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Mark Silcox
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by Mark Silcox (Trigger Warning: While the ultimate purpose of this post isn’t to grouse ineffectually about the horrors of the academic job market, many of this blog’s core readership will notice familiar tropes from that overpopulated genre. I’ll also eventually advance a very broad hypothesis about moral axiology based... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Mark Silcox It’s Banned Books Week in the USA. Across the country public libraries are making a big fuss of this twenty-four year old event, and lots of scholars in the humanities are puttering around sporting badges, T-shirts, and other bling proudly bearing the legend “I read Banned Books!”... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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by Mark Silcox I'm the scholarly content editor for James Gunn's Ad Astra, an online magazine that publishes a lively mix of SF-themed fiction, poetry, and scholarship. Thought it might be worth scouting out potential contributors here, since I know there are a lot of SF enthusiasts among readers of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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by Mark Silcox One of the most difficult tricks to pull off when you’re teaching the Nicomachean Ethics is trying to sell Aristotle’s list of virtues. “But…why are there exactly twenty-two of them?” whines the enthusiast at the front of the room with three pens in his front pocket. “What... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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by Mark Silcox I never had a pet when I was a kid. My parents both grew up in Britain during the height of postwar food rationing, and perhaps understandably came to disapprove of the expenditure of scare resources on non-human animals while so many people were going without. When... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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by Mark Silcox In his “Oration on the Dignity of Man,” written in 1487 to deliver to an ecclesiastical conference in Rome, the twenty-three year old aristocrat, scholar, and part-time magician Pico Della Mirandola proposed that almighty God made man a creature of indeterminate and indifferent nature, and, placing him... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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by Mark Silcox Two of my favorite writers from the mid-twentieth century are C.P. Snow and C.S. Lewis. Both wrote entertaining works of fiction in the sober, learned idiom that I imagined intellectuals and academics spoke in all of the time, back when I was a clueless teenager. Both also... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Mark Silcox Billy had a framed prayer on his office wall which expressed his method for keeping going, even though he was unenthusiastic about living. A lot of patients who saw the prayer on Billy’s wall told him that it helped them to keep going too. It went like... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Mark Silcox Abstracts are being solicited for an anthology of essays on the significance of Robert Nozick’s “experience machine” argument for ethics, political theory, cultural criticism, and broader philosophical questions of value. In Anarchy, State and Utopia, Robert Nozick conducts a brief but famous thought experiment, in which he... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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By Mark Silcox So I’m guessing that almost everybody who contributes to this blog, and probably a high percentage of its readers, have fond and partisan memories at least one “popular,” non-specialist book about philosophy that they read at a turning-point in life. For me it was Will Durant’s hoary... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
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Mar 23, 2015