‘Philosophy in the news’ Category

Happy World Philosophy Day!

My, my how the year has flown! It’s already World Philosophy Day again! This UNESCO-sponsored day seeks to…well, we can’t say it better than the director of UNESCO: “Faced with the complexity of today’s world, philosophical reflection is above all a call to humility, to take a step back and engage in reasoned dialogue, to […]

Dude, I’m sure you’re right; the transcendental analytic IS the key to the whole thing. Now, just put the gun down.

News agencies are having something of a dry-humor field day with the report that two guys standing in line to buy beer in Rostov-on-Don, Russia got into a fight about Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The fight became so heated that one guy actually pulled out a gun and shot the other guy. Apparently the […]

Socrates: Will Chicago Greeks find you innocent?

Dang! Wouldn’t we like to be in Chicago right this minute with a hundred dollars in our pockets???? We could watch Socrates being retried. By real lawyers and a judge! Check out some news coverage of the REtrial of Socrates. Does this mean we can look forward to a revised version of the Apology?

Britain officially apologizes to Turing

According to the Times, British P.M. Gordon Brown has issued an official apology for the inhumane treatment it visited upon mathematician/philosopher and WWII codebreaker Alan Turing. Turing, who was gay, was convicted of “gross indecency” and forced to take female hormones. He committed suicide at age 41. Read the full article here: Britain Apologizes to […]

In Memoriam Leszek Kolakowski

The Polish-born philosopher Leszek Kolakowski died July 17 at the age of 81. Theoretically, his work moved from Soviet-style Marxism, to Marxist humanism, to a view that eventually rejected Marxism altogether, on the grounds that it was guilty of all the sins of capitalism, plus a few of its own. His sizeable corpus includes everything […]

Welcome home Sara Jane

The Reverend Paul Tidemann, who recently spoke at our biennial “Mom, Dad, I’m a Philosophy Major” dinner, shared with us the following remarks he wrote regarding Sara Jane Olson, who has been paroled from prison after serving a sentence for her involvement in the activities of the Symbionese Liberation Army, during the Vietnam War. Tidemann’s […]

Examined Life: The Movie!

Yep, you read right.  “Examined Life,” a new film by Astra Taylor, takes you into the heads of eight real, live, honest-to-gosh, dues-paying philosophers. (Okay, just kidding about the dues part.) Watch for its DVD release soon…but in the meantime, check out this trailer.

Ghana: Post Independence Reflections

On March 6, the fifty-second anniversary of Ghana’s independence, the Philosophy Department hosted a small gathering in the Courtyard Café, to celebrate that independence (and the role of its leader, the philosopher Kwame Nkrumah), and also to learn about Ghana today. We heard from three Ghanaians who are a part of the Gustavus community: Sidonia […]

Reflecting on the current crisis: an invitation

Last Sunday morning, while driving to Minneapolis, I happened to catch a radio program on which eight prominent intellectuals–ethicists and environmentalists, theologians and historians, scientists and artists–spoke about the current economic crisis. Well, sort of. They weren’t talking about subprime mortgages or TARP or whether or not to nationalize the banks. Instead, they were considering […]

Happy Birthday, Ghana!

Today, the West African nation of Ghana celebrates its fifty-second  independence day. Ghana  is  the first African nation to declare its idependence from colonial rule, which it did in 1957. The nation holds a particular significance for some philosophers, because its first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, was himself a philosopher. Nkrumah studied in the United States, […]