•  24
    Kai Nielsen is one of Canada’s most distinguished political philosophers. In a career spanning over 40 years, he has published more than 400 papers in political philosophy, ethics, meta-philosophy, and philosophy of religion. He has engaged much of the best work in Anglophone political philosophy, shedding light on many of the central debates and controversies of our time but throughout has remained a unique voice on the political left. _ Pessimism of the Intellect _presents a thoughtful collect…Read more
  •  90
    On Rorty's evangelical metaphilosophy
    Philosophy and Rhetoric 44 (2): 150-170. 2011.
    I have spent 40 years looking for a coherent and convincing way of formulating my worries about what, if anything, philosophy is good for. Richard Rorty had an unusually avid interest in metaphilosophy. Again and again he would return to questions about the practical uses (if any) to which philosophy might be put, about philosophy's role in intellectual culture, about what philosophy is or might become. His answers to these questions were famously negative: philosophy's practical uses are few, i…Read more
  •  30
    Deweyan Democracy Defended
    Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1): 197-207. 2012.
    This paper defends Deweyan democracy against the attack levelled against it by Robert Talisse. The problem with Talisse’s critique, I argue, is that Rawlsian concerns about reasonable pluralism are a propos only for political theories of justice ⎯ for theories, that is, that make definitive pronouncements about, or offer principled limits to, the coercive power of the state ⎯ and Deweyan democracy is not (or is not centrally) a theory of justice in this respect. My argument, in short, is that o…Read more
  •  21
    The Continuing Relevance of John Dewey (review)
    Education and Culture 30 (2): 103-105. 2014.
    The Continuing Relevance of John Dewey: Reflections on Aesthetics, Morality, Science, and Society gathers selected and revised essays from a conference at the University of Opole in Poland. The conference, held in June 2009, marked the anniversary of John Dewey’s 150th birthday, and pursued as its stated theme: “John Dewey in the context of American and European Values.” The volume begins with an introduction by Larry Hickman, one of John Dewey’s most committed and energetic champions. The rest …Read more
  •  62
    This critical notice provides an overview of Harry Frankfurt’s On Inequality and assesses whether Frankfurt is right to argue that equality is merely formal and empty. I counter-argue that egalitarianism, properly tweaked and circumscribed, can be defended against Frankfurt’s repudiation. After surveying the main arguments in Frankfurt’s book, I argue that whatever plausibility the ‘doctrine of sufficiency’ defended by Frankfurt may have, it does not strike a fatal blow against egalitarianism. T…Read more