Traditions

Freedom and the good life

Following from his distinction between freedom and necessity, Martin Hägglund tells us that “The rational aim, then, is to reduce the realm of necessity and increase the realm of freedom.” (223) The rational aim of politics, perhaps. But the Disengaged Buddhists remind us how many of life’s problems politics cannot solve. And these problems go right to Hägglund’s own core concepts of freedom and necessity. ¶ Hägglund misses the point expressed in Ashleigh Brilliant’s wonderful epigram: freedom is not the goal, but you need freedom before you can decide what the goal is. Freedom itself, as the simple ability to do what one finds fulfilling, is empty of content. The most important thing is not merely to have room to pursue our ends, but to actually pursue them, which requires we think about which ends are really ours, which are really worth pursuing – and then actually do so. Free time is not the end, it is a means to the end. Alessandro Ferrara puts the point well in his Reflective Authenticity. Ferrara articulates the distinction that I have referred to as quantitative versus qualitative individualism, referring to each as autonomy and authenticity respectively – and he makes the key point that “authenticity presupposes autonomy.” (6, emphasis his) Without the ability to self-determine, a Hägglundian freedom, we cannot be our true selves. But that freedom is only a necessary condition for true self-expression, not a sufficient one! ¶ Hägglund says that “To live in the realm of freedom is... -

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EACH OF US HAS A CONTRIBUTION TO MAKE

Sixteen years ago I published a little book the principal purpose of which was to call into question the standard popular and academic myth of American Exceptionalism. I spoke about the origin of the European settlements in North America Not as a city upon a hill but rather inas what had come to be called in some circles a White Settler State. I freely confess that when I wrote the book, it simply never occurred to me that I would see an armed insurrection against the United States government fostered and encouraged by the President of the United States.   As more of the seemingly endless stream of videos make their way onto cable news, it is becoming clear how close we came to... -

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Killing and letting die

It is murder to disconnect a patient who can only survive with a ventilator without consent and in order to inherit from them. ¶ Every murder is a killing. ¶ So, it is a killing to disconnect a patient who can only survive with a ventilator without consent and... -

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A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (38)

We do correspond quite regularly, the usual theme of Myrna’s correspondence tending to urge me to participate in lie-ins and wade-ins and sit-ins and such. Since, however, I do not eat at lunch counters and do not swim, I have ignored her advice. The subsidiary theme in the correspondence is... -

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Killing and letting die It is murder to disconnect a patient who can only survive with a ventilator without consent and in order to inherit from them. Every murder is a killing. So, it is a killing to disconnect a patient who can only survive with a ventilator without consent and in order to inherit from them. Whether an act is a killing does not depend on consent or intentions. So, it is a killing to disconnect a patient... Alexander Pruss -


Solidarity, Not Charity: Mutual Aid’s An-archic History Cover image: Molly Costello Although mutual aid has long been practiced by community organizers and activists, it gained prominence in U.S. media over the last year as hundreds of mutual aid networks rapidly formed to address the COVID-19 crisis. From New Jersey toCalifornia, mutual aid is being used to support community needs by sharing material […] The post Solidarity, Not Charity: Mutual Aid’s An-archic History first appeared on Blog of the APA. Blog of the APA -


A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (38) We do correspond quite regularly, the usual theme of Myrna’s correspondence tending to urge me to participate in lie-ins and wade-ins and sit-ins and such. Since, however, I do not eat at lunch counters and do not swim, I have ignored her advice. The subsidiary theme in the correspondence is one urging me to come… Man Without Qualities -


DEEPLY DEPRESSING This essay published five days ago by Anne Applebaum is deeply depressing and very persuasive.  If she is right, and it is hard to disagree, this country has a far larger problem than even I realized. The Philosopher’s Stone -


Online Philosophy Resources Weekly Update Here’s the report on new and revised entries in online philosophy resources and new reviews of philosophy books. SEP New: Medieval Theories of Conscience, Peter Eardley. Revised: Internet Research Ethics, by Elizabeth A. Buchanan and Michael Zimmer. Perceptual Experience and Concepts in Classical Indian Philosophy, by Monima Chadha. al-Farabi’s Philosophy of Society and Religion, by Nadja Germann. Mysticism in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy, by Mehdi Aminrazavi. The Philosophy of Computer Science, by Nicola Angius, Giuseppe... Daily Nous -


First as Farce, Then as Tragedy? We all know Marx’s remark that history repeats itself first as a tragedy and then as a farce. Marx had in mind the tragedy of the fall of Napoleon I and the later farce of the reign of his nephew Napoleon III. Back in the 1960s, Herbert Marcuse remarked that the lesson of Nazism seems to be the opposite one: first as a farce (throughout the 1920s, Hitler and his gang were mostly taken as... The Philosophical Salon -


Freedom and the good life Following from his distinction between freedom and necessity, Martin Hägglund tells us that “The rational aim, then, is to reduce the realm of necessity and increase the realm of freedom.” (223) The rational aim of politics, perhaps. But the Disengaged Buddhists remind us how many of life’s problems politics cannot solve. And these problems go right to Hägglund’s own core concepts of freedom and necessity. Hägglund misses the point expressed in Ashleigh Brilliant’s wonderful epigram:... Love of All Wisdom -


Realities ≤ Universes ≤ Worlds ≤ Cosmos My new book project, The Weirdness of the World, engages big-picture metaphysics and cosmology. This has me thinking about solipsism and materialism (aka physicalism), among other things. According to solipsism, the only thing that exists is my own mind. According to materialism, the only things that exist are material things. These claims are ambiguous in scope. The only things that exist where? Consider ordinary cases of implicitly restricted quantifiers. If I say, "there's no beer!"... Splintered Mind -


Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé and others on literature after Wittgenstein Another Zoom symposium on a Wittgenstein-related book, this one featuring Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé, Marjorie Perloff, et al.    Language Goes on Holiday -


Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (37) “I will never forget that, even without loving me, you married me.”I didn’t protest because the matter was so obvious that protest was impossible. But, filled with compassion, I embraced her.None of this was ever discussed again between Augusta and me because a marriage is far simpler than an engagement. Once married, you don’t talk… Man Without Qualities -


“The McLuhans on Artifact Retrieval” That’s the title of my brief article in the new issue of the SCI-Arc journal Offramp, HERE. Object Oriented Philosophy -


Narrative thinking and conspiracy theories “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you” is one of the most famous lines from Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.  I propose a corollary: Just because they’re after you doesn’t mean you’re not paranoid. In a pair of articles at Rorate Caeli (hereand here), traditionalist Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei offers some illuminating observations about paranoid modes of thinking trending in some right-wing circles, such as the QAnon theory.  These are usually criticized as... Edward Feser -


INAUGURATION DAY I spent a lot of time off and on yesterday watching portions of the inauguration in the aftermath. Even the banality of a great deal of it was an enormous relief. Coming on the heels of the insurrection in that very same place two weeks earlier, I found it strangely moving to have three former presidents introduced, one by one, in the order in which they served. It lent a certain poignancy to the phrase... The Philosopher’s Stone -


CFA: Women On Medieval Philosophy Women On Medieval Philosophy 8–10 July 2021 International Online Conference, Hosted by the University of Leuven (Belgium) Call for Abstracts We invite submissions to our upcoming conference from women scholars working on any aspect of medieval philosophy, broadly construed. The conference aims to provide an opportunity for women in all stages of their academic careers to present their current research, and in doing so showcase women’s contributions to the field, as well as to help... Feminist History of Philosophy -


Call for Nominations: SdBS Featured Translation 2022 Call for Nominations SdBS Featured Translation 2022 Deadline: February 15, 2021  Do you know of a previously published article or book chapter that is an exemplar of outstanding scholarship but has not yet received the international and interdisciplinary attention that it deserves? Do you want to recognize a text that has had the greatest impact on your thinking and has changed the ways that you read Beauvoir’s work or consider topics that are in conversation with... Feminist History of Philosophy -


Enjoy a book about Moral Philosophy As part of the Blog of the APA‘s partnership with Exact Editions, we are offering one new book by Broadview Press in its entirety for readers to enjoy until February 17. Click on the link below to visit the virtual reading room. Moral Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction by Daniel DeNicola: Moral Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction […] The post Enjoy a book about Moral Philosophy first appeared on Blog of the APA. Blog of the APA -


Night school in Indian philosophy If you know anyone who’s looking for an introduction to Indian philosophy, David Nowakowski of the Merlin philosophy community is starting a series of Zoom-based classes tonight, and over coming Wednesdays. Classes are at 6:15-8:15pm MST (8:15-10:15 pm EST, 6:45am-8:45am Indian time – I’d list GMT but this is not likely to be a convenient time for our European readers!) The classes are introductory, not intended for specialists, but they come at a very modest... The Indian Philosophy Blog -


A Coup by Any Other Name: Reflections on Democracy, Defense, and White Supremacy 1:40 PM CST. I am writing this on January 6, 2021, the day of the Electoral College vote certification, while watching ABC News through Hulu after receiving an urgent text message from my mother. Pundits are clamoring in frantic tones, trying to make sense of what Mitt Romney on Twitter has called an “insurrection”: a […] The post A Coup by Any Other Name: Reflections on Democracy, Defense, and White Supremacy first appeared on Blog... Blog of the APA -


Jan 26 Anscombe Centre Talk: Defining Murder On January 26, 2021 at 18:30 GMT / 12:30 PM Central / 1:30 PM Eastern, I will be giving a work in progress Zoom talk on Defining Murder at the Anscombe Centre in Oxford. I will have interesting cases, and various questions, but I don't know if I'll have any good answers.Everyone is welcome, but you need to contact the organizer to sign up: amccarthy@bioscentre.org. Alexander Pruss -


al-Farabi’s Philosophy of Society and Religion [Revised entry by Nadja Germann on January 20, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] While al-Farabi does not have a specific term for 'philosophy of religion', he does in fact have one which can more or less literally be translated as 'philosophy of society', namely, falsafa madaniyya.[1] Notably, this notion embraces two chief moments. First, in line with Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, it comprises an intrinsically anthropological and ethical element; accordingly,... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -