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Showing posts from March, 2019

Steele dossier & Obama admin corruption

A major reason why Trump was elected president was that he was an "outsider" who, as such, credibly promised put an end to business as usual in Washington, D.C.  The main cause of the corrupt business-as-usual in politics is lack of philosophy, but let's have a look at what business-as-usual meant before Trump was elected.

It appears that Trump's promise to end business-as-usual didn't go over well with business-as-usual types who were expecting that Crooked Hillary Clinton would win the election so that business-as-usual could go on.  Obama himself had been elected on the promise of ending business-as-usual but the whole Steele dossier and FISA-abuse scandal (not to mention the IRS targeting scandal) indicates that Obama got in on the business-as-usual act as much as anyone.

The main question is why top-level folks in the Obama administration assigned such a high degree of credence to the infamous Steele dossier - even after the FBI fired Steele as a source (once …

What problems would Philosophy for Everyone solve?

What problems wouldn't it solve?

Assuming (correctly) that kids can engage in philosophical activity and that it leads to scientifically-proven benefits (above and beyond the intrinsic goodness of philosophical activity itself as would be attested to by the greatestphilosophers), it only stands to reason that adults can engage in it as well.  Assume that we can all get on the same page about this and that within, say, a generation, we'll have a philosophically-educated populace (perhaps worldwide).  What might that look like?

In Prologue to an Aristotelian End of History, I outline what I take to be the norms, or the form if you will, of a society that has taken up the 'Aristotelian project' to its ultimate expression.  (The basic norm of Aristotelianism is something like intellectual perfectionism, and does it get better than perfectionism?  How do you improve upon it without incorporating it as a norm?  We've reached a normative limit here, I think, and an irrefuta…

PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN: EMPIRICAL STUDIES OF ITS BENEFITS

(If I were more perfect at research, I'd have found these links well before now.  Gee, a little help with spreading this stuff, readers?)

Philosophy for children is, far and away, the biggest no-brainer of all-time.  Were the major Founding Fathers of the United States (e.g., Franklin, Jefferson, Washington), all of whom were members of the American Philosophical Society, brought back to life today, would they recommend philosophy for children, as opposed to fighting over crumbs as the clearly-oblivious-to-philosophy politicians and activists today are doing [see end of this post for just one example]?  Gee, ya think?

Now, for some SCIENTIFIC EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE OF THE BENEFITS OF PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN, as if the concept of it and all the available anecdotal evidence weren't enough (for many anecdotes see the bibliography for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry, linking here again in addition to the link above; as I've mentioned previously I've read Marietta M…

Greatness of intellect vs. politics today

Greatness of intellect, or: megalonoia, as some Greek philosopher or other might have termed it.

Evidence that the key Founding Fathers - Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Washington - were great intellects is that they were all members of the American Philosophical Society.

It's plainly evident that today's politicians don't know jackshit about philosophy.

Which would be the most progressive and beneficial of the following proposals:

(a) Eliminate the electoral college
(b) Reduce the voting age to 16
(c) Increase the number of Supreme Court justices to 15
(d) Philosophy for Children
(e) Universal Basic Income
(f) 70 percent marginal income tax rate

If you didn't pick (d), you may be a fucking idiot.  And yet the self-styled "progressives" of today are selecting all but (d).

What do you suppose the Founding Fathers would have selected?

Why should we have a philosophically-illiterate populace voting at age 16 instead of 18?  I'd take a reduction in…

A new and improved American electorate?

Long story short, a rigorous training program in philosophy (and even better, one beginning at as early and age as feasible, ffs already) would be the biggest cure-all for what ails us politically or otherwise.  For now I'll focus on the political since that seems to be a topic a lot of folks pay attention to; its subject matter just seems more accessible somehow than that covered in metaphysics and epistemology.  (Wait, we can live better by studying constituent ontology or the foundationalism vs. coherentism issue?  Would I bet the house on that?  Actually I think I would, but I'm not quite yet in a position to prove that, or else that book would have been written by now.  Right?)

I'm not saying get the nonphilosophical (if they become philosophical, how does that process of change work exactly? does the nonphilosophical person pass away to be replaced by the philosophical?  how can the non-existent replace the existent, given Parmenides' formulations about being and …

Can leftism be steelmanned?

First, what is steelmanning?

The steel man argument (or steelmanning) is the opposite of the straw man argument. The idea is to find the best form of the opponent's argument to test opposing opinions.
Straw man - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
So to construct a steelman argument for an opposing position (leftism in my case) is to apply Dennett/Rapoport Rules for kindness in criticism.

First, what is leftism?  Left-wing politics is a range of political positions described as follows (excerpting at least a few main points; for the full discussion consult the link):

Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy.[1][2][3][4] It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others (prioritarianism) as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished (by advocating for social justice).[1] The term left-wing can a…