Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The genealogy of philosophy

I should close out my interest in Leiter. I let this slide once. I shouldn't have. Referring to the wife of a philosophy professor -a philosopher- as a "civilian observer" should be some sort of final nail in the coffin. If he were interested in following his own understanding of Nietzsche he'd be attacking philosophy with piss and vinegar. If philosophy is to be taken as seriously as he claims, then theology is the equivalent of creation science, and deserves the same contempt. But he can't admit that without undermining his own notion of "doing philosophy". So he's left to celebrate arguments about angels and pinheads, focusing on the logic and ignoring the angels as long as he can. I linked to this the last time. Following Leiter's sense of professional etiquette, it would be rude to examine the genealogy of the moral realism of a Zionist philosopher. It would be disrespectful to see it as a reaction formationin defense of the moral relativism foundational to Zionism. Examining its origin would undermine the autonomy of philosophy. What a fucking asshole.
He's done.
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Another run by Leiter

1
A nice statement from Jason Stanley (Yale) about the right-wing media brouhaha

Here (in response to events we referenced here). (I don't find the anti-Semitism bit at the end very helpful, but that's minor.)

UPDATE: At the link, above, Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers), a very prominent Christian philosopher who has made major contributions to metaphysics, writes:
I know firsthand, having been his colleague for quite a few years, that Jason is highly sensitive to the fact that Christians are something of a minority within philosophy. There were several Christian graduate students at Rutgers while Jason was here, and with whom he interacted frequently, and I am confident that none of them ever felt disrespected by Jason because of their faith. To the contrary, in my experience Jason seems to optimistically and automatically think well of his Christian colleagues and students — as though he could count on serious Christians to exemplify the virtues we profess. I’m grateful that he doesn’t lump us all in with political conservatives who are hijacking religious language, some of whom will apparently use any means to inflict psychic damage upon those they perceive as their “enemies”. Thank you, Jason.
"a very prominent Christian philosopher who has made major contributions to metaphysics"

2
Wisconsin's Elliott Sober interviewed... 
...at 3AM.
The interview begins with a quote.
"Evolutionary theory, properly understood, does not conflict with the idea that God occasionally intervenes in nature..."
I stopped there.

I'd made a comment on Stanley's post; he'd put a link on twitter. My comment was kept in moderation while others went up and I assumed it wasn't going to make it, but I'd taken a screenshot, so I posted it in a reply to his tweet. A couple of days later it appeared on the site.
At the end of a semester of freshman comp, sometime in the 70s, a student walked up to my father and pounded his fist on the desk. “Fuck the nuns.”
He’d been lied to all his life.
My father loved telling that story. it made him proud.
It’s amazing how far things have fallen.

And again [again] I’m taken aback by Jason Stanley’s odd relation to his Jewishness. He refers to it again and again as a faith, as if religion were the only thing keeping him from being German. Look at your face Jason, at your Jewish face. It’s a Semitic face, a Palestinian face. Zionists were secularists. Religion was peasant belief. The Jews are a people. But I have as much patience for Zionism as I have for god.
3
Tom Wolfe is an appalling ignoramus 
This is an amusing, and very well-informed, critique of Wolfe's attempted "condescension from below" towards Darwin and Chomsky.
"condescension from below"

4
Philosopher Sally Haslanger (MIT) on her sense of "ideology" 
This interview gives a useful précis of Prof. Haslanger's distinctive sense of "ideology" that figures in her work about the social construction of race and gender (it also includes some interesting autobiographical details). (I should say I found the interviewer a bit annoying at times: he interjected too much I thought.) From a Marxian point of view, it's an unusual conception (as I've noted before), in three respects in particular: first, it doesn't necessarily involve beliefs which can be false, but seems to be centrally concerned with what Haslanger calls "practical consciousness" and "know-how"; second, its genesis does not matter (though it shares, loosely, with the Marxian sense the idea that an ideology has the functional property of supporting certain kinds of [oppressive] social relations); and third, there is no special explanatory role for economic relations in understanding ideology. ...
"it doesn't necessarily involve beliefs which can be false"
"genesis does not matter"
"no explanatory role for economic relations"

All of which apply to Leiter's ideological commitment to the philosophical academy.

"concerned with... 'practical consciousness' and 'know-how'"

She's describing the importance of lived experience (I'd forgotten already that I'd made a tag)

The genealogy of Jason Stanley's thought.
Stanley in 2006
Judith Butler is not by any stretch of the imagination a public intellectual.
Academic philosophy, academic free thinking, is not serious. How many times I think of Marfrks
For academics, ideas are games, as Kerr illustrates when he speaks so proudly about how he follows reason wherever it takes him. He seems to find that admirable, whereas I–having now sat through many faculty meetings where the propriety of rules about faculty parking are argued from Platonic first principles–find it both tiresome and puerile.
Religion is for grandmothers and peasants. Philosophers descend from theologians and are still connected at the hip. The issue now with Islam is that the grandmothers aren't grandmothers yet. Some are young and chic. Peasants are moving to cities on a massive scale again as they did a hundred years ago, including cities in Europe and America. Time for them is moving quickly. They're still more interesting than their grandchildren will be.
"On the sidelines of police 'hostage liberation exercises'" (Isfahan)
"Iran's domestic culture clash has become almost a cliche. But sometimes it just leaves you speechless."

Photo: MEHR News-Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization (IIDO), Tehran

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