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Examined Life
Further Materials
Slush Pile

Essays by

Agnes Callard


Who Wants to Play the Status Game?

We seem to be less interested in either of these games than in exploring the connection between them—or rather, the philosophical question to which that connection points.

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The Problem with Letters of Recommendation

This is the eleventh in a series of columns on public philosophy by Agnes Callard; read more here. Twenty-five years ago a secretary made a mistake, […]

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Is Plagiarism Wrong?

I committed my first academic crime at the age of six.

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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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