One of the most interesting things about 2016’s badness is that it seems to have left us in a position where we basically understand nothing at all any more: the liberal political consensus, which viewed both Brexit and President Trump as impossibilities, has been left utterly fragmented, leading to the widespread belief that we have now entered some dark age of “post-truth” politics.
Does America have a religion? It seems a strange question to ask. Some Americans have one religion, others another; many have none at all. If there is one conviction about religion that nearly all Americans share, it is that religion is a private matter that each of us is free to arrange as he or she thinks best.
Richard A. Posner, judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School (and pragmatist) writes:
It was no surprise that the Supreme Court held Friday that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. It is very difficult to distinguish the case from Loving v. Virginia, which in 1967 invalidated state laws forbidding miscegenation.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn’t come here to give a speech, I came here to go to jail.”
If philosophy is, as the name suggests, about loving wisdom, then it shouldn’t be something that is practised by only an erudite few. The argument that wisdom is valuable for everyone, and the life spent pursuing it is itself a good life is not some sort of Pollyanna idealism, but a pragmatic hope that philosophical reflection (what academic and novelist David Foster Wallace simply called “choosing what to think about”) can and does give life meaning.
Yes, our view ultimately is that there is an intimate connection between epistemology and democracy