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Eric Schliesser
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After 260 consecutive posts since the last summer break, I pause to take a two week family holiday. These posts average about 800 viewings (although the variance is pretty significant), which continues to creep up. I continue to be honored by your regular interest, dear reader, in my expanding, unsystematic... Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at Digressions&Impressions
The Dutch saw, with the utmost regret, a war approaching, whence they might dread the most fatal consequences, but which afforded no prospect of advantage. They tried every art of negotiation, before they would come to extremities. Their measures were at that time directed by John de Wit, a minister... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
Brian Epstein’s The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences is a wonderful contribution to metaphysics, social ontology, and philosophy of social science (and relevant for all the human sciences). I rarely find myself agreeing with Christian List, but I agree with his claim (blurbed on the back... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Sir William Temple, his resident at Brussels, received orders to go secretly to the Hague, and to concert with the States the means of saving the Netherlands. This man, whom philosophy had taught to despise the world, without rendering him unfit for it, was frank, open, sincere, superior to the... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
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Reports of the death of the analytic/continental divide are highly premature, and the rampant claims that this division is "merely sociological" seem to imply (in rather un-Latourian fashion) that sociology deals only with figments of the imagination.--Harman on Latour, p. 11. During my last visit to the pre-renovation-era Stedelijk, I... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Where the deity is represented as infinitely superior to mankind, this belief, though altogether just, is apt, when joined with superstitious terrors, to sink the human mind into the lowest submission and abasement, and to represent the monkish virtues of mortification, penance, humility, and passive suffering, as the only qualities... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
This week I am at the 42nd Annual Hume Society Conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Out of those forty-two, I have attended nine since 2004. I started attending when I was fresh out of graduate school. I have a vivid memory of an occasion during the first one I attended in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Yes, Roy (if I may?), thank you; that's a very important reference for Smith. I explore some of the connections between D'Alembert's Discourse and Smith's philosophy of science in some articles I published a decade ago.)
The 1978 World Cup involve my earliest televised football memories. (I was seven years old.) My favorite player in the tournament was Daniel Passarella (because of his exotic name). The Dutch side was not expected to do well because its best player, Johan Cruyff, withdrew from the squad. (I had... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
This is the Hinge of your system.--David Hume on The Theory of Moral Sentiments to Adam Smith, 28 July 1759 In his forthcoming intellectual biography of David Hume, James Harris points out that after the youthful Treatise, Hume does not self-describe his own writing(s) as 'systematic' or a 'system' in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
One way to understand the revival, even increasing flourishing, of a robust Christian philosophy -- one that is unabashedly, metaphysically realist about many of the traditional claims of revelation -- is that it can be taken to expose the secret truth of the Enlightenment: the traditional anti-theological arguments against revealed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.--David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 1.6.* The sentence 'Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man' is generally quoted approvingly (even by those that would otherwise complain about gender biases). It is indeed very... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
In saying that analytic philosophy now has only a stylistic and sociological unity I, am not suggesting that analytic philosophy is a bad thing or that it is in bad shape. The analytic style is, I think, a good style, and the espirit de corps among analytic philosophers is healthy... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
The essay to which I shall be particularly addressing myself is 'Philosophy in America Today' (Rorty 1981), a central thesis of which is that the present state of analytical philosophy is to be explained by the disintegration of the neopositivist program of the Vienna Circle and its allies. The consequence... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
[C]ONSIDERING that world peace can only be protected by creative efforts commensurate with the dangers which threaten it; CONVINCED that the contribution which an organized and vital Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations; AWARE that united Europe can only be achieved by concrete... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
The [American Psychological] association’s ethics office “prioritized the protection of psychologists — even those who might have engaged in unethical behavior — above the protection of the public,” the report said. Two former presidents of the psychological association were on a C.I.A. advisory committee, the report found. One of them... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
The present issue of the Journal for the History of Philosophy (JHP) has a two-tiered debate between Daniel Garber (Princeton) and Michael Della Rocca (Yale) over (i) the status of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) in Spinoza and (ii) the methodology of the history of philosophy. Both (i-ii) are... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
As argued before, Rawls is very sensitive to the significance and roles of epistemic uncertainty in the original position. (In this he is a good student of Frank Knight (recall Arrow's response).) So it should come as little surprise that despite superficial features to the contrary ("full awareness of the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
A more far-reaching example concerns John Rawls…A new study of his thought has shown when his A Theory of Justice (1971) is read in conjunction with his later Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy (2000), as well as an unpublished manuscript containing notes for eighteen lectures on Kant and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
[A]nonymized peer-review seemed to bring out something vindictive in almost half of referees.--Kate Norlock. Perhaps this section is the appropriate place to bring up a very serious point of criticism of the dossier submitted. Professor Schliesser vastly overrates the importance and the scientific interest of his online presence. He is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Schliesser: I am being overwhelmed by refereeing requests Big Deal Philosopher: Life is short; I only review for the top journals. Schliesser (enviously): define 'top' Big Deal Philosopher: Healy 4; maybe Ethics, too. Schliesser (even more enviously): I would feel as if I were free-riding. How about tenure reviews? Big... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
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It is well known in the scholarly literature that despite the fact that Boyle's name has become associated with the Mechanical Philosophy, that he defended general providence (and thus the existence of at least one final cause). And, as scholars have noted (and Boyle, too), in his many design arguments... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
I could swagger about Fortitude and the Contempt of Riches as much as Seneca himself.---Mandeville, Fable of the Bees (recall). Far different is the purpose of those who are speech-making and trying to win the approbation of a throng of hearers, far different that of those who allure the ears... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Those concerned with general problems of philosophy of science and its methodology may find modern economics of considerable interest....Economics is by its nature a softer and less exact science than, say, conventional physics. Now in a hard, exact science a practitioner does not really have to know much about methodology.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at Digressions&Impressions
Thank you for correcting me, Margaret.