(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Tag Archives: philosophy

Conservatism and Stupidity

I did not mean to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. John Stuart Mill, quoted by Jonny Thakkar in “Why … Continue reading

September 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Antique Fetish

The antique as directly experienced is quite unaffected by period or style, whether the object is a model or whether it is serial in character, whether or not it is … Continue reading

September 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Asking the Right Questions

Wittgenstein didn’t give me the answers, but his philosophy did teach me to ask the right questions. David Aurbach, “The Limits of Language,” Slate, Sept. 1, 2015 Notes From a very … Continue reading

September 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

History and Reality

Time capsules are about futurity, about our sincere belief that we author our own present by providing the future with the means to author its past. Erik Rangno, “The Paradox … Continue reading

September 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

On the Loss of Mediating Technologies

When objects become disassociated from their attending technologies, we lose entire worlds. Erik Rangno, “The Paradox of Time Capsules,” Object Lessons (The Atlantic), August 17, 2015 Notes This in discussing the … Continue reading

August 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

Unilateral Gift = Act of Power

The fundamental rule of symbolic obligation stipulates that the basis of any form of domination is the total absence of any counterpart, of any return. The unilateral gift is an … Continue reading

August 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

Reasoning vs. Rationalization

People don’t generally engage in moral reasoning…but moral rationalization: they begin with the conclusion, coughed up by an unconscious emotion, and then work backward to a plausible justification. Steven Pinker, … Continue reading

August 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

Notes on Interchangeability of Perspective in Morality

[T]he interchangeability of perspectives keeps reappearing in history’s best-thought-through moral philosophies, including the Golden Rule (itself discovered many times); Spinoza’s Viewpoint of Eternity; the Social Contract of Hobbes, Rousseau and … Continue reading

August 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Aristotle’s Infinite Regress

It is impossible that there should be demonstration of absolutely everything; [for then] there would be an infinite regress, so that there would still be no demonstration. Aristotle, Metaphysics, subject … Continue reading

August 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Philosophy Estranges the Familiar

…[P]hilosophy teaches us, and unsettles us, by confronting us with what we already know. … It works by taking what we know from familiar unquestioned settings, and making it strange. … Continue reading

August 2, 2015 · Leave a comment