politics

Why even bother with political debate?

Posted on 8 October 2018 by Karen Stohr

Debates about politics, whether in public forums or in private conversations, often seem to go nowhere. This is particularly true when the participants have diametrically opposed perspectives on how the world works and how it should work. Even when people manage to stay civil, which of course is not always the case, debating doesn’t usually
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The Heart of Justice

Posted on 4 June 2018 by Paul Bloomfield

The ancient Greeks all thought of morality in terms of the virtues: justice, courage, temperance, and wisdom. And they all thought of the virtues as if they are like skills that can be learned. As Aristotle said, “…we become builders by building and lyre players by playing the lyre. So too we become just by
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Explaining the puzzle of national shame

Posted on 26 February 2018 by Helen De Cruz

In the aftermath of the EU Referendum, I encountered many people who said to me, “I am ashamed to be British”, or, when confronted with the fallout of the referendum such as the lack of diplomacy exhibited by David Davis, May’s use of EU citizen rights as bargaining chips, or the failure to keep human
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How Closed-Mindedness Obstructs Effective Inquiry

Posted on 18 December 2017 by Quassim Cassam

In his recent book Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, John Nixon describes his encounters with the two main protagonists of the 2003 Iraq war. Nixon, a senior leadership analyst for the CIA, was the first American to interrogate Saddam Hussein at length after his capture by U.S. forces. Nixon’s fascinating insights into
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What is Closed-Mindedness?

Posted on 20 November 2017 by Heather Battaly

On March 7 2017, Jason Chaffetz who was then a member of the US House of Representatives (R-Utah) told a CNN anchor: “Americans have choices….rather than getting that new iPhone…they should invest…in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions for themselves.”[1] Later the same day, in a discussion of the Affordable Care Act
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Hubris as Prime Ministerial Vice

Posted on 31 July 2017 by Ian Kidd

When Theresa May’s snap election backfired decimating her majority, many commentators were quick to use a language of vices to describe her errors. ‘May’s astounding arrogance has now paved the way for another General Election’, complained the Independent, echoing attacks by the Guardian and Mirror of the various forms of arrogance in the Prime Minister’s
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Rallying the troops versus quieting the indignation

Posted on 3 July 2017 by Gregory Maio

A new National Rifle Association (NRA) video advertisement in the United States sparked controversy this week. Critics indicated that the emotive ad barely falls short of calling for violent action against liberals, while further diminishing the potential for productive dialogue between left-wing and right-wing advocates.
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Reducing arrogance in debate

Posted on 19 May 2017 by Alessandra Tanesini

In many Western democracies, public opinion seems to have become bitterly divided over increasingly divisive topics like immigration, Brexit, and the qualities of Donald J. Trump. People whose convictions are strongly opposed to each other treat discussions as duels or shouting matches.
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