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  1. Moderating Racism: The Attempt to Restrain Anti-Japanese Racism in World War II Propaganda Films.Gary James Jason - 2024 - Reason Papers 44 (1):92-106.
    In this essay, I want to explore one of the most ironic episodes in the history of propaganda, the attempt by various federal agencies to moderate American WWII anti-Japanese propaganda films. My texts will be four films, two produced by the military, and two by Hollywood: December 7th (1943), directed by Gregg Toland and revised by John Ford; Air Force (1943), directed Howard Hawks; Know Your Enemy: Japan (1945), directed by Frank Capra; and Betrayal for the East (1945), directed by (...)
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  2. Artists, Propagandists, Political Masters.Gary James Jason - 2024 - Liberty 3.
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    The Critical Thinking Book.Gary James Jason - 2022 - Peterborough, CA: Broadview Press.
    _The Critical Thinking Book_ covers not only standard topics such as definitions, fallacies, and argument identification, but also other pertinent themes such as consumer choice in a market economy and political choice in a representative democracy. Interesting historical asides are included throughout, as are images, diagrams, and reflective questions. A wealth of exercises is provided, both within the text and on a supplemental website for instructors. The author also offers additional exercises, videos, and other teaching and study materials that can (...)
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  4. Selling Genocide I: The Earlier Films.Gary James Jason - 2016 - Reason Papers 38 (1).
    In this essay, I review two earlier anti-Semitic propaganda films of 1939, to wit, Robert and Bertram, and Linen from Ireland. I begin by rehearsing some of Abram de Swann’s analysis of genocide and then discuss in greater detail a classic sociological analysis written during WWII by Hans Speier. Speier distinguished three broad kinds of war of increasing ferocity: instrumental war, agonistic war, and absolute war. While the first two sorts of war are relatively constrained, in absolute war the in-group (...)
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  5. Fighting Fire With Fire I: Using Film to Counter Film Propaganda.Gary James Jason - 2023 - Propaganda: Journal of Communication Studies 3 (1):49-67.
    In this article, I explore how efficacious film can be in countering propaganda in film. To set up the discussion, I first sketch out a simple theory of propaganda, under which propaganda can be ranked from completely rational to very irrational, on six different dimensions. These are the degrees to which the propaganda is: evidence-based; truthful; broadly logical; transparent; properly targeted; and transparent. I then review in detail the main propaganda film, Gasland. This film was a highly successful documentary that (...)
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  6. Are We All Little Eichmanns?: The Killing Compartments: The Mentality of Mass Murder Author: Abram de Swann New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015, 332 pp.Gary James Jason - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):1-13.
    In this review essay, I review in detail Abram de Swann's fine new book, The Killing Compartments. The book is a theoretical analysis of the varieties and causes of genocides and other mass asymmetrical killing campaigns. I then suggest several criticisms of his analysis.
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  7. Is there a case for ad hominem arguments?Gary James Jason - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):182 – 185.
  8. Are Fallacies Common? A Look at Two Debates.Gary Jason - 1986 - Informal Logic 8 (2).
  9. Film and Propaganda: The Lessons of the Nazi Film Industry.Gary James Jason - 2013 - Reason Papers 35 (1):203-219.
    This essay is my review of Erwin Leiser’s excellent documentary film Germany Awake. This classic film first aired in Germany in 1968, and remains to this day one of the best surveys of major Nazi-era movies and exactly what messages they were meant to convey. The film underscores the emphasis the regime put on film as one of the premier mechanisms of propaganda, though Leiser’s film points out that most of the cinema produced by the Nazi regime was not pure (...)
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  10. Does Virtue Epistemology Provide a Better Account of the Ad Hominem Argument? A Reply to Christopher Johnson.Gary James Jason - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (1):95-119.
    Christopher Johnson has put forward in this journal the view that ad hominem reasoning may be more generally reasonable than is allowed by writers such as myself, basing his view on virtue epistemology. I review his account, as well as the standard account, of ad hominem reasoning, and show how the standard account would handle the cases he sketches in defense of his own view. I then give four criticisms of his view generally: the problems of virtue conflict, vagueness, conflation (...)
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  11. The role of error in computer science.Gary Jason - 1989 - Philosophia 19 (4):403-416.
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  12. Portraits of Egoism in Classic Cinema I: Sympathetic Portrayals.Gary James Jason - 2014 - Reason Papers 36 (1).
    In this essay, I look at more or less sympathetic portrayals of egoists in film. I start by explaining some basic concepts: psychological egoism; ethical egoism; default egoism; rational egoism; egotism; cynicism; narcissism; and psychopathy. I then review in-depth two excellent WWII films, Stalag 17 and The Bridge on the River Kwai. I note that the key protagonist in both pictures is the same type of character—both played by the same fine actor, William Holden. The main protagonist in both is (...)
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  13. Review essay: A. Gini and A. Marcoux, The Ethics of Business: A Concise Introduction.Gary James Jason - 2014 - Reason Papers 36 (1).
    This essay is my critical review of Al Gini and Alexei Marcoux’s fine text, The Ethics of Business. Unlike most business ethics texts, Gini/Marcoux recognize that most businesses are small, and that business is not inherently immoral and always in need of reform. And they put their focus on using ethical theory to find action-guiding principles to help guide business behavior. Moreover, they adopt the Schumpeterian view that business is an entrepreneurial activity—one that not merely executes transactions, but seeks them (...)
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  14. Portraits of Egoism in Classic Cinema II: Negative Portrayals.Gary James Jason - 2015 - Reason Papers 37 (1).
    In this essay, I look at two negative portrayals of egoism. I summarize in detail the superb All About Eve—which won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The movie is about the rise of a ruthlessly ambitious actress, and how she treats her main competitor. Eve Harrington worms her way into top theatrical actress Margo Channing’s inner circle by pretending to be an admirer, but she is really a schemer who wants to eclipse Margo’s star in the theater universe. However, (...)
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  15. The Ethics of Tort Reform.Gary James Jason - 2008 - Liberty (June):23-28, 62.
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  16. The Birth of a Nation and the Birth of Cancel Culture.Gary James Jason - 2022 - Liberty 7.
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  17. Epistemologies and Apologies.Gary James Jason - 1986 - Dialectica 40 (1):45-58.
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    The nature of the argumentum ad baculum.Gary Jason - 1987 - Philosophia 17 (4):491-499.
  19. Whence Did German Propaganda Films Derive Their Power?Gary James Jason - 2016 - Reason Papers 38 (1).
    In this essay, I review in great detail Ian Garden’s outstanding book, The Third Reich’s Celluloid War. Garden begins by discussing propaganda theory and then discusses not just Nazi feature films and documentaries, but television as well. (The Nazis had the earliest TV network). All in all, the regime produced over 1,300 feature films during its time in power. Garden also compares Nazi propaganda films to British and American ones.
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  20. Review essay,"Another Small Piece of a War: a Review of 'Charlie and his Orchestra'".Gary James Jason - 2017 - Liberty (December 4, 2017).
    In this essay, I explore a documentary about the curious case of Charlie and his Orchestra. While swing music was outlawed in Nazi Germany as “degenerate,” the Nazi regime created a radio program called “Charlie and his Orchestra” for foreign consumption. The propaganda lay in the changes to the original lyrics of the songs played, making them convey the anti-Semitic and other themes of the Nazi ideology. The review discusses just how good the musicians were, and how popular the program (...)
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  21. Eamonn Butler, Classical Liberalism: A Primer: London: the Institute of Economic Affairs, 2015. 132 pp.Gary James Jason - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (1):387-395.
    This essay is my extended review of Eamonn Butler’s outstanding primer, Classical Liberalism. In his book, Butler notes that the phrase “classical liberal” encompasses a wide spectrum of views, from conservatism to libertarianism. Butler lays out 10 principles that characterize classical liberalism, sketches its history, and discusses the value classical liberals place on freedom and toleration. He also examines the classical liberal views of politics, government, and society, and some useful compendia for the reader.
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  22. Selling Genocide II: The Later Films.Gary James Jason - 2017 - Reason Papers 39 (1):97-123.
    In this essay I take up the later major anti-Semitic propaganda pieces, all of them released in 1940. They were produced under Goebbels explicit orders to each of the three Nazi-controlled studios to produce an anti-Semitic film. The three films produced were: The Rothschilds Share at Waterloo; Jud Suss; and The Eternal Jew. These films were much more powerful propaganda pieces in intensifying anti-Semitic feelings—those feelings of difference, disgust, and danger. For each film, I point to the scenes that arouse (...)
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  23. Eamonn Butler, Public Choice: A Primer London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 2012.Gary Jason - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):917-922.
    This essay is my analysis of Eamonn Butler’s fine book, Public Choice: a Primer. I suggest that Butler’s book is especially useful for philosophers, most of whom are to this day unfamiliar with public choice theory. This body of economics studies the role that universal self-interest plays in politics. This is an unpleasant truth for many philosophers, who have the Hegelian view of government as the realm of disinterested charity. Butler reviews the history of public choice economics, discusses the various (...)
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  24. Whence this Libertarian View of Life?Gary James Jason - 2008 - Liberty:54-60.
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  25. Nicholas Phillipson: Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life.Gary Jason - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):919-922.
    This essay is my brief review of Nicholas Phillipson’s biography of Adam Smith. I discuss the highlights of his treatment of Smith’s fascinating life. Phillipson does a beautiful job of surveying Smith’s academic career. Especially useful is Phillipson’s discussion of the influence David Hume had on Smith’s thought, as well as the influences of Montesquieu, Samuel Johnson, Voltaire, Rousseau, and others.
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  26. Book review of: P. Booth, ...and the Pursuit of Happiness: Wellbeing and the Role of Government.Gary James Jason - 2015 - Reason Papers 37 (1).
    This essay is my review of Philip Booth’s ...and the Pursuit of Happiness: Wellbeing and the Role of Government. The book is an anthology of original articles by eminent researchers in modern happiness economics, such as: Booth himself; Paul Omerod; David Sacks, Betsey Stephenson, and Justin Wolfers; Christopher Snowden; J. R. Shackleton; Christian Bjornskov; Peter Boettke and Christopher Coyne; and Pedro Schwartz. I conclude by offering several criticisms of the work.
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  27. Two problems of induction.Gary James Jason - 1985 - Dialectica 39 (1):53-74.
    SummaryIn this paper, two different theoretical problems of induction are delineated. The first problem is addressed; the second problem is deferred to the sequel to this paper. The first problem of induction is taken to be the seemingly unformalizable nature of traditional inductive arguments. It is shown that the problem does not arise out of some particularly dubious argument form , but rather from the presupposition that inductive “logic” is, like deductive logic, assertoric. Rather , inductive logic is dialectical in (...)
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  28. Movie review of: The Man Who Knew Infinity.Gary James Jason - 2016 - Liberty 6.
    This is a review of the biopic of the great mathematician Ramanujan, 'The Man Who Knew Infinity'(2016).
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  29. Portraits of Egoism in Classic Cinema III: Nietzschean Portrayals.Gary James Jason - 2015 - Reason Papers 37 (2).
    In this essay, I look at two films as possible exemplars of the Nietzschean view of egoism. Compulsion is based on the infamous 1924 Leopold and Loeb murder case. In the movie, two arrogant young men—one of whom admires Nietzsche and preaches the (apparently Nietzschean) view that the strong and superior don’t need to follow conventional morality—kill a boy to prove they can outsmart the unter-menschen police. For a different take on what Nietzsche may have had in mind as “the (...)
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  30. Movie review of: Departures.Gary James Jason - 2010 - Liberty.
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  31. A Classical Liberal Case for Immigration Reform.Gary James Jason - 2012 - Liberty (December):1-18.
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  32. Movie review of: Triumph of the Will.Gary James Jason - 2007 - Liberty.
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  33. Conflicts of Loyalty in War Movies.Gary James Jason - 2011 - Liberty (September):1-8.
    In this essay, I use four war movies to explore conflicts of loyalty and how they are resolved, all to illustrate W.D. Ross’ multiple rule deontologism. The films are all fine WWII movies: The Enemy Below; Decision Before Dawn; John Rabe; and The Bridge on the River Kwai. In my analysis of each, I show how the protagonists face conflicts of their loyalty to themselves, their countrymen, their friends, and humanity in general, and resolve them in the face of changing (...)
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  34. Notes tow Ard a formal conversation theory.Gary James Jason - 1980 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 10 (1):119-140.
    Dialectic, as commonly approached, is not an analytic study, as the notion is defined in the paper. Where it is analytically approached (as, for example, by Grice and Hamblin), the result is pragmatic in nature, as well as syntactic and semantic. This paper lays the foundations of a purely formal (nonpragmatic) analysis of conversations. This study is accordingly called "Conversation Theory". The key notions of "conversation", "dialogue", "conversation game", "rules of response", "epistemic community" and "channel of informations" are defined precisely, (...)
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  35. Artists in the Moves: The Ten Best Fims.Gary James Jason - 2011 - Liberty (January).
    In this essay, I briefly review ten of the best bio flicks of artists. After laying out my criteria for assessing biographical films about artists, I review my ten choices. These films are: The Agony and the Ecstasy; Frida; Local Color; The Moon and Sixpence; Girl with the Pearl Earring; Pollock; Rembrandt; Moulin Rouge; Modigliani; and Lust for Life. For each film, I try to explain the ways in which the directors were able to show the artist’s creative processes and (...)
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  36. Movie review of: The Artist.Gary James Jason - 2012 - Liberty 1.
    In this essay, I review a French-American gem of a movie, The Artist. This movie was an homage to the silent film era and is itself almost all silent. I discuss both the artistic and financial success of silent movies, and I praise this film for successfully interesting modern theater-goers despite its almost total lack of sound. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and—for its outstanding lead actor, Jean Dujardin—Best Actor. It is the only French-produced (...)
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  37. A Nation Still at Risk.Gary James Jason - 2008 - Liberty:33-42.
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  38. The Market for Body Parts.Gary James Jason - 2007 - Liberty (October):33-36.
  39. The Rest of the Best: Ten Great Actors Snubbed by Oscar.Gary James Jason - 2010 - Liberty (August):41-46.
    In this essay, I look at some extraordinary actors who never got their due—actors who had distinguished careers, but never won an Academy Award for acting. I review the work of: Joseph Cotten; Orson Welles; Edward G. Robinson; Cary Grant; James Mason; Richard Burton; Claude Rains; Alan Ladd: Robert Mitchum; and Fred MacMurray. In each case, I explore the actor’s best work, what made his acting outstanding, and offer possible explanations why he was not so honored.
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  40. The Rise of the Comic Book Movie.Gary James Jason - 2008 - Liberty (October):46-47.
    In this essay, I take up the question of why so many of the movies made by Hollywood are endless sequels, “prequels,” and remakes of prior blockbuster hits and so many are based on comic books (X-men, Superman, Batman, and so on). I tie the explanation in part to the aforementioned 1950 Supreme Court ruling prohibiting production companies, and in part to broader cultural changes. In particular, I argue that precisely because film producers can no longer make money from the (...)
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  41. Movie Review of: Temple Grandin.Gary James Jason - 2011 - Liberty 1.
    In this essay, I review an extraordinary bio flick, Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science, and to achieve her distinguished career she had to deal with her autism. The film explores what it is to suffer this disease, but it also explores her extraordinary work involving making slaughterhouses more humane.
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  42. The Case for Free Trade.Gary James Jason - 2010 - Liberty:33-41.
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  43. Movie review of: The Cartel.Gary James Jason - 2010 - Liberty:44-45.
    This essay is my review of Bob Bowden’s excellent documentary The Cartel. It is a powerful indictment of public schools and public school teachers’ unions. In a crucial part of the film, we see minority parents at a charter school lottery. Charter schools, like voucher private schools, give parents school choice—although charter schools are public schools technically, but run fairly independently. They are so popular, and the school districts allow so few of them, that parents must apply by lottery for (...)
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  44. On the Nonexistence of Computer Ethics.Gary Jason - 1990 - Social Philosophy Today 4:197-206.
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  45. Fallacies are Common.Gary Jason - 1989 - Informal Logic 11 (2).
  46. Movie review of Cool It.Gary James Jason - 2010 - Liberty 11.
    This essay is my review of Bjorn Lomborg’s delightful documentary film Cool It. Lomborg believes that there is indeed anthropogenic global warming, but that it doesn’t constitute the grave and imminent threat to humanity that people such as Al Gore think it does. The focus of the documentary is the refutation of Al Gore’s award-winning film (An Inconvenient Truth). But Lomborg also puts the focus on how best to use scarce resources to help humanity.
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  47. Deontologism and dialectic.Gary Jason - 1983 - Journal of Value Inquiry 17 (2):119-131.
  48. Dialectic and desiderata.Gary Jason - 1984 - Journal of Value Inquiry 18 (2):139-144.
  49. Is the Soul-Making Defense Sound?Gary James Jason - 1980 - Metanoia 12 (1).
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  50. Movie review of: Good.Gary James Jason - 2010 - Liberty 11.
    In this essay, I review the movie Good. Good tells the story of the moral corruption of its protagonist, a writer, who is seduced by blandishments and material rewards given to him by the Nazi regime. It is a nice illustration of corruption—the degradation of character wrought by the desire for wealth and fame—what Aristotle would call “pleonexia.”.
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