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Examined Life
Further Materials
Slush Pile

Essays by

Agnes Callard


Parenting and Panic

It is hard to speak about parenting without at the same time seeking validation as a parent.

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Half a Person

In December 2018, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. I have three children, the oldest of whom is in high school, and I had not planned on negotiating the difficulties of pregnancy and early childhood at this point in my life and career. Adding a decade or so of intensive child-raising to what I’d already committed to meant curtailing my ability to achieve what I both want and need to achieve in my finite lifetime. I asked myself, what are children for?

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The Devil’s Advocate’s Advocate

The first time I opened my mouth in college it was on the topic of devil’s advocacy.

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Do You Want My Garbage?

When my oldest son was born, fifteen years ago, one of the gifts we received was a giant clay bowl made in the shape of the artist’s pregnant belly.

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Spoiled Rich Kids

We are committed to the idea that there should be some price or other, and that that price be a set, fixed, real fact about the way the world is organized. The spoiled demand for unearned satisfaction stands as a threat to that commitment.

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Persuade or Be Persuaded

I’ve been called upon by the union to cancel class to accommodate the strike. But, as I see it, that would amount to using educational harms to undergraduates as an instrument to achieve graduate students’ ends.

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Against Advice

One of the paradoxes of advice seems to be that those most likely to be asked for it are least likely to have taken anyone else’s: their projects of “becoming” are the most particularized of all.

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Is Philosophy Fight Club?

What could be better than a good old-fashioned philosophy battle?

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The Emotion Police

This is the second in a series of columns on public philosophy by Agnes Callard; read the first here. If you tell me to calm […]

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