects, waiting...things to do with ecological awareness. They just passed thirty thousand visitors! Ecology Without Nature -


Next Up: London and Iceland So London is for one of the Being Ecological launch events, at the LRB bookshop. They told me they were sold out weeks ago but you might get lucky...Then Reykjavik at the very beginning of February. Ecology Without Nature -


Freud article available online For anyone who wants to read it, I see that Repeater Books has posted my article “Freud’s Wolf Man in an Object-Oriented Light” on their website, HERE. It comes from the fascinating Charlie Johns anthology entitled The Neurotic Turn, which is well worth reading as a whole. Object Oriented Philosophy -


Photobook: Jameson Jenkins and the ‘Slave Stampede’ Rescue Jameson Jenkins’ lot in the Lincoln Home National Historic Site National Park in Springfield, Illinois, on 8th street next to the Henson Robinson House. On January 17th, 1850, Jenkins helped a group of 11 slaves escape northward, planting false rumors so that local papers would confuse the story and thus help the refugees evade capture. Jenkins was a drayman, and according to SangamonLink: History of the County of Sangamon, Illinois, ‘On Feb. 11, 1861, Jameson Jenkins drove [his near-neighbor]... Ordinary Philosophy -


What’s Wrong With Donating $75 Million to a Philosophy Department? Philosopher Mike Huemer (Colorado) has given What’s Wrong? permission to repost the following comments, which he initially posted on Facebook: I see that Bill Miller has given $75 million to the Philosophy Department at Johns Hopkins (https://www.bizjournals.com/…/bill-miller-donates-75-millio…). Background: Miller is a brilliant investment manager who, it turns out, once studied philosophy at Hopkins and believes that his philosophy training helped him to think clearly and cogently. I hate* to rain on anyone’s parade, but this... What's Wrong? -


The Outlaw Novelist as Literary Critic Benjamin Ogden in the New York Times: In a 2010 letter to his friend and fellow novelist Paul Auster, J. M. Coetzee made a remark that would not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his work: “I must say that I get impatient with fiction that doesn’t try something that hasn’t been tried before, preferably with the medium itself.” Coetzee has long believed that art is superior to sport because the artist gets to... 3 Quarks Daily -


The Outlaw Novelist as Literary Critic Benjamin Ogden in the New York Times: In a 2010 letter to his friend and fellow novelist Paul Auster, J. M. Coetzee made a remark that would not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his work: “I must say that I get impatient with fiction that doesn’t try something that hasn’t been tried before, preferably with the medium itself.” Coetzee has long believed that art is superior to sport because the artist gets to... 3 Quarks Daily -


SO BAD IT’S GOOD Bad art is bad. And bad things aren’t good. How can some art be so bad it’s good? John Dyck (CUNY Graduate Center) and Matt Johnson (Millersville University) have recently co-authored a paper for the Journal of Value Inquiry that answers this question. One possible answer they consider in the paper, and in a piece recently published at The Conversation, is that we are sort of awful people because we just enjoy others’ failings. Our pleasure, say, at... Aesthetics for Birds -