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Eric Schliesser
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The point was this darkness -- call it what you will -- this darkness and disorganisation were not mere negation, mere absence. They were both aftermath and prelude. The etymology of the word 'aftermath' is 'second mowing', a second crop of grass that is sown and reaped after the harvest... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
In a 1979 interview with Adrienne Rich, Rich questions Lorde about a set of positions she puts forth in her 1977 article, “Poetry is not a Luxury”. Lorde’s position reads, “The white fathers told us: I think, therefore I am. The Black mother within each of us – the poet... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
For several reasons, then, effective criticism requires the creation of novel theories. To define philosophy in terms of its critical spirit is not, then, to miss its constructive side; it is to require it. It should, of course, be said, that not all philosophers go in for criticism and construction... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Earlier this week the student government of the University of Michigan voted to divest from Israel. It was a largely symbolic vote that is unlikely to have real implications for the University. But it is very concerning: it was the 12th attempt by the UM student government since 2002, and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Does anybody remember the now unknown names of the Dijon academy that awarded the prize to Rousseau's first Discourse (and, later, his now less famous Letter on French Music)? History is unfair to the discerning judges, who launched the greatest career in public philosophy of the eighteenth century (which has... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The point can be extended. As white women, we are habitually loyal to powerful white men in our vicinity (e.g., those who outrank us in our workplaces, communities, and other social institutions, including the academy). We keep dominant men’s secrets as a default matter—including when it comes to their sexually... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Our generation.. we have no right to undo what previous generations have done. The generations that will follow will need an even more united Europe, a more social Europe - there is still work to be done - a competitive Europe, strong at home, a strong Europe in the world.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
The principal horror of any system which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, or which defines human need to the exclusion of the psychic and emotional components of that need - the principal horror of such a system is that it robs... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Marx said that religion put Utopia (or the higher stage of communism, which he - revealingly called The Kingdom of Freedom') "in the sky", and what we have to is put it on earth. (An idea he took from Feuerbach and the Young Hegelians.) So the Marxist project is nothing... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
College and university endowment earnings are usually tax-exempt. But as endowments have sought greater investment returns in recent years, they have shifted more of their money out of traditional holdings like United States equities to alternative, potentially more lucrative investments. These include private equity and hedge funds that frequently borrow... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Complex ideas may, perhaps, be well known by definition, which is nothing but an enumeration of those parts or simple ideas, that compose them. But when we have pushed up definitions to the most simple ideas, and find still more ambiguity and obscurity; what resource are we then possessed of?... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
At the end of the First World War the spiritual tradition of liberalism was all but dead. True, it was still uppermost in the thoughts of many a leading figure of public and business life, many of whom belonged to a generation which took liberal thought for granted. Their public... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Although a good semantic account of “I” is not sufficient for understanding the nature of self-consciousness, it may still be necessary. To take one of Scruton’s examples, brilliantly suggestive though Hegel’s discussion of the first person in The Phenomenology of Spirit is, it is plausible that it involves a confusion... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
We are not passive subjects The true Europe is a community of nations. We have our own languages, traditions and borders. Yet we have always recognized a kinship with one another, even when we have been at odds—or at war. This unity-in-diversity seems natural to us. Yet this is remarkable... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic. I know I am levelling a serious charge. But how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of China, India, Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
[1] Adam Smith…was determined to overturn the conventional wisdom of his day. Above all, [2] he objected to the notion that money was a creation of government. [3] In this, Smith was the intellectual heir of the Liberal tradition of philosophers like John Locke, who had argued that government begins... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
A few weeks ago, I noted that the Swiftian "the Nothing noths" (Das Nichts nichtet) was not to be found in Pap's official translation of Carnap’s "Überwindung der Metaphysik durch logische Analyse der Sprache." In his comments, Gary Ostertag called attention to Peter Geach's (1957) Mental Acts as the origin... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
I think there are a number of improvements to widespread practice (no I won't be linking to examples -- feel free to just disbelieve or disagree with me if you want!) that would be relatively easy to achieve. I mean to advocate that we all in our own work implement... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
"I do not know," answered the worthy man, "and I have not known the name of any Mufti, nor of any Vizier. I am entirely ignorant of the event you mention; I presume in general that they who meddle with the administration of public affairs die sometimes miserably, and that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
In order for the fear of a sentence to be effective and beneficial the sentence must not outrage. Its justice must be perceptible to average reason, and it must especially awaken the conscience, at the same time as it punishes its silence and slumber. But this will not be so... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Taken together, all of this suggests that, at best, the United States is wasting time that it, quite frankly, may not have. I know some readers here will think this is all for the best, because they don’t care for both the theory and practice of American leadership. But I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
A few weeks ago, on 11 October, my mom took me to a concert of the Kamus Quartet at the Concertgebouw (in the Kleine Zaal) in Amsterdam. It was a pleasant Fall evening, but in my rush I had realized I had forgotten dinner; I was pleased to find a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
As to the translation, I have preserve the order of the original, except in a paragraph or two, which I have taken the liberty to restore to the chapters to which they evidently belong, and from which they must have been accidentally detached. The French translator hath gone much farther;... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
Is it possible, without shuddering with horror, to read in history of the barbarous and useless torments that were coolly invented and executed by men who were called sages? Who does not tremble at the thoughts of thousands of wretches, whom their misery, either caused or tolerated by the laws... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions
I must confess that my own first reaction to the General Theory was not at all like that of Keats on first looking into Chapman's Homer. No silent watcher, I, upon a peak in Darien. My rebellion against its pretensions would have been complete except for an uneasy realization that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2017 at Digressions&Impressions