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Eric Schliesser
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To the editors of the Journal of Political Philosophy, First, a primer: the idea ‘black lives matter’ and the political movement bearing that phrase represent something expansive but specific. The idea ‘black lives matter’ is an ethical demand calling for an end to the erasure of black lives and presence... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
At any rate, I cannot allow myself to believe that such men as Zeno or Cleanthes, men, it is said, of the most simple as well as of the most sublime eloquence, could be the authors, either of these, or of the greater part of the other Stoical paradoxes, which... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
This convention is not of the nature of a promise: For even promises themselves, as we shall see afterwards, arise from human conventions. It is only a general sense of common interest; which sense all the members of the society express to one another, and which induces them to regulate... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
On your first point, agreed. (Having said that there is a complicated story to be told about Hume's view of the kind of pre-modern magnanimity of King Alfred and modern kind of magnanimity, associated with Johan De Witt.) On the second (helpful) point: I am not claiming that for Hume the modern virtues are sufficient for political success, just that (against the Ancients) they are compatible with and sometimes conducive to (justified) political success.
The leader of the successful party … may re-establish and improve the constitution, and from the very doubtful and ambiguous character of the leader of a party, he may assume the greatest and noblest of all characters, that of the reformer and legislator of a great state; and, by the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Se o teu coração não quiser ceder Não sentir paixão, não quiser sofrer Sem fazer planos do que virá depois O meu coração pode amar pelos dois--“Amar Pelos Dois”. If your heart doesn’t wish to give in Not to feel passion, not to suffer Without making plans of what will... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
It is the price of democracy that the possibilities of conscious control are restricted to the fields where true agreement exists and that in some fields things must be left to chance. But in a society which for its functioning depends on central planning this control cannot be made dependent... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Since it has been argued so far that an essentially liberal economic regime is a necessary condition for the success of any interstate federation, it may be added, in conclusion, that the converse is no less true: the abrogation of national sovereignties and the creation of an effective international order... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Theresa May has called a snap general election for June 8, claiming that divisions at Westminster risked hampering the Brexit... The move stunned Westminster, as Mrs May and Number 10 have repeatedly insisted she would not seek a general election before the scheduled 2020 poll. But Mrs May, who has... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Dear Tristan, I am not surprised you disagree about the point you quote. I agree that the defense you articulate is probably widely held by our professional peers. But (i) even if we grant the method at face value, it is more conducive to a species of falsification than truth finding. In addition, (ii) it is by no means obvious that the method is really conducive to philosophical truth-seeking--but that's for another blog post.
Thank you for this very helpful comment! (And I look forward to reading more of LeGuin, including In Always Coming Home.)
Dear Bruno, On your first (set of) question(s): I think the general justification falls under the freedom of association (and drawing on ideas about privacy and, in some cases, religious freedom) as well as a liberal preference to keep the peace in light of some harm principle. On my interpretation this permits groups from having particular entry requirements that themselves are not justifiable on liberal grounds because they may appeal to substantive conceptions of the good, or religious traditions that are not liberal, or illiberal procedures, etc. The previous paragraph does not settle the matter, of course, because there are going to be cases where exclusion of willing outsiders may well cause genuine harms to the functioning of liberal institution of society or may offend settled liberal norms of public morality greatly. But in general, I resist the overreach of my liberal friends to impose liberal values on minorities and I find such imposition on marginalized minorities fundamentally illiberal. I am no anthropologist, but we disagree when you write that racial minorities (at least in the US) are not (usually) groups with a 'societal culture' that needs protecting. On your final point, we agree that Dr. Tuvel and, I would add (and I find it revealing you overlook this), some of her critics as well as people who have merely called for civility should not have received various kinds of internet abuse. (As somebody who is on receiving end of such abuse not infrequently, I am certainly not going to belittle it.) But my point was a different one: it's okay to call attention critically to features of scholarship in ways that themselves are not especially scholarly (including petitions, press coverage, etc.). There is a Meme out there that the only legitimate critical response to a publication one wishes not to ignore is to write another publication. That Meme I reject.
The unknown [...] the unforetold, the unproven, that is what life is based on. Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action. If it were proven that there is no God there would be no religion [...] But if it were proven that there is a... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
We are determined by custom alone to suppose the future conformable to the past. When I see a billiard-ball moving towards another, my mind is immediately carry’d by habit to the usual effect, and anticipates my sight by conceiving the second ball in motion. There is nothing in these objects,... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
I am persuaded that this tension exists not merely because traditional speculative philosophy frequently cultivates mystification and conscious irrationalism in matters of strict philosophy, but because it has repercussions upon social theory and practice, as recent events have amply shown. Analytic philosophy has thus a double function: it provides quiet... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
It is our position that the harms that have ensued from the publication of this article could and should have been prevented by a more effective review process. We are deeply troubled by this and are taking this opportunity to seriously reconsider our review policies and practices. While nothing can... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
The time when you should most of all withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd.--Seneca, Letter 25. I was away from the internet for a few days, and I returned to renewed turmoil in the philosophical blogosphere. To seasoned hands these take on a... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
[This is a guest post by Joel Katzav.--ES] In his 1956 presidential address to the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, John Herman Randall Jr. worries about the growing sectarianism he identifies in American (academic) philosophy. More explicitly, he worries about the growing tendency in 1950s American philosophy to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Nepotism creates more than one kind of problem in institutions. One is that those outside the family don’t get a fair chance to compete for the positions in question....But the other is the damage done to independence of judgment and decision-making. Over the course of the Bannon-Kushner struggle, many, reportedly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
In this new book, Larry May develops and defends what he claims is a special and new outlook on war: "contingent" pacifism. Pacifists hold that all war is unjustified. Contingent pacifists do not; they agree that it is at least possible for war to be justified. But they also think... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
At 78, Robert Pirsig, probably the most widely read philosopher alive, can look back on many ideas of himself. There is the nine-year-old-boy with the off-the-scale IQ of 170, trying to work out how to connect with his classmates in Minnesota. There is the young GI in Korea picking up... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
3. You don’t need to feel like you’re succeeding. There are some days where you’ll feel successful, but not many. Again, you may have completed 1-2% of a project, but often it’s tough to see where that piece fits into the larger whole. The other part of this is that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Is that what civilization is: an unwhispered agreement that no one, no matter how insignificant, should be allowed lose face?--J.M. Coetzee, Youth, p. 157. There are three important characteristics of civilization mentioned here: (a) a tacit agreement or norm; (b) fundamental (even if minimal) equality; (c) a taboo against causing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Thank you for that. I did not realize this before.
The nineteenth century bestowed upon us the amalgamation of nation and state. Since Jews everywhere were loyal to the state--you do recall, don't you?--they had to attempt to shed their nationality, they had to assimilate. The twentieth century has shown us the ultimate consequences of nationalism, as evidenced by horrible... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions