Sunday, September 18, 2022

Rather than mount any challenge under the original public meaning of the First Amendment, the Platforms instead focus their attention on Supreme Court doctrine.
It is also true, of course, that evenhanded procedure does not demand unquestioning trust in the determinations of the Department of Justice. Based on the nature of this action, the principles of equity require the Court to consider the specific context at issue, and that consideration is inherently impacted by the position formerly held by Plaintiff. 
The first statement is from the Fifth Circuit decision, the second is from Cannon's decision appointing a special master. The first is being mocked because it's not for a lower court to set precedent but to follow it as set by SCOTUS—the second not only because it goes against the presumption of good faith between branches of government, but because it contradicts the basic principle of equality of citizens under law: Cannon says outright that ex-presidents, or at least this one, deserve deference the rest of us do not.  These and other decisions continue the line of Bush vs Gore and I'm sure some of the justices now would follow along. 

["presumptions of good faith between branches of government." Another norm. Even Taibbi, attacking the DOJ does so on the basis that filtering seized material is the responsibility of the judicial branch, following the principle of non-delegation. The DOJ is a constitutional oddity. National Security Letters are another issue. more here

Power decides what law is, but norms apply within a system. Lawyers are offended by these decisions as a matter of their respect for form. I sent a note to one of them—respected by peers, etc.—reminding him of his response to specific facts concerning another matter, outside the common frame of reference, and he responded dismissively, reporting the exchange to others in a way that grossly misrepresented my point, and ignoring statements of fact as much as Cannon did when she refused to accept the statements of DOJ lawyers who reminded her that Trump's lawyers had never denied that files were classified or stated in court that he'd declassified them.  Dan Sperber calls this "myside bias". I say "no fucking shit". See also Leiter on "implicit bias". He denies it. He really is confused.

The closed system of debate among members of one group is becoming a debate between members of two groups or more. I'm relieved to see defenders of norms. It's the defense of the mainstream against fascism. But it's not a defense of truth.  More importantly I'M NOT INTERESTED IN THE DEFENSE OF TRUTH!  "The politics of truth is always a fantasy of uncorrupted power." It's my line and I'm sticking to it.

The Ghost of Panofsky
Walter Friedlaender, one of Panofsky's teachers and a lifelong friend, related how to Erwin Panofsky's cradle in Hannover there hurried two fairies, Wealth and Intelligence. The third, Good Looks, didn't make it. In her stead came a fairy who said, "Whichever book you open, you will find precisely the passage you need." 

 Saul Kripke died on Friday and I opened a book.  

A common view of the 'private language argument' in Philosophical Investigations assumes that it begins with section 243, and that it continues in the sections immediately following. This view takes the argument to deal primarily with a problem about 'sensation language'. Further discussion of the argument in this tradition, both in support and in criticism, emphasizes such questions as whether the argument invokes a form of the verification principle, whether the form in question is justified, whether it is applied correctly to sensation language, whether the argument rests on an exaggerated scepticism about memory, and so on. Some crucial passages in the discussion following §243—for example, such celebrated sections as §258 and §265—have been notoriously obscure to commentators, and it has been thought that theIr proper interpretation would provide the key to the 'private language argument'.

In my view, the real 'private language argument' is to be found in the sections preceding §243. Indeed, in §202 the conclusion is already stated explicitly: "Hence it is not possible to obey a rule 'privately': otherwise thinking one was obeying a rule would be the same thing as obeying it." 
Kripke omits the first sentence.
202. And hence also 'obeying a rule' is a practice. And to think one is obeying a rule is not to obey a rule. 

[as an aside that reminds me of Henry Farrell, and Gellner, which is amusing.

Al-Ghazali, as quoted by Ernest Gellner, puts Mannheim’s point more pithily – "the genuine traditionalist does not know that he is one; he who proclaims himself to be one, no longer is one."

(Gellner: The quote is from Plough, Sword and Book The Structure of Human History, but his first book was Words and Things, an attack on Wittgenstein and linguistic philosophy, with a foreword by Russell!). 

Tradition: what's a Shakespearean actor in the 21st century, or a soldier fighting for a democracy? And of course, what's a lawyer? But that's where I started this one]

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

We’ll begin with a brief outline of the argument of Kripke’s sceptic. Suppose that I’ve never dealt with numbers larger than 57.[3] (Given our finite nature and the infinitude of the natural number series, there will always in fact be such a number.) I’m asked to perform the computation ‘68 + 57 68 + 57’, and I arrive at the answer ‘125’, which I take to be right. However, a “bizarre skeptic” (Kripke 1982: 8) questions my certainty. She suggests that...

Kripke, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, 1982, p. 8 

Now suppose I encounter a bizarre sceptic. This sceptic questions my certainty about my answer, in what I just called the 'metalinguistic' sense. Perhaps, he suggests,...  

And earlier 

Wittgenstein's celebrated argument against 'private language' has been discussed so often that the utility of yet another exposition is certainly open to question. Most of the exposition which follows occurred to the present writer some time ago, in the academic year 1962-3. At that time this approach to Wittgenstein's views struck the present writer with the force of a revelation: what had previously seemed to me to be a somewhat loose argument for a fundamentally implausible conclusion based on dubious and controversial premises now appeared to me to be a powerful argument, even if the conclusions seemed even more radical and, in a sense, more implausible, than before. I thought at that time that I...  

"The present writer", "I",  "he", and "she": Kripke referring to himself switched from the formal third person to the first; the writer for Stanford, in 202-?, switched out the male pronoun from 1982 for the female. These choices have meanings, and any writer or reader—qua writer and reader—is interested in the first, as any historian will be interested in the second. 

"Lawyers don't read that stuff. Lawyers are tradespeople!"  The speaker was a lawyer, and a woman, talking about legal philosophy.

repeats: Quine

Meaning, let us remember, is not to be identified with naming. Frege's example of 'Evening Star' and 'Morning Star' and Russell's of 'Scott' and 'the author of Waverly', illustrate that terms can name the same thing but differ in meaning. The distinction between meaning and naming is no less important at the level of abstract terms. The terms '9' and 'the number of the planets' name one and the same abstract entity but presumably must be regarded as unlike in meaning; for astronomical observation was needed, and not mere reflection on meanings, to determine the sameness of the entity in question.
...A felt need for meant entities may derive from an earlier failure to appreciate that meaning and reference are distinct. Once the theory of meaning is sharply separated from the theory of reference, it is a short step to recognizing as the business of the theory of meaning simply the synonymy of linguistic forms and the analyticity of statements; meanings themselves, as obscure intermediary entities, may well be abandoned.

 'Evening Star' and 'Morning Star', 'Palestine' and 'Israel'. 

I read somewhere that Sraffa lost interest in Wittgenstein, and Wittgenstein kept bugging him.  

And this is his great explicator on matters of jurisprudence, Philip Bobbitt, with Max Boot, Garry Kasparov and Bret Stevens. 

Gellner. Plough, Sword and Book. A longer passage including the quote

Doctrines which ratify culture and enjoin respect for it were common in the nineteenth century. The fortifying, confirming major premiss no longer claims a transcendent object: it is a theory concerning the role, the function, of culture within the world. Durkheim's own doctrine was one example: religion was to be respected not because it was true (in the straightforward sense assumed by the old theologians), but because it was "true" (i.e. essential and functional within the social order). Durkheim let it be understood that "truth" was just as good as truth, in fact the same thing, really. This general attitude might be called auto-functionalism. It is influential in a very wide variety of forms, in historicist, biological, literary, kulturgeschichtlich and other idioms. The auto-functionalist stands outside all cultures to affirm the major premiss: cultures are functional. The minor premiss is stated from inside: I am my culture. Conclusion: my commitments are valid (in a sense left deliberately ambiguous).

These self-vindications of culture are generally spurious. The medieval Muslim thinker Al Ghazzali observed that the genuine traditionalist does not know that he is one; he who proclaims himself to be one, no longer is one. Cultural prose ceases to be innocent when Monsieur Jourdain proclaims it to be prose. When culture was genuinely authoritative, men either took it for granted or, later, vindicated it by means of a theology which they held to be true in a literal sense, and which they genuinely respected. The dogmas and imperatives which constituted those doctrines were taken very seriously; they placed enormous burdens and strains on believers.

It's more stupid than I realized. It's simple anti-intellectualism, Gellner, Farrell, et al.: the pretense of being outside the frame, beyond the world that made you. I added it to the older post.

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