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Showing posts from June 27, 2004
Bollettino One of LI’s brothers has always been pretty core pacifist. So we were surprised, talking with him a few days ago, when he said he didn’t understand why they were trying Saddam. “Why din’t they just kill him when they captured him?” An interesting idea. LI is generally opposed to the death penalty. When the Marquis de Sade was briefly made a judge during the French Revolution, he distinguished himself by opposing all death sentences. This was entirely consonant with Sade’s philosophy, which held that since the state institutionalized joylessness, there could be no pleasure in a state sponsored killing. The Sadeian moralist approves of private homicides because they are pleasurable to the murderer, but disapproves strongly of those killings that result from duty, because – and on this Sade agrees with Kant – it isn’t. Sade’s too-cruel-to-be-kindness obviously lost the ideological battle during the revolution. New regimes, as de Maistre and Michel Foucault knew, must
Bollettino The last issue of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy contained a number of articles about democratic theory and pragmatism. John Dryzek, who has written extensively about what he calls, after Habermas , the ‘deliberative public’ – of which such things as the blogosphere would be subsets – poses an interesting question in his article, Pragmatism and Democracy: “On one interpretation of pragmatism, which can appeal to Dewey as well as to Peirce, the idea would be to make the public as it confronts social problems much more like a scientific community in terms of its commitment to the pursuit of truth. The real world of politics does of course feature plenty in the way of partisanship, inequality, self-interest, ideology, strategizing, deceit, and the raw exercise of power. So would a pragmatist program for public deliberation have to involve an attack on these pervasive yet deeply problematic aspects of politics?” Dryzek’s article is couched as a reply to anoth
Bollettino My friend S., who turned me on to Complex Adaptive Systems theory, is presently bringing to a close her magnum opus and dissertation in one last pageheavy burst of scribbling. Although I know she will never read these words – S. has better things to do than look at the sad evidences of my graphomania – still, I dedicate this post to her. Salut, S.!!! In the last post, LI laid out the problems, as we see them, with consequences, and consequently with consequentialism. If you will remember, we wrote that the problem, as we saw it, started with counting over the consequences of actions. This is the robust, quantitative approach to the problem, approved of by all analytic philosophers. We further said that the problem had a superficial aspect – that of giving good reasons for containing consequences – and a deeper, structural aspect – that of giving an account of actions such that consequences are considered a necessary effect of actions. The example we gave, here,