This month we saw a Democratic President of the United States seek an audience with the Pope, likely with the hopes he could regain his tarnished progressive image by having some of the Bishop of Rome’s credentials rub off on him. And if nothing else, this unusual state of affairs goes to show that the music of Prince, who, two decades ago sang “You can be the president, I’d rather be the Pope” is as relevant as ever.i
The following is an article I co-wrote with Sean Oakley; the original version appears in the American magazine The Daily Confidential.
By last month Pope Francis, or Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was a year in to his tenure as leader of the oldest and largest religious organisation on the planet. Bergoglio, formerly the archbishop of Buenos Aires, had taken charge of a church whose members believe him to be the final authority on all holy matters. And judging by recent media reaction it seems that some in the secular world are beginning to think the same. Read the rest of this entry
The character ‘Marx’ from the Kirby video game series. Don’t stare or you’ll get a headache.
NB readers only interested in video games should skip to the last section.
Intro to Philosotips
I’m very happy presently as I’ve just managed to access this site for the first time in many weeks (WordPress.com tell me they’ve got ongoing technical problems here in the UK). So I’m going to celebrate the best way I know how: dreaming up a whole new series of posts instead of carrying on with other series that are still only in their early stages.
These ‘Philosotips’ are short and simple hints for understanding key ideas in philosophy and related subjects. Inspired by my (hopefully) immanent enrollment on postgraduate degree in teaching, these tips are aimed primarily at teachers and their students, but will be accessible to all. At the outset I have 3 main aims: 1) correcting prevalent misunderstandings, 2) suggesting engaging analogies and other useful techniques for conveying the ideas, and 3) pointing out my favourite points among details that aren’t usually covered.
Read the rest of this entry
(NB: This is not a new essay; I have split the old one in two.)
Was Marx Right that People would not be Alienated Under Communism?
Three considerations prefigure an assessment of Marx’s account of workers’ alienation Read the rest of this entry
Part 1: What Is Alienation?
To know what Marx meant by ‘alienation’ is not straightforward because there is no single phenomena that he identified as alienating. Our colloquial usage of ‘alienation’ often refers to a feeling, but for Marx it need not be felt at all. Concepts of alienation were important in the idealist tradition contemporaneous to Marx, and were conceived of as the coming apart of something, the separation of essence from existence. Read the rest of this entry