Tuesday, March 29, 2016

logic is not philosophy. Psychology is not philosophy.

Ruth Marcus would have been livid......if she had lived to see this. Ruth told me years ago that Butler had great difficulty passing the logic requirement in the Yale PhD program in philosophy, and finally, Ruth took pity, and gave her a pass. I had the sense she later regretted that. On Butler, Martha Nussbaum got it right many years ago Critical Theory has been in a downward spiral for a long time now, but that an obscurantist posturing faker like Butler should be deemed its heir...oy veh.
repeats: Nussbaum and Butler
Butler defends principles in action that Nussbaum defends only in theory.
Modernism was the fantasy of writing with the assumption that from then on there would be only reading with and no reading against. To read tale against teller or to read against the grain would be gross error. Rebellion against this has always taken the form of the rebellion of youth against their parents, with the more sympathetic elders caught in the middle, trying to justify the revolt while trying to make it fit with what they know and what they are. So we get the obscurantist poeticizing of Derrida -the philosopher magistrate as wise old fool- and the blandness of Rorty and Nussbaum, struggling to find a way beyond technocracy while being mocked for the attempt by professional technocrats and lionized by amateur enthusiasts. The model of the Continental philosopher was as Pope and Antipope combined, a philosophical self that could contain an other, in a sense obviating the need for actual democracy. And now that Continental and Anglo-American philosophy are joining, out of necessity and the need for survival, we see parallels in Bruno Latour's Collective and David Chalmers' Extended Mind.
Palestinians are the next wave of civil right movement: shopkeepers, housewives and husbands. They’re leading themselves just as, in the past, American blacks, women and homosexuals led themselves. When forced to face real engagement Judith Butler became an articulate and plain spoken defender of Palestinians’ claims to basic civil equality. She defended liberalism when liberals who’ve attacked her refused to. That’s the important fact, not the theoretical gobbledygook that came before. Could it be that gobbledygook was emotionally necessary as a way to defend humanism in an anti-humanist age? Maybe “theory” as poetry kept humanism alive: the poetry of technocracy, fighting against itself. 
I don't know if Marcus was a Zionist, but there are plenty of mathematicians and physicists who are, while at the same time referring to themselves as "liberal". Would Marcus fail them?

see also Jon Elster
Leiter: The Case Against Free Speech
What's the "epistemic value" of Jabberwocky? Google the page for Tushnet.

Leiter again, and Knobe again
The fact that people are held responsible for thoughtlessness that results in a bad outcome while not given credit for thoughtlessness that results in a good one -an "asymmetry in responses"- is common knowledge. Here it's somehow a new and surprising thing, named for its "discoverer". Knobe may want to make a distinction between intention and responsibility but the author of the passage doesn't give it much thought, slipping from one to the other just as I assume the "folk" Knobe interviewed did. It's as if Knobe were surprised to see a woman on the street wearing a bikini while he doesn't notice that the road is running by a beach. Taking a break from his life in the library stacks -and not the stacks in the law library where he'd find discussion of why "ignorance of the law is no excuse"- he thinks he's discovered something new.
And Greene, again. From Leiter's link
For example, Greene conducted experiments showing that people react more negatively to the idea of pushing someone to their death in order to save five lives (a variant of the Trolley problem) than hitting a switch to drop someone through a trapdoor. 
“You can’t know this by introspection, you have to do an experiment."
Question: Why is an executioner called an executioner if he's only following orders?

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