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Eric Schliesser
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Modern totalitarianism is only an episode within the perennial revolt against freedom and reason. From older episodes it is distinguished not so much by its ideology, as by the fact that its leaders succeeded in realizing one of the boldest dreams of their predecessors; they made the revolt against freedom... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Digressions&Impressions
It was but a moment ago that I sat, as a lad, in the school of the philosopher Sotion, but a moment ago that I began to plead in the courts, but a moment ago that I lost the desire to plead, but a moment ago that I lost the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
The second important point in this neo-liberal program is the question of conformable actions (actions conformes). This theory of conformable actions, this programming of conformable actions, is essentially found in a text which was actually one of the great charters of contemporary German policy. It is a posthumous text by... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
[1] I am not in all cases and under all circumstances against a violent revolution. I believe with some medieval and Renaissance Christian thinkers who taught the admissibility of tyrannicide that there may indeed, under a tyranny, be no other possibility, and that a violent revolution may be justified. But... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
[This is an invited guest post by Joel Katzav--ES] Susan Stebbing reviewed Marie Collins Swabey’s Logic and Nature in 1930.[1] According to Stebbing, Logic and Nature’s main purpose is to vindicate the idea that logic can teach us metaphysics and to use logic to teach us metaphysics. In addition, writes... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
[I] f we approach political theory from a different angle, then we find that far from solving any fundamental problems, we have merely skipped over them, by assuming that the question ‘Who should rule?’ is fundamental. For even those who share this assumption of Plato’s admit that political rulers are... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
I...concentrate...on the other and more knock-down objection commonly levelled against the theory I have been laying out. According to a number of eminent critics, the analysis of the concept of liberty underlying the claim that it is only possible to live freely in a free state is itself misleading and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
The first point to underline is that, as you can see, and as the neo-liberals have always said, neo-liberal governmental intervention is no less dense, frequent, active, and continuous than in any other system. But what is important is to see what the point of application of these governmental interventions... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
A number of critics [of neo-roman liberty] argued that, even if this contention is not actually incoherent, the suggestion that an equal right to participate in government is indispensable to the maintenance of civil liberty is so Utopian as to make it irrelevant to the political world in which we... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
Against the claim that an aim like this can be formulated sufficiently clearly and definitely, many objections have been raised. It has been said that once it is recognized that freedom must be limited, the whole principle of freedom breaks down, and the question what limitations are necessary and what... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
It is acknowledged, however, that self-government in this literal sense poses some almost insurmountable difficulties. Of these the most obvious, as Harrington observes, is that 'the whole body of the people' is 'too unwieldy a body to be assembled'. Sir Thomas More had put forward one possible solution in his... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
It is striking in this light that the first surviving visible expression of an explicitly “Phoenician” identity was imposed by the Carthaginians on their subjects as they extended state power to a degree unprecedented among Phoenician- speakers, that it was then adopted by Tyre as a symbol of colonial success,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
For intellectual life to deliver the human benefit it provides, it must be in fact withdrawn from considerations of economic benefit or of social and political efficacy. This is the case in part because, as the little human things testify, a human being is more than an instrument of personal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
We ought, I think, to be prepared to ask ourselves quite aggressively what is supposed to be the practical use, here and now, of our historical studies. It has never seemed to me adequate to reply that they satisfy a natural curiosity, and it seems to me dangerously self-indulgent to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
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It should not be surprising, therefore, that the most “sympathetic” or “congenial” works are to be found among the “realists” in the history of political doctrine. Initially we look to Glaucon in Plato’s Republic, to Thomas Hobbes, and to Benedict Spinoza. Of these, and others within this tradition, only Spinoza’s... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
[This is an invited guest post by Fleur Jongepier.--ES] Have you ever fallen in love philosophically with a philosopher? Do you know the reasons why (not)? Is there even such a thing as philosophical love? I believe there is such a thing, and that having such intellectual emotions is vital... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
[This is an invited guest post by Joel Katzav--ES] Marie Collins Swabey completed her PhD at Cornell in 1920, under the supervision of James Edwin Creighton. Her topic was the nature of laws of nature. She subsequently translated, with her husband, Ernst Cassirer’s Substance and Function and Einstein’s Theory of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
Scripture itself also establishes that ceremonies contribute nothing to blessedness, but only concern the temporal prosperity of the state [imperii temporaneam foelicitatem]. For it promises nothing in return for ceremonies except the comforts of the body and its promised delights [corporis commoda, et delicias promittit,], and promises blessedness only in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
When you talk about contemporary neoliberalism, whether German or any other kind, you generally get three types of response. The first is that from the economic point of view neo-liberalism is no more than the reactivation of old, secondhand economic theories. The second is that from the sociological point of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
1. Free expression is probably at an all-time high right now, at least in the West. There is a huge variety of different venues for your writing, there’s a whole new world podcasts for speeches, and an ever-increasing supply of video outlets. The availability of these platforms and publishers doesn’t... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
Kim Sterelny: I think philosophers do two different things. So one of the things that they do is methodological. They reflect upon the methods of the natural sciences. When someone says, I do philosophy of science, especially if they said I do philosophy of science 20 years ago or 30... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
This is where the ordoliberals break with the tradition of eighteenth and nineteenth century liberalism. They say: Laissez-faire cannot and mus* not be the conclusion drawn from the principle of competition as the organizing form of the market. Why not? Because, they say, when you deduce the principle of laissez-faire... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
To do this it was necessary to indicate the main prejudices regarding religion, i.e., the traces of our ancient bondage, and then also the prejudices regarding the right of the supreme 'powers. Many, with the most shameless license, are eager to take away the greater part of that right, and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
To summarize all this, the decisive point of the Nazi experience for the Freiburg liberals—and this was their choice of adversary, if you like, the way in which they set up the field of adversity necessary for the definition of their strategy—was that, first, they thought they could establish that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions
More frequent or severe extreme weather events and/or a late and abrupt transition to a low-carbon economy could have significant impacts on the financial system, with potential systemic consequences. Extreme weather events could lead to damage of physical assets, including real estate, productive capital and infrastructure, and loss of life... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2020 at Digressions&Impressions