An Ethical Argument for Philosophy Co-Authorship; on Friendship and Disagreement

This piece was co-written and co-published with Eric Schliesser. The most dazzling example of co-authorship is Paul ErdÅ‘s, who co-wrote more than 1400 papers in mathematics with 485 collaborators. (What is your ErdÅ‘s number?) To do this, he became functionally homeless: “His modus operandi was to show up on the doorstep of a fellow mathematician,… Continue reading An Ethical Argument for Philosophy Co-Authorship; on Friendship and Disagreement

Citizen, Renew Thyself

Barack Obama Teaching Power Analysis

A citizens movement doesn’t have to be leaderless, but the kinds of leaders ensconced at the top of large institutions are not well-suited to be the leaders of civic renewal movements. They can inspire and celebrate such movements, but neither Barack Obama nor Bernie Sanders nor Pope Francis can lead them. Their institutional authority appears to be inimical to the very bottom-up power they’re trying to engender.

Modernity and Despair: What Should We Hope For?

Modernity of our sort produces a certain kind of despair and helplessness because the primary sources of hope are technological development and the institutional efforts of technocrats. The best hope of progress is always elsewhere: the Supreme Court, Silicon Valley, the Justice Department. Looking back we see lots of progress but no role for ourselves in achieving more.