–Arts and letters for the modern age–

Cathode Ray Zone

–Arts and Letters for the Modern Age–

Daniel A. Kaufman

Essays on Ethics and Normativity

Essays on Ethics and Normativity

The following collection of twenty-three essays summarizes my views on ethics and normativity, after a thirty year career in philosophy and in the wake of my recent retirement from teaching at Missouri State University. [1] Some Questions about Obligation [2] On a...

Liberalism and Kitsch

Liberalism and Kitsch

On a number of occasions, I have defended what I’ve taken to calling “procedural liberalism” on the grounds that in large pluralistic societies (a) one cannot expect one’s fellow citizens to share a common, substantive conception of the good, and (b) one cannot expect...

Hedonism

Hedonism

[Modern] Hedonism is the view that pleasure is the sole intrinsic good and that all other goods are either constitutive of pleasure or servants to it. It should not be underestimated. For one thing, Hedonism has ancient roots, going as far back as the Cyrenaic and...

Lives and Principles

Lives and Principles

This essay comes in the wake of an exchange I had some time ago on social media. (Well, perhaps not really an exchange, which suggests people actually talking to one another, something that never happened in this case.) Nicholas Christakis, of...

Virtue at Others’ Expense

Virtue at Others’ Expense

During some Thanksgiving or other, while preparing a big feast for over a dozen guests, the following item from Vox caught my eye.  How to host Thanksgiving dinner when everyone has a dietary restriction by Julia Belluz On holidays like Thanksgiving, we bring our...

Loved, not Owed

Loved, not Owed

Philosophers sacralize moral obligation and maintain that moral considerations are always overriding of all others, but ordinary people (as well as philosophers in their ordinary lives) hold actions done from earnest desire in higher esteem than those done from duty....

Morality Everywhere?

Morality Everywhere?

Over the last few years, I’ve been having a certain kind of argument, over and over again. It always starts with feeling compelled to defend something that I really like and which I would have thought it quite normal to like against emphatic moral criticisms from...