Skip to main content


Showing posts from May 30, 2004
Bollettino In our last post, we said that we wanted to ponder, at length, elites and elitism. Let’s start with our all too brief remarks about the doctrine of double truth. If the philosopher writes texts with double messages – a public one for the vulgar, and a hidden one for the elite – one wonders: why does the elite need to hide? In the Republic, Plato dreamed of a philosopher king – but in the Apology, Plato shows the philosopher’s real fate, the most inglorious of murders at the hands of the state. From Plato to Nietzsche, the philosopher posed a problem by his very existence in a society structured by the three functions: workers, priests, nobles. The philosopher was the free agent – or the cursed portion, the shit, kindling, the nomadic. The inability to socially stabilize the philosopher’s power became the philosopher’s theme – picked up again in the early modern era, and finding its most extreme expression in Nietzsche, where it became the single greatest symbol of
Bollettino ‘My daughter please understand I am displaying your great uncles in a bad light they was wild and often shicker they thieved and fought and abused me cruelly but you must also remember your ancestors would not kowtow to no one and this were a fine rare thing in a colony made specifically to have poor men bow down to their gaolers. – The True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey. LI’s politics starts from a simple principle, which is that, no matter what the advantage, poor men should not bow down to their gaolers. It gets more complicated after that. We’ve been thinking about elites and about the famous “noble lie” principle. It is famous now because of the Straussians. But according to Steve Fuller, in his Thomas Kuhn, a philosophical history, the noble lie principle, or the double truth principle, was not direct from Plato to Leo Strauss. Fuller’s book, an all out assault on Kuhn, mentions other famous 20th century figures who held the principle, and implies th
Bollettino Notes First, note that LI’s New Yorker review of Marilyn Yalom’s Birth of the Chess Queen is now on-line, here. Second, note that LI desperately needs editing work. Reasonable prices (“you’ll think we are CRAZY to charge these prices!”) and all that. Go here – if you have IE5 up –to check out our editing site . Third, we’ve been reading Steve Fuller’s book on Thomas Kuhn – or supposedly about Thomas Kuhn. It is fascinating, gossipy, and ultimately, to us, unconvincing – not about Kuhn’s mediocrity, which was pretty much an open scandal, but about Fuller’s alternative, which is in the radical Popperian tradition. A post about the ‘double truth’ and elites is even now forming in our belly. Go here to read Fuller’s very funny comparison of Kuhn with Chance the Gardner, in Being There .
Bollettino This is how Mr. Ruskin approached Venice: “The salt breeze, the white moaning sea-birds, the masses of black weed separating and disappearing gradually, in knots of heaving shoal, under the advance of the steady tide, all proclaimed it to be indeed the ocean on whose bosom the great city rested so calmly; not such blue, soft, lake-like ocean as bathes the Neapolitan promontories, or sleeps beneath the marble rocks of Genoa, but a sea with the bleak power of our own northern waves, yet subdued into a strange spacious rest, and changed from its angry pallor into a field of burnished gold, as the sun declined behind the belfry tower of the lonely island church, fitly named “St. George of the Seaweed.” As the boat drew nearer to the city, the coast which the traveller had just left sank behind him into one long, low, sad-colored line, tufted irregularly with brushwood and willows: but, at what seemed its northern extremity, the hills of Arqua rose in a dark cluster of purp