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Eric Schliesser
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I will never forget sitting in our auditorium listening to a long talk about meta-ethics when, right outside the doors of the university, Black Lives Matter activists were marching (this was in St. Louis at the time of Ferguson). I could hear them chanting; the stark contrast between the esoteric... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
There came to him that peculiar loneliness which is felt only in the monstrous impersonality of a multitude, that incomparable sensation of pure aloneness never known in another circumstance. The solitary figure upon an unchanging expanse of desert is not so alone as is one list in the infinity if... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
[Unlike most nearly all other Digressions, this essay was initially solicited and so lacks attention to my own participation and rewards in what I describe.--ES] Professional philosophy in the Anglophone world, and those areas that take their cue from it, inhabits very steep, intersecting status and economic hierarchies with very... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
In reflecting he length of the discourse indicates the distance of thought betwixt the speaker and the hearer. If they were at a perfect understanding in any part, no words would be necessary thereon.--Emerson, Circles. My dad graduated the Fashion Institute of Technology, then a community college part of the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
It is an unfortunate, but fairly obvious truth that most intellectuals, both on the left or right, don’t have particularly original ideas. Go to the Aspen Ideas Festival, or TED, or any of their ilk and you won’t find much that is genuinely surprising or exciting. Instead, you will find... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
If the makes the I of his story is a little quicker on the uptake, a little more level-headed, a little shrewder, a little braver, a little more ingenious, a little wittier, a little wiser than he, the writer, really is, the reader must show indulgence. He must remember that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Supposing that we had not lost some species, it is evident that they may be destroyed. Lions and rhinoceroses are becoming very scarce, and if the rest of the nations had imitated the English, there would not now have been a wolf left. It is probable that there have been... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Earlier in the week, I discussed Voltaire's engagement with and endorsement of the following Posidonian argument: (I) A necessary condition of the possibility of (an (intended)) successful scientific representation or concrete model of (a region of) nature is that (a region of) nature is orderly; (II) (A region of) Nature’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
In part, of course, we historians must take a good part of the blame, since we’re the ones with the training and proclivities to rectify the situation. But in part the problem arises because decisions in philosophy are made by a non-historical majority who have no idea how parochial our... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
If a clock is not made in order to tell the time of the day, I will then admit that final causes are nothing but chimeras, and be content to go by the name of a final-cause-finder — in plain language, fool — to the end of my life.--Voltaire, Final... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
I acknowledge that the tendency of all opinions to become sectarian is not cured by the freest discussion, but is often heightened and exacerbated thereby; the truth which ought to have been, but was not, seen, being rejected all the more violently because proclaimed by persons regarded as opponents. But... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
The state is the form a human community that (successfully) lays claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical violence within a given territory.--- Max Weber, "Politics as Vocation," (33), translated Rodney Livingstone. In context, Weber claims that the monopoly is a consequence of a historical process in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
The supposition is, that absolute power, in the hands of an eminent individual, would insure a virtuous and intelligent performance of all the duties of government. Good laws would be established and enforced, bad laws would be reformed; the best men would be placed in all situations of trust; justice... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Epoché (ἐποχή) did an interview with me here. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
6.—“No state at war with another shall countenance such modes of hostility as would make mutual confidence impossible in a subsequent state of peace: such are the employment of assassins (percussores) or of poisoners (venefici), breaches of capitulation, the instigating and making use of treachery (perduellio) in the hostile state.”... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Nice passage! (Although I think her 'utterly mysterious' may be put a bit too strong for many, too).
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2018 on Desire, JS/Amia at Digressions&Impressions
I am developing a paper, hopefully with Paul Raekstad, where to do this. I'd be delighted to send it to you for comments down the road!
Okay, I think now understand your interpretive problem. Just to disambiguate: I certainly think that for Dennett heterophenomology (with other cognitive sciences) teaches us stuff/knowledge about the nature and character of phenomenology. I think it's clear that for Dennett this nature and character is such that we tend to get it wrong when we do our introspective reporting. But I think part of the problem here is that for Dennett there is a kind of introspective indeterminacy of reference (and lack of identity in Quine's sense) of the objects (conscious experiences) that you seem to wish to posit.
A state that made analogous interventions in the sexual preference and practices of its citizens – that encouraged us to ‘share’ sex equally – would probably be thought grossly authoritarian. (The utopian socialist Charles Fourier proposed a guaranteed ‘sexual minimum’, akin to a guaranteed basic income, for every man and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
I am not sure what you are asking. When we start doing heterophenomenology, phenomenal realism could turn out to be true. I don't think Consciousness Explained suggests it does.
Wherever there is an ascendant class, a large portion of the morality of the country emanates from its class interests, and its feelings of class superiority. The morality between Spartans and Helots, between planters and negroes, between princes and subjects, between nobles and courtiers, between men and women, has been... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
I don't see why this -- "To read Dennett this way is to read him as a flat-footed phenomenal realist who thinks we often make gross errors in our reports" -- follows from anything what I say. And i think this is because you don't take seriously enough the claim that the heterophenomological subject is methodological. (Dennett would say theoretical fictions.) I think your comments goes wrong is here: "Putting these two sources together (your report, plus all other types of evidence) we will then, as scientists, reach our best guess about what your phenomenology or conscious experience (your real conscious experience) actually is." I don't see this being the point at all for Dennett. What makes you say that? One of the scientific projects, for example, that Dennett recommends heterophenomonology for is to study if phenomological items are really events in the brain. I think Dennett's official position is that heterophenomology helps interpret behavior of subjects. But I would have to check Consciousness explained again to make sure. So, the question of epistemic authority enters in at the wrong place altogether. An experimental subject has no epistemic authority.
Abstract Dennett argues that we can be mistaken about our own conscious experience. Despite this, he repeatedly asserts that we can or do have unchallengeable authority of some sort in our reports about that experience. This assertion takes three forms. First, Dennett compares our authority to the authority of an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
In the theory with which we have to deal, Absolute Ignorance is the artificer; so that we may enunciate as the fundamental principle of the whole system, that, IN ORDER TO MAKE A PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL MACHINE, IT IS NOT REQUISITE TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT. This proposition will... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions