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Electric Agora
A modern symposium for the digital age
A modern symposium for the digital age
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"I sometimes think back to my first phone conversation with Sandra and how she had asked me why I wanted to do Hospice. At the time, I was convinced that the sole reason was that I wanted to help others, but maybe, in the end, it was really I who benefited the most, by grieving vicariously through them, slowly moving on after having lost my dad. And unlike the answer I had originally given her, I doubt that she would have found this one to be a cliché."

https://theelectricagora.com/2016/09/30/vicarious-grief/

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"With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump placed as front runners for next president of the United States (POTUS), voters are being warned against voting for third party candidates. Exploiting fear of “third party spoilers” is routine in any close election, and is meant largely to keep party members from straying. That both major parties chose divisive figures for their standard bearers makes such fear mongering as necessary as it is ironic. While not advocating that people should vote third party, much less for any specific party, I want to challenge some common arguments made against voting third party, as well as point out how hypocritical they are."

https://theelectricagora.com/2016/09/11/first-party-spoilers/

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"I realize that the logical clunkers not only contribute to the dialogue’s charm, they also provide some really key teachable moments. For the sorts of mistakes that Socrates and his interlocutors make are common mistakes – very easy to make – and encountering them in a somewhat casual, dialogue-centered format, makes them easier to see, discuss, and ultimately overcome. Beyond great literature and sometimes very good philosophy, then, the Platonic dialogues are outstanding teaching-pieces, and I look forward to diving back into the world of Socrates, when I teach the Meno to my next group of students, this coming Spring."

https://theelectricagora.com/2016/09/08/course-notes-6/

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"Everyone is saying it — from senior politicians, to top military brass, to hoary political commentators, to editors of The Electric Agora: “I can’t vote for Hillary and I can’t vote for Donald Trump.” I can understand why so many have been moved to make this statement and God knows I empathize with the sentiment behind it. But I doubt that the arguments behind it, when there are arguments behind it, have very much force. And since so many have stated, in such a consequential election year, that they “cannot” vote for a candidate, I think we are owed some account of what forbids them. I want to explore some of the rationales usually given, as best as I can discern them, and suggest ways in which they may be inadequate. If my rebuttals are accepted, I do not see how one can escape the conclusion that we are obliged to vote for the best candidate, whomever he or she should be."

https://theelectricagora.com/2016/08/31/voting-and-the-lesser-of-two-evils/

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"It is rare that one will find near universal agreement as to the most important paper written on a particular subject, but that is exactly what we find with Judith Jarvis Thomson’s 1971 paper, “A Defense of Abortion,” whose impact on the discussion on the morality of abortion cannot be overstated.

One enormous service that Thomson’s paper does in the debate is dispense with a significant red herring, one that has done nothing but confuse the public conversation on the topic and render it irresolvable. That red herring is the personhood of the fetus, an issue that will likely never be resolved – because it is a conceptual, rather than an empirical matter – but which fortunately, need not be, insofar as it is irrelevant to the issue at hand."

https://theelectricagora.com/2015/10/07/this-weeks-special-judith-jarvis-thomsons-a-defense-of-abortion/

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Revisiting whether panpsychism is testable...
https://theelectricagora.com/2015/09/28/panpsychism-is-it-testable/

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