November 2010

Levels of Reality

If you think about it, reality comes in many levels, each level involving different kinds of things, having different kinds of properties. Perhaps most people would think of things like dirt at the bottom level, then us at the next level, and the sky at the highest level. But philosophers have a different, more abstract concept of levels of reality.

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The Idea of a University

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Reading, Narrative, and the Self

This week’s topic is Reading, Narrative, and the Self. I suppose everybody has a pretty good idea of what each of those things, taken individually, means. Reading is something that most people do. A good narrative -- or story, to use a less fancy term -- is something most people enjoy. And a self is something everybody has. But I think I need to explain what reading, narrative, and the self have to do with each other.

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Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience is a great tradition. Particularly in America, where we have Thoreau, who refused to pay a poll tax, because the money supported the Mexican War and the Fugitive Slave Law. Then, there’s Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. And the Viet-Nam War protester. But then, as philosophers, we must ask, what exactly is civil disobedience?

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