We Could All Do with Learning How to Improvise a Little Better

Well improvised; Dizzy Gillespie at Deauville, France in 1991 / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Stephen T. Asma / 05.29.2017 Professor of Philosophy Columbia College Chicago The Chinese philosopher Han Fei Zi (c280-233 BCE) had a deep influence on the development of Chinese bureaucracy, because he proposed that decision-making be taken out of the hands of[…]

Simone de Beauvoir’s Political Philosophy Resonates Today

Simone de Beauvoir in Paris in 1949. / Photo from Elliot Erwitt, Magnum By Dr. Skye C. Cleary / 03.10.2017 Lecturer Columbia University, City College of New York Simone de Beauvoir is rightly best known for declaring: ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.’ A less well-known facet of her philosophy, particularly relevant today, is[…]

Religion and Art in Ancient Greece

Fragment of a Hellenistic relief (1st century BCE – 1st century CE) depicting the Twelve Olympians carrying their attributes in procession; from left to right, Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt[…]

How the Village Feast Paved the Way to Empires and Economics

Peasant Wedding, 1567, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna By Dr. Brian Hayden / 11.16.2016 Emeritus Professor of Archaeology Simon Fraser University Feasts helped to transform egalitarian hunters and gatherers into the kinds of societies that laid the foundations for early states and even industrial empires. They created hierarchies and inequalities, the[…]

Morosini in Athens

Medal struck in Morosini’s honour for his military exploits in the Morean War, by P. H. Müller, Nuremerg, 1688 /  Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Kornilia Chatziaslani Architect-Archaeologist Head of the Information and Educational Sector of the Service of Conservation of Acropolis Monuments (YSMA) After the conquest of Crete in 1669, the Turks turned their eyes[…]

What Japanese Internment Taught Us About Standing Up for Our Neighbors

Artwork by Steve Gardner at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial in Washington state. The memorial wall is 276 feet long—one foot for every Japanese person who lived in that community in 1942. First, we must demand justice for ourselves. Second, those who have privilege and power must intervene for those without. By Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz[…]

Logic: Arguments, Language, Meaning, and Fallacies

Photo by JacoTen, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages Arguments and Inference The Discipline of Logic Human life is full of decisions, including significant choices about what to believe. Although everyone prefers to believe what is true, we often disagree with each other about what that[…]