This is Keith Burgess-Jackson's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Keith Burgess-Jackson's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Keith Burgess-Jackson
Recent Activity
Image
The Proclamation is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices. The text says nothing about religion. Plaintiffs and the dissent nonetheless emphasize that five of the seven nations currently included in the Proclamation have Muslim-majority... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
There are two main lines of argument against traditionalism. The first is that it is so vague that it is hardly possible to disagree with and that consequently it does not have any substantial content. The conservative is not opposed to change as such and absolutely, but rather to large... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
During the 1960s, I met frequently with students who said that we had nothing in common, because I was over thirty and I was running a corrupt university. I was fascinated that they kept insisting we had nothing in common. And I was troubled that we have educated students to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
The present work confines itself to the examination and exposure of only one class of fallacies: those relating to the adoption or rejection of some measure of government, whether of legislation or of administration. The latter pair are so intimately connected that for our purposes they need not be distinguished... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
The first and most essential stage in achieving clarity, the stage of deep non-verbal reflection, is something about which, in the nature of the case, little can be said. To a few remarkable beings, clear presentational structures seem to come as the leaves to the trees. Mozart sometimes said that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Have they come for you yet? If not, give it time. The leftist mob will descend on you just as it has descended on hundreds of other unfortunates during the past few years. It doesn’t matter what your political views are. You may be a die-hard leftist yourself, but if... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
The subjectivist about values, then, is not denying that there can be objective evaluations relative to standards, and these are as possible in the aesthetic and moral fields as in any of those just mentioned. More than this, there is an objective distinction which applies in many such fields, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
Logical expressions, whether purely logical or not, can be divided into strong and weak ones, just as success-words can; and as I have said, some of them are success-words as well. Examples of strong logical expressions are "entails", "proves", "verifies", "has as a special case". Weak ones include "is consistent... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
In this chapter we are concerned with certain recurrent mistakes in reasoning which, just because they are very common, have been singled out by logicians and labelled with more or less appropriate names. The world 'fallacy' has unfortunately often been used in different senses. It is used sometimes as a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
Stoic, Jewish, and Christian thought are . . . substantially agreed in this: that there is a set of rules or precepts of conduct, constituting a divine law, which is binding upon all rational creatures as such, and which in principle can be ascertained by human reason. This universal or... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
Sadly, there is no uniformity of opinion in philosophy. A German aphorism defines a professor as someone who thinks otherwise, and this aphorism certainly applies to professors of philosophy. The historian Peter Geyl said that history—the academic field—was “argument without end.” This description fits philosophy better than it fits history.... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
'Give me, O Lord, an undivided heart', asks the Psalmist. Integrity is perhaps the hardest virtue to achieve—not merely making sure that one is steadfast in sticking to one's principles (or examining them critically when honesty so requires), but striving to make sure that all parts of our outlook fit... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
At the very outset, it should be observed that, as a person, Kant was not the crusty old bachelor and Puritanical, ascetic, humorless prude that utilitarians and others have usually assumed him to have been. The historical records show that, in fact, he was quite the opposite. He always dressed... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
We are always making assumptions, without knowing that we are doing so, and arguing from them. And this fact is responsible for half the error and half the misunderstanding of each other which ever takes place. It is the work of Philosophy to produce the attitude of mind which makes... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
Since logic is not simply valid argument but the reflection upon principles of validity, it will arise naturally only when there is already a considerable body of inferential or argumentative material to hand. Not every type of discourse provokes logical inquiry. Pure story-telling or literary discourse, for example, does not... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
Justice is concerned with the individual, but only under certain sorts of description. A just man gives each individual his due and decides each case on its merits: but what is due to a man depends on only certain sorts of factors, and a just man must take care to... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
We ought not . . . to be on the look-out for blemishes and weaknesses in the lives, for instance, of men such as Socrates. The practice is not only useless but harmful. It provides us with examples of moral imperfection and enables us to flatter ourselves whatever our own... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
Another related criterion of good philosophical writing is precision. Contrary to the conventional wisdom prevalent among students, vague and verbose language is not a sign of profundity and astuteness but of confusion. Teachers of philosophy who are dedicated to the above criteria in effect issue a challenge to students: write... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
It must be considered that the campaign was an Indian hunt, and Custer rightly thought that the best plan was to strike the Indians in their village and break them up. . . . I think his only mistake, considering the knowledge he had of the Indians, was in planning... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
I categorically reject the presumption that egalitarianism, of whatever variety, is an ideal of any intrinsic moral importance. This emphatically does not mean that I am inclined generally to endorse or to be indifferent to prevailing inequalities, or that I oppose efforts to eliminate them. In fact, I support many... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
In my opinion, the most important sources of moral disagreements are disagreements about what conditional or unconditional predictions—whether deterministic or probabilisitic [sic] predictions—to make about future empirical facts. For example, we cannot expect a moral consensus in our society as long as we strongly disagree on what the likely effects... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
It is amazing how poorly people argue, how little they pay serious attention to whether or not they hold inconsistent views. (Bernard Gert, "Morality Versus Slogans," Center for the Study of Ethics in Society 3 [December 1989]: 3-32, at 15) Note from KBJ: I think Gert means "reason," not "argue."... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at Just Philosophy
Image
To be in a questioning frame of mind is to be thinking; reflective thinking essentially consists in attempting to solve a problem and thus in asking questions and seeking answers to these questions so as to solve the problem. We distinguish reflective thinking from idle reverie or day dreaming. In... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2018 at Just Philosophy
In a series of essays that appeared throughout his career, Kant set out his proposals for a liberal state. John Gray has summed up the four main philosophical tenets underlying liberalism in his book with that title: It is individualistic, in that it asserts the moral primacy of the person... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at Just Philosophy