Saturday, October 11, 2008

Note taking
I would spend all I had to save the life of someone I loved, while I would spend less on someone I was merely fond of, and maybe I’d toss some money to Oxfam for a kid somewhere.
Viewed objectively all three are equally deserving, but that’s not the way the world works.

Also: is Tony Judt a leftist in the US but merely a liberal in London?

Is liberalism rationalism and systems-building, or is it cosmopolitan empiricism and the cultivation of the flexibility required to negotiate their inevitable failure?
The comments above were rendered illegible, "disemvowed," by Chris Bertram: "I thought I’d made it clear that you aren’t welcome to comment on my posts. Any more, and you’ll get a comprehensive ban from CT as a whole."
I sent him an email and told him just to do it. I'd posted an additional comment, writing that the post itself was probably the most honest thing he'd ever written at the site, if not ever. Snide but true. Rather than disemvowel it he simply made it vanish.

I want to write more about the post itself. maybe when I'm sober. I'm still reading essays by and about Michael Fried which by chance also have a connection [see wednesday] And there's an obvious relation to this:


from this post

If you take the above model as describing how we respond to each other, how we learn about each other and ourselves, then the the failures of liberalism, and of the human imagination, are less traumatic. In fact they're only traumatic to idealists who think those failures can be avoided or righted. They can't.

The advantage of the arts over the sciences as a basis for philosophy is that in the arts it's better to be good than right. That this is a subject for philosophy as a whole rather than aesthetics is shown by the fact that the same rule holds for lawyers. Lawyers are craftsmen not scientists.

I've written those two sentences in various forms dozens of times by now. One of these days it's gonna stick

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