December 2010

Whistling Past the Graveyard
By Anonymous on December 06, 2010

This September, two articles on the crisis of higher education were published in the New York Times, both on the same day, but in different sections of the paper.


A Year on the Job Market, Part III
By Anonymous on December 06, 2010

While working to improve your chances of landing an academic position this year or next, you may want to start considering alternate career paths.  There are a number of possibilities (in no particular order):

Keep reading.


Grade Inflation, Curves, Demands and Boosts -- What's an Instructor to do?
By Anonymous on December 09, 2010

In response to the increasing number of requests to “write a paper for extra credit,” which can be purchased easily at the “writing help center” store front, I have developed several extra credit opportunities for students to earn a few extra points minus student shortcuts.


Teaching Today's College Students
By Anonymous on December 16, 2010

"That was a very interesting lecture, Professor … so what’s on the test?"  How many times have we been asked this question? It’s as if the students weren’t even in the room. 


Some Remarks on the Notion of "Natural Law" in Cicero's Laws
By Fabrice P. Beland on December 17, 2010

From Plato and Aristotle to Cicero, we observe a radical change in the understanding of classical natural right. By contrast to his two predecessors, Cicero doesn’t seem to harbor any doubt about the salutary character of some philosophical doctrine of natural right for the political community. In his dialogue The Laws, we see Cicero having recourse to the notion of a rational or natural law to defend and justify his own slightly improved version of the ancient Roman Republic’s legal code. Since the notion of a “natural law” also appears in Cicero’s Republic(cf. I.17 and 3.22), Cicero has often been considered as one of the first thurifers of this controversial notion. In this paper, we focus exclusively on Cicero’s presentation of the natural law in his dialogue The Laws. After replacing Cicero’s treatment of the natural law in its specific context, we argue that in his Laws, Cicero’s defends two different notions of the natural law: 1) the natural law strictly speaking which is the preserve of the wise man, a law whose only command is that the wise man should rule over the unwise; 2) the natural law understood as the theoretical support of the gentleman’s moral decency. In this last sense, the natural law is disconnected from any real knowledge of the whole, and becomes as a consequence a very problematic concept. 


Is the recession over? (II)
By Gabriel Martinez on December 20, 2010

If the evidence that the recession is over is so clear, why are we still in “tough economic times,” as the hackneyed phrase has it?  Why are there so many unemployed resources?  Why are so many people out of work?


Public Expressions of Faith
By Anonymous on December 29, 2010

Public usage of religious rhetoric by political leaders has been a part of the American experience since the country’s colonial beginnings and, at least in recent decades, it has become a source of controversy and division.  While the practice has varied according to historical circumstance, there remain certain perennial characteristics to the way religion, specifically Christianity, has been appropriated by public officials in the United States.


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