. It is the week to think about it. The Democratic Convention, this week, like the Republican before it, will be utterly so. (Well, we’ll allow a small exception for Elvis’s performance on Wednesday night.) At the Democratic Convention 100 years ago, in 1912, Woodrow Wilson gained the nomination for the presidency on the 46th […]

Pythonian Philosophy

. In the spirit both of the most recent “Drowning Child” post and our current London Olympiad, we persevere in our arguments by exploring the nature of intellectual competition. The first video I actually share with my students in the opening week of my critical thinking class. It’s a hoot and does make a point. […]

Kicking the Tires on Democracy: Wisconsin & Labor

The surface of conservative arguments for ending collective bargaining in Wisconsin and other states is as deep as  a worn tread. GOP politicians all over the country, including Scott Walker, have been peddling the “pre-owned automobile” of a utilitarian argument in a crisis. “We need the tools,” they keep repeating like a FOX News talking […]

Wikileaks Unvarnished: the Power of Satire

Seek out someone who supports, however grudgingly, a continued U.S. effort in Afghanistan, who supports, too, the work of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Find a person opposed to remaining in Afghanistan who is also critical of Assange. In either case, listen, because you won’t have either opportunity often. Attitudes in controversy tend to be self-confirming, […]

Mind Games: a Demonstration

Robin Shephard, in his analysis of a BBC documentary on Jerusalem, offers us an example of bias and distortion at work. “Under international law,” [Jane Corbin] tells us earnestly, “East Jerusalem is occupied territory; its status shouldn’t be changed.” Well, good to know that we haven’t wasted much time before she introduces her very own, […]