Wednesday, May 16, 2007

4 or 5 birds with one stone
Here’s another interesting tangent. What’s the relation of the armed forces to the civilian leadership? If the soldiers are technicians, the suits are the philosophers. And what happens when things get confused?

Philosophy like politics is comparative. “Expertise” is problematic, if not in fact dangerous. Brian Leiter is friend and defender of Richard Posner and both defend experts over amateurs and generalists. Both defend “technical” knowledge and expertise as wisdom. But I would not ask a philosopher of automobile mechanics for his objective opinions on public transportation policy. He wouldn't have one. So, responding to Neil, if philosophy has become atomized is it not therefore weakened? Posner can’t think of man outside the categories he's created. Tomasky [and, man, is he not alone in this!] can’t think of politics outside of the categories he's grown up with, which are those of American exceptionalism and American intellectuals' capacity for “reason.”
What Tomasky describes is the experts’ failure to communicate with and their contempt for the masses. That's what Posner and Leiter describe. That’s what the experts of the military say when they overthrow their civilian leadership: “Let the experts take control!”

Experts are the new reactionaries. And amateurs are the only ones left observant enough to notice.
Stewart and Colbert are amateurs too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, liberalism is an ideology, of course it's not as rich as real life; that's a given.

Am I supposed to see this website in German or is it somehow guessing what my language is from my IP?