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Eric Schliesser
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If one understands political philosophy as an enterprise whose goal is to guide political action, then I think Forrester is absolutely correct that the abstractions and idealizations need to go... But not all political philosophy need be understood as intending to guide our action in this very direct sense. Importantly,... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at Digressions&Impressions
Katrina Forrester's book is an engaging history of John Rawls's intellectual development and the outpouring of work in political philosophy his ideas have engendered. She focuses on the evolution of Rawls's theory of justice and the historical conditions from which it purportedly grew in the late 1940s and early 1950s.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
Anglo-American liberalism was first formulated by Milton and Locke. Their argument for freedom of thought was twofold. In its first part (for which we may quote the Areopagitica) freedom from authority is demanded, so that truth may be discovered. The main inspiration of this movement was the struggle of the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
1. The administration of the Military Government in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district will be abolished. 2. In Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district administrative autonomy of the residents, by and for them, will be established. 3. The residents of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district will elect an... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
In 1957 the pioneering African American sociologist E. Franklin Frazier published an English translation of his study of the U.S. black middle class, Black Bourgeoisie. We might also think of it as a pioneering work in the study of elite capture of politics. Frazier accuses the black middle class of... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The second year I was in Elbow, I was worklister, the mill syndicate cut rations. People doing six hours in the plant got full rations just barely enough for that kind of work. People on half time got three-quarter rations. If they were sick or too weak to work, they... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
A month ago we went on a family holiday on a deserted island in the Indian ocean with a very tiny, quiet resort on it with huts overlooking the ocean. It was very quiet, and my family spent their time sailing and snorkeling. While I love swimming, I didn't feel... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
I am taking my customary end of year blogging break, again. And I hope to return to near-daily blogging in January. I have enjoyed and appreciated all the well wishes, my dear readers. (For my "covid diaries," see here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here;... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
Bedap’s eyes had got very small, like steel beads. “Brother,” he said, “you are self-righteous. You always were. Look outside your own damned pure conscience for once! I come to you and whisper because I know I can trust you, damn you! Who else can I talk to? Do I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
It's time for a long haul covid update again. (For my "covid diaries," see here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; and here). It's a nicer one to write because, despite a gloomy ending, I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
"I did it in ten decads. Well enough to read To’s Introduction. Oh, hell, you need a text to work on. Might as well be that. Here. Wait.” He hunted through an overflowing drawer and finally achieved a book, a queer-looking book, bound in blue, without the Circle of Life... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
As a serious and committed liberal, Rawls did not position his theory as a response to the many radical tendencies of his day, because he was convinced that his position, like liberalism itself, already represented an adequate response. These challenges were, in the main, the same radical challenges that liberalism... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
[46] We lack, not only all these things, but also and especially, a phraseology of this language. For time, the devourer, has obliterated from the memory of men almost all the idioms and manners of speaking peculiar to the Hebrew nation. Therefore, we will not always be able, as we... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
My colleague, and friend, Yitzhak Melamed got denied entry to the Snoge (or Esnoga) to do some filming for a documentary on Spinoza by an eloquent Rabbi. (See below for the letter.) Looking at the wording of the letter, I suspect the Rabbi (who despite Amsterdam being a small village,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
"You are the same species, race, people, exactly the same in every way, with a slight selection towards color. If you brought up an asset child as an owner it would be an owner in every respect, and vice versa. So you spend your lives keeping up this tremendous division... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
Religious fanaticism is in fact strangely absent from Oceania, except in the form of devotion to the party. Big Brother's regime exhibits all the elements of fascism - the single charismatic dictator, the total control of behaviour, the absolute subordination of the individual to the collective - except for racial... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
Newton's Corollary VI, however, is not in the Principia for mere ornament. Newton needs it to establish that to a first approximation, the system of a planet and its satellites can be treated as an isolated gravitating system if one ignores the shared orbital motion around the sun. Thus we... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
By the time they have left the Ministry of Love, Winston and Julia have entered permanently the condition of doublethink, the anterooms of annihilation, no longer in love but able to hate and love Big Brother at the same time. It is as dark an ending as can be imagined.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
So the social workers of Um-Helat stand, talking now, over the body of a man. He is dead—early, unwilling, with a beautifully crafted pike jammed through his spine and heart. (The spine to make it painless. The heart to make it quick.) This is only one of the weapons carried... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
The women of Herland have no fear of men. Why should they have? They are not timid in any sense. They are not weak; and they all have strong trained athletic bodies. Othello could not have extinguished Alima with a pillow, as if she were a mouse. Terry put in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
But some knowledge is dangerous. Um-Helat has been a worse place, after all, in its past. Not all of its peoples, so disparate in origin and custom and language, came together entirely by choice. The city had a different civilization once-one which might not have upset you so! (Poor thing.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
My interest in this research was originally motivated by the debates that accompanied the development of the Feminist Movement in the United States concerning the roots of women's “oppression,” and the political strategies which the movement should adopt in the struggle for women's liberation. At the time, the leading theoretical... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
One important type of ethical theory treats moral properties as analogous in certain respects to "secondary qualities" like colors. According to this sort of theory, whether something is right or wrong depends on how impartial spectators would react to it. In the 18th Century, the Scottish philosophers Francis Hutcheson, David... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
Academics have been discussing carbon taxes as a way to save the environment for more than four decades. (There is a 1977 Nordhaus paper. But if you play around with, you may find anticipations.) It's a huge, interdisciplinary scholarly discussion by now with economists, philosophers, policy types, all kinds... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions
But it the jurists the magistrates, and the demonologists, often embodied by the same person, who in, contributed to the persecution. They were the ones who systematized the argument answered the critics and perfected a legal machine that, by the end of the 16th century, a standardized, almost bureaucratic format... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2021 at Digressions&Impressions