“Blogging Democracy: The contribution of political blogs to democracy” by Gareth Lewis

The essay that I am discussing was one of the two that won The Dalton Camp Award this year. You can read the full version of the essay at the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting website.

Generally, Lewis’s argument can be summed up in his line “thanks to weblogs, any civic-minded citizen with a computer, a modem and the moxie to express their opinions can contribute to the media and the public dialogue.” Blogs provide a way for citizens to break through the increasing corporate control of media outlets – only 1% of newspapers are independently owned today,and in this environment blogs offer a way to expand the number of news sources because its low cost of entry. Free services such as Blogger and Livejournal, where all of the hard work is done by a company behind the scenes, are perfect for citizen-journalists to quickly begin publishing.

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“Principles of cosmopolitan order” by David Held

shallow focus photography of brown globe

Photo by Ricky Gu00e1lvez on Pexels.com


Cosmopolitanism, broadly speaking, reflects on ethical, cultural, and political issues from the position that states and political communities are not the exclusive centers of political order or force.

Held begins his article in Brock’s and Brighouse’s The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism by differentiating between cosmopolitanism that shifts from the polis to the cosmos, and the Enlightenment’s cosmopolitan attitude of maturity and reflexivity. The former insists that individuals’ first allegiance is to humanity rather than the community, whereas for the latter cosmopolitan right “meant the capacity to present oneself and be heard within and across political communities; it was the right to enter dialogue without artificial constraint and delimitation” (11).

Held’s article is subsequently divided into four sections. The first identifies cosmopolitan principles, the second distinguishes between ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ cosmopolitanism, the third justifies cosmopolitan claims, and the fourth section sketches how to transition from justifications to law. The ultimate aim is to understand the aim and scope of cosmopolitanism.

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The First Post – Embarking on a New Voyage

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This blog is part of a series of projects that I’m currently embarking on. My thesis topic is ensuring that a great deal of my research is in the philosophy of technology, but many of my sources for it are explicitly grounded in the empirical domain. While technical abstraction is fine and good, being a generalist about technology when writing philosophy is a poor second to writing about technology generally while having an understanding of its inner workings.

It is in this light that I recently purchased a two-year contract with Dreamhost so that I could learn about how to create and work in a full-fledged wiki, use wordpress, and become familiar with how cascading style sheets and other elements of web design operated. The learning curb is (significantly!) uphill, but I’m confident that the challenges will provoke me to learn, rather than dissuade me.

As noted in the ‘About’ section, this blog is ‘semi-personal’. This means that, while I will be writing about events, objects, and theories that matter to me, I will not be writing about events in my daily life. This isn’t to prevent any potential readers from knowing about who I am, but to create a divide between the strictly personal, and not-so-personal, aspects of my life.

I will be updating this blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This blog is powered by WordPress and is using the Ocadia theme without any modifications.