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Eric Schliesser
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§ 1 Plato in his Laws permits not any one to go and draw water from his neighbor's well, who has not first digged and sunk a pit in his own ground till he is come to a vein of clay, and has by his sounding experimented that the place... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Digressions&Impressions
So what the political economists had conceived in their science was not a picture of the world as it is but a picture of the world as it needs to be remade. They had imagined the kind of human society in which the social problems arising from the division of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
What seemingly unites commentaries to texts, annotated editions and translations or reviews is that they focus on the presentation of the ideas of others. Thus, my hunch is that we seem to think more highly of people presenting their own ideas than those presenting the ideas of others. In a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
The Church’s involvement in spiritual warfare within a temporal order that is fallen is also fundamental to the nature of the Church herself, and has long determined magisterial teaching about that nature. The Church has been given by Christ himself the authority to protect the supreme good of religion. But... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
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The graph is from April's (2018) IMF Fiscal Monitor, chapter 1. It's on p. 7. Argentina is notably absent, and I have not found any obvious warning signals in the monitor alerting the reader to the events of the last few weeks. But here I want to call attention to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Our son was born prematurely in December 2009 after an emergency c-section. At the time, my (then partner, now) wife suffered from HELLP syndrome, which had been overlooked by her GP, her midwife, and her gynecologist. They missed it, in part, for the statistically interesting reason that they were working... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Following Kant, they see Auschwitz as the ultimate expression of that barbarism, that brutal debasement of humanity, which is national particularism. From this point of view, the death camps provide the ultimate proof of the evil of permitting nations to decide for themselves how to dispose of the military power... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labour... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
This leads me to my conclusion concerning the present volume. It could have profited from an in-depth investigation into the conceptual and philosophical architecture of existentialism and existential thought as they have developed over the last two hundred years. This would have led to the insight that neither neuroscience nor... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Admiring the great thinkers of the past has become morally hazardous. Praise Immanuel Kant, and you might be reminded that he believed that ‘Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites,’ and ‘the yellow Indians do have a meagre talent’. Laud Aristotle, and you’ll have to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
From the combination of the two kinds of moral influence thus exercised by women, arose the spirit of chivalry: the peculiarity of which is, to aim at combining the highest standard of the warlike qualities with the cultivation of a totally different class of virtues—those of gentleness, generosity, and self-abnegation,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
This observation is not correct. Women are not governed, it is true, by the reason (and experience) of men; they are governed by their own reason (and experience). Their interests not being the same (as those of men) by the fault of the law, the same things not having the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
It is hardly to be expected that this question will be asked in respect to the change proposed in the condition of women in marriage. The sufferings, immoralities, evils of all sorts, produced in innumerable cases by the subjection of individual women to individual men, are far too terrible to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
The real moral/political question at issue with our current and too-common slang deployment of the F-bomb is not whether one literally means that another should be non- consensually, sexually violated when one says “fuck you,” but rather why and how it is that we so easily, so unreflectively, and so... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Because that which we seek [to do] is not to resuscitate a theory, but to discover the ideas that permit the momentum [élan] toward freedom and civilization to triumph over all the obstacles resulting from human nature, historical circumstances, the conditions of life on this earth. It is a long-term... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Regular readers know (recall) that I believe the second wave of liberalism+ has ended and that it may not survive the present darkness. (In brief: first long wave: 1776-1914; second wave: 1945-2009. Some readers will say, good riddance, and to you I say, I hope you do better.) The present... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
As the Dutch news is now reporting, this week several of my colleagues in my department and faculty have received anonymous death threats and antisemitic hostility because they politely protested a student group's invitation to Jordan Peterson (here's an English version). (One of the targets, Polly Pallister-Wilkens, shared some of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
There may also be a second obstacle that is equally important and that is less frequently recognized--it may be prohibitively costly to maintain intensive form of political representation...If the literature on corporate finance emphasizes that allowing monitoring increases access to finance, it also emphasizes that engaging in monitoring may be... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
To those American political theorists who long for either more communal or more expansively individualistic personalities, I now offer a reminder that these are the concerns of an exceptionally privileged liberal society, and that until the institutions of primary free­dom are in place these longings cannot even arise. Indeed the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Regular readers know (recall) that I believe the second wave of liberalism+ has ended and that it may not survive the present darkness. (In brief: first long wave: 1776-1914; second wave: 1945-2009. Some readers will say, good riddance, and to you I say, I hope you do better.) The present... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
THERE is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that a vigorous Executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation; since they can never admit its truth, without at... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
I propose on this occasion to address the same kinds of questions to an entirely different market: the market for new ideas in economic science. Most economists enter this market in new ideas, let me emphasize, in order to obtain ideas and methods for the applications they are making of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
Most of us in philosophy receive very little in the way of of extended critical responses to our publications. This is true for even famous scholars, who may rack up a lot of citations, but still much of what they publish may in practice be ignored. Of course, no need... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
In his (1971) Theory of Justice, Rawls explicitly follows Quine's Word and Object on the nature of explication; he treats explication as a form of elimination: "we start with a concept the expression for which is somehow troublesome; but it serves certain ends that cannot be given up. An explication... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions
We economists have traditionally made innumerable criticisms of the inefficiency of various policies, criticisms which have often been to their own (and my own) utter satisfaction. The meager success of these criticisms in changing these policies, I am convinced, stems from the fact that more than narrow efficiency has been... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2018 at Digressions&Impressions