Author’s Note (6/14/2018):This thesis has cause me a lot of trouble–mostly, I think, at this point, trouble in my own mind. Since writing it I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Even though this thesis is now over 10 years old, it lurks in the back of my mind as one of the most subversive things … Read moreJ. LAWSON THESIS (Stetson University, 2004, Citations Omitted): “The More Freely He Breathes: Colonialism In The United States”
I have wealth that doesn’t dissipate. I have wealth you cannot take away from me and cannot be depleted. I have a college education. Even though most people who have college degrees tend to make more money than people who don’t (Yup–it’s true!), I don’t want to focus on that. Because focusing on that is … Read moreThe Value Of A College Education
I specialized in ethics when I studied philosophy. There’s many aspects of ethics and one of them is adequate housing. I’ve recently written about housing here. It’s not an issue I’ve covered a lot on my blog, but it’s an issue I’ve discussed elsewhere quite a bit. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, NPR did a yearlong … Read moreHousing First and Housing Initiative of Florida
It’s estimated that about 7 million jobs will be lost due to automation over the next 10 years. Many of these jobs are cashier and general retail jobs. Already, Walmart has stores that are completely cashier-free. The savings in having automation is partly what drives these advances. Many people worry about lost jobs. And the … Read moreWhy UBI Should Become A Key Issue For Political Platforms
We expect artificial intelligence (AI) to be smart. We may even expect it to be smarter than us. Technology, after all, has an aura of intelligence around it in general and AI, perhaps, even more so. I want to examine some of the underlying normative aspects applied to AI. In particular, I want to ask: … Read moreSome Normative Reflections on AI
I’m going to share with you some things that have been kept quiet in my family for many years. It starts with my first memory. My first memory is of my dad beating my mom. It’s a sad memory and I’ve rarely told it to many people. I can still see my mom, in desperation, … Read moreTranscending My First Memory
I’ve become laid-back in my old age. I think I’ve also become more receptive to truth. In my quest to treat and think about schizophrenia, for example, I’ve turned in my old, piercing, rigorous mind and exchanged it for a more humble yet adventurous attitude. In the world of academia, we often find disparate conversations … Read moreDoes Finding Truth Require The Right Attitude?
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. However, the New Year coincided with some changes in me. They aren’t resolutions, but they are a general direction I’m taking my life. They range from pretty basic to seemingly difficult. They are as follows: Don’t date assholes. Go to the library more. Create a new idea. I’m doing … Read moreNew Year’s Resolutions
I care about truth. That’s truth with a lower-case ‘t’. I care about it a lot, honestly, which is why I’m concerned that some people have begun to make an idol out of Truth (with a capital T). During the linguistic turn in philosophy, we learned a lot can be gleaned from looking at how … Read moreMaking An Idol Out Of Truth
Back when I was a TA, I got really, really good at thinking on my feet. Super good. Time has worn on and I find myself preferring slow deliberation these days. I don’t think this is a sign of lacking intelligence, either. I think of it as both gaining intelligence and wisdom. We tend to … Read moreSlow And Steady Wins The Race?
Here’s a really good article on William James and pragmatism. An excerpt: In a world of chance and incomplete information, James insisted that truth was elusive but action mandatory. The answer: Make a decision and see if it works. Try a belief and see if your life improves. Don’t depend on logic and reason alone, … Read more“The Thinker Who Believed in Doing”
You’ve probably heard about the growing trend in Russia (and other places) for pregnant mothers to give birth to their children in America. This is, of course, not a very new idea. Some see it as exploiting a loophole. These folks ask: what can be done? Well, there’s several possibilities. Here’s a few: Do nothing. … Read moreOn Citizenship: The Problem With Birth Tourism
Stephen Hawking said at Google’s Zeitgeist conference that philosophy is dead. Hawking said that philosophers (who, ironically, developed science) haven’t kept up with recent developments in science. But is this true? There are certainly particular philosophers who haven’t kept up with science relevant to their area. However, there are top philosophers of physics who know … Read morePhilosophy Is Dead! Long Live Philosophy!
Ask anyone who worked with me. I was 100% philosophy, 100% of the time. Effort and study creates genius. And I think I was one. A stable one, too. I was in the middle of my graduate thesis when madness creeped up on me. It began slowly, with things I could handle, like derealization. Then, … Read moreI Was A “Very Stable Genius.” Then I Developed Schizophrenia. Now, I’m An Unstable Genius.
I think one of the most detrimental things one can do is identify with their career. I find so many people who do identify with their career. When they lose a job, when they retire, they lose their sense of identity. When one thinks in terms of oneself as how one sells one’s labor, one … Read moreIdentity And Your Career
John Rawls did it the traditional way. In Ancient Greece, often a person had to serve in the military before becoming a philosopher. While the two–philosophy and the military–may seem incompatible, I think they are most compatible. I will argue that, more than things like AI, we need thinking soldiers. John Rawls, of course, became … Read morePhilosopher-Soliders
People use signs, signals, actions and words in order to communicate. In the United States, I’ve been increasingly worried that we are starting to use different languages to communicate with one another. I don’t mean Spanish and English. I mean our whole landscape has become so polarized and many of us live in such information … Read moreA Series Of Misunderstandings: Political Communication In The Contemporary United States
Over the past few months, I have made contact with several experts in AI. This includes programmers and philosophers. I’ve come to these individuals with questions about the future of AI. I initially became interested in AI because of universal basic income theory. Some argue that AI has and will continue to take jobs away … Read moreMy Rose-Colored Glasses: The Future of AI
I recently came across this quote by Queen Victoria: There are segments of society who think people like artists, philosophers, the intelligencia and general freethinkers are dangerous. I won’t argue at length on this point. I personally think that while these people may be creative, innovative and overall hell-raisers, they are not what I would … Read moreYou Should Hire “The Dangerous Ones”
I’m super pleased that Jonathan Matheson agreed to be interviewed by me at The New Floridian on philosophy around Florida. Check it out!
I read a lot this year. Probably too much. I also wrote a lot. Writing is therapeutic for me. One quote I came across this year sums up my position this year–and probably for years to come. It’s from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile: I am not a great philosopher, and I care little to be one. … Read moreQuote of the Year
Great article at the Atlantic.
Recently I wrote a memoir. You can buy it at Amazon.
Interesting article at the Guardian.
I worked on the book Reading Barnard Williams (Routledge Press). I edited the work of Martha Nussbaum and Carol Rovane. The Editor of the whole project, Daniel Callcut, called me “a superb research assistant” in the acknowledgements section of the book. He also gave me a copy of the book, which he inscribed a comment to … Read moreMy Prized Possession
Interesting article about the humanities here.
There’s a good article here about the biases we all hold. I mean bias in the psychological sense. I learned a lot about bias as an undergraduate, and tried to root out as many as I could over the years. I can’t say that I’m perfect (who is?), but I think I’ve gotten better. I … Read moreOn Trusting Yourself, Knowing You Are Not Trustworthy
My undergraduate thesis in philosophy, entitled The More Freely He Breathes: Colonialism in the United States, explored indigenous colonization drawing upon work in Native Studies. All of my prior education prepared me for taking up the research role, during which time I consulted experts across campus, students, experts from other universities, American Indian philosophy, and … Read moreIndigenous Studies
I am still doing work for the journal I’ve mentioned. The other day, I worked on an essay by Robert Brandom. It was very interesting. I am lucky to have been able to work on papers of really great people.
I just received the new edition of Al-Mukhatabat Journal to edit. I will be working on that for the next few days.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say “favorite.” Maybe a philosopher you’ve spent a lot of time reading. I have to say that the philosopher I spent most time reading and trying to understand is Kierkegaard. I don’t want to get into politics or religion here necessarily, but there’s no way to really understand Kierkegaard without understanding Christianity. … Read moreDo You Have a Favorite Philosopher?
Today is World Philosophy Day. The U.N. put out a statement regarding the celebration of this day. I studied philosophy for several years, and still keep active in the field by being on the editorial committee of an academic journal. I remember my first philosophy professor, Dr. Rob Brady, at Stetson. He was a dear … Read moreWorld Philosophy Day
I started researching indigenous studies as an undergraduate. I did my senior thesis on Native American colonization. I developed some great friendships and gained excellent experience. I have written, given lectures, and invited talks on indigenous studies. I am acquainted with top scholars in the area. One of them, Steve Russell, wrote a very interesting … Read moreIndigenous Studies
It’s hard to believe that it was six years ago that I was working on the book Reading Bernard Williams. I was privileged to edit some really great essays, and gain valuable experience in editing and writing. Although the editor, Dr. Daniel Callcut, was kind enough to give me a hard-copy, I bought the e … Read moreSix Years Ago
I am currently on the editorial committee of Al-Mukhatabat Journal. This quarter’s edition was recently released. I edited the English entries in the journal, including the work of Hilary Putnam, and Colin McGuinn.
As many who know me know, I worked in academia for quite some time. In fact, I still do. I am on the editorial committee of an academic journal. But that’s not all. I am also on Academia.edu. This is a great site in which I can follow academic topics I am interested in. I … Read moreAcademia.edu