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Eric Schliesser
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Thus, in all their intellectual activity, scholars are accustomed to dealing with matters of the mind and with thoughts. They do not know anything else. Politicians, on the other hand, must pay attention to the facts of the outside world and the conditions attaching to and depending on (politics). (These... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The real meaning of royal authority is that it is a form of organization necessary to mankind. (Royal authority) requires superiority and force, which express the wrathfulness and animality (of human nature). The decisions of the ruler will therefore, as a rule, deviate from what is right. They will be... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
A change in our expectations concerning the use of science for policy implies the need to make something like philosophical deliberation more central to decision making. Philosophy relevant? We had better hope so....Of course, deliberating over values is no more a magic bullet than science has turned out to be.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Other professors used to ask me questions about politics: “You’re smart. You’re knowledgeable. How can you support” whichever Republican was running for president that year? Far from being dismissive, that used to lead to interesting and revealing conversations. I still have extended and productive political discussions with some old friends... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
HISTORY is a discipline widely cultivated among nations and races. It is eagerly sought after. The men in the street, the ordinary people, aspire to know it. Kings and leaders vie for it. Both the learned and the ignorant are able to understand it. For on the surface history is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Yes, I have my doubts about meritocracy, too:
As a graduate student at MIT in the early 1990s...I attended several of Dreben's classes. Sometimes I enjoyed them a lot, and sometimes I felt my time was being wasted. They weren't very well prepared (whatever blocked him from publishing presumably also blocked him from preparing for seminar). But he... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
The novels we know best have an architecture. Not only a door going in and another leading out, but rooms, hallways, stairs, little gardens front and back, trapdoors, hidden passageways, etcetera. It's a fortunate rereader who knows half a dozen novels this way in their lifetime. I know one, Pnin,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
While reviewing papers might seem thankless, please know that your service to the profession does not go entirely unnoticed. For many journals, there are some aspects of the process that are automated—such as reminders about deadlines—but others go directly through the editors, such as requests to review, recommendations to reject... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
I take considerable pride in being a blogger, but this has been a disheartening week. A lot of philosophers who are publicly active in various ways, including my former fellow blogger at NewAPPS, Carolyn Dicey Jennings, have been targeted by hostile critics, public and anonymous, in often nauseating ways that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Dear Lionel, I agree with everything that Liam and you are saying (except, perhaps, the part where you say I am too optimistic). I thought I recognized your point, too, that most whites don't think they are *are losing out on their boats being lifted when accommodating themselves to entrenched patterns and practices of supremacy* when in the paragraph on the defenders of the status quo, I allowed that some defenders of the quote do not see it as "lacking in epistemic features: whatever epistemic progress is still possible, it is possible in the conditions of white supremacy (which gets relabeled 'merit')." Perhaps, on re-reading my post, I could have expressed your point more clearly.
That “racial issues” may have important ramifications for “race-neutral” philosophical arguments is sometimes clear. Some of us balk at the ahistorical approach to property rights in Nozick’s celebrated Anarchy, State, and Utopia, with its virtual silence on slaves, their stolen labor, and the purported impossibility of reparations to their descendants.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
The competence of women is unknown, however, in these cities since they are only taken in them for procreation and hence are placed at the service of their husbands and confined to procreation, upbringing, and suckling. This nullifies their [other] activities. Since women in these cities are not prepared with... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
A nudge, as we will use the term, is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people's behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Probably this has always been the case: once an action is recounted, for intransitive ends, and no longer in order to act directly upon reality — that is, finally external to any function but the very exercise of the symbol — this disjunction occurs, the voice loses its origin, the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
One lucky sod now escaped through the squeaky double doors -- a feckless novelist on a visiting fellowship -- but she did not retire unobserved.--Zadie Smith On Beauty. The unnamed visiting novelist makes no other appearance within the novel. She is mentioned just before the anticipated, great set-piece debate at... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
I want to express my regret regarding the hurt caused by the recent Midwest meeting of the Society for Christian Philosophers. The views expressed in Professor Swinburne's keynote are not those of the SCP itself. Though our membership is broadly united by way of religious faith, the views of our... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
The principle is not all wrong, of course. But like all such principles should also be used with caution. (Arguing from an absence is always tricky.) It provides some evidence, but the evidence is also indirect. (It's not like we should always expect that all temporarily nearby critics are going to be charitable and really try hard to get the opposing views right.) Moreover, the evidence easily can be incomplete--it's not like we have all the writings of most of Parmenides's critics.
When therefore he saw them compass'd about with the Curtains of Punishment, and cover'd with the Darkness of the Veil; and that all of them (a few only excepted) minded their Religion no otherwise, but with regard to this present World; and cast the Observance of religious Performances behind their... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
In short, Fiske doesn’t like when people use social media to publish negative comments on published research. She’s implicitly following what I’ve sometimes called the research incumbency rule: that, once an article is published in some approved venue, it should be taken as truth. I’ve written elsewhere on my problems... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
We need to begin by asking whether the refusal to hire is punitive, and, if so, whether the punishment is proportionate to the offense. Or whether the refusal to hire is preventative, in which case whether there are ways to prevent that do not destroy someone’s life so completely. If... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
[W]ould he not provoke laughter, and would it not be said of him that he had returned from his journey aloft with his eyes ruined and that it was not worth while even to attempt the ascent? And if it were possible to lay hands on and to kill the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Yes, I agree that (Fiqh) jurisprudence is not itself philosophy, although it is worth reflecting on to what degree some of the great jurists drew on philosophical ideas of various sorts or developed a philosophy of law while instituting their schools (Ibn Hanbal, in particular, is a complex character). I don't speak with confidence about Confucius, although some of what he did looks a lot like the kind of thing Adam Smith did. I agree that one needs to be willing to acknowledge genuine differences between traditions and that sometimes it is not illuminating to treat a tradition of critical reflection as philosophy.
[O]ppression involves a distinct phenomenal or what it is like experience, namely, the experience of what it is like to belong to a social category that is negatively valued by others. This is an experience that the racially oppressed are most likely to have. When Du Bois and King write... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions