Category Archives: value

Questions for a New Agrarianism

Around July 2014, I somehow stumbled across the work of Wendell Berry. He’s hard to describe accurately so I’ll just grab the first line of his Wikipedia entry: “American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer.” The first book of his I read was actually a collection of essays, The Art of the Commonplace, […]

atheism, privilege, and the value of truth

An internet buddy, Chris Arnade, recently asked what I thought of this piece: “The people who challenged my atheism most were drug addicts and prostitutes.” My resulting thoughts turned out to be more than comment-sized, so here we are. By way of background, Chris has a PhD in physics and worked on Wall Street for […]

life, liberty, and bodily integrity: thoughts on routine infant circumcision

A while back, I shared this blog post on Twitter: the only necessary argument against routine infant circumcision Although I’ve lost track of the @replies, I recall that there was significant pushback from a couple of my followers, and so I wanted to say more about the issue. Basically the argument offered at L’Hôte is this: […]

have your college and eat it too: consuming education

Today, I want to make what, to my economics-ish friends, are probably some painfully obvious points. However, I had never explicitly considered this angle on college/education before taking economics of education last semester, and I suspect that it’s something many others of even my rather intelligent friends and colleagues have also failed to consider in […]

on the non-normativity of value-added analysis

As you are likely to have heard by now, the Los Angeles Times recently conducted and published a value-added analysis of some of the city’s elementary school teachers, using data that had been collected by the school district but never previously analyzed in this way. There was a nice summary of the value-added analysis and […]

so be good for goodness sake

I’m taking a break from serious content to bring you frivolous xmas post, 2009. You know that song “Santa Clause is Coming to Town?” It contains the lyric: “so be good for goodness sake.” But this is clearly inconsistent with the content of the song, and it drives me crazy. Being good for goodness’ sake […]

teaching philosophy: possibility vs. plausibility

Here’s something with which I’ve noticed intro to philosophy students tend to struggle: the difference between it being possible that a theory is true, and the theory’s being plausible. Example: In the course I’m TAing this semester, one of the topics we discussed is the nature of value. In virtue of what does anything have […]

on the value of blogging

What value is there in blogging? Well, I suppose that depends on who you are. Some people blog to make money on advertising, some people network with business contacts or publicize themselves, some people are looking to share photography, etc. I am a graduate student in philosophy and education who hopes to make a career, […]