Thursday, September 15, 2016

philosopher acting as public intellectual

Habermas: A Biography
by Stefan Muller-Doohm
Polity Press, 2016

This is now available (Sept. 29), but I’ve received it only today. I’ve read the author’s “Epilogue: Habermas’s Inner Compass” carefully. I want to comment relative to that notion and my own decades of experience with Habermas’s work, but I’m not yet directly addressing the author’s misled sense of “inner compass.”

Friday, June 24, 2016

the Brexit vote is not legally binding

updated June 25, then at the very end July 2.

Britain has a chance to undo its self-defeating Brexit decision. All of this does not have to actually lead to Britain leaving the EU.

Everything I’ve read about the chaos now of the Brexit vote pertains to coping with the result. I’ve seen nothing in the leading press that indicates that anyone has good reason to believe that the Brexit vote is good for Britain. The Remain vote prevailed in major cities, among highly educated voters, and younger voters—along with all of Scotland. The Leave vote prevailed in English provinces, among the underemployed in metro suburbs, among lower educated voters, and among older voters.

The Bexit vote is not legally binding. If Parliament decided against invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, they would not be ignoring populist will, if such a decision is part of leadership that realistically addresses public needs. To decide differently is not the same as deciding against the populist will. Not invoking Article 50 would be contrary to only 3.6% more of the British population than voted to Remain (and would be congruent with the more-astute plurality of the public).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What makes one argument better than another?

care of (and for) the other (to be convinced) by flexible perspectivity
through an event of appropriation

For a given decision (whether or not I vote for issue “I”), one looks at the arguments for each case and may argue for choosing acceptance (“Yes”) or rejection. I’ll say I do that, but this is not about a choice I have to make. One says or thinks “I look at the arguments...”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

race of the river: a preface

I’m going to quote Heidegger from his 1931-38 Notebooks at length, but let me begin this way: What’s more interesting: where a river is going or where it’s been?

It’s going somewhere because it’s drawn to do so—by gravity, of course—not because it’s coming from somewhere.

Likewise with lives: Actualization of potential goes where it can, in its best interest. It doesn’t unfold a destiny. The human interest isn’t Given. It’s not primordially about its past, rather about its futurity, because interests, too, develop with the life. One is transformed along the way, and the character of interest in going further is transformed too—if potential and futurity orient the way, rather than attachment to notions of inevitability of a given past—or lost past to be regained.

Monday, March 7, 2016

“how goes it”: heartbreak

part 1: how it goes

It’s heartbreaking. “It” is heartbreaking. Yet, whatever it is, no one wants to be heartbroken. Yet, we read about what’s allegedly heartbreaking. One—“one”—reads, thanks to empathic interest. We feel a bond to others, someone whom an author notes or stories, journals, reports, or narrates.