A Letter From London, Where a Philosopher Ponders Self-Isolation, the Social Contract, and When the Pubs Will Reopen

The Current Crisis Is Forcing Londoners to Decide What Kind of City They Want to Live In

It has now been more than 20 weeks since the start of some form of lockdown for Londoners. As we slowly come to terms with the relaxing of restrictions and hesitantly discover which formerly “everyday” activities are no longer on hold (if not illegal), we are also starting to reflect on what has happened to us this year. As a teacher and writer of philosophy, I have been trying to make sense of the situation.

One of my favorite philosophers is Ludwig Wittgenstein, who is widely regarded as the foremost …

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star

Let Nonpartisan Scientists and Doctors Lead the State’s Daily COVID-19 Briefings

Dear Governor,

Your lunchtime COVID-19 briefings—“Newsom at Noon”—are must-see TV.

No California governor has ever had such a regular, closely observed platform, and you are making the most of it. Your …

California, Don’t Let Your Greatest Thinker Die | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California, Don’t Let Your Greatest Thinker Die

The Wisdom of 19th-Century Philosopher Josiah Royce Is Needed Now More Than Ever

If you’re a Californian who doesn’t know the name Josiah Royce, shame on you. And shame on the schools, libraries, and intellectuals who have allowed us to forget the greatest …

The Crisis of Fake News Isn’t News At All

Technological Change, Skepticism of Authority, and Relentless Politicization Have Always Undermined the Power of Facts

To be human is to have cognitive bias. And these human biases—and the institutions that benefit from promoting these biases—have fueled the current epidemic of fake news and the rejection …

No, We Do Not Have a “Nihilist” in the White House

Far From Being “Mindless,” This Nineteenth Century Philosophy Requires a Deliberate, Desperate Awareness of the Horror of Our Condition 

There has been, quite literally, much ado about nothing of late. Shadowing the rise of Donald Trump is the rise of what Friedrich Nietzsche called the “uncanniest of guests”—namely, nihilism. …