Media and the coronavirus: Frontliners against the ‘infodemic’

Co-authored with Jayvy Gamboa In the novel The Plague by Albert Camus, Raymond Rambert is a journalist from Paris visiting Oran, a plague-stricken town. Longing for his wife, Rambert stubbornly appeals to the authorities, and then eventually resorts to illegal smugglers, just to break quarantine. At the night of his negotiated escape, however, he finally releases his …

Government in times of plagues

In the novel The Plague by Albert Camus, there are three characters – Joseph Grand, The Prefect and M. Othon – that represent how government officials responds to pestilence. In this coronavirus pandemic, their responses are mirrored by today’s officials. First let us examine Joseph Grand. He is a fifty-year-old clerk working for the city …

Faith, doubt and love during plagues

A central character in the novel The Plague by Albert Camus is Father Paneloux, a learned and militant Jesuit, an expert on the thought of Saint Augustine, and representing what Christian doctrine can offer in times of pestilence.  From his story, as Camus tells it, there are lessons that today’s pastors and churches should heed. …

Business unusual: When the business community responds to a virus

Co-authored with Jayvy Gamboa In the novel The Plague by Albert Camus, there is an eccentric and mysterious character who goes by the name of Cottard. Unlike most people, this man welcomed the coming of the plague and lamented its end, since he was engaged in the illicit trade of contraband, taking advantage of the people’s cravings and …

Lessons from Camus’ The Plague

The Covid-19 pandemic, as in all crises, brings out the best and worst of humanity. There is heroism and perfidy, complacency as well as discontent and cynicism; despair, anger, and fatalism. All told, individuals exhibit a wide spectrum of emotions, mind set and attitudes towards a distressing event such as the present pandemic now sweeping …

Truth, politics, and ethics

This is the final column in a series based on my Ramon C. Reyes memorial lecture entitled “Listening through philosophy: an ethical lens for the discourse on truth and politics”. In his textbook, Ground and Norm of Morality: Ethics for College Students), Doc Reyes provides students with a comprehensive overview of how philosophers from Plato …

Defeating the trolls

Professors Jonathan Corpus Ong, associate professor of communication at University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Jason Cabañes, lecturer in international communication at the University of Leeds, released last February 2018 an interesting and excellent report entitled Architects of Networked Disinformation: Behind the Scenes of Troll Accounts and Fake News Production in the Philippines (Ong and Cabanes, …

Subordinating truth to political ends

In the world of politics, is truth always subordinate to political ends? Because pinning down the truth can take time or because the truth can in fact be complex, given the need to make decisions and to convince public to support decision, is it logical then that truth should be subordinated to whatever political objectives …

The role of philosophy in politics

This is the second excerpt from my Ramon C. Reyes lecture. In this column, invoking the thinking of philosopher Ramon C. Reyes, I reflect on how philosophy can play a good role in addressing political issues. After the  1983 assassination of Ninoy Aquino, with the the country in turmoil. Doc Reyes did not hesitate to …

The legacy of Ramon Castillo Reyes

Last February 7, 2018, I had the honor, with Professor Randy David, of delivering the Ramon C. Reyes memorial lecture. The topic we were given was the relationship between truth and politics. In this and subsequent columns, I share excerpts from my lecture, entitled “Listening through philosophy: an ethical lens for the discourse on truth …