AN ORIGINALIST INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 3 OF THE 14TH AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
3M ago
  Originalism is the name for a theory of interpretation of the United States Constitution. It says that provisions of the Constitution should be interpreted as they were understood by the and the judiciary at the time of their adoption. Originalism should not be confused with Textualism.  Originalism is historical and looks to the past when interpreting the Constitution.  Textualism is unhistorical.  Textualism ignores the history of constitutional provisions and looks only at the plain text.  For example, the textualist reading of the First Amendment says that “Con ..read more
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JOHN RAWLS ON THE PRINCIPLES OF A JUST WAR
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
4M ago
  Is the Israel-Hamas War a Just War? Part I  Preface In 1995, one year before his death, the renowned American philosopher John Rawls wrote an article titled “50 Years After Hiroshima." (Dissent Magazine). Rawls invited his readers to reflect on the question, “Was the bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki really a great wrong, as many thought then, or is it perhaps justified after all?” In August 1945, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima immediately killed 80,000 Japanese people.  Tens of thousands more died of radiation exposure.   Three days later anoth ..read more
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WHAT IS FREE WILL? JOHN SEARLE vs THOMAS HOBBES
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
5M ago
  What is Free Will?  John Searle v Thomas Hobbes Several years ago former University of California philosophy professor John Searle posted a video on YouTube about the difficulty of finding a solution to the problem of free will. In the video, staged as an interview of Searle by an interlocutor, he begins with a description of the centuries old stand-off between philosophers who say we have free will and those who deny this.  1. Philosophers who are pro-free will are often referred to as libertarians.  Searle says that one of the libertarian arguments is based on our d ..read more
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A PHILOSOPHER READS THE SECOND AMENDMENT Part II Guest Post by Merrill Ring
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
6M ago
  A PHILOSOPHER READS THE SECOND AMENDMENT  Merrill Ring  Part II The Second Amendment and the Human Appendix  So, what does the Second Amendment, the first clause of it, have to say about militias?  Worries about whether its talk of militias is relevant to the understanding of the whole has led to a failure to consider carefully what is actually said about militias there.  The amendment says that a militia “being necessary to the security of a free state”.    There is a simple question to be asked:  is that true?  Is a militia, well-regulate ..read more
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SHOULD DONALD TRUMP BE DISQUALIFIED FROM EVER RUNNING AGAIN FOR PRESIDENT?
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
7M ago
  Understanding Section 3 of the 14th Amendment  to the U.S. Constitution   Donald Trump Golfing at Bedminster in 2022     Here is a question that should be asked by every philosophy professor in their classrooms this term: Should Donald J. Trump be permanently disqualified from holding any office, civil or military, including the office of President? I ask this question because of a growing debate about whether Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be used to disqualify the former president from running for the office of Presi ..read more
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PLATO, LEONTIUS AND THE ANTI-VAXXERS
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
8M ago
  In Plato’s Republic, Socrates tells his interlocutor Glaucon a story about Leontius, the son of Aglaeon: “[Leontius] was going up from the Piraeus along the outside of the North wall when he saw some corpses with the public executioner nearby.  He had an appetitive desire to look at them, but at the same time he was disgusted and turned himself away.  For a while he struggled and put his hand over his eyes, but finally, mastered by his appetite, he opened his eyes wide and rushed toward the corpses, saying: "Look for ourselves, you evil wretches, take your fill of the beauti ..read more
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TAKING SIDES IN PHILOSOPHY
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
9M ago
  Should we take sides in philosophy?  I ask this question because I recently did an online search and found at least one hundred  ‘isms’ or 'schools of thought’ in philosophy, ranging from Aristotelianism to Empiricism, Existentialism, Hedonism, Idealism, Kantianism, Marxism, Nihilism, Platonism, Rationalism, Stoicism, and Utilitarianism, to name only a few philosophical isms. The very thought of choosing one of these philosophical schools and rejecting others is overwhelming.   But does a philosophy student need to take sides with a school of thought?  Should ph ..read more
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WOKE IDEAS, DRAG QUEENS AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
1y ago
  WOKE IDEAS, DRAG QUEENS AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM A man is convicted in a court of law for the crime of murder.  He is sentenced to life in prison.  Another man in ancient times named Socrates is convicted of corrupting the youth of Athens by teaching them to think critically, and for not believing in the official gods of Athens.  Socrates receives the penalty of death by poison.   Four hundred years later, a man named Jesus of Nazareth is nailed to a cross and killed for the crime of heresy.  Two thousand years after the death of Jesus, a young man in Montan ..read more
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THOMAS HOBBES, CHATgpt AND PLAGIARISM
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
1y ago
 Hobbes on Artificial People, Authors and Actors I was hoping that this headline would attract your attention.  What does Hobbes have to do with AI?  His Leviathanwas published in 1651, long before anyone could imagine that something artificial could be intelligent.[1]   Before I answer the question, let’s take a look at what has recently spurred the excitement about artificial intelligence (AI).  In November of 2022, “an AI chatbot that’s a human-like conversationalist”[2] was born.  Its inventors named it CHATgpt.  The word “chat” means that it can engage ..read more
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EVIL -- The Killing of Tyre Nichols
Houlgate Books
by Laurence D. Houlgate
1y ago
     EVIL I assume that everyone reading this blog post knows about the January 5, 2023 brutal beating and subsequent death of  19-year-old Tyre Nichols by six members of the Memphis Tennessee police department.[1]  In a recent television interview[2], Congressman Jim Jordan called the police beating of Tyre Nichols “an act of  evil.” This remark spread widely and approvingly on social media, although Jordan also said in the same interview that he doubted that anything can be done to prevent evil acts in the future.  ‘Evil’ is an ambiguous term that is use ..read more
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