[lit-ideas] Re: (No Thread-Topic: [lit-ideas] Re:

  • From: Adriano Palma <Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:53:27 +0000

Rorty’s arguments found some support among academics, white and center 
liberals. For self evident reasons the Marxist wings found them obnoxious, 
people outside academia never bothered. For a number of reasons Churchland 
(both) and Dennett are very conveniently accommodating and making the right 
kind of noises, whcile havingno clue fo what to do with minor, close to non 
existent figures such as Heidegger and derrida

From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Omar Kusturica
Sent: 27 February 2015 16:37
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Justifying Moral Principles?

Perhaps I could try to play an anthropologist for a moment and try to evaluate 
Rorty's arguments not in terms of validity but of persuasiveness. What kind of 
people would tend to find Rorty's arguments persuasive ? Which countries would 
we expect them to live in, which social class would we expect them to belong 
to, and what kind of institutions would we expect them to be employed by ?


On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 3:30 PM, John McCreery 
<john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
The problem is that you are beating a straw dog. Cultural ethnocentrism, the 
belief  that every culture always gets it right in whatever terms it chooses is 
both nonsense and counterfactual and not, on my reading, anything that Rorty 
ever espoused.  Zealots  aside, all cultures leave room for questioning and 
when what seem to be better ideas come along cultures change. To say that, as a 
matter of empirical observation, we all make judgments in terms of what we take 
to be right at the point the judgment is made and that what we believe to be 
right is likely to be what we learned by growing up in a certain group does not 
alter the ample historical record that even people in the same group frequently 
change their minds when they become aware of what they take to be new evidence 
or more persuasive propositions. A pragmatist has no problem with that.


Sent from my iPad

On 2015/02/27, at 19:45, Omar Kusturica 
<omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
Another problem with cultural ethnocentrism is that it fails to explain how 
people like Buddha or Socrates or Jesus came to hold moral beliefs that had not 
been previously widely shared in their respective cultures, and how their views 
proved persuasive to others. In other words, the view of culture that is held 
in the age of air travel and telecommunications is, amazingly, one of a closed, 
uniform, and unchanging system. Go figure.


On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 10:02 AM, palma 
<palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
this has nothing to do with anything moral. confused idiots like 
propaganda/advertising and so forth. thereby they out high premium on the spin 
they put on the wares they peddle. it the same for the lawyers, the sophist, 
the clowns, the thespians.'

it is a conceptual truth that persuasion has nothing to do with morals, in 
either the public or the private sphere. once c manson convinced & persuaded 
shitheads that sharon tate had to be slaughtered, the persuasion has nothing to 
do with the morality of the speeches he gave or the acts he fostered

On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 10:52 AM, Omar Kusturica 
<omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
All kinds of discourses can be persuasive. Hitler's speeches were persuasive to 
an audience that had some predisposition to be persuaded by them, the Germans 
of the 1930s. You and I might not find them so persuasive today, but that is 
because we are not their intended audience. Persuasion need not have much to do 
with reasoning.


On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 9:00 AM, John McCreery 
<john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
Persuasive perhaps. But a reasoner? The only one I know is fiction, a very 
smart gun, indeed, in a science fiction novel The Star Faction by Ken Macleod.


On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 4:23 PM, Omar Kusturica 
<omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
A pointed gun is a persuasive reasoner.

On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 6:47 AM, John McCreery 
<john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

Readily available to anyone who can use a Google or other search engine.


On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 2:28 PM, Adriano Palma 
<Palma@xxxxxxxxxx<mailto:Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
Rorty who?

-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
[mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Walter C. Okshevsky
Sent: 26 February 2015 23:43
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; Omar Kusturica
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Justifying Moral Principles?

Rorty didn't express any optimism or pessimism re the possibilities or future 
of his "ethnocentrism." His claim, pace the realists, constructivists, 
Kantians, emotivists, etc was that this is all we've got as a justification 

Remembering fondly the forests of Opatsia, the slivovitz in Slovenia, and Katya 
in Lyublyana.

Dovijenya, Valodsya

Quoting Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>>:

> The idea that people should be as ethnocentric and partisan as
> possible and that the clash of radically defined opposing interests
> will somehow work out for the best was rather widespread in the former
> Yugoslavia some time around 1990. The things did work out eventually,
> but arguably not for the best.
> O.K.
> On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 3:42 PM, Phil Enns 
> <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
> > Walter O. wrote:
> >
> > "We justify our judgements and actions through the giving and
> > assessing of reasons.  In doing so, we appeal to one or more moral
> > principles for purposes of securing satisfactory levels of impartiality and 
> > objectivity.
> > But can the principles themselves be justified? Could Rorty"s
> > "ethnocentrism" really be the last word on the subject?  On that
> > meta-ethical view, any attempt to justify a moral scheme or "vocabulary"
> > would prove to be question-begging since the justification would
> > have to appeal to principles, norms and criteria internal to its own 
> > vocabulary.
> So
> > how then do we justify the Categorical Imperative, Principle of
> > Equal Respect for Persons, The Original Position, Principle of Discourse, 
> > etc..
> > Are these really but articles of political faith?"
> >
> >
> > I don't find Rorty's position as problematic as Walter does, for two
> > different reasons. First, for Rorty, the ethnocentrism really kicks
> > in
> only
> > when public debate reaches an impasse, and we are only left with
> > acknowledging that these are the beliefs that 'we' hold. It seems to
> > me that this is similar to the situation that leads Kant to
> > acknowledge the fundamental asocial sociability of human beings, in
> > 'Idea for a Universal History', or that nature separates people, in
> > 'Perpetual Peace'. In the end, there can be no Utopia or World
> > government because there are just too many differences for there to
> > be a single set of laws. For Rorty, ultimately, we are bound to our
> > particular histories, but falling back on this particularity is what
> > should happen only when public reasoning has gone as far as it can.
> >
> > Second, the list that Walter gives, i.e. Categorical Imperative,
> > Principle of Equal Respect for Persons, etc., require judgment, and
> > I would prefer that judgment ultimately come under politics. For
> > Kant, judgment is the activity of putting experience under universal
> > rules or laws, so with the CI, we evaluate specific activities by
> > deriving maxims of action from them and attempting to make them
> > universal laws. Because this activity always requires judgment, that
> > is, how the particular comes under the universal, there will always
> > be the problem of how to overcome differences. Kant recognizes that
> > nature divides people, and the one way nature divides is
> in
> > giving people different interests and goals. So, while in a very
> > Hobbesian fashion, Kant urges people to pursue their interests in as
> > selfish, in other words rational, manner as possible, the
> > reconciliation of
> differences
> > between people will require a political solution. This political
> > solution will bring about an equilibrium of competing forces and
> > interests, most likely established through a 'spirit of commerce',
> > and most likely in the formation of a Republic. I realize that
> > Walter will not be happy with
> this,
> > but what comes to mind is a quote from Stanley Fish: 'Politics,
> > interest, partisan conviction, and belief are the locations of
> > morality. It is in
> and
> > through them that one's sense of justice and the good lives and is
> > put
> into
> > action.'
> >
> > In short, yes, I am quite happy with Walter's list being articles of
> > political faith and I see this as very much being within the vision
> > Kant outlines for his hope for a peaceful future.
> >
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > Phil
> >
> >

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John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

palma,   etheKwini, KZN


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