Sunday, April 04, 2004

I have to admit I've been losing interest in this thing, if only because I've been losing interest in the commonplace opinions on the web. The intellectual activity here is pretty limited.
Anyway Brian Leiter doesn't understand the logic behind Brad Delong's attack on Chomsky. Well, there is no logic as such. He's simply responding reflexively, and as a realist, to Chomsky's romantic idealism; an idealism that although it seems coolly intellectual to Chomsky is more often associated with the earnest romanticism of his shaggy followers. Delong, however, is not willing [able?] to admit that what disgusts him is simply the idealism itself, so he has to torture logic to attack perfectly logical arguments.

It's not Chomsky's critical observations that offend DeLong; what pisses him off is the argument implicit in Chomsky's writing, and made explicit by his acolytes, that evil can and may yet be eliminated from this world. But for Delong to admit this as the reason behind his anger would be for him to admit the illiberalism behind his liberal philosophy.
Not being a liberal myself I have no such problems.

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