Political Animal Magazine2019-03-27T14:53:23+00:00


Finding Truth: Thinking Critically Through the Campaigns

June 19th, 2019|

By: Brannon Gerling

We often find ourselves at the informational crossroads, wondering whether we should go left or right. A new friend wandering homelessly and in need asks for a significant sum of money. Do you lend it to her and have faith in her resourcefulness to pay you back? You want to buy sold-out concert tickets on Craigslist. How do you know that after the money transfer they’ll indeed be delivered? Or a woman you’re recently intimate with tells you condoms aren’t necessary because she’s on the pill. Why would she lie?

How do we know when to trust when the law is unable to reverse a transgression?

Knowing whether our beliefs are true or false, says Bertrand Russell in The Problems of Philosophy, is a question of the greatest difficulty, a question that has been challenging philosophers, and specifically epistemologists, for centuries.

When wagering is less personal, but perhaps carries more gravity—like in democratically deciding the future of a government—knowing what to believe can mean the difference between war and peace. (more…)

Featured Author: Jared Marcel Pollen

May 15th, 2019|

Jared Marcel Pollen is the rare writer who can give lyric voice to philosophic insight. He is able to take a highly literate and unflinching look at the human condition and then make his account of it sing, a dark and compelling song. He is at the forefront of those important and talented new writers who can engage their subject matter without becoming reductionist; he is political without being crudely partisan, philosophic without being narrowly academic, and poetic without shallow sentimentalism. He aims at nothing other than a deep rendering of the human heart as it beats in the world today, and accomplishes it with an unusually fine pen.


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Social Contract Theory

By |February 1st, 2019|0 Comments

When you make an agreement of some significance (e.g., to rent an apartment, or join a gym, or divorce), you typically agree to certain terms: you sign a contract. This is for your benefit, and for the the other party’s benefit: everyone’s expectations are clear, as are the consequences of failing to meet those expectations.

Plato’s Crito: When should we break the law?

By |January 11th, 2019|0 Comments

Plato’s Crito describes a conversation that takes place in 399 B.C.E. in an Athens prison, where Socrates awaits execution.Not long before, an assembly of more than 500 Athenian citizens convicted Socrates of corrupting the youth and impiety, essentially failing to respect the gods of the city.

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Stoicism & the Destruction of Man

By |January 25th, 2019|0 Comments

Recently, the American Psychological Association (APA) took aim at “traditional masculinity” by, amongst other things, criticizing “stoicism” as one of its problematic characteristics (APA Guidelines 11). But the essence of stoicism, and our understanding of it, stems from a philosophy that is meant to allow the individual to reach their full potential as a human.

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