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Eric Schliesser
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Protecting that community of inquiry means keeping any number of intrusions at bay. And the university is constituted as a system of safe spaces: around here we discuss as economists in order to make progress on our research agenda without constantly having to re-argue our premisses against philosophers pointing out... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
The initiated, the members of the elite, by virtue of a kind of intuitive and direct perception are aware of the profound innermost thoughts of the leader, know the true secret aims of the movement. And so they are not troubled a whit by the contradictions and inconsistencies in their... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The oracle...was sound asleep all through the writing of the book. Sound asleep in the corner of the office. Philip K. Dick (1963) The Man in the High Castle. of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecclesiastes 12:12 One branch... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
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This morning I received an email (headlined, "Blast from the Past") from my friend (and sometime collaborator), Andrew Janiak. His sister had found a copy of the program of the New England Undergraduate Philosophy Conference held at Tufts, April 4, 1992 (which Andrew had included in the mail). I had... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The clarifications achieved through ethical discussions of the eighteenth century were largely forgotten during the nineteenth, except by one or two, such as Archbishop Whately, who carried no great weight in the field of Moral Philosophy. But towards the end of the century we find the older and clearer language... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
This I regard as history's highest function, to let no worthy action be uncommemorated, and to hold out the reprobation of posterity as a terror to evil words and deeds.--Tacitus For the structuralist the decisive facts about Nazism, for example, are not the ideas, policies or even actions of Hitler... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Again, all covered in the new book. Nothing new here. Schliesser and van der Meer aren’t saying my response to this objection fails, but, rather, they just aren’t aware that I’ve acknowledged it. Again, I’d be curious to know what their response to the argument in the book is.--Jason Brennan... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Sometime in the last few weeks, this blog passed the half millionth page-view. As I am writing this post it stands at 511,058. (I started second week of January 2014.) I am very pleased and not a little bit awed by the ongoing interest people have in my daily musings.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
The Socratic proposition “It is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong” is not an opinion but claims to be truth, and though one may doubt that it ever had a direct political consequence, its impact upon practical conduct as an ethical precept is undeniable; only religious commandments, which... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
A small sect or society amidst a greater are commonly most regular in their morals; because they are more remarked, and the faults of individuals draw dishonour on the whole. The only exception to this rule is, when the superstition and prejudices of the large society are so strong as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Daniel Bell is cautiously hopeful because he is aware that scientific and technical work depend on "theoretical knowledge [that] is sought, tested, and codified in a disinterested way" (op. cit). Perhaps this optimism can be justified so long as the scientists and technologists remain uninterested in power and are concerned... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Since Space is Divisible in infinitum, and Matter is not necessarily in all places, it may also be allowed that God is able to create Particles of Matter of several Sizes and Figures, and in several Proportions to Space, and perhaps of different Densities and Forces, and thereby to vary... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
A Yale spokesman said that when the university received information that a candidate had exhibited inappropriate behavior, it investigated all allegations “to the extent possible.” Professor Pogge said that a university representative had asked him about the Columbia case while he was being recruited, in 2007. Professor Benhabib, who served... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
“The UK’s relationship with the US has proved strong enough over time to bear the weight of honest disagreement. It does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgments differ.”--The Chilcot Report. The whole point of publishing an inquiry into the 2003 -- yes that's more than a dozen... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
We inevitably desire eternity; and dreams of eternity can only fail, condemned as we are to temporality.--William Egginton "Borges on Eternity," (in Eternity: A History, 277) Today, Eternity: A History edited by Y. Melamed arrived in the mail. I don't know why I received the volume (I have edited a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
A compelling case can be made that more or less everyone, prior to the emergence of professionalized philosophy in the West over the course of the eighteenth century, took happiness to be the exclusive legitimate goal of philosophy. "The Ascetic" in J.E. Smith (2016) The Philosopher: a History in Six... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Since I know nothing about her work, it may well be that Professor De Cruz is someone who has been a victim of pernicious "prestige" bias. Pernicious prestige bias is when someone thinks that because someone got a PhD from Fancy Pants University they must be competent (or, the reverse).... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
'Neoliberalism' has been a key concept used by progressive intellectuals to analyze and understand a whole bunch of political developments associated with the rise of Thatcher and Reagan and the subsequent, purportedly market friendly policies adopted in the Western world during the last thirty years. (In this narrative Jimmy Carter... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Yesterday, while being pushed inside the MRI, I was looking for signs of the effects of the opiate-painkiller -- I guessed I had swallowed it about thirty minutes before -- to kick in. I had been disappointed to learn that that it was impossible to play music inside the machine.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Brexit is a turning point in the history of western democracy. Never before has such a drastic decision been taken through so primitive a procedure – a one-round referendum based on a simple majority. Never before has the fate of a country – of an entire continent, in fact –... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
For the Revolution Settlement of 1689 was not the triumph of a party, but an agreement of the chief parties to live and let live. The balance of Whig and Tory, each jealous of the other and both jealous of the Crown, served to protect the liberties of the individual... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Today, an invited guest post on Political Transformative Experience that I authored appeared at Daily Nous (thank you Justin and Helen--recall this post (when I called it Transformative Political Experience; do I have to settle on a stable name?); go check it out and explore the whole discussion. By public... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
This brings us to the central injustice of democracy, and why holding a referendum was a bad idea. Imagine, as an analogy, that you are sick. You go to a doctor. But suppose your “doctor” doesn’t study the facts, doesn’t know any medicine, and makes her decisions about how to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions
Ever since the 1990s, governments of Great Britain have negotiated a whole number of European 'opt-outs' (see here for the list). Rather than solidifying support for the Union this has created a dynamic in which the UK never became fully integrated in the give-and-take of compromise of European politics and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2016 at Digressions&Impressions