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Duncan Richter
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By Duncan Richter (N.B. I cannot vote, but I certainly would have voted for the UK to stay in the EU if I could. I am not a Brexiter. Also, I have addressed the question whether Morrissey is racist here.) Chris Bertram argues that "it is not unfair to think... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Duncan Richter This was going to be travel guide for the philosophically-minded to Vienna, but it struck me that there is oddly little reference to any of the Wittgenstein family in Vienna. How and why that is could be an interesting subject for a blog post, but if I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter The Brexit vote has come as a shock to many of us, as has the rise of Donald Trump. I think people are right to see the two as part of the same phenomenon. But I disagree that racism and stupidity, although those surely are a big... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter Phu Quoc is known for its beaches, and it is pretty much an island paradise (at least if you don't leave the hotel compound), but I found it much more interesting than that. There is a lot of development going on, so large parts of the island... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter I'm not going to try to say anything philosophical here, so if I end up saying anything philosophical it will be by accident. But I think that by not trying there is a greater chance that anything I do say that is philosophical will be more interesting... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter After Hanoi we drove to the country to eat a lot of peaches to stay in a village in the Mai Chau area. After three nights in the village (possibly called Na Chau, but I'm not sure) we moved to the Mai Chau Lodge, where I'm writing... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter From time to time I get to travel for free by doing a kind of babysitting (actually helping to supervise students and keeping track of money). It's a great job, as you might imagine. Right now I'm in Vietnam, and I plan to blog about each place... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter Polyface Farm is not far from where I live and I went to visit recently. Apparently twice a month they do a tour, so for $20 you can enjoy a hayride and hear Joel Salatin talk about what he does and why. As Wikipedia says, "Polyface Farm... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter I spent this past weekend at an ashram in rural Virginia. How could I not blog about it? The temptation with a place and experience like this is either to laugh at it or else to take it all with humorless seriousness. I hope to avoid both... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter I've been more disappointed with my students' writing this semester than I usually am, but don't know whether it's me or them. It's not just the number of students who don't seem to know the difference between 'then' and 'than', but more the number who seem to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter I went to see Nietzsche's favorite Shakespeare play--Julius Caesar--recently, and this summer will be in England where I'll go to as many Shakespeare plays as I can. So Shakespeare's on my mind, and recently thanks to Philip Cartwright (via the British Wittgenstein Society on Facebook) I discovered... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter Simon Glendinning has a very nice essay on education in the digital age at four by three magazine. He doesn't offer any concrete policy proposals but he does discuss Nietzsche, Heidegger, Dewey, Wittgenstein, and Derrida on the subject of education. Here's a good bit: Dewey is rightly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Duncan Richter If we are not proud of our provincialism in philosophy, what can we do? If you want to know more about African philosophy you could check out suggestions here or here. And one place to start as far as learning about Indian philosophy goes is the work... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter Apparently dictators like to write poetry, generally of the bloody awful variety. Who knew? I have nothing interesting or funny to say about it, but the link seems worth sharing. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter I first came across the debate between Descriptivists and Prescriptivists in David Foster Wallace's essay "Authority and American Usage." (If you're interested, my thoughts on it are here.) But now I see it all the time. Partly this is because so many of my friends and colleagues... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter The movie is The Revenant. I will not be giving anything away about the plot, I hope, because I have not seen it and have made a point of trying to avoid finding out anything about it. This has not been easy. People seem unusually keen to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter I don't think this has a name (until now!) but I imagine it's a familiar phenomenon. Here's an (extreme) example. When the school I teach at was preparing to admit women for the first time the question came up of what to do if a student got... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter In the final part of what has been an excellent series of posts on the process of getting a job in philosophy Allen Wood says some very strange things: The fact that they didn’t hire you is usually a sign that you wouldn’t have wanted the job... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter I like Wittgenstein, but there are ideas of his that seem to lend themselves to abuse fairly easily. This post is about them. A quick one to mention and get out of the way is a quotation rather than an idea. Whenever anyone quotes "The limits of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Duncan Richter Rowan Williams writes that: The speech of strategists and of politicians talking about military strategy is characterised by a narcissistic finality. There can be no real reply to the careful and reasonable calculation of the balance of mass killing in a nuclear war, because everything is so... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Duncan Richter My last post took a first stab at saying what can be bad about simplification, starting with Orwell's thoughts on language and some recent reflections on them by Rowan Williams. Now I've read Williams' full lecture and have more to say. The first thing I have to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter (with apologies to bzfgt, who does not like this song) There have been two essays published online recently that refer to Orwell's views on language. Orwell argues in favor of simplicity and clarity: one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter Gerald Dworkin has an interesting and interactive piece on lies at The Stone. I should probably just share my thoughts there with him, but I want to think through them here. Dworkin gives ten examples of lies that he thinks are justified, but I'm not sure they... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter It's not all bad news. My last post led to some good discussion here and here, which led me to Thomas Basbøll's excellent blog Research as a Second Language and this piece by Fredrik deBoer. Basbøll doesn't like my taste in music, and the video here is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
By Duncan Richter Here's how my life is. After irrationality at work has led me to drink and despair (I'm exaggerating) I see photogenic cables on my walk in to work in the morning, and then a crow that, while I'm watching it, swoops from its wire across the road... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations