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Eric Schliesser
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3. Therefore, mark my words; that forceful manner of speech, rapid and copious, is more suited to a mountebank than to a man who is discussing and teaching an important and serious subject. But I object just as strongly that he should drip out his words as that he should... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
[This is part of an ongoing series of occasion pieces on the crisis of liberalism, recall here, here, here; see also here--ES] Some general facets can be discerned at once. Western Marxism, as we have seen, was progressively inhibited from theoretical confrontation of major economic or political problems, from the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Let me begin with the latter model, which I shall term the “pure history” model. According to this historiographical method, evaluations of philosophical arguments and projects, while crucial to philosophy, are irrelevant to the history of philosophy. Scholars who use this model, like the nineteenth-century historian of ancient philosophy Eduard... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Her Disciples entered into a strićt Tye of Intimacy with one another, stiling themſelves Companions, or, as in our Colleges Fellows; which was likewiſe the Cuſtom at Athens, and in other famous Seminaries of Learning. This commonly begot Effects of Benevolence thro’ the whole Courſe of their Lives, and Hypatia... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
In Book 22 of the Odyssey, there is a description of the way in which Odysseus’ son punishes the faithless women who had reverted to prostitution. Emotionless, and with an inhuman composure rivaled only by the impassibilité of the major nineteenth-century novelists, Homer describes the movement of the nooses and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
But don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, &c. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
This essay starts with a Hampstead anecdote. A few years ago my wife and son met a friendly man, a "political philosopher who commuted to Durham' in a local store. My wife noted, with bemusement, that when she mentioned my name as a fellow political philosopher he should meet, he... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
1. We have to compare real-world systems vs. real-world systems, not real-world systems vs. unattainable ideals. The important comparison is between real-world capitalism and real-world socialism, and on that measure real-world capitalism comes out pretty well, even if it almost always involves some level of cronyism. But maybe the recognition... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Yesterday, was a bad day for liberal democracy. Rather than in a spirit of compromise, signaling in a series of indicative votes what would be minimally acceptable outcomes, a sufficient number of MPs held on to more robust political aims (prevent Brexit, bring down an unloved government, promote a hard... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
In 1932, Lerner received his bachelor's degree from the L.S.E. and published his first paper. The following year, he and a group of colleagues founded The Review of Economic Studies. Impatience with articles long in form and light in content was a prime motivation for the creation of a professional... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Sometimes a brief exchange with an unknown person marks you forever, not because it is profound but because it is uncommonly vivid. Over twenty years ago, I saw a man lying on the sidewalk at Broadway and 105th Street. I guessed that he was in his early sixties, but he... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
He exchanges pound notes for the letters M.P. As the dominant cultural fiction of developed societies, money is the ideal nonsensical sign. I have always found it amazing that in exchange for paper I can get a book or a dress, that the stock market actually rises and falls on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Astrologers think that astrology...enables them to know the things that are going to be in the world of the elements, before they are created. The positions of the spheres and the stars (are) thus (taken to) indicate every single kind of future event, both universal and individual. The ancient (astrologers)... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
“May God strengthen you—I have longed to meet you for thirty or forty years.” The interpreter, ‘Abd al-Jabbār, asked, “And why is that?” I replied, “Two reasons: the first is that you are the supreme sovereign of the universe and the ruler of the world, and I do not believe... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
When I was a student Chomsky's (1959), "A review of BF Skinner's Verbal Behavior," was legendary. This was not just due to the regrettably robust tendency among analytic philosophers for the clever, uncharitable, and genuinely witty put-down (which I associate with Geach and Anscombe at their worst), or the excessive... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
The representatives of the French people, organized as a National Assembly, believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, unalienable, and sacred... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
While I wait for it to decide for or against me, I am going, Sir, to England to see if the colonists’ party, the sugar merchants' representatives, will also oppose the staging of my play on black slavery; to see if free people will pay attention to the selfish mercantile... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Woman, wake up; the tocsin of reason is resounding throughout the universe: acknowledge your rights. Nature's powerful empire is no longer surrounded by prejudice, fanaticism, superstition or untruth. The light of truth has dissipated all the clouds of nonsense and usurpation. Enslaved man increased his power and had to have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
There must be an alliance of a particular kind which we may call a covenant of peace (foedus pacificum), which would differ from a treaty of peace (pactum pacis) in this respect, that the latter merely puts an end to one war, while the former would seek to put an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
[This is an invited guest post by Justin Weinberg at DailyNous, part of a symposium to celebrate the blog's fifth anniversary. Go read all of it!--ES] I want to thank Justin for inviting me to participate in this discussion. I hope he forgives me for ignoring Daily Nous, Leiter Reports,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
Yesterday, in the tube, I was reading Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game (Das Glasperlenspiel). It's a long book, and despite a teenage infatuation with Narziß und Goldmund, I have been ambivalent about reading any more Hesse. (I intensely disliked Siddhartha, which I read in college, and Der Steppenwolf, which... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
I do not wish to leave out an important branch of this subject, for it is a danger from which princes are with difficulty preserved, unless they are very careful and discriminating. It is that of flatterers, of whom courts are full, because men are so self-complacent in their own... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
I shall indeed arrange for you, in careful order and narrow compass, the notes which you request. But consider whether you may not get more help from the customary method than from that which is now commonly called a "breviary," though in the good old days, when real Latin was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions
For although possession [la possession] may sometimes make something that was once pleasing no longer attractive to us, it is more striking still that in a simple and natural life, possession increases something’s value [le prix]—for it brings together the present and the future, the current pleasures and those derived... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at Digressions&Impressions