Saturday, May 13, 2017

"Comment removed" Responding to Leiter's.
Academic philosophers want to have polite conversations according to polite rules, while discussing as often as not, unfortunately, issues that affect the lives of human beings. Brian Leiter once touted David Enoch as a "leading legal philosopher" in his country. And that may be true. But outside academic philosophy, where ideas are judged [only] for internal consistency, it becomes worth asking what other reasons Enoch, an Israeli Jew and Zionist, would choose to promote what he himself refers to as a "robust moral realism", that serves to defend a state built on conquest. Should a Palestinian follow Enoch's own formal criteria, or is s/he permitted just to laugh?

Hypothetical: A philosopher publishes a paper arguing that Jewish immigrants to Palestine should be able to be counted as Palestinian. The essay is an act of erasure. Should the responses be polite?
I repeat myself in these discussions because no one responds. I'll do it again:

"Transracialism": Will a white person who wants to become black be eligible for support under affirmative action policies? And how do you imagine "actual" minorities would respond?
Transgenderism: Will transgirls now be able to sue under title IX? Will the anti-abortion opinions of a transwoman with a penis hold equal weight with those of a woman with a uterus?
The article being debated here is absurd. Like most philosophy that claims to deal in worldly issues, it deals in fantasy.

Leiter makes a habit of mocking references to "the other", but his mockery deserves mockery in return. All that's clear in the debate up to now is that blacks as a group get the benefit of knee-jerk sympathy from (mostly white) liberals that women as a group do not. The thought that black people should have a role in their own self-definition, that Eminem had to show respect to get it, while Dolezal used bronzer and lied, seems clear to many. But somehow the same does not apply to women. Having a uterus, bleeding once a month, the experience of the female body, means nothing. There the rule seems to be "I am what I claim to be", and all other opinion and observation is irrelevant. Self-reporting is all! So this is not a discussion of the biologically intersex or children of mixed parentage. I'll end with some history. History after all, is another form of context deemed irrelevant by much "serious" philosophy

De Sade:
"...if only you knew this fantasy's charms, if only you could understand what one experiences from the sweet illusion of being no more than a woman! incredible inconsistency I one abhors that sex, yet one wishes to imitate it! Ah! how sweet it is to succeed, ... 
Candy Darling:
"I've been up all night alone, wondering about my identity. Trying to look for an explanation for living this strange, stylized sexuality. Realization cuts feeling off. I try to explain my identity as being a male who has assumed the attitudes and somewhat the emotions of a female. I don't know what role to play." 
The end result of claiming “to see the other in myself” is the denial of the existence of the other. Leiter's universalism and the universalism of right-thinking liberals end the same way.
I'm wondering if I linked to Daniel Harris' piece before, or to the response.

The fetish for happiness, for demand for resolution of all conflicts, external and internal, the denial of the possibility of tragedy, the liberal institutionalization of narcissism, while denying the possibility that it could exist. Cafe revolutionaries, liberal Zionists, transsexuals, the popular triumph of wishful thinking. The absolute triumph of course is fascism.

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