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Eric Schliesser
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I interrupt my usual Summer blogging break with a new entry in my Covid Diaries. (For my official "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; here; here; here; here; here; here, here;... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
After nearly a month, it's time for another long covid update. (For my official "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; here; here; here; here; here; here, here; here; here, here; here;... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
One very nice feature of Quinn Slobodian's Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism is that he has keen eye for the way Austrian economics and Ordoliberalism helped shape international institutions and international law in the era we often lazily call 'Bretton Woods' and then mistakenly associate... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
The final and weightiest claim for the Referendum, as attested by Swiss experience, is the training in the art of government it gives to the people. It may indeed be questioned whether a people whose direct contribution to self-government consists in a single vote cast at intervals of several years,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
While the term “liberal” had long been used in English to denote assorted aristocratic dispositions, mores, and pursuits, it only assumed a specifically political meaning in the early nineteenth century. Borrowed from the Spanish Liberales of the 1812 Constitution, the term was first employed in a derogatory manner by Tories... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
Last week (recall) I noted the significance to Foucault's Weberian reading of Hayek that in The Road to Serfdom (1944) Mannheim's historicist interpretation of the law is one of the official targets of Hayek (especially in chapter “Planning and the Rule of Law”). In the passage from Mannheim's Man and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
It is a great pity that the flood of federalist publications which in recent years has descended upon us has deprived the few important and thoughtful works among them of the attention they deserved. One which in particular ought to be carefully consulted when the time comes for the framing... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
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In most wealthy countries, most professionals working in real estate and financial markets only know of broadly falling interest rates in a relatively low inflation environment (and deflation for many goods). The remaining people with memories of the before times are retiring. Because during the last few decades monetary policy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
At first sight, the [neo-Marxist] theory [of imperialism] seems to fit some cases tolerably well. The most important instances are afforded by the English and Dutch conquests in the tropics. But other cases, such as the colonization of New England, it does not fit at all. And even the former... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
As I noted last month (recall), in Part II of (1960) The Constitution of Liberty, Hayek treats Weber's historicist account of the rule of law in bourgeois society as a key target. In particular, Hayek understands Max Weber as analyzing the formal legal structure of a polycentric order just as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
There are strong reasons for believing that what to us appear the worst features of the existing totalitarian systems are not accidental by-products but phenomena which totalitarianism is certain sooner or later to produce. Just as the democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
In a few weeks, Neglected Classics of Philosophy 2 (OUP, 2022) will appear. As you can see at books.google, it's dedicated to "Anneke Luger-Veenstra, Jan Stronk, and Rob Brower, my learned high school teachers, who encouraged a love of the classics." Two days ago my high school classmate, Jorine Lamsma,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
Up to this point a thoroughly consistent individualism can work in harmony with socialism, and it is this partial alliance which has, in fact, laid down the lines of later Liberal finance. The great Budget of 1909 had behind it the united forces of Socialist and individualist opinion. It may... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
These principles may appear very abstract, remote from practical life, and valueless for concrete teaching. But this remoteness is of the nature of first principles when taken without the connecting links that bind them to the details of experience. To find some of these links let us take up again... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
This is the third post in a series triggered by an invite from Karolina Hubner and Justin Steinberg to write on the Spinoza and Hudde (1628 – 1704)) exchange. According to Spinoza (recall this post); and this one), Hudde's original request to Spinoza was to provide [1] "a demonstration of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
In short, whether or not there is a theory of the state in Marx is for Marxists to decide. As for myself, I would say that what socialism lacks is not so much a theory of the state as a governmental reason, the definition of what a governmental rationality would... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
In this post I want to express a suspicion about the use of certain academic concepts in some species of political rhetoric. That's not a noble enterprise, which is why I do it on the week-end. And before I express that suspicion I also want to claim that I do... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
This is the second post in a series triggered by an invite from Karolina Hubner and Justin Steinberg to write on the Spinoza and Hudde (1628 – 1704)) exchange. According to Spinoza (recall this post), Hudde's original request to Spinoza was to provide [1] "a demonstration of the Unity of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
It's been about a month since my last covid update. (For my official "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; here; here; here; here; here; here, here; here; here, here; and here).... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
Strauss has gone to very particular pains to say that Locke was really a genuine Hobbist in his social theory, a claim Strauss pretends to demonstrate by minute attention to and quotation from the Locke corpus. It is not so much the obvious incorrectness of Strauss's reading which calls for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
I shall presuppose that: (1) The true definition of each thing contains nothing beyond the simple nature of the thing defined. From this it follows that (2) No definition involves or expresses any multiplicity or any definite number of individuals since it involves or expresses nothing but the nature of... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
I learned a few days ago -- [HT Michael Kremer] -- that (see here) Gilbert Ryle was the supervisor was of John William Yolton (1921-2005). This made me decide that I should treat Yolton as 'analytic.' That he is an analytic philosopher is by no means obvious when one reads... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
I noted a few weeks ago that near the end of his career, in (1991) Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher, Vlastos praises "Irwin's brilliant review of Leo Strauss." (I noted, too, that Irwin's review is nothing of the sort--it's a non-review, and would be thought scandalous if professional philosophy weren't... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
In this paper political theory is regarded as properly serving an instrumental function. This view is elaborated, then defended against the criticisms of Professor Leo Strauss... Political theory should be a guide to action. The political philosopher should provide those who make policy with principles which will aid them in... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions
(C) Non-Cognitivism and Value-Commitments. Non-cognitivism does not maintain that value-words, even in the intrinsic sense, are meaningless, but only that they have normative, evaluative, directive, rather than cognitive meaning. Natural law theorists are therefore mistaken when they claim, as e.g., Leo Strauss does, that the denial of natural law implies... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2022 at Digressions&Impressions