Thursday, December 25, 2003

I want to add a comment because I've been getting so many hits from Brian Leiter. I hammer away at the same themes, and sometimes while enjoying myself I get sloppy. These new readers are more likely than most to catch me.

It's called "Imperfect" justice for a reason. What's the nature of the imperfection? How can a philosophy founded on imperfection be seen as useful, or profound? The system of adversarial justice is built on nothing more than rules of engagement: it's stage managing as much as anything. On the other hand I would ask: how can a philosophy predicated on perfection be useful? What can be learned from mathematics as philosophy? If we rely on theater tricks to help resolve discussions of guilt or innocence -and life and death- how does mathematics have any more than an ancillary relationship to such discussions? If we're doing nothing more than studying the parlor tricks themselves, is this philosophy or merely technics?

And what do we call those who speak in court, those who convince, who seduce? Shouldn't legal realism mandate courses in rhetoric? In drama studies?

"Ok now... Everybody breathe in... slowly.
Now, exhale... through the body!
That's good."
---

A question to Brian L. or anybody since he linked to that absurd piece in The Guardian attacking Chomsky. Can he or anyone tell me what in Chomsky's political writings rises above the level of simple political reporting? I have no interest in those who attack him -they're hypocrites or idiots or both- but his partisans annoy me. What could Chomsky tell me if I asked him a question about the relationship of the individual as such to the collective? What would he tell me in response to questions concerning the necessity of coercion in any organized activity? I have no interest in hearing more vague anarcho-syndicalism. Chomsky's fine. I love him; great guy; right on all the basic issues, only because he pays attention to every detail. But let's talk philosophy for once.

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