When is a quarantine justified? A group of philosophers offers an answer.

Quarantines are worth the trouble to keep the next pandemic at bay but they need to be applied intelligently.

A trainee, wearing personal protective Equipment (PPE), takes part in a training session held by the military trained Civil Security (Securite civile), on checking and treating suspected victims of the Ebola virus. (JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A new essay argues that quarantines are often needed, but require strict guidelines on when they can be used.
  • Pandemics are inevitable, and actions that can save lives must be planned now.
  • The arguments in this essay will undoubtedly be of use during the next outbreak.
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New report shows democracy is in decline everywhere—including the United States

Have you been feeling like democracy is in trouble lately? According to this report, you're right. 

A woman confronts riot police during a protest in Caracas on December 28, 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)

We've discussed before how young people are losing their faith in democracy. The problems of democratic government are many, and the failure to resolve them can lead to a decline in the trust people have for public institutions, political apathy, tribalism, and worse. While democracy offers us many good things, it is highly dependent on popular support to function.

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Why Socrates Was Wrong About Democracy

Many great minds have plenty of bad things to say about democracy, but what about the people who think it is great?

Pericles, the great Athenian leader, speaks of the greatness of liberty to the people of Athens.

We have explained before that some of the greatest thinkers in history found reasons to reject democracy. Their critiques were many, and often very well thought out. Even for the most ardent supporter of democratic ideals, their arguments must give us pause and lead us to reflect on our notions of government and society.

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Need Another Use for a Liberal Arts Education? How about Learning to Be a Citizen?

While we often criticize the humanities for not providing an education that leads directly to employment, one philosopher argues they have an even more important role to play in our societies.

Yet another history major who can't find a job? (Norman Rockwell, The Freedom of Speech)

We’ve discussed before that Socrates, one of the greatest things to come out of Athens, hated Athenian democracy. While he had many reasons to do so, one of the primary ones was that the typical Athenian had no idea what they were discussing, and were prone to using emotion over reason when making important political decisions. They lacked both the skills for critical thinking and viewing the world outside their own perspective to be proper democratic citizens.

But, as philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues, we can avoid those problems by placing a high value on an education in the humanities. A high value which today is often difficult to find.

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Here's What a Country Without Net Neutrality Looks Like

Insert dial-up noise here. If you're not concerned about what's about to happen with net neutrality, you're not paying attention. 

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