"...when posturing, preening wankers are regarded as if they are somehow its leaders"--Russell Blackford. So many candidates to choose among from philosophy cyberspace and social media! Maybe it's time for a new category: "posturing, preening wankers"?
Via Steve Gross (Johns Hopkins) on facebook, I come across this interesting review by my part-time colleague Michael Forster (Bonn) of what looks to be a quite substantial collection on The Impact ofGerman Idealism, edited by Karl Ameriks. In his discussion of an essay by Robert Pippin arguing that "a standard 'impositional' reading of Kant's theoretical and practical philosophies is only superficially correct," Forster writes:
Both in the theoretical and in the practical cases, the positions in question seem to be susceptible to, and indeed to cry out for, empirical confirmation or disconfirmation: in the theoretical case by empirical psychology, in the practical case by a hermeneutically sensitive interpretation of people's moral judgments. Pippin does not seem sufficiently aware of this fact. Moreover, in the only case where he himself invokes empirical considerations in this spirit, namely in relation to the question of whether animals ever really correct themselves (as shown, for example, by manifesting embarrassment over a mistake) (383), he gives a negative answer based on his experience with his own dog that is both (a) methodologically unsound (induction from a single example -- or at best, a single limited type of examples -- to a very general conclusion) and (b) in fact mistaken (for example, the cognitive ethology literature on chimpanzees is full of cases of self-correction).
I first began tweeting my support of Donald Trump for the Republican nomination a few days ago and now the latest poll shows that Trump has surged to the head of the Republican pack. Well done philosophers!
UPDATE: Reader Howard Berman writes: "You know of course, if Trump actually gets elected, he’ll redo the Whitehouse into the Taj Mahal financed by a regressive tax on the middle class and poor. People I know in the business class detest him, perhaps for them he's like their reflection in a funhouse mirror. I recall the late Roman Empire had her Trumps too."
ANOTHER: I was startled that some readers think the Trump Bump in the polls was due to his rude remarks about Senator McCain, rather than my endorsement. I realize the American electorate is an appalling sewer of stupidity, but, let's be real: the idea that even Republican voters would gravitate towards a draft-dodging rich kid who insults a veteran, well that's insulting. Seriously, do you think Republican voters are that base and stupid? If you do, you probably believe in the Marxian theory of false consciousness. Jeez.
Demand for my endorsement has come earlier than usual, but since so much is at stake, I feel I should speak out now: Trump is clearly the most qualified of the Republican Presidential candidates, in terms of intelligence, good judgment, and accomplishments. I give him my unqualified support for the Republican nomination. Please join me.
ADDENDUM: You can start by joining me on Twitter to spread the word. The philosophy vote could be crucial in this primary season.
I don't usually link to right-wing crazy blogs, but this bit of satire is too good to let pass. Indeed, it's such good satire that the person who sent it to me thought it might be real (it is not, I assure you).
[H]er latest publication, For the New Intellectual, offers a selection of those passages, with an overtly philosophical introduction which places the rest of the system in perspective. At last the eager student can get some sort of overview of the intellectual edifice which is presented for his acceptance. I must say at the outset that I have not found the offering very palatable. Not, let me hasten to add, because I disagree with the conclusions—free trade, a minimum of governmental interference in the economy, the immorality of altruism, are, I think, eminently justifiable intellectual positions. Rather it is the paucity of rational arguments, the frequency with which nonsense is offered as self-evident truth, the hysterical ranting against opponents who have had their views distorted beyond recognition, the amateurish psychologizing—in a word, the sloppiness of the whole thing, which forces me to regard it as a paradigm of philosophical incompetence. The temptation is to see it as a huge joke, a farce by means of which its creator can laugh at the gullible. But at the risk of being taken in I shall treat this book seriously, with perhaps only the popularity of the doctrine to justify the enterprise. My method shall be the following—I shall quote, sometimes at length, from the book, and then comment on the material presented.
And this from the conclusion equally sharp:
It is not difficult to understand the attraction Ayn Rand has for the uninstructed. She appears, I suppose, to be the spokesman for freedom, for self-esteem, and other equally noble ideals. However, patient examination reveals her pronouncements to be but a shroud beneath which lies the corpse of illogic. Those who are concerned with discovering the principles of a sound social philosophy can read and study libertarian thought at its best. The ludicrously mistitled “philosophy of Ayn Rand” is a sham. To those who are travelling her road I can only suggest its abandonment—for that way madness lies.
With Obama invading Texas and imposing martial law, I thought that I would check in to make sure that all is well. It won’t be long before everyone who ever lived in Texas will be shackled in rail cars and returned to the once-free Republic so that they can be monitored in Walmart prisons. I assume that ex-Texans in Chicago are particularly vulnerable because of the Stasi that Obama has in place there from his years as a purported “organizer” and because there are so few armed militias in Chicagoland to resist tyranny. I can only pray to Cheney that you avoid the worst that is coming.
MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--SOME GREAT ONES IN THE COMMENTS TOO!
Where else but the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research?
This article draws attention to the emergent modes of urban sociality and circumscribed mobility that define the lives of traffic-stricken residents in the megacity of Jakarta, Indonesia. I argue that Jakarta traffic has exceeded the scale and discourse of a technopolitical problem of failed infrastructure; rather, the systemic and rhizomic nature of traffic provides the temporal infrastructure that governs the flow of living and leisure, and the patterning of individual desires and struggles in urban Indonesia. I use the term ‘absolute traffic' to convey the limit horizon of gridlock as a set of exhausting physical and psychic states that urban residents survive daily. Despite such overwhelming challenges to mobility, particularly for the city's underprivileged populations, I argue for an agentive perspective of absolute traffic in which forms of play, negotiation and disruption form important moments for the public display of infrastructural aptitude. Strategies for surviving and engaging with absolute traffic emerge in ephemeral sites of finely attuned traffic subjectivity––in the sociality of strangers, the political demonstrations of activists, the growing citizen journalism for traffic reports on radio shows and social media sites, and finally, in the artistic sensibility of artists captivated by the vernacular forms of urban chaos.
Comments are open for other examples of "memorable" abstracts.
Bear that in mind the next time you hear talk of the right-wing "Chicago School." Even David Bernstein (George Mason), right-wing defender of the Jews against everyone (including other Jews), has noted our political diversity (scroll down to the update of his latest rant).
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)