Monday, January 04, 2010

note taking. all comments removed by admin.

A realistic economics is the study of human frailty not human progress, but economics is defined first as the optimistic study of the stupidity of others then rationalized into a moral celebration of greed. A disinterested celebration of interested reason? But there is no necessary/logical relation of technical to moral progress; increased complexity is just that.

Realism implies a certain cynicism about others so I was raised to understand greed, but also not to be greedy; that duality is lost on both most economists and most liberals. A history of the modern academy would show that the fixation on money began in the 70’s first with the astronomical rise in salaries of administrators and the concomitant shrinking of the salaries of faculty. It became a scandal decades ago. [link] Then the faculty caught on. The contemporary culture of academia, of professional intellectuals, is one of a neoliberal individualism (as others have said: traceable to the 60's). That some are paid $150,000 or more to preach against neoliberalism is irrelevant. And the vast majority of course teach the theory of determinism, for thee (or them) but not for me (or us). It’s annoying that all those so fond of the terminology of memes aren’t capable of imagining their own fixations as a prime example. The “science” of history has been shown to be bunk it seems unless it's the history of the present.
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The parallels are to literary or political theory and philosophy that refuse to respond to actual data that undermine their formalisms. You can develop formal truths that will not represent the world outside themselves, or you can settle for imperfect descriptions of the world. Some people choose the former and try to claim them as a model of representation. To go back to an earlier thread, I call that a good description of Modernism, of a specific response to the problem of modernity.

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Chomsky’s attack on Skinner: Not because he was wrong but because he had to be, because the results were morally offensive. Chomsky attacked not only Skinner but empiricism and has been forced back again and again by the results of experiment and observation and the data that have come from it. His theories are mythologies that he holds onto because for whatever reason he thinks he must. He’s considered the world’s most important intellectual only on account of the empiricism of his reportage. His moral philosophy begins in a Jewish intellectual idealism not unlike the Chicago economists of the same generation.

Donald Davidson: On “Conceptual Schemes”: Empirically provable as false. You cannot “translate” Pushkin. Full stop.

The Trolley Problem: In the search for context-free truths the history of responses to this problem in actually existing society are ignored. The military is run on utilitarianism to the point where it is the job of some men to decide the fate of others. They are not allowed to even eat at the same table. Friendships in the strict sense of the term are forbidden. Common sense morality can be defined as morality among equals. Utilitarianism puts a strain on the community that can be resolved through use of formal structures. An anthropologist will recognize these roles immediately but a modern professor of philosophy will not see outside his blinders. There is no “right” answer to the trolley problem.

Rawls: Begins with a speculative fiction, the study of which has at the very least slowed us down in our understanding of ourselves. Raymond Geuss seems to have figured that out.

None of this is first and foremost a conspiracy, but it does become absurd

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"A realistic economics is the study of human frailty not human progress, but economics is defined first as the optimistic study of the stupidity of others, then rationalized into a moral celebration of greed. A disinterested celebration of interested reason?"


way to suave for my blunt
brain

toon town
grows my grade of clover

ah to play pantagruel again

owen paine

D. Ghirlandaio said...

I think you have the roles reversed, oh.
I'm the hammer, you're the wit,
and more reliable.

a la orden