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Eric Schliesser
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Practically speaking, the opponents to a reform in Massachusetts are not a hundred thousand politicians at the South, but a hundred thousand merchants and farmers here, who are more interested in commerce and agriculture than they are in humanity, and are not prepared to do justice to the slave and... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The four other zones are intemperate, and the physique and character of their inhabitants show it. The first and second zones are excessively hot and black, and the sixth and seventh zones cold and white. The inhabitants of the first and second zones in the south are called the Abyssinians,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Students often happen to accept and transmit absurd information that, in turn, is believed on their authority. Al Mas'udi, for instance, reports such a story about Alexander. Sea monsters prevented Alexander from building Alexandria. He took a wooden container in which a glass box was inserted, and dived in it... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The next example of dynamic order will be our main subject, Science. Every scientist in search of discovery is faced with the scientific results and opinions of all other scientists up to that date, both living and dead, which are summed up in text books or-for more recent work-in current... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
“Do not you think that if I were about any king, proposing good laws to him, and endeavouring to root out all the cursed seeds of evil that I found in him, I should either be turned out of his court, or, at least, be laughed at for my pains?... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Public debate is resounding with calls for MPs in general and Ministers in particular to moderate their language and refrain from using inflammatory terms such as ‘surrender’ and ‘traitor’ in Brexit debates. The explicit thinking behind this is that MPs using such language incite division and hostility among the public... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
The promulgation of a world declaration of rights depends, as bills of rights seem always to have depended, on the existence of a broad region of interpretation, within which court decisions and administrative and legislative actions have worked progressively to a practical definition and within which divergent philosophies have worked... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
I have been exploring caves in the Mammoth Cave region of Kentucky for over fifty years. The Mammoth Cave System is now more than 365 miles long, and will probably reach 500 miles. THE LONGEST CAVE (written with Roger W. Brucker, published in 1976 by Alfred A. Knopf) has never... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
As for' their [women] sharing in the art of war and the rest, why this is made clear from the inhabitants of deserts and the "City of Women" [Daghuda]. Similarly, too, since some women are formed with eminence and a praiseworthy disposition, it is not impossible that there be philosophers... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
57. Such an interruption in the process of responsible government might not matter in some circumstances. But the circumstances here were, as already explained, quite exceptional. A fundamental change was due to take place in the Constitution of the United Kingdom on 31st October 2019. Whether or not this is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
And again it is clear that in the study of beings this aim can be fulfilled by us perfectly only through successive examinations of them by one man after another, the later ones seeking the help of the earlier in that task, on the model of what has happened in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
If multiple collectivism or large-scale nationalisms promise everything bad, no mongrel system is likely to give us much peace. Peace is the limiting case at both extremes. Rejecting more government and more power concentration as the cure for our ills, we must move far toward the other extreme to find... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Michael Morris informed me that Myles Burnyeat has died (see also Leiterreports). Burnyeat was a visiting scholar at The University of Chicago* in 2001 (or so) and gave a most memorable seminar on the Republic. (He also gave some eventful public lectures.) I was struck by his ability to make... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Except for "A Political Credo," the essays in this volume have all been published before, mainly in professional jour­nals. [Henry C.] Simons' work has not as yet received the attention it merits either in semipopular discussions of public policy or among professional economists. The former is not surprising. Although Simons... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Where to start with the sheer strangeness, let alone the danger, of the current situation in British politics? One place would be with the three characters at the centre of events.... There is a more fundamental reason why, as far as many Westminster insiders and much of the public are... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
103. The first thing created in man is the sense of touch: by this he perceives certain classes of existents such as heat and cold, wetness and dryness, smoothness and roughness, etc. But touch is definitely unable to perceive colors and sounds: indeed, these are, as it were, nonexistent with... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
115. Of [all] their cities, this [democratic city] is the marvelous and happy city. On the sur­face, it is like an embroidered garment replete with colored figures and dyes. Everyone loves it and loves to dwell in it, because every human being who has a passion or desire for anything... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
But again, within the city itself how will they share with one another the products of their labor? This was the very purpose of our association and establishment of a state.” “Obviously,” he said, “by buying and selling.” “A market-place, then, and money as a token1for the purpose of exchange... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Thrasymachus, a post-modernist a couple of millennia ahead of his time, denies there is such a thing as justification — there is only motive and cause. There’s only one answer to the question Why should I be just? Swords and spears. It took 2,400 years, but Thrasymachus has won in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Last week I learned through Mark Steen and Paul W Prescott that my former colleague, André Gallois, has died. We were colleagues for a brief period. But I encountered him, at Syracuse, in my first tenure track position, after I spent two relatively miserable years (in an otherwise cushy post-doc)... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Do you think that a city, an army, or bandits, or thieves, or any other group that attempted any action in common, could accomplish anything if they wronged one another?” “Certainly not,” said he. “But if they didn't, wouldn't they be more likely to?” “Assuredly.” “For factions, Thrasymachus, are the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
[The political science that is part of philosophy] explains that what is best and most virtuous in virtuous cities and nations is for their kings and rulers who succeed one another through time to possess the qualifications of the first ruler. It brings about cog­nizance of [a] how it ought... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
We ordinarily say...that each of the arts is different from others because its power or function is different? ...And does not each art also yield us benefit that is peculiar to itself and not general, as for example medicine health, the pilot's art safety at sea, and the other arts... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
62. I therefore collected and marshaled those utterances [of the Ta‘limites], combining thoroughness and accuracy, and answered them at great length. The result was that one of the Sunnites found fault with me for overstating their argument. He said: “This is an effort on their behalf. For they would have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
The elimination of conscious fraud is seldom mentioned in formal discussions of the reasons for repetition in science. The quasi-mythological view that scientists are uniformly of higher moral standards than ordinary mortals is maintained, and subconscious bias is usually depended upon to explain the importance of independent repetition. To repeat,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions