philosophy Archive

Lydia Davis’s “Ethics” and the Instability of Logic

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The short stories of Lydia Davis, in spite of their infamous brevity, often work on at least three levels. In the case of “Ethics,” a paragraph-long fiction that humorously interrogates the Golden Rule, the story works as a character study, a reductio ad absurdum argument, and a larger

“Why Doctors Make Natural Writers”

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Doctors have been writers for as long as they have been doctors. The disciplinary divide between the humanities and sciences is a recent invention. Judging by the quantity and quality of writing by doctors in the past several decades alone, I might also suggest that some of our best

ARRIVAL and the False Dichotomy of Free Will vs Determinism

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ARRIVAL has been hailed for carving a space for the “literary science fiction movie,” and rightly so. Director Denis Villeneuve achieved the nearly impossible feat of making a compelling, relatively crowd-pleasing movie about linguistics, complete with a new alien language composed of 100 logograms, while also weaving in themes of

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Hey Poets. Get in the News.

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YOU GUYS. On January 29th, headlines declared that a poetry-loving schoolteacher in Russia killed his friend for asserting that prose was “the only real literature.” (Read the (short) story here.) Um. This is not how you should get in the news. But neither is this: in response to the poetry murder,