Thursday, August 13, 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Important Updates

1.   The First Church of Cannabis is suing Indiana for infringing on its religious freedom under the RFRA.  Members of the Church call themselves "cannatarians."  Good luck to them!

2. Omar Sharif definitely has a posse.  Here.

3. Metal kids sell out.  Posers.

4. There's no fool like an old fool.

5. A defense of prejudice. Finally!

6. Blogging will continue to be light until September.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Posse Wish-List

Good to see America becoming (slightly) less uncivilized today.

You can't make this shit up.  What a dumbass.

I look forward to the day that I can report the formation of an Antonin Scalia posse.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Self-serving Bluff

I've been working slowly through the backlog of email, and found a forwarded conference announcement for an upcoming conference on Levinas.  The description of the conference begins as follows:

The resistance of analytic philosophy to continental philosophy, at least asit has been practiced in the United States, is well known. Anecdotes abound regarding failed attempts to bridge the divide or to discover continuities that have been missed. Increasingly however, younger scholars, thinkers, and critics who have been tempted on the one hand by analytic philosophy, and on the other by Levinas's ethical thinking, are turning to Levinas as a way of challenging the breach.

Why on earth is it so common for a certain strand within "continental" philosophy to describe itself as neglected, oppressed, resisted, and ignored?  From whence comes the insatiable need to characterize itself as on the (historically) losing end of some "divide" or "breach" that needs to be challenged or bridged?  And why is this very "divide" always solely attributed to the "resistance" of the "analytic" philosophers?  Where are the conferences for Levinas-loving "continental" philosophers to engage with the important lessons, challenges, and problems deriving from the past 50 years of non-Levinasian ethics and metaethics?   Why think that "turning to Levinas" could possibly be a way of "challenging the breach," when it has already been claimed that Levinas is firmly positioned on one side of that breach?  Why not assume that Levinasian ethicists should be "challenging the breach" by turning to, say, Sidgwick?

Here's a thought: Mainstream moral philosophers (analytic or otherwise) don't attend much to Levinas because his views are ultimately not all that attractive, and in any case belong to a family of views that has been subjected to serious critique and is justifiably thought to be nonviable. Maybe the mainstream moral philosophers are mistaken in their judgments about Levinas?  Perhaps. So show them that they are.  Why proceed from the premise that the inattention to Levinas is due to "resistance" rather than to the fact that many of those who have studied him have (justifiably) found his views irremediably wrong?  Why assume that those who don't agree with you about the importance of your favorite philosopher are ignorant of what that philosopher thinks?  And why think that "challenging the breach" will leave Levinas's views intact rather than decisively refuted? 

My suspicion is that when most "continental" philosophers lament the so-called "divide" between continental philosophy and whatever they place on the other side, they're simply engaging in an odd kind of self-serving bluff.  They're highly invested in the "breach," as they need to appeal to it as a way of insulating their views from criticism and as a way of justifying their own inattention and resistance to any style of philosophy that's not friendly to their own commitments.

Yeah... this happened

I've received a lot of emails about the ridiculous Sex Pistols credit card. I can't quite muster the "what's the world coming to?" outrage of many of the emailers.  One correspondent asks in incredulity "have the Sex Pistols officially sold out?"  The answer is no. They were overtly a marketing scheme pretending to be a band.  Asking whether they've sold out is like asking whether Donald Trump sold out.  Selling was and remains the whole point.  And fuck them. Or not.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Public Philosophy?

On the bus this morning:

Drunk Stranger: Hey... Doc.  You're a doctor, right?

Me:  Well, yes, but I'm not a medical doctor.

Drunk: Huh?

Me: I have a PhD, so I'm a doctor.  But I'm not a physician.

Drunk: I know that.  What kind of doctor?

Me: I'm a philosopher.

Drunk: Ahh.... Are you going to teach a class now?

Me: Yes.

Drunk: Enjoy your rampage.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pot Church is Tax-Free!

The First Church of Cannabis in Indiana has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS.  Apparently, this is a direct implication of Indiana's infamous Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

What a country! Stoners and Satantists: the lonely voices of reason on church/state issues. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

John Nash Posse


John Nash has a posse.


Here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Go to Budapest Now


In case you needed another reasons to go to Budapest immediately.... There's this.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Nails It

Having read the book that's under review here, I can say that the reviewer nails it.  But the reviewer also is to be commended for getting this bit right too:
This connects with a thought that one often finds oneself entertaining when one reads philosophy in the 'continentalist' tradition, namely that it is focusing on trivia, and that the real action lies elsewhere. The real action, for an analytic philosopher, concerning Russell's multiple relation theory of judgement is whether that theory is right, whether it is true [....]

We are interested in Russell's intellectual story because it can tell us interesting things about the problem itself. After all, and apart from anything else, we want to acquaint ourselves with that story in order to avoid simply repeating in ignorance moves (and perhaps mistakes) that he has already made. 'Continentalist' philosophers, by contrast, always seem to clock out before the real issue gets going; usually they take their bow with a knowing smirk, as though there were something na├»ve, infantile, unsophisticated about the analytic philosopher's occupation with truth as such, as opposed to what so-and-so says about what so-and-so says about . . . what Heidegger said about truth. But to show no interest in the truth in its own right is to fail to take those philosophers, including Heidegger, who are still considered worth reading, seriously; for they wanted to get things right, and a proper respect for their endeavour would imply a similar interest in the present-day philosopher and interpreter. Reading past philosophy should never be a purely historical exercise. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Plato was right, #58692

I have not been paying much attention lately to the news, so naturally when this item was called to my attention a few moments ago, I assumed what any sane person would, namely that it is a hoax concocted by opponents of the GOP. But that assumption is wrong.  Apparently there really are Republicans who believe that the President is plotting a military takeover of the state of Texas.

Hilarious doom.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Moving On

I'm not going to allow this space to become a forum for discussing the poster who is now being blocked. Nor will comments speculating on that person's condition and how best to deal with it be accepted. I won't post any of the abusive comments about that person, and I don't care about the alleged "backstory" that some are trying to uncover.

We're moving on.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dear Fellow Cranky Jerks

I have found a generous soul who will serve as comment moderator. The identifying IP details of the deluded asshole have been noted. All comments by persons other than him/her will be approved in due time (unless they're independently not approvable by being way of out of bounds).

That the deluded asshole hasn't started his/her own blog in order to slander people is a good indication that he/she is simply a hoax -- an odd dada-esque performance of some kind. It was never quite funny, but it was tolerable for a few days.  But it's long past time to put an end to it. I hope the person finds something else a little less pathetic to do with his/her life than mock those with a serious mental illness by pretending to be afflicted.

And, finally, one more word to the delusional asshole: if you persist in writing comments in the futile hope of getting them accepted by the moderator, I will feel free to post your remarks and invite readers of this blog to ridicule you, while still rejecting any comment you may submit in response. Seriously, the best thing for you to do is simply go away.

Dear Delusional Asshole

Fuck you.  Now go away.

Friday, April 24, 2015

"What's the Kessel Run?"

At last!  One of our greatest philosophical and legal minds investigates Han Solo's immortal boast about the Millennium Falcon and those twelve parsecs..... 

You know you've been waiting for this. 
 
Cass Sunstein on Star Wars.