A Promise of Justice

“A Promise of Justice,” by David Protess and Rob Warden.

A PROMISE OF JUSTICE, by David Protess and Rob Warden, 1998, tells the story of four men who were framed by police and prosecutors and put in prison and on death row for eighteen years. Although you know before reading the book that the men were eventually exonerated, the book grips you.

It’s a courageous, honest, and intelligent story of prosecutorial corruption and defense lawyers’ almost superhuman incompetence. read more

Deconstruction in a Nutshell

Deconstruction in a Nutshell
Summer 1998

DECONSTRUCTION IN A NUTSHELL contains a series of questions to and answers by Jacques Derrida at the inauguration of Villanova’s doctoral program in philosophy a few years ago. Why it is for the most part Catholic schools that are willing to teach any sort of innovative philosophy in the Anglo world I’m not entirely sure. Anyway, Derrida talks about justice, comparing it with the giving of a gift. Before quoting what he says, I’d like to bear read more

Pigs at the Trough

Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington

If you have some doubt as to whether and to what extent American corporate management has set new standards for heartless greed and destruction, or whether and to what extent Congress and the federal agencies meant to regulate these corporations are instead working on their behalf to transfer money, power, and protections from the people to the CEOs, this book may change your way of thinking.

If you already think the pigs are pigs and the feds are a trough, read more

A Short History of Philosophy

“A Short History of Philosophy” By Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins.
305 pages
Oxford University Press 1996

Some weeks ago I began preparing a high school level course in philosophy. I’m enjoying it greatly. That is, I am learning a lot by teaching. Now something has happened which will shape the part of the course left to prepare, and – indeed – will lead me to rework what I’ve done. I had assumed that I was working in something of a void. I did not read more

Deliberation Day

Deliberation Day
March 12, 2004

“Deliberation Day” is the title of a new book by Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin. Ackerman was also the coauthor of The Stakeholder Society – a brilliant book proposing that we provide every young American with $80,000 through a 2 percent tax on wealth above $80,000, in order to give everyone the opportunity to acquire an education or launch a business. In Deliberation Day, Ackerman has produced an even more interesting idea, an even more exciting read more

This Divided State

This Divided State: A Brilliant Film
March 24, 2005

At a recent screening of “This Divided State,” a brilliant documentary by Steven Greenstreet, someone in the audience asked the 25-year-old director what he thought would change the minds of conservatives in the film who expressed fear that liberals would corrupt their children, and who on that basis fought to keep all liberal opinions out of their community.

Greenstreet’s answer was not what you’d expect to hear in a gathering read more

Religion, Cultural Memory in the Present

By Jacques Derrida, editor

This is a very saddening book in which these authors, who have helped to move our thinking away from some of the remnants of religion over which we continue to trip, express their (perhaps elderly, not to say senile) longing for old-time religion itself. Not only that, but they suggest, as opponents of postmodernism or pragmatism do, that outgrowing the tiresome remnants of religion found in the arrogant self-descriptions of scientists or ethicists actually allows (or read more