2016 Best List

Let those with enough time to consume all the media in a field decide on the objective bests-of-2016. What follows is a completely subjective list of bests, idiosyncratically limited by what I’ve actually had time to watch, read, or listen to: Best New Book in Philosophy: We don’t think hard enough about the metaphysics that… Continue reading 2016 Best List

Is Moral Progress Due to Moral Imagination or Condemnation?

Throughout the nineties, and to some extent in the last decade, there has been a certain brand of political thinker who just can’t imagine the motivation for cruelty. So alien is the concept that these folks (Richard Rorty and Judith Butler, for instance) have developed a deflationary theory of moral philosophy that simply advises us… Continue reading Is Moral Progress Due to Moral Imagination or Condemnation?


A candidate trying to decide between graduate schools recently asked me which “types of public administration, political, or civic problems you are attempting to provide solutions to with your research? ¬†For example, which questions are you tackling right now?” Of course, right now I’m grading. But in a slightly more general sense of “right now,”… Continue reading Questions

Interference, Coercion, Domination, & Powerlessness

[What follows is some dissertation-writing that I think is accessible to my blog readers. I had begun to amend it for SPEP before I gave up on the dual-submission idea, but it was close enough to the blog format that I thought I’d keep going and see what happens. Though I acknowledge this is a… Continue reading Interference, Coercion, Domination, & Powerlessness

Confessions of a Torturer

Just pulled this off Metafilter. A St. John’s grad turned interrogator speaks about what he did to innocents in Iraq: Confessions of a Torturer. There goes Martha Nussbaum’s thesis that the study of the liberal arts will cultivate an ethical sensibility, right out the window. That said, Mr. Lagouranis has a lot more to tell… Continue reading Confessions of a Torturer