TL;DR: This blog is on politics and violence, humanist ethics, and the philosophy of social science. Don’t expect much from it though
For the more patient:
My name is Simon Frankel Pratt. I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto, in political science. I received a Masters of Arts from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. I gained my BA at Simon-Fraser University, in international studies and Middle East history, and have lived, studied, and conducted research in Israel for extended periods.
This blog is primarily a place for me to develop my thoughts and hopefully say something interesting or novel for those who read or stumble upon it. Posts will tend to be on either the things that I study* (international relations, terrorism, religious extremism, civil war, insurgency and counterinsurgency, sociological theories on power and identity), things that I’m trying to study (philosophy of science and social science, political theory, ethics), or topics related to secular humanism (such as ethical arguments, particularly utilitarian ones, or my thoughts on themes within the atheist, sceptics, and humanist movements).
I am one of the co-founders of ‘SFU Skeptics’, a club devoted to sceptical thinking and humanist activism. I’ve recently given public talks on humanist moral philosophy, the state of the humanist movement, and on the nature of religious and political extremism, and I hope that as I develop in my career as an academic, I am able to share my insights with a broader audience than academia alone.
This blog is a place where I share and develop my thoughts, which are generally informed by my research and my philosophy, and hopefully also a place where others can engage with my views. I’m very comfortable with criticism, and I try to be as ‘humble before the facts’ as possible
*For those who care: my MA thesis was on the rationale behind Israel’s use of assassination as a security measure during the Second Intifada, and a version of it is published in an article in Terrorism and Political Violence. I’ve also written an article (forthcoming) on the logic to assassination as a military tactic, in Small Wars and Insurgencies.