This is exuberance for the weary.
This agnostic loves this.
I’m sorry to see that the wonderful blog, Deliberately Considered, is closing down to make room for a new venture. Deliberately Considered brilliantly captured “the politics of small things.” The new Public Seminar is more of a group blog and links up more closely with the New School’s mission. I’m adding it to my blogroll.
My high school English teacher, Helen Foley, who helped me become who I am (at least the salutary dimensions), warned me against writing in clichés. These are the antitheses of thinking, she said, and she was so right. In all the years since, when I’m writing and a cliché floats to mind as an effective shortcut to convey what I am thinking, Helen Foley’s words exhort me to actually think and figure out how to write it in my own words. And now I add to that Hannah Arendt’s observation that Eichmann failed to think what he was doing and invoked cliché instead. Peter Levine expands on the peril here.
I largely agree with this but I would add that everything would be much more efficient if people would just say what they actually think so we can just plain figure out who they are and what they stand for. If you really don’t give a damn about diversity, just say so and stand by it. If you think “real” philosophy is really mostly analytic M&E just say so and defend. If you think it’s okay to flirt with or seduce people you have some power over, just say so. AND if you think people who think like this are horrible human beings, then bring on the snark. If you think the power structure is wrong, say so. I’m all for honesty. Propriety can get in the way of real change.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has launched a new interface. I’m not sure what I think of it. I suppose this is better for searching but it seems less inspiring. As a member of the editorial board, knowing how much work goes into this, I applaud the editors and thoroughly endorse the encyclopedia. But maybe we could have something beyond the grey scale and the boxes?
Addendum: Then again I am color blind (really, impaired) so there might be color I’m just not seeing.
Addendum two: Now I’m beginning to see its simplicity and beauty. So, bravo to the SEP designers for being far better at this than I would be.